Thousands of motorised scooters, that reach a top speed of 20mph, have been forced off the road because no insurer is able to insure them.

It seems the scrapheap is now beckoning for many of these little silver machines after a House of Lords ruling last week declared that they were actually “intended for use on the open road”.

Previously, drivers could forgo obtaining insurance cover because manufacturers, such as Go-Peds, placed a warning on the vehicles that they should not be ridden on the road.

It effectively means that scooters are banned from roads and pavements and can only be used on private land, unless insured and taxed.

But obtaining insurance is impossible because the vehicles do not meet construction and use regulations.

A Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions spokesman said: “The ruling effectively classes petrol powered scooters such as Go-Peds in the same class as mopeds.

“But there are a number of things such as lighting and dual circuit braking that mean they can never meet the regulation standards.

“And insurance companies probably wouldn't touch them anyway because they are such a high-risk group.”

An Association of British Insurers spokesman said it was almost certain the scooters would never be insured.

“They need to be registered to be on the road, but they can't be used on the road.

“We cannot insure something that cannot be registered. And I am not sure how many insurers would regard them as a good risk anyway.”

Hundreds of scooter users and retailers have been seeking insurers to cover the vehicles, without success.

Apex Sport and Engineering general manager Julie Cooper said: “We have called several insurers and they have all said no.

“One said they had taken more than 500 calls.”