Q605: I have seen some electrically assisted pedal cycles advertised. Are they legal to use on the roads without insurance etc?

Electrically assisted pedal cycles are legal to use on the road and do not require any insurance. They must however comply with the relevant law which states that they:

  • must not exceed 40kg in kerbside weight (tandem 60kg)
  • must have pedals by which the cycle is capable of being propelled and this must be the main method of propulsion
  • must have an electric motor in which the continuous rated power out does not exceed 0.2kW (tandem 0.25kW) and cannot propel the vehicle at more than 15miles per hour.

There are many vehicles which claim to be electrically assisted pedal cycles but do not fit the definition above and so are classed as motor vehicles. If it does not comply with the above definition then it must be registered with DVLA, have an MOT, be insured, comply with the law with regards to lights, brakes etc and the driver must have a licence. Many of these vehicles do not comply with the law relating to brakes, lights etc so anyone driving one on the road will commit offences and may put themselves at risk of serious harm.

If you are thinking of buying one of these machines then seek professional advice from the Department for Transport before purchase. See website in related information for more details.

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