New E-Scooter laws in Spain

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Posted and filed under General Articles of Interest.

e-scooterlazenia

E-scooters appear to be running out of road on the Costa Blanca!

If you are around Spain this summer you’ll notice that the amount of e-scooters of various shapes and sizes on the Spanish roads has soared. They look good and are providing commuters and tourists with cheap, seemingly reliable form of transport to beat the summer traffic.

There is another side, or two. More than 1,500 people have been treated for injuries from using different forms battery powered electric scooters in the United States in 2018. We could not find the relevant figures for Spain, but these scooters are not considered harmless.  Also, Governments like tax. Currently the authorities earn nothing from these vehicles, who are using public roads.

The Spanish traffic authority (DGT) is frantically scrambling to put laws in place to control this exponential growth of electric scooters on the streets of Spain. These mechanically-propelled vehicles or MPV are vehicles for one rider with one or two wheels, powered by electric motors and that have a top speed of 25 km/hr. Some of them reach speeds of 50 km/hour!!

There are no official figures in Spain on the number of MPVs but the DGT here estimates the number is more than 110,000. The Spanish government had laws ready to be introduced but the current stalemate in Madrid, means local governments in different regions are introducing their own laws with immediate effect. One Spanish city banned rental companies from hiring these scooters this summer due to safety concerns.

Town halls in many areas are now waiting for a Traffic Authority of Spain (DGT) decree to be approved. The new legislation should have taken effect this month (July) but the early general election in Spain left everything in limbo. Spain has yet to form a new government, Murcia’s local government was rejected this week.

Currently, regulations on speed limits, vehicle power and accepted normal driving practices vary greatly depending on where exactly in Spain you are. In some cities, they are illegal for children below 15, in others not. In fact, the same vehicle can be legal here in La Zenia, but illegal in Torrevieja.

It is currently an offence to drive on the footpaths, (or most of them) drive under the influence of alcohol (naturally) or any “abnormal driving practices” (like driving with headphones on). Any breach of traffic regulations is against the law. Dangerous driving is still considered dangerous driving.

The different technical details of the bikes, the look and feel of different bikes and the concept of what exactly constitutes mechanically-propelled vehicles make it difficult to have clear regulation. Some of these things are small motorbikes!

Under the draft new law, which will soon to be approved), these devices will be banned from the roads completely and relegated to the various bicycle lanes. Speed will be capped at 30 kilometer-per-hour yet the draft decree gives local authorities freedom to introduce further restrictions. For example – are helmets compulsory? We don’t know yet.

What about insurance? Someone is going to get hurt in Spain if the American experience is anything to go by. Personally, if I was on one, I ́d be well insured. What if you are riding an MPV and someone walks out in front of you? They are silent so nobody will hear you coming!

More problems; Spanish cyclists’ associations are adamant that bicycle lanes should be exclusively for bicycles, you know, the old fashioned ones. A mechanically-propelled vehicle with the same features as an electric bicycle and no more than 250 watts of power and a (maximum speed of 25km/hr) should be ok to pass this particular hurdle.

The boom of these devices both those for rent and to buy has opened up this legal vacuum not just in Spain but across Europe and resulted in the current chaos on the roads and bicycle lanes in Spain.

People who use MPVs in Spain are aware of the legal uncertainty. The fact that we don’t know how legal they soon will be, has reduced sales given there is no guarantee that an electric scooter purchase complies with legal requirements.

Soon, in the second phase of the laws in Spain, (once we get passed phase 1!) they will cover issues such as the need for insurance. It’s not currently mandatory, there is no minimum driving age and the use of reflective clothing is still optional- but not for much longer!

The new legislation hopes to simplify the issue by clarifying what is a PMD, as they are also called in Spain, into two distinct groups. We know that there are scooters with one or two wheels weighing 25 kg for one user. This includes hoverboards, electric skateboards, electric scooters and unicycles. Next we have segways, and scooters that can reach speeds of up to 50 km/hr.

Regulations on these faster and more dangerous e-scooters must consider how to stay ahead of the pace of development of newer, faster devices.

Vehicles should have a certificate from the manufacturer stating that they are safe- but be warned laws are about to change in Spain. What is is considered safe today, may not be tomorrow. Before you think of driving one here check the local regulations or you may be opening yourself to a whole load of pain! (Literally and legally!)

