FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - Voi in Northamptonshire

Page information: 

Section 1 - General information 

Section 2- Safety 

Section 3 - Sustainability 


Last updated August 2022. 

Section 1. General information 

What is Voi?

Voi is the fastest-growing European micro-mobility operator. Working with Europe’s cities to offer efficient, affordable transportation solutions, including e-scooters. Founded in 2018, Voi currently operates in 102 cities in 11 countries. To date, Voi has served over 100 million rides and has over 6 million regular users.

How can e-scooters help to solve the transport problems in towns and cities?
E-scooters are the start of a revolution in how we move around cities. E-scooters allow for personal point-to-point travel. This means that a rider is not tied to a timetable or a route. During the pandemic, provided a method of travel suited to social distancing.

E-scooters are useful for connecting the last or first mile of travel, and for journeys of 1 to 3 miles.

Voi believe e-scooter use should be affordable.

What are the main benefits of e-scooters for U.K. cities?

The trial e-scooters offer:

  • An alternative to cars and other forms of transport.
  • Provide a socially distanced, outdoor mode of transport.
  • A convenient, affordable, and flexible travel option for point-to-point journeys.
  • A lower environmental footprint.
  • Potential to improve air quality and reduce climate change.


What regulations do e-scooters follow?

Safety remains the top priority for e-scooter usage. You may use a trial e-scooter on roads and cycle lanes within the trial operating zone. Please visit the Voi app for details of the current regulations.

You must not ride on pavements. There are offences and penalties for using an e-scooter illegally. Users can be fined up to £300 and/or have 6 points added to their driving licence by Northamptonshire Police. Visit the Northamptonshire Police advice on e-scooters web page for more information.

Voi employs a variety of measures to identify misuse and block users responsible.

How does Voi help Northamptonshire?


  • Provides an efficient, affordable, socially distant mode of transport.
  • Provides a green, carbon-neutral transportation solution.
  • Provides convenient and flexible travel for point-to-point journeys.
  • Provides convenient and flexible travel for the first/last mile to public transport.
  • Supports the aims of the wider Smart Move Northamptonshire initiative.
  • Creates new local job opportunities.


How can people offer feedback on the trial?

Voi encourages feedback from users and the public. Please contact Voi directly using the email: [email protected]

Report incidents of rule breaking or parking to Voi using their Report a Scooter form.

Please provide the time and location along with the 4-digit ID on the e-scooter where possible.

Voi investigate reported incidents and act against users where required. 


How will the trial be evaluated? How is it deemed a success?
The Department for Transport (DfT) will evaluate each U.K. trial. The national programme of trials is due to complete in November 2022.

What happens at the end of the trial?
In June 2022, Ministers approved an 18-month extension of the current e-scooter trials to 31 May 2024. The extension applies to existing trial areas only, such as Northamptonshire. This will allow Government to gather further evidence and build on the findings of the current evaluation commissioned by DfT.

The Queen’s Speech on Tuesday 10 May 2022 announced the Government’s intention to introduce legislation on the future of transport as part of a Transport Bill.  One aim of the Transport Bill will be to create a new regime for regulating micromobility, including e-scooters.

It is anticipated that the powers within the Bill will be used to create regulations that will legalise e-scooters, but under new rules. These rules would include robust technical requirements and, most likely, a set of requirements for users.

The Government will consult publicly before any secondary regulations for e-scooters. This means that no final decisions about regulations have been made, nor will they be until such point that the Transport Bill becomes law.

When did the e-scooter trials start in Northamptonshire?
The Northamptonshire E-Scooter trial was one of the first launches in England. Launched in Northampton in September 2020. The trial expanded into Kettering (December 2020), Corby (February 2021). Followed by Wellingborough, Rushden/Higham Ferrers (March 2021) and Burton Latimer (April 2021).

How can users tell the difference between Voi e-scooters and other e-scooters?

Voi e-scooters are identifiable by their distinctive coral colour. “Voi” is also emblazoned in white on the scooter’s shaft.

Voi e-scooters are the only legal scooters permitted on public roads in Northamptonshire. Private e-scooters remain illegal, unless on private land with the landowners’ permission.


e-scooter outside of a building with people sat outside

How many Voi e-scooters are deployed in Northamptonshire?

There are about 2,500 e-scooters across the operating areas in Northamptonshire. 

