Latest updates in the e scooter regulations

Posted 17 Jul 2019

Reading time: 3 Minutes

Germany is introducing rules on the use of e scooters on public roads, which come into force at the beginning of July. 

The new regulation establishes a minimum age of 14 to drive them and a maximum speed of 20 km/h. It allows them to ride in bicycle lanes, but not on sidewalks or pedestrian zones.

Likewise, vehicles must be insured in the same way as mopeds and high-speed electric bicycles (45 km/h), through the purchase of annual insurance which must be visible on the vehicle. And they must be equipped the same as bicycles, with brakes, reflectors, lights, and bell.

How is it working in other European countries?

Other European countries such as Austria, Belgium, Finland, Norway, Portugal, and Sweden have already established rules for the circulation of electric scooters, generally based on their own regulations for cyclists.

  • Norway and Sweden have established a speed limit of 20 km/h for them. Belgium has recently raised its speed limit from 18 km/h to 25 km/h.
  • Italy is also working on regulatory changes to allow it to drive on sidewalks, carriageways and bicycle lanes. Ireland is also working on new rules. 
  • In the Netherlands, e scooters are classified in the same category as mopeds, with a minimum age of 16 to drive them, need compulsory insurance and authorisation from the RDW, the national vehicle authority. In the UK, their use is currently illegal on public roads, although the government is reviewing the legislation. 
  • In Portugal, authorities in Lisbon's old town took action against what residents describe as an epidemic of electric scooters, which are abandoned on sidewalks.

The municipal council, which is in charge of the neighborhoods around the medieval castle of St. George and the commercial district of the 18th century city center introduced fines of up to 300 euros on Monday for companies whose rented e scooters cover the sidewalks and other public spaces of the Portuguese capital.

The companies will also have to cover the costs of the removal of e scooters by the authorities. In the last year, nine companies have flooded Lisbon with thousands of e scooters, as part of the so-called mobility revolution in which the customers of these companies rent this means of transport for small transfers through the city.

In Spain, There is no standard at a state level that defines homogeneously where we can circulate with e scooters, so it is almost mandatory to consult in each city. The  Spanish Government is already preparing a Royal Decree on Personal Mobility Vehicles (VMP), with the following new features:

  • It limits the maximum speed between 6 and 25 km/h.
  • They are not considered motor vehicles and therefore are not obliged to take out insurance (when they are owned by a private individual because local councils are demanding insurance from rental companies).
  • It is not possible to drive on interurban roads.
  • They do not need a registration certificate, although they may be required to have a registration certificate.
  • It will not be compulsory to register them.