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Wednesday, 3 October 2023

Electrically assisted pedal cycles in Great Britain

Before you ride an electrically assisted pedal cycle (EAPC) in Great Britain you'll need to find out what EAPC regulations it meets. You'll need to know whether to have a driving licence, registration and tax for the pedal cycle depending on the EAPC regulations.

Pedal cycles covered by EAPC regulations

The EAPC regulations are in place for certain bicycles, tandem bicycles and tricycles that have pedals and an electric motor that provides assistance to the vehicle.

The following requirements must apply:

  • the electric motor must not be able to propel the pedal cycle when it’s travelling more than 15 miles per hour
  • the maximum authorised mass of the pedal cycle, including battery but without rider, isn’t heavier than 40 kilograms (kg) for bicycle and 60kg for tandem bicycles and tricycles
  • the maximum power output of the motor isn’t higher than 200 watts for bicycles and 250 watts for tandem bicycle and tricycles
  • the bicycle must have a plate showing the manufacturer, the nominal voltage of the battery, and the power output of the motor

If the pedal cycle meets these requirements it won’t need to be registered, taxed or insured and you won’t need a driving licence. You’ll need to be over 14 years old to be able to ride an EAPC.

Pedal cycles not covered by EAPC regulations

There are some pedal cycles that are different due to several factors. This may be due to the motor power output, speed up to which power can be provided, weight, or that it doesn’t have pedals used to help power the machine.

There are also some electric cycles that have a switch offering a temporary increase in top speed, often advertised as an ‘off road’ facility.

It is the understanding of the Department for Transport (DfT) that these vehicles do not meet the EAPC requirements. You’ll need to type approve, register and tax the pedal cycle. You’ll also need a driving licence and to wear a motorcycle helmet.

Type approval for a pedal cycle

You’ll need to have a European Certificate of Conformity for your pedal cycle, issued by the manufacturer, as part of the type approval procedure or an individual pre-registration assessment.

Type approval is a testing process to check that all vehicles in the UK meet both European and domestic safety and environmental standards. When your pedal cycle is type approved it can be registered and taxed with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.

You can find out more about how to type approve your vehicle on the Businesslink website.

Further Information

You can find out more about pedal cycles by contacting the Department for Transport.

Transport Technology and Standards 3
Department for Transport
Zone 2/04
Great Minster House
76 Marsham Street
London SW1P 4DR

Telephone: 0207 944 2078
Fax: 0207 944 2196

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