Ebikes and the Law

ecycledirect.co.uk only sell pedal assist ebikes- Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles (EAPCs) and comply with UK ebike law. 

You do not need a licence to ride an EAPC bike. An EAPC does not need to be registered, taxed or insured. 

We do not sell non-EAPC bikes and we do not make EAPCs non-compliant as well as convert normal bikes to electric either.

There is sometimes confusion about the regulations for EAPCs. You can also refer the GOV.UK website HERE

The Law

Here are the main legal points you should know:

  • In UK law, legal Ebikes or Electric Bikes are known as ‘Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles’ (EAPCs).
  • You need to be 14 years old or over to ride an ebike in the UK if the bike is an EAPC.
  • To be a legal EAPC, the bike must have pedals to propel it.
  • An EAPC must show the manufacturer of the motor or its power output.
  • It must also show the battery voltage or maximum speed.
  • An EAPC’s motor must have a maximum power output of 250 watts.
  • It must not propel the bike more than 15.5mph or 25 km/h under motor assistance.
  • A throttle up to walking pace (3-4mph) is allowed
  • You do not need a licence to ride an EAPC.
  • You do not need to register, tax, or insure an EAPC.
  • An EAPC is classed as normal pedal bike and can be legally ridden anywhere a normal pedal bike can (subject to local byelaws or private property)

Illegal Ebikes

An electric motorcycle or e-moped is any electric bike that does not meet EAPC rules. Consequently, they have to be registered, taxed and insured. Additionally, you will need a driving licence to ride one and you must wear a crash helmet. This includes de-restricting legal EAPC’s to get around the 15.5mph motor assistance limit. In addition to being illegal, this will void your manufacturer’s warranty too.

The Department of Transport have also indicated that electric bikes limited to 25kph but fitted with off-road modes that enable them to travel faster under motor assistance are not EAPC’s. Therefore they do not comply with UK ebike law either.

Ebike Manufacturers and importers have to go through a procedure known as type approval. Ebikes cannot be sold in the UK legally without it. This involves their bikes passing minimum safety standards. If a bike is type approved, it has a type of approval plate or sticker. It is illegal to sell one before it is even ridden, if a bike does not have this.

Buying a cheap, powerful electric bike off an online auction website or marketplace can be tempting but very often these ebikes will not meet EAPC regulations, they can be inferior quality and and also unreliable. They can be dangerous and as a result they can present a fire risk.

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