Electric bikes and UK law: what you need to know


If you are riding an electric bike in the UK, you'll want to know about the law, and most importantly when an electric bike becomes a motor vehicle.


Currently the UK legislation is based on the EU law EN15194 (but be aware this could change, we blame Brexit!) At the moment your bike is an "electrically assisted pedal cycle" (or EAPC, or e-bike, or Pedelec) if:

  1. The bike has pedals that propel it; 
  2. The electric motor won't assist you when you’re travelling more than 25 km/h (15.5mph); and 
  3. The power doesn't exceed 250 watts. 

You may find off-road bikes that can go faster than 15.5 mph by flicking a switch (or "chipping"), but for UK law these are not compliant with EAPC regulations for on-road use.

We’ve outlined the most frequently asked questions around electric bikes and the law below:

Do I need a licence for an e-bike?

As long as your e-bike fits the criteria above, no you don’t need a licence.

How old do you need to be to ride an e-bike?

You must be over 14 years old to ride an electric bike

Do I need to pay vehicle tax?

No, you don’t need to pay vehicle tax on an e-bike.

Do I need to register an e-bike?

You don’t to register an e-bike.

Are there any restrictions to where I can ride an e-bike?

As long as the e-bike fits the criteria above, you can be ride your e-bike on any cycle paths and anywhere else that bikes are normally allowed.


At The Cycle Company we stock e-bikes from several British brands including Volt, Forme  and MiRider - these e-bikes are all obviously compliant with UK law. The other brands we stock - Kalkhoff, Focus  and Hiko Bike - all adjust the set up of their bikes to be compliant with UK law too. So you can rest assured that buying an electric bike with The Cycle Company is both sensible and entirely legal... and gives you endless cycling options!