Electric scooters are one of the newest means of transportation in the world. In recent years, they have become extremely popular. Let’s look over the electric scooter laws in Europe we managed to gather.
The wide spread of electric scooters and the frequent traffic accidents that happen with them have caused many countries to review the rules. As a result, the requirements for the vehicle and the rider have changed over time.
Electric Scooter Rules in Different EU Countries
Below you will find detailed e-scooter rules for each European country. Click the shortcut to access information about the specific country you are interested in:
Austria | Belgium | Bulgaria | Croatia | Czech Republic | Denmark | Estonia | Finland | France | Germany | Greece | Hungary | Ireland |Italy | Latvia | Lithuania | Luxembourg | Netherlands | Norway | Poland | Romania | Slovakia | Slovenia | Spain | Sweden | Switzerland | UK
E-Scooter Rules in Austria
In Austria, the rules for electric scooters are distinctively categorized based on their speed and power. Scooters with a speed up to 25 km/h and a maximum of 600 watts are legally treated as bicycles. This classification mandates adherence to the same traffic rules as bicycles, which include:
- Compliance with traffic regulations and speed limits.
- Prohibition from riding on pavements and footpaths.
- Mandatory equipment in line with the Austrian bicycle regulations.
Conversely, electric scooters exceeding these limits are classified as mopeds, requiring a driving license for operation and the use of a helmet.
In terms of public transport, electric scooters are permitted in buses and trams outside rush hours, provided they are stored safely, preferably under the seat, without posing a danger to other passengers. This contrasts with bicycles, which are not allowed on the underground during rush hours.
E-Scooter Rules in Belgium
Belgium has recently updated its regulations regarding electric scooters, with the Brussels Region implementing even stricter rules than the federal laws. Here’s an overview of these regulations:
- Age and Riding Restrictions:
- Riding and Parking Rules:
- Riding on pavements is illegal, even at walking speed.
- Designated parking zones for e-scooters have been established.
- When parking an e-scooter, it must be standing upright and not obstructing footpaths, cycle tracks, or pedestrian crossings. It is also illegal to leave e-scooters at entry and exit zones of public transport stops.
- Speed Limitations:
- Classification and Compliance with Traffic Rules:
- Limits on E-Scooter Distribution:
The focus on speed regulation in crowded areas and the emphasis on proper parking highlight the government’s commitment to balancing the convenience of e-scooters with pedestrian safety and city aesthetics.
Source: The Brussels Times
E-Scooter Rules in Bulgaria
Bulgaria has recently introduced new rules under the Road Traffic Act to regulate electric scooters, aiming to ensure safety and order on the roads. Here’s an overview of these regulations:
- Definition and Classification:
- Electric scooters that qualify as “individual electric vehicles” must have an electric motor, a maximum speed exceeding 6 km/h, and no seating position or seat height within specified limits. They must also weigh up to 50 kg.
- Riding and Parking Restrictions:
- Electric scooters can use bicycle lanes and city roads with a permitted speed of up to 50 km/h.
- They are prohibited on sidewalks, in BUS lanes, and in areas marked with no-bicycle signs.
- Speed Limitations:
- The maximum permissible speed for electric scooters is 25 km/h. Compliance with this speed limit is mandatory, though many e-scooters lack speedometers.
- Age Restrictions:
- Children under 14 years are not allowed to ride electric scooters.
- Those aged 14 to 16 years can ride within the bicycle infrastructure.
- Visibility and Safety Measures:
- At night or when visibility is reduced, riders are required to use reflective elements and have their scooters’ lights on.
- Helmets are mandatory for persons under 18 years of age.
- Sanctions for Non-Compliance:
- Fines are imposed for violations such as not using reflective elements, not wearing a helmet (if under 18), and breaking traffic rules applicable to cyclists.
- Alcohol and Drug Use:
- Operating electric scooters under the influence of alcohol above 0.5 per mille or drugs attracts a fine and potential criminal liability.
- Registration and Licensing:
- Electric scooters with motor power between 250W and 4000W and a maximum speed over 25 km/h may require registration and a motor vehicle driving license, depending on their specifications.
- Local Legislation Variations:
- Municipal councils may adopt stricter rules, so it’s important for riders to be familiar with local legislation.
E-Scooter Rules in Croatia
Croatia has recently implemented significant changes in its Road Traffic Safety Act, especially concerning electric scooters, making it one of the few countries, alongside Denmark, to mandate helmet use for all electric scooter riders.
Here’s an overview of these new regulations:
- Helmet Requirement:
- All electric scooter riders, regardless of age, are now required to wear a protective helmet while riding an electric scooter. This rule marks a departure from the previous law, where helmet use was not universally mandated.
