If you’re thinking about getting an e-bike, you’ll need to understand the UK laws for electric bikes, including getting it insured.
Our cycle insurance partner, Bikmo offer a massive 25%* saving on e-bike insurance vs. regular bikes to cover accidental damage, theft and much more.
This discount is automatically applied by ticking ‘e-bike’ when getting a quote with us. Plus, you'll get an additional exclusive 10%* discount as a Cycleschemer!
What is an e-bike?
An e-bike (or electric bike) is an electrically assisted pedal cycle (EAPC), with a rechargeable battery and a motor that helps you pedal.
They’re often heavier than normal pedal cycles, but come in the same varieties – hybrid, road and folding e-bikes, or electric mountain and e-cargo bikes, including tricycles. Whichever type of e-bike you choose, it must meet the same rules and regulations to legally ride on public roads or cycle paths in the UK.
What are the UK electric bike laws?
For an electric bike to be legal in the UK, it must come with a pedal-assist motor and have a maximum power output of 250 watts. The electrical assistance must cut off when it reaches 15.5mph / 25kmph, and it cannot be ridden by anyone under the age of 14.
Do you need a licence to ride an e-bike?
As long as your e-bike meets EAPC regulations (i.e. it is an electrically assisted pedal cycle), you do not need a licence to ride it on UK roads.
If you have an electric bike with a ‘twist and go’ throttle (that can be propelled without pedalling), this does not comply with EAPC rules and is considered to be a motor vehicle under the Road Traffic Act. This means it requires registration with the DVLA, including vehicle tax and insurance unless it has been ‘type approved’ by the government.
If you’re not sure whether your e-bike is subject to the Road Traffic Act, this guide on the government website covers all e-bike regulations in Great Britain.
What do Bikmo mean by the maximum 250w assistance?
Confusingly, the 250 watts of assistance refers not to the battery or motor itself, but to the maximum power output of electrical assistance that kicks in when you pedal. To comply with EAPC regulations, the assistance will cut out when it reaches 15.5mph or 25kmph.
What do Bikmo mean by “twist and go”?
An electric bike with twist and go does not need the pedals to turn in order to engage the motor, and is instead controlled by twisting a throttle, usually on the handlebars. Some twist and go e-bikes for elderly or disabled users are included in GB e-bike regulations, provided they comply with speed restrictions and maximum power motor assistance and have been type approved by the government.
This is the law for public roads. There are no restrictions on riding on private land with landowner’s permission, provided there is no public access.
Can you insure an e-bike under cycle insurance?
Yes - cycle insurance is valid on e-bikes (and e-cargo bikes) as long as they are classed as an electrically assisted pedal cycle (EAPC), and meet all EAPC power and speed regulations set out above. Any e-bike that falls outside of these regulations will not be valid for cycle insurance.
Electric powered savings
Bikmo offers a 25%* saving on our insurance policies for e-bikes. This is automatically applied by ticking ‘e’bike’ when getting a quote with us. Use this alongside your exclusive 10%* discount as a Cycleschemer.
Read more of our e-bike top tips and insurance guides: