Electric bikes: licensing, tax and insurance
If you’re 14 or over, you can ride electric bikes that meet certain requirements.
These electric bikes are known as ‘electrically assisted pedal cycles’ (EAPCs). You don’t need a licence to ride one and it doesn’t need to be registered, taxed or insured.
In Northern Ireland, you need a motorcycle licence to drive any electric bike and the vehicle must be registered, taxed and insured.
What counts as an EAPC
An EAPC must have pedals that can be used to propel it.
It must display one item from each of the following:
- the power output or manufacturer of the motor
- the battery’s voltage or maximum speed of the bike
Its electric motor:
- must have a maximum power output of 250 watts
- should not be able to propel the bike when it’s travelling more than 15.5mph
An EAPC can have more than 2 wheels (for example, a tricycle).
EAPCs that can be propelled without pedalling
If the EAPC can be electrically propelled without pedalling, it’s known as a ‘twist and go EAPC’. A twist and go EAPC must be ‘type approved’ to make sure it’s safe to use on the road. A type approved vehicle will have a plate showing its type approval number.
Where you can ride
If a bike meets the EAPC requirements it’s classed as a normal pedal bike. This means you can ride it on cycle paths and anywhere else pedal bikes are allowed.
Other kinds of electric bike
Any electric bike that doesn’t meet the EAPC rules needs to be registered and taxed. You’ll need a driving licence to ride one and you must wear a crash helmet.
The vehicle will also need to be type approved to make sure it’s safe to use on the road.