A new form of transport

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 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.

Our current trial of rental e-scooters is expected to run to November 2022.

Use electric scooters legally

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:

  • Driving a motor vehicle with no insurance - you could be liable for a fixed penalty of £300 and six points on your driving licence
  • Driving vehicles on pavements is generally an offence - this applies at all times to all types of e-scooters and powered transporters
  • Riders must be 18 or over and have a full or provisional driving licence to rent an e-scooter

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.

Scooters on public transport

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.

Four people wearing helmets riding on e-scooters

The London rental trial

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, plus Canary Wharf. Working together on a single trial means the trial can run consistently across participating boroughs, with safety at its core.

The rental e-scooters will be 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:

  • Camden
  • City of London
  • Ealing
  • Hammersmith & Fulham
  • Kensington and Chelsea
  • Lambeth (north of the borough only)
  • Richmond upon Thames
  • Southwark
  • Tower Hamlets (limited parking at Canary Wharf and some TfL stations)
  • Westminster

A Traffic Order will allow us to permit the use of electric scooters on TfL cycle tracks within the participating boroughs. Find out how to respond to Traffic Order GLA-2021-0297 until 6 November 2022.

For more information see our press release on the e-scooter trial.

Why we're doing the 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. This approach will help reduce the risk of an increase in car use after the coronavirus pandemic, which could lead to traffic congestion and have a negative impact on London's air quality.

How to hire a rental electric scooter

You can rent the operators' e-scooters through their mobile phone apps. You will need to:

  • Download the app of your chosen operator
  • Complete the registration process including verifying your age and driving licence
  • Complete the mandatory in-app training before your first ride

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.

Who to contact

For general information, or if you can't contact the operator directly:

To report an issue with an e-scooter, contact Dott, Lime and TIER directly:

Dott

Lime

TIER

Making safety a priority

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:

  • Riders must be 18 or over and hold at least a provisional driving license
  • The speed limit of trial e-scooters is capped at 12.5mph - they will automatically reduce speed to 8mph in 'go slow' areas. The trial e-scooters also come to a safe stop in 'no-go' zones to ensure they can be ridden safely
  • All first time riders must to do mandatory training on how to ride safely in London
  • The trial e-scooters are maintained to a high level and have large wheels to help navigate road surfaces more easily
  • Lights at the front and rear of the vehicles are always on throughout any rental

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.

Equality and inclusivity

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 Rental e-scooter trial 2021 EqIA on the Diversity and inclusion publications page.