37 Comments

  • Brian Borrmann

    In Germany E-scooter users must stick to a speed limit of 20 kilometers per hour and be aged 14 years or older. A driving licence and insurance is also required

  • Sir Tomm

    It surprises me that most manufacturers are not required to have lights and a horn to warn people. My own experiences have been that people on scooters seem to think they have the right of way on sidewalks but due to the quietness has led to many interactions with citizens on the move. I personally feel that they do have a purpose and certainly with seats make Ireland vehicle for elderly to go on errands. A law is necessary for helmets and insurance for the rider and others on the walkway. I think they should slow them down to reduce injuries and accidents to maybe half their current speed.

    • Nicola Ryan

      Afternoon Tom,

      We note your comments.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Stewart Robertson

    Hello,

    I’m looking for Civil Liability Insurance for a mini electric scooter (Cat A) for using in Alicante and Benidorm to comply with the new law

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Evening Stewart,

      We can definitely help you with the Civil Liability Insurance for your scooter, we work closely with an insurance broker and would be happy to forward your details for a no obligation quote. Please let us know if this is something you would be interested in.

      We look forward to hearing from you.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Chris Marshall

    Nicola, can you forward your details as I am looking for a civil liability policy for my scooter. Many Thanks,
    Chris

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Afternoon Chris,

      Thank you for your enquiry.

      We would be more than happy to pass your details to our broker for a non obligation quote for civil liability insurance. We will contact you directly to discuss this matter further.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Neill Stacey

    Please could you send me details of the broker that has liability insurance for electric scooters ?
    Thank you very much. Neill

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Evening Neill,

      Of course, not a problem at all. Our Insurance broker will be in contact with you directly to provide a free quote.

      In the meantime should you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact us.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Robert Lee

    Hello Nicola Ryan,
    My partner and I will be in Spain with kick e-scooters for 3 months from January 2020, can you please help with the civil li­ab­il­ity in­sur­ance?
    Thank you,

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Robert,

      Yes of course, no problem at all.

      With your permission, we can pass your details to our broker who will provide a competitive, no obligation quote for the Civil Liability Insurance.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Gino Rigitano

    Hi Nicola, I am very keen to purchase a couple of these city coco 2000W scooters, I live in Bennisa costa, can you advise me on updates regarding road legalities or where to find such information. I am happy with paying for license plates and insurance. Thank you

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Afternoon Gino,

      Thank you for your enquiry.

      For the road legalities for Bennisa, it would be best to ask the Local Police in your area, they mainly deal with the Traffic matters and we know these legalities can change from town to town.

      Should you need any assistance with the name change on the scooter or the public liability insurance, should you need it. We would be delighted to help you.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Andy Jenkinson

    A warning: You CAÑNOT take an electric kick scooter on an aeroplane!

    • Nicola Ryan

      Thank you for your advice Andy.

  • Santi N.

    Awesome post! I’m from Spain and I personally love this new regulations.

    This things will totally change cities, and It’s already happening! On Europe because of pollution. A ton of big cities are closing the center for traditional combustion vehicles. So the most confortable way of moving around are bicycles or electric scooters. I personally love scooters.

    If you come around to Spain and you can’t bring your scooter. Don’t worry some companies rent them for days. And they are some smaller ones like Lime or Bird that rent them for minutes to move around. They are really confortable.

    • Ian C.

      Hello Santi,

      Thanks for the comments. I agree on scooter life in Spain. It is a good way to get around, better for pollution, fewer accidents and it looks fun too!

  • Graeme Brown

    Hi Nicola
    Can you give me a quote for my scooter insurance please

    • Jane

      Hi Graeme

      Sorry we are not an insurance agent.

      Kind Regards

      Jane

  • John.

    Hi nicola.
    Could you supply me a quotation for my smartguro spanish scooter

    • Jane

      Hi John

      We are not an insurance agent, but if you call the office we can provide you with details of a suggest agent.

      Kind Regards

      Jane

  • Doug

    Hi can anyone help us we have a Unique 500 watt Electric 3 wheeled 2 seater Mobility Scooter with a seat like a Vespa or Lambretta & there are foldaway side pedals for the rear Passenger to use The Scooter is restricted to 24Kph & is with a EU certified for use on pavements & roads with lights horn indicators brakes etc. Weve used it in & around our local area for over a year with no problems but have now been told by the policia Local its illegal for passengers & needs registered & Licensed & Insured. My Translator & Myself made an appointment at the local Police station to get it ratified but were told they could not help & were told to take it up with Traffico in Alicante this was done but even they could not give us a definate yes or know but have told us to take it to ITV locally to get it classified So can anyone help in this matter?

