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Are throttle electric bikes legal in UK?

Updated: Oct 4, 2023

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Throttle electric bikes, also known as e-bikes, are bicycles that are equipped with an electric motor and a throttle. The motor is powered by a battery and provides assistance to the rider when pedaling or by using the throttle.

Are throttle electric bikes legal in UK?

What are the rules regarding e-bikes in the UK?

In the UK, electric bikes are classified as:

  • pedal-assisted;

  • throttle-assisted;

  • combined (pedal and throttle-assisted).

Pedal-assisted e-bikes are allowed on the roads without the need for a license, insurance, or registration. However, they must comply with certain requirements such as a maximum power output of 250 watts and a maximum speed of 15.5 mph.

On the other hand, throttle-assisted e-bikes are classified as electric mopeds or motorcycles, depending on their power output and speed. They require a license, insurance, and registration to be used on the roads, and riders must wear a helmet and follow the same rules as motor vehicle users.

Are throttle electric bikes legal in the UK?

Throttle electric bikes are legal in the UK, but their use is subject to the same regulations as mopeds and motorcycles. This means that they must be:

  • registered;

  • taxed;

  • insured;

  • riders must have a license to ride them.

Throttle e-bikes are restricted in terms of their power output and speed. They must have a maximum power output of 4 kW and a maximum speed of 28 mph. If they exceed these limits, they are classified as mopeds or motorcycles, and riders must comply with the relevant regulations.


Watch this short video from Rahul, our co-founder, about the legality of throttle e-bikes.


Since January 1, 2016, only certain types of throttles have been permitted under the UK's EAPC legislation. Specifically, the throttle must assist the rider without requiring them to pedal up to a speed of 6 km/h (equivalent to 3.7 mph). If the rider is not pedaling and is rolling above this speed, the throttle will automatically cut off. However, if the rider is pedaling at the same time, the throttle can provide assistance up to a maximum speed of 25 km/h (or 15.5 mph).


throttle electric bikes


Is GIN X throttle e-bike legal in the UK?


Yes, the GIN X throttle e-bike is legal in the UK. The bike comes with a default speed restriction of 6 km/h (equivalent to 3.7 mph), which meets UK legislation requirements. Although the GIN X does feature a thumb throttle, it is still considered legal under UK laws.



It is worth noting that while the GIN X throttle e-bike is legal in the UK, there is an option to derestrict its speed if desired. However, it is important to follow all UK rules and regulations regarding throttle e-bike registration, licensing, insurance, and road use. If you choose to derestrict your GIN X, you must ensure that it complies with all legal requirements before using it on UK roads.


Penalties for using a throttle on an e-bike


According to Nottinghamshire Police, an independently powered e-bike must be treated as a motor vehicle and is subject to the same legal requirements as other vehicles, such as having an MOT, licensing, tax, and insurance. In addition, number plates, signals, and rear lights are also required.


  1. If you use your e-bike throttle on the road without insurance, you could be fined £300 and receive 6 penalty points.

  2. Driving without a license could result in a £100 fine and 3-6 penalty points.

  3. There may be various penalties for not having number plates, signals, or rear lights, though these are not specified.

Furthermore, under Section 59 of the Police Reform Act, if a police officer believes that you have been riding your bike in a way that makes other people feel frightened or uncomfortable, they have the authority to give you a warning. If they deem it necessary, they can also confiscate your e-bike.

throttle e-bike

Conclusion

In summary, throttle electric bikes are legal in the UK, but they are subject to specific regulations that are similar to those of mopeds and motorcycles. It is important to comply with these regulations to avoid penalties and ensure your safety on the road.

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