We want to explore new, environmentally-friendly forms of transport that can be used to reduce road congestion in London - but we need to make sure that any alternatives are safe for both users and non-users alike.
The current rental e-scooter trial is helping us test the best ways to protect the public.
Rental e-scooters have specific safety features installed. For example, they are limited to a speed of 12.5mph and have lights that are always on throughout any rental.
The second phase of the rental trial launched on 25 September and is being operated by Dott, Lime and Voi. This is in line with Department for Transport national guidance that allows e-scooter trials across the UK to run until 31 May 2024.
The London e-scooter rental scheme is approved by the Department for Transport (DfT).
Privately-owned e-scooters or other powered transporters are not legal to use on public roads.
E-scooters and powered transporters may be used on private land with permission from the landowner or occupier but several laws make it illegal and/or spell out the penalties if you're caught riding one on public roads:
Some of the laws do not apply to mobility scooters or e-bikes (electrically-assisted pedal cycles) which are not treated as motor vehicles. The Gov.uk website has details of the law on powered transporters.
You are not allowed to carry e-scooters or e-unicycles on TfL services or in our stations or other premises on our public transport network, even when folded. This safety step comes after defective lithium-ion batteries in privately-owned e-scooters and e-unicycles caused fires on our network.
You risk a fine of up to £1,000 if you don't comply.
E-scooters hired under our rental e-scooters trial have always been banned from TfL services because they cannot be folded. You can still carry - but not ride - non-motorised scooters on our services.
Since June 2021 electric scooters (e-scooters) have been available to rent in a number of London boroughs.
We're running the trial with London Councils and participating London boroughs. Working together on a single trial means the trial can run consistently across participating boroughs, with safety at its core.
The rental e-scooters are currently provided by three different operators:
The operators were chosen after an open and competitive process to assess their ability to meet strict safety requirements and high operating standards. (For example, the scooter batteries can be monitored to ensure they meet fire safety regulations.)
Their e-scooters are now available for hire in:
A Traffic Order will allow us to permit the use of electric scooters on TfL cycle tracks within the participating boroughs.
For more information see our press release on the e-scooter trial.
The e-scooter rental trial is part of a wider effort by TfL, London Councils, London boroughs and the UK Government to enable people to use new and greener forms of transport.
You can rent the operators' e-scooters through their mobile phone apps. You will need to:
You will then be able to find an e-scooter. Use a QR code or vehicle ID displayed on the e-scooter to unlock that e-scooter in the relevant operator's app.
The e-scooter operators offer discounts to those who qualify to make riding a scooter more inclusive. Find out about:
To report an issue with an e-scooter, contact Dott, Lime and Voi directly:
For general information, or if you can't contact the operator directly:
The trial will help us to better understand how e-scooters can be used safely in London - and how we should develop policy in the future. We are taking steps to ensure that anyone using a rental e-scooter rides safely and follows the rules of the road as well as guidance from the rental operator.
The rental trial in London has been equipped with a number of safety features including:
Find safety guidance and tips on how to ride rental e-scooters safely and avoid serious injury to any road users.
For more information on safety see our published reports and risk assessment for rental e-scooters and our Safety, Sustainability & HR Panel paper.
Along with London Councils, we have worked with different groups to understand their views and concerns and the possible impact the rental e-scooter trial will have on them.
Our comprehensive equality impact assessment (EqIA) will be kept under continual review during the trial. See the latest EqIA on our diversity and inclusions page.