    • Jane

      Hi Doug

      The vehicle needs to pass its ITV before it will be transferred to Spanish plates. When the vehicle has passed they will provide 3 blue sheets and 1 white. With these documents Traffico will be able to calculate the taxes to change the vehicle to Spanish plates but the vehicle has to pass the ITV first. Please see a link to the process below:
      https://www.spanishsolutions.net/case-studies/case-study-change-to-spanish-plates/

      Kind Regards

      Jane

  • John sharpley

    I am thinking of buying an e bike it is a 300w 30 Km and works without peddling is this legal to use I live in Monovar 03640

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Afternoon John,

      Thank you for your enquiry.

      It would be best to check this with your local Police station or the N332 website. The N332 website is run by a group of volunteers from the Guardia Civil who provide advice on many matters to do with driving in Spain. Their website is N332.es, we hope this helps.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Jefferson Buckley

    I cant drive anymore.
    I can’t ride a bicycle or a motorbike for more than 15 minutes .
    I am uncomfortable in a wheelchair because of back and hip injury.
    i am looking to buy a bigger one of these big wheel scooters with a seat.
    I have a small one already, It’s so much more enjoyable than a wheelchair,
    I can walk a little using its power to help pull itself and me. Its helping me walk again and it’s great to feel normal . I can stand up and ride, this helps keep my hips and my back straight (no other vehicle allows this relief from pain)
    But the small ones are very limited in range and power to climb hills. I hope they don’t restrict them too much. These scooters fill a mobility gap for me than nothing else can.
    I do think they should have lights, indicator lights and ware a helmet. But hope they dont restrict the speed on roads too much as it would take away this freedom and fun.
    If I could peddle then I could go any speed and no helmet law.
    Please can you also send me your recommendation for insurance.

    • Nicola Ryan

      Morning Jefferson,

      We understand your situation.

      There may be some scooters that would give you lights and indicators, best to check this with scooter stockists to be sure. In regard to the helmet, this has been a requirement since January 2021.

      We would be delighted to pass your details to the insurers which we collaborate with, please confirm if this would be something you would be interested in please.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Dante

    I bought a e-scooter last Sept 2019 it’s been in my possession for about 3 months and then bad luck happen I was cruising at the normal speed legal for the road I saw in a distance a police check point I said to myself I’ll go ahead but when they saw me asking me to go aside and they check my scooter allegedly they say it’s not a scooter it was ciclo moto they gabe me a hefty fine 1000 euro for driving without license and insurance (this is back 2020 when the rules about vmp has not yet finalize by tje government,I told them that when I bought that e-scooter I ask them repeatedly of I need “permisos de conducir y seguro” they said no you don’t have

    • Jane

      Hi Dante

      For us a e-scooter is a small motorbike that must have licence , insurance and ITV. If you can provide us a photo of the vehicle we can advise you better.

      Kind Regards

      Jane

  • Rene Andersen

    Hi, i live near La Zenia In Orihuela Costa. I purchased a e-scooter last Year run 40-50kmh. Questions
    How Old must you be to drive a e-scooter
    Do i need insurance
    It do not have a model name or registration number , any idea where it could printed ?
    Do it need an ITV check ?
    Is it legal to be seated with 2 persons , it have Two senats

    • Jane

      Hi Rene To drive a scooter you need a valid driving licence. Yes you need insurance. The model etc is in the logbook. Yes you need an ITV. It’s legal dependant on the age, children less than 7 years cannot go on a scooter.

      Kind Regards

      Jane

  • Jeff Rawings

    I have been offered an E trike 2000w.45 kph ,There is no matriculation and no technical spec (made in China)
    Do you think it will be possible to matriculate ?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Thank you for your enquiry Jeff,

      We do not thing matriculating an E scooter would be possible, do be sure this would be best checked with the ITV station. We hope this helps.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Albie Vickers

    I have a fractured back and fractured ankle that were never treated properly due to my circumstances and military service that was not recognized have been treated in Spain for decades for this problem. I need the e scooter it looks like a Lambretta but its limited to 25KMH and has a captains disabled seat. I can only walk around 100 meters with Zimmer frame. Quality of life is terrible right now. I just gave up driving my car. Im 77 years old. can I ride this scooter legally. Will a 49cc Licence cover it? All advice helpful

    • Nicola Ryan

      Thank you for your enquiry Albie,

      It is hard to comment without the information on the exact make and model. The company selling the scooter would be able to advise you correctly, im sure. We hope this helps.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • James garnett

    Hi I’d like to know how I make my citycoco electric chopper Road legal in Spain, police say I need a license plate, help please

    • Nicola Ryan

      Thank you for your enquiry James,

      To import any vehicle to Spain, it must firstly pass an ITV test. We would recommend visiting your nearest ITV station, with the bike, to confirm if passing the test is possible. When the vehicle has passed its ITV, we can help you with the final stages, no problem at all.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

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