Lime has launched an innovative gift-swap for anyone who was given an illegal scooter for Christmas.
The shared e-scooter provider, which currently runs rental schemes in London, Milton Keynes, and Manchester, is letting people swap their new scooter for free Lime rides following the festive period.
Private e-scooters are illegal on public roads and anyone caught by police using their own scooter on the roads could have their machine seized, or be given a fine and points on their driving licence.
Lime says that some consumers may be confused by the current rules around e-scooter use, and is offering a safe way for people to avoid falling foul of the law.
The new gift-swap lets consumers trade their new unregulated scooter for Lime credit, giving them free rides on the app-based electric vehicle service
Lime’s senior director of policy for the UK and Ireland, Alan Clarke: said: “It’s extremely promising to see so many people around the UK actively choosing more active, sustainable modes of transport, including e-scooters.
“However, until private e-scooters are regulated properly, it’s important riders are aware of the differences in rules between them and rental scooters before they take their new Christmas present for a spin. We know that retailers aren’t always clear on communicating both legal and safety risks, which is why we’re offering our gift-swap service. This way consumers can continue to travel sustainably next year, but avoid potential rider regret after a run-in with the police.”
Currently electric scooters are only allowed on the roads as part of Government-backed trial rental schemes in select cities and towns across the UK.
The Government is expected to implement new legislation on the use of private e-scooters later this year, based on feedback gathered during the trial schemes.
Lime highlighted three key details that e-scooter riders need to know:
- Fines and points on your licence: Private e-scooter users can be fined by police, have their e-scooter seized or even get points added to their licence if caught riding on public roads
- Safety features: Regulated rental e-scooters have speed limits and tested stopping distances due to the stringent safety standards set by trial schemes. Private ones have no safety standards, which means safety features vary between the models
- Technical issues: Recent reports of faulty batteries have also seen private e-scooters banned from some public transport networks like Transport for London due to safety concerns around how they are manufactured. Rental e-scooters are checked and maintained on a daily basis by providers to ensure they are in good condition and safe to be ridden
Read more: The future is electric, but not as we know it
To take part in the gift-swap, e-scooter riders can email firstname.lastname@example.org during the first two weeks of January with proof of purchase for their private e-scooter, bought between Black Friday and Christmas Day, to organise the exchange and receive their credit.