As e-scooter sales rocket during 2020, a leading insurance comparison website is warning riders could be risking points on their driving licence if they take their motorised scooters out on the road.
Quotezone.co.uk is warning anyone who buys or hires an e-scooter and uses it outside of any of the trial areas or on public roads could end up with a £300 fixed-penalty notice and six points on their driving licence – which could in turn push premiums up by as much as 25%.
E-scooters are also known as motorised scooters and are a type of Personal Light Electric Vehicle (PLEV). They are powered stand-up scooters that use a small engine, usually powered by an electric motor with some capable of speeds exceeding 30mph.
Halfords predict UK sales could soar 30% annually on current yearly sales of around 50,000 units, as they have the potential to provide a cheap, greener way to travel, that allows for social distancing and provides an alternative to public transport.
There could be further growth in sales if organisations such as the London Cycle Campaign prevail – it is calling for e-scooters to be legalised and permitted on public cycle tracks.
Quotezone.co.uk conducted research from a Freedom of Information request, that revealed Londoners accounted for more than two thirds (68%) of all recorded injuries nationwide involving e-scooters, suggesting commuters in the capital view motorised scooters as a cheap and easy way to navigate London’s congested roads.
The figures cover 2018 and 2019 and show that men between the ages of 25 and 64 make up half of all casualties. Men also account for 80% of all injured e-scooter riders. One fatality was recorded in May 2019 and 56 other accidents were noted over the two years involving e-scooters, 16 of which were classified as serious.
Responding to the data, Greg Wilson founder of motoring, motorbike, and bicycle insurance comparison website Quotezone.co.uk said, “For those thinking of investing in an e-scooter this Christmas, you need to be aware that you can’t use them in public spaces unless via rental schemes. You don’t want to run the risk of adding points to your licence and potentially increasing the cost of your car insurance premium.
“Due to the relatively new nature of this vehicle, e-scooters are not designated as a separate vehicle type on accident reports – meaning the statistics we found during our research could actually be a lot higher, therefore it’s wise to be careful and take the appropriate safety precautions – whilst sticking to riding only in the designated areas or on private grounds.”
While there are a growing number of advocates of e-scooters who are petitioning to have these PLEVs legalised for use on UK roads and cycle paths, it’s important to bear in mind that if and when the legislation changes these vehicles will likely have to be registered, taxed, serviced annually and insured.