Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycle Insurance

Question:

Interesting question about whether you need insurance for a pedal cycle that has a motor attached. Does it need insurance? Do the Road Traffic Acts apply?

Paula Says:

In order for a vehicle to be required to have insurance, it must be classed as a “motor vehicle”.? S185(1) Road Traffic Act 1988 sets out a “motor vehicle” means a mechanically propelled vehicle intended or adapted for use on roads? Does that mean therefore that a pedal cycle with an electric motor is subjected to insurance?

Providing it is fitted with pedals by means of which they are capable of being propelled and the electric motor is not able to propel the vehicle when traveling at more than 15mph then the vehicle is not subject to the Road Traffic Act? The cycle must also have a kerbside weight not exceeding 40kg and an electric motor not exceeding 0.2kW? The provisions are slightly different for tandem bikes and tricycles.? Their kerbside weight must not exceed 60kg and the electric motor must not exceed 0.25kW.

The position is slightly different for other types of vehicles, for examples, electric scooters? The test is whether a reasonable man looking at the vehicle would say that one of its uses would be a road use? Would some general use on a road be something that might well occur? In previous cases, an electric scooter has been found defined as a “motor vehicle” for the purposes of the Road Traffic Act.



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