A Guide to Electric Bike Regulations and Law in the UK

Electric Bike Laws

The laws and regulations regarding E-Bikes or Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles (EAPCs) vary from country to country, and in this guide we will be concentrating on the UK market.

If an electrically powered bike meets the EAPC requirements it is classed as a normal pedal bike. This means you can ride it on cycle paths and anywhere else pedal bikes are allowed without needing to have a license or be registered, taxed, and insured. The rider also needs to be over 14 years of age to ride on the public roads.

To be classed as an EAPC the bike must have:

Pedals that are used to mechanically propel the bike and activate the assistance senso

A maximum continuous motor power output of 250w

A cut off speed of 15.5mph where no more assistance is provided

In addition, the EAPC must display either the power rating or motor manufacturer, and also either the battery voltage or cut off speed. Electrically assisted tandems and tricycles can also meet these criteria and be classed as EPACs. If any of the above criteria are not met, then to use your bike (or trike or tandem) on the roads it must be registered with the DVLA and insured. You also must have a relevant driving license and wear a crash helmet.


Bikes with ‘twist and go’ throttles (no pedal assistance required) fall under the EAPC rules if the bike was manufactured before January 1st 2016. After this date the throttle can only operate the bike up to a speed of 3.7mph, unless the bike is Type Approved (as a low powered moped that also meets the other EAPC rules). Throttles that only add extra assistance whilst pedalling – a ‘boost’ throttle – are permissible on any EAPC.


Q: Can I ride my EAPC faster than 15.5mph?

Sure! This is the limit where the motor assistance cuts out – you can otherwise ride as fast as you safely and legally can.

Q: In the specs of my EAPC, it states that the maximum motor output is higher than 250w?

Peak power output is often double what the maximum continuous power output of the motor is, and that is rated for 30 minutes. In short bursts, the motor can provide more power when needed.

Q: Can I ride a derestricted electric bike off road?

Removing the speed limiter would then remove the EAPC classification, and you would be unable to ride it on cycle paths, bridleways or any other place where you would be able to ride a normal bike. They can be ridden on private land – with the landowner’s permission – as long as there isn’t public access to the land.