E-scooter operator Tier is offering private e-scooter owners in the UK the chance to trade in their vehicles to be recycled or repurposed, in exchange for up to £150 ride credit with the company.
Tier has launched the scheme initially in York, where it is running a 12-month e-scooter trial, to discourage the illegal use of private e-scooters on UK roads.
While rental e-scooters were legalised in the UK in July 2020, it is illegal to use personal e-scooters on the road, in cycle lanes and on the pavement and the police can issue riders with a £300 fine and six points on their driving licence, while also having the right to confiscate the vehicle.
Tier will offer to collect e-scooters from private owners and take them away to be recycled with a local recycling partner or repurposed through a charity or social enterprise in another Tier territory where private use is legal, depending on the condition of the vehicle.
In exchange, they will be given Tier e-scooter ride credit equal to their vehicle’s value, up to £150, allowing them to use the company’s rental e-scooters dotted around the city.
Tier hopes its new exchange scheme can help the many private e-scooter owners who bought the vehicles to use on roads, before realising that it was illegal to do so.
Owners will be asked to show proof of purchase when exchanging their vehicle, and will need to pass Tier’s AA Ride Safe School, which now includes an e-scooter theory test.
Fred Jones, Tier’s UK general manager, said: “Many people will have purchased e-scooters to ride them on roads, only to learn afterwards that this is illegal unless they’re using private land with the landowner’s consent.
“Unsurprisingly a huge amount of these vehicles now sit unused in cupboards, sheds and garages, as owners wishing to abide by the law have few places to go and enjoy them.
“We hope that this scheme gives private owners the chance to enjoy riding and finally get their money’s worth.”
David Davies, Executive Director of The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS), welcomed the new initiative.
He said: “Private use of e-scooters on the roads in the UK is illegal.
“There are no safety standards for private e-scooters and PACTS is concerned for the safety of riders and pedestrians.
“Rental scooters are generally of a higher safety standard and schemes have to comply with legislation and local contract conditions. This offer by Tier may be a way forward.”
Tier recently launched a UK & Ireland Safety Board to help raise the bar for safety standards across the sector.
It also recently committed to introducing a sound alert to its e-scooters to help protect vulnerable pedestrians, and is working with charity for the blind Thomas Pocklington Trust to design the feature.