What are the hours of operations for the scooters?
Scooters are available for hire between 4 a.m.–11 p.m. in Northamptonshire. The councils, Northants Police and Voi agreed these hours.  

Are e-scooters permitted on trains and buses?


Can a rider keep a Voi e-scooter in their private residence?
No. The e-scooters are property of Voi, and they are part of a public rental scheme.

When not in use they must be available for other members of the public to use. Misuse of e-scooters can lead to fines, bans, or other forms of prosecution.

Are private scooters also allowed?

Voi e-scooters are the only legal scooters permitted on public roads in Northamptonshire. Private e-scooters remain illegal, unless on private land with the landowners’ permission.

What is the minimum age to ride an e-scooter?

The Department of Transport (DfT) requires users to be at least 16 years old. In Northamptonshire, a user needs to be at least 18 years old to ride an e-scooter.

What is the maximum speed of a Voi e-scooter?
The maximum speed for a trial e-scooter is 15.5mph per UK regulations. In Northamptonshire the maximum speed for a trial e-scooters is 12.4mph.

Illegal private e-scooters can travel at much higher speeds.

How do riders start using an e-scooter?

Users must:

  • be 18 or over, and,
  • hold a provisional or full driving licence.

Voi check driving licences through the app before you can unlock an e-scooter.

To get started:

  • Download the Voi app from the App Store or Google Play to create an account.
  • Verify your driving licence in the app before beginning your first ride.
  • Locate an available scooter in the app and follow the instructions.

Visit Voi's website for further information.

What does it cost to use a Voi e-scooter?

It costs £1 to unlock the scooter and then £0.20 per minute of usage. Voi also offers 24-hour day passes and 30-day monthly passes. To view costs and buy passes please visit the app.

Voi offer special rates for students, NHS, emergency services personnel, and those on low incomes. Visit the Voi 4 all web page for more information.

Are users insured when using Voi e-scooters?
As required by U.K. legislation, Voi users have motor third-party insurance. Voi has also included personal accident coverage insurance for all e-scooter trips.

What is “geofencing”? How does it work for the e-scooters?
Geofencing is a technology that uses GPS to create a virtual geographic boundary. This enables software to trigger a response when a mobile device enters or leaves a particular area. When a scooter goes beyond a certain boundary, the e-scooter’s speed will reduce gradually to a stop.

Voi do not stop the e-scooter’s motor completely, because this could be dangerous for the rider. A gradual slowing of the scooter allows the rider time to get off the scooter and return it to the operating area where they can resume riding. In a slow-ride zone, the maximum e-scooter speed is 5 mph. Users can see their locations and operating zone in the in-app map.

Which roads can riders use in the trial zone?
A trial e-scooter in Northamptonshire may be used on the roads and in cycle lanes within the approved trial geographical area.

Riding on pavements is prohibited. There are offences and penalties for using an e-scooter illegally. Users can be fined up to £300 and/or have 6 points added to their driving licence by Northamptonshire Police. Visit the Northamptonshire Police advice on e-scooters web page for more information.

Voi employs a variety of measures to identify misuse and block users responsible.

Where are the slow-ride, no-ride, and parking zones located?

Please download and consult the Voi app for the most current information. This includes maps of the trial area, and geofenced zones for parking, slow ride and no ride areas.

Do all scooters have to be parked in racks?
No, Voi uses a “free-floating” parking approach in Northamptonshire. Users can park in most places in the trial zone, except no-park and no-ride zones, marked on the in-app map.  Riders receive incentives to park in specified zones.  

How do riders park an e-scooter properly?

There is advice in the app and on Voi’s website about how to park.

Guidance includes:

  • Park the scooter where it’s accessible for other users (never indoors or in a courtyard).
  • The e-scooter should never block pathways, accessibility ramps, driveways, crosswalks, or cars.

Please be considerate of others when parking the e-scooter. For example, if parking on a pavement consider if a pushchair or wheelchair will still be able to use the pavement. 

In Northamptonshire, users will generally be able to end trip anywhere within the trial zone if they follow the general parking guidance (such as leaving pavement and footpaths accessible, etc.).

There are some incentivised parking zones (indicated in green in the app map). If a rider parks an e-scooter in an incentivised zone, they will earn a credit towards their next ride. There are designated no-park zones. Please view the Voi app for up-to-date information.

Voi have also introduced a new feature trialled in Northamptonshire. All users must take a photo at the end of their ride to show the parked e-scooter.  Bad parking, which causes an obstruction, or an unclear photo, will lead to a warning and, if repeated, fines for the user.

