UK Law on EAPC's

Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles (EAPCs) - Understanding the Laws in the UK

With the increasing popularity of eco-friendly transportation options, electrically assisted pedal cycles (EAPCs) have become a common sight on the streets of the United Kingdom. Offering a blend of traditional cycling and electric power, these vehicles provide a convenient and sustainable alternative to conventional modes of transportation. However, to ensure the safety of riders and others on the road, the UK has established specific laws and regulations governing the use of EAPCs. In this article, we will delve into the laws surrounding electrically assisted pedal cycles in the UK, outlining the key requirements and restrictions that riders must adhere to.

What is an Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycle (EAPC)?

An Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycle, often referred to as an e-bike, is a bicycle equipped with an electric motor that assists the rider when pedaling. Unlike mopeds or electric motorcycles, EAPCs still require human input to operate, and the motor only kicks in to amplify the rider's pedaling effort. The electric assistance helps riders tackle hills and cover longer distances with ease, making them an attractive transportation option for commuters and leisure riders alike.

Classification of EAPCs in the UK

In the UK, EAPCs don't need to be considered as motor vehicles or licenced and registered if they meet certain criteria.  In brief, the main requirements are:

  • Cycle must be fitted with pedals that are capable of propelling it.
  • Maximum continuous rated power of the electric motor must not exceed 250 Watts.
  • Electrical assistance must cut-off when the vehicle reaches 15.5 mph

If the bike does not meet the above criteria, it is likely to need to be considered as a motor vehicle and therefore cannot be used on UK roads unless the relevant registration and licencing requirements are met (i.e. road tax, insurance etc).

Age Requirements

Quite simply, EAPC's cannot be ridden by anyone under 14 years of age.

Using EAPCs on Public Roads and Cycle Paths

Where you have an EAPC which can be legally used on UK public roads and cycle paths, riders should follow the same traffic rules and regulations as traditional cyclists, including using lights and reflectors, stopping at red lights, giving way to pedestrians, and using hand signals when turning.

Modifications and Restrictions

To remain within the law, there are restrictions regarding modifications to EAPCs.  Some of these are as follows:

  1. Speed Limit Modification: It is illegal to modify the motor to exceed the maximum assisted speed limit of 15.5 mph for use on UK roads.

  2. Throttle Control: EAPCs should not have a throttle control system that propels the bike without pedaling. The motor should only provide assistance when the rider is actively pedaling.

  3. Motor Power Rating: For standard EAPCs, the motor's maximum continuous power should not exceed 250 watts. 


The information provided here is based on guidance provided by the UK governments EAPC's in Great Britain: Information Sheet and should not be construed as legal advice.  This is merely a summary of our understanding of the specification rqeuired in order to legally use an EAPC on the public roads in the UK at the time of writing.  As a user of an EAPC it is entirely your responsibility to ensure your use of an EAPC is compliant with the relevant laws within any legal jurisdiction you wish to use it.  

If you have any specific questions in relation to any of the EAPC's we stock, please do let us know via our Contact Us page and we will of course do what we can to help you.

 Further information can be found at the Governments website by clicking here