Can a user keep a scooter overnight, so they can use it again first thing in the morning?
No. Voi e-scooters are not allowed on private property. If a rider is caught “storing” an e-scooter on private property, they will be fined.

It is possible to park an e-scooter close to one’s home, if the parking area is within the trial zone and on public land. Yet, there is no guarantee that the scooter will remain in place and other riders are free to use it. you may not reserve an e-scooter.

Are e-scooters permitted in heavily pedestrianised areas? Are some areas restricted? Why have some areas been designated “no-scoot” zones?

E-scooters are generally not permitted in pedestrian-heavy zones. For the most up-to-date information, please consult the maps in the Voi app. No-ride zones have implemented for safety reasons; sometimes they also cover private land.

What about E-bikes?
E-bikes were launched in Kettering in January 2021.  This may be extended to other towns as part of the trial.

Are the regulations, trial zones, pricing structures, etc. the same for e-bikes as e-scooters?
Yes, all the information about use, regulations, pricing, zoning, etc. also applies to Voi E-bikes.


Screenshots of geographical area where Voi operates

Section 2. Safety 

How can someone ride a Voi e-scooter safely?
New riders can earn credits from completing modules of Voi’s Ride Like Voila traffic school.

To date, more than 500K users have participated in the traffic school. Riders can also learn important tips from the Voi app. There should only be one rider per scooter.

Riders should:

  • Follow the Highway Code
  • Avoid riding on pavements
  • Abide by speed limits
  • Remain vigilant of surroundings when riding and e-scooter
  • Ensure there is only one rider per e-scooter.

Like cycling, we recommend a helmet. Voi offer rewards as ride credits. Voi give away helmets to monthly users and attendees at safety events. 

What is Voi doing to ensure e-scooter safety in the U.K.?
Safety is paramount for this trial. Voi introduced measures to ensure safe riding:

  • Report a scooter form to allow investigation into rule breaking or parking issues.
  • Regular updates to Slow ride and no ride zones (geofencing).
  • Reinforced messaging about where you can use e-scooters. Users must not ride e-scooters on pavements.
  • Number plates on e-scooters
  • Free helmet giveaways - to monthly users and at safety events.
  • Deterrents to unsafe riding e.g.
    • Charge users a premium for abandoning or parking a scooter in a no-parking zone.
    • Block users who are abusing the licensing rules, such as enabling underage riders.
    • Anyone caught using e-scooters illegally could face criminal proceedings by Northants Police. 
screenshot of safety message on voi app

Does Voi ban users for flouting regulations?
Yes. An investigation will occur for any reports and action taken where needed.

Do riders need to wear a helmet?
Helmets are not mandatory, but it is safer to wear one, as one might when cycling. Voi believes in education and rewarding safe, responsible behaviour.

Can people ride e-scooters in the dark?

Yes. Voi e-scooters have front, rear lights, and a bell. These features help e-scooter visibility for the rider and other road users. Voi has assembled a list of advice and tips for riding at night on its blog.

How can riders keep safe from coronavirus when using an e-scooter?
Since e-scooters operate in the open air, they are a much safer choice for commuters than other forms of public transport at this time. To make sure the fleet is safe, Voi have increased cleaning and maintenance frequencies. Voi scooters are fitted with handlebars with a material that inhibits the transmission of viruses and bacteria, thus offering antibacterial, bactericidal, and antiviral protection. All scooters are disinfected regularly. Voi is also providing COVID-19 information and advice via its app. We encourage riders to use gloves if that makes them feel more comfortable.

How will e-scooters be kept clean while COVID-19 is a risk?
Rider safety is the number-one priority. The scooters are disinfected regularly, including every time a scooter is handled for a battery swap, re-balancing, or maintenance. Voi uses high-quality anti-viral cleansing agents that last up to 24 hours. Voi’s mechanics and logistics teams are equipped with sanitary kits, including masks, gloves, and anti-bacterial gel, and they follow social-distancing guidelines. Using reputable third parties, Voi take viral and bacterial tests of randomized samples of scooters to make sure they are keeping things clean. They educate their users about how to keep themselves safe and encourage them to use hand sanitizer/wash their hands and wear gloves.

What do Voi do to keep streets safe from e-scooter clutter?
Voi and the councils work together to design parking areas for e-scooters. Other activities include:

  • Daily fleet rebalancing.
  • Investigation of problem areas and adjustments to geofencing.
  • Parking racks located in busy areas.

E-scooter users travel at high speeds and pose a danger in traffic for other road users. How are they safe?

In Northamptonshire Voi e-scooters can travel at a maximum speed of 12.4 mph. Regular bicycles often reach the same speed or higher. In slow speed zones trial e-scooters travel at 5 mph. In a slow speed zone, the e-scooter gradually slows down to walking pace.

New e-scooter users can choose to activate the beginner’s mode feature in the Voi app. Once activated the scooters they ride will travel at 10 mph instead of the maximum speed of 12.4mph.

Private e-scooters reach much higher speeds.  Private e-scooters remain illegal, unless on private land with the landowners’ permission. 

What do Voi do to keep Northamptonshire safe for those with visual impairments or hearing difficulties?

Voi work with RNIB, Guide Dogs, London Vision and Thomas Pocklington. The aim is to ensure that Voi understand the needs of as many vulnerable people as possible. Voi check all operations against the sector advice for e-scooter operators and local authorities participating in trials.

The Manual for Streets 1 and 2 influences the locations of any new parking racks.

Voi welcome feedback from residents or users for street clutter or obstacles.

Additionally, there is content on Voi's online traffic school (Ride Like Voila) to educate riders about the safety of vulnerable road users.

All Voi U.K. complete RNIB training including (i) Visual Awareness Training and (ii) Pan Disability Awareness Training.

How do Voi stop people from riding on the pavement?
Pavement riding is illegal in the UK.

Voi’s free online traffic school, Ride Like Voila, teaches users the rules of the road. It rewards users with ride vouchers when they complete modules.

Voi use in-app messaging and social media communications to remind riders of the rules.

What happens if someone rides an e-scooter on pavement?
Pavement riding is illegal in the UK.

Please report incidents of pavement riding to Voi:   

Voi take action against pavement riding by issuing warnings and bans.

What are the consequences for parking in a no-park zone?
No-park zones are red in the Voi app. A rider will be unable to end their ride in a no-park zone.

If a user leaves a trial e-scooter in a no parking zone they will receive a fine. E-scooters in no parking zones will be re-located by a Voi staff member. 

How do Voi prevent people from riding while intoxicated?
Voi e-Scooters are available for hire between the hours of 4am and 11pm.

Voi has developed an in-app reaction-time test activated during certain hours of the day when people are likely to be drinking. The test aims to educate users on why drunk riding is unsafe. It also encourages them to consider alternative modes of transport if they get poor results in the cognitive test.

How do I report a misplaced scooter or an instance of misuse?

Use Voi's Report a Scooter form.

Where possible please provide the time and location of the incident and the 4 digit IS on the e-scooter.

Where can riders find out more information about safety?
Safety is Voi’s top priority, and there are many resources available to riders. Voi recommends all users complete Ride Like Voila, its online traffic school. Voi regularly sends users safety information via its app and publishes regular safety content on the blog. There is also a comprehensive FAQ on the Voi website that includes safety information. If you have specific questions, contact Voi support via email.


Screenshots of safety messaging taken from Voi app

Section 3. Sustainability

Are e-scooters good for the environment?

Europe's largest source of greenhouse gas emissions is transport. Many European cities exceed safe levels of air pollution. E-scooters can help to reduce transport emissions and ease congestion in cities/towns.

The U.K. is particularly suitable for e-scooters because 60% of car trips here are for 1- to 3-mile journeys.

At present an e-scooter life cycle is now at least 60 months (5 years). This represents a 71% lower lifecycle cost than two years ago.

How sustainable are Voi’s e-scooters?

Voi’s e-scooters are a safe, sustainable choice of transportation. They are zero-emissions vehicles.

Shared e-scooters are an important catalyst for people to leave their cars behind when travelling in dense urban areas.

With a lifespan of 5+ years, e-scooters have a carbon dioxide footprint of only 18q CO2 eq. per passenger per kilometre. By contrast, for a car it is more than 120 per person per kilometre.

Voi scooters have swappable batteries. So less service trips for charging and deploying scooters. Lighter electric vehicles can transport the batteries.

Voi has pledged to recycle scooter parts wherever possible and recycle all materials used in the vehicles.

As a company, Voi has been operating carbon-neutral operations since January 2020.