- Vehicle Definition and Regulation:
- Electric scooters and unicycles are defined as personal vehicles if the motor power is not exceeding 25 cm³ or an electric motor’s permanent power is not stronger than 0.6 kW, and a maximum speed of 25 km/h on a flat road.
- Electric scooters exceeding these specifications must not be used in public traffic unless they are limited to a maximum speed of 25 km/h or are certified and registered, if possible.
- Riding and Parking Rules:
- Like bicycles, electric scooters must use bicycle paths or lanes in the direction of movement. If unavailable, they can move to pedestrian areas and calm traffic zones, prioritizing the safety of other traffic participants.
- Parking at publicly accessible charging stations for electric vehicles is now regulated. Vehicles parked at charging stations without being charged will be moved by the parking service and fined €40.
- Visibility Measures:
- During the night or when visibility is reduced, all drivers of bicycles and personal vehicles, including electric scooters, must wear reflective vests, clothing, or other reflective markings.
- Fines for Non-Compliance:
- Drivers not adhering to these rules, including the helmet requirement, will face a fine of €40.
- Public Electric Scooter Services:
- The mandatory helmet law raises concerns about the viability of public electric scooter services in Croatia, as it may deter users who do not carry helmets with them.
These changes reflect Croatia’s effort to integrate electric scooters into the traffic system responsibly, emphasizing safety for both riders and pedestrians.
However, the mandatory helmet law for all riders, a unique stance in the EU, could impact the adoption and convenience of electric scooter use in the country.
E-Scooter Rules in the Czech Republic
In the Czech Republic, the popularity of electric scooters has necessitated specific rules under the Road Traffic Act. Here’s an overview of these regulations for safe and legal electric scooter usage:
- Classification and Road Use:
- Scooters, including electric ones, are classified as bicycles, meaning riders have the same rights and obligations as cyclists.
- Riders are allowed on roads, designated cycle lanes, and cycle paths, but not on pavements, where scooters must be guided by hand.
- Speed and Power Limitations:
- To be roadworthy without registration or a driver’s license, electric scooters must have a maximum speed of up to 25 km/h and motor power not exceeding 250 W, or up to 1000 W for a retrofitted motor.
- Scooters exceeding these limits are subject to registration and treated as motorcycles, requiring a valid MOT, registration plate, compulsory insurance, and a driver’s license.
- Riding Rules:
- Riders must drive on the right side of the road, maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles.
- If a bicycle lane is present, scooter riders are obliged to use it and can only ride one behind another, not side by side.
- Motorists generally overtake scooters on the left.
- Age-Specific Regulations and Helmet Use:
- Only individuals under 10 years of age can move on sidewalks.
- Riders up to 18 years old must use an approved protective helmet.
- Children under 10 years can ride without supervision only on cycle paths, paths for cyclists and pedestrians, and in residential zones.
- Riders under 10 years old must be accompanied by someone over 15 years if riding on the road.
- Scooter Equipment:
- Scooters must have handlebars with no sharp edges and effective independent front and rear brakes.
- Reflectors are required: a white front reflector under the handlebars and a red rear reflector, which can be combined with corresponding lights.
- In reduced visibility or darkness, riders must have a white non-dazzling headlight and a red rear light.
- Visibility and Safety:
- Besides lighting, it’s important for scooters to be clearly visible. Reflective materials and accessories are recommended for better visibility.
- Crosswalk Use:
- If the cycle path continues with a pedestrian crossing, riders must dismount and guide the scooter across.
E-Scooter Rules in Denmark
Denmark has introduced specific rules for electric scooters to ensure the safety of riders and other road users.
Notably, from 1 January 2022, it became mandatory by law to wear a bicycle helmet when riding an electric scooter.
Here’s an overview of the key regulations:
- Helmet Requirement:
- All electric scooter riders must wear a bicycle helmet. This rule is enforced to enhance safety, and failure to wear a helmet can result in a fine.
- Rules for Children and Young Riders:
- Children under 15 years old are not allowed to ride electric scooters alone in public traffic. This includes residential roads and path systems.
- They must be accompanied by an adult who is at least 18 years old.
- General Riding Rules:
- Electric scooter riders must follow the same rules as cyclists. This includes not riding on pavements, signaling when turning and stopping, and not using hand-held mobile phones while riding.
- Lights must be on around the clock, enhancing visibility and safety.
- Enforcement and Parental Responsibility:
- The Central and West Jutland Police have stated that they will pay particular attention to electric scooters, especially during school inspections.
- If a child under 15 is stopped while riding an electric scooter illegally, the police will contact the parents.
- Additional Resources:
- The Council for Safe Traffic’s website provides additional advice on electric scooters, including detailed regulations and information on insurance.
E-Scooter Rules in Estonia
Estonia has established clear guidelines for operating electric scooters, emphasizing safety and respect for all road users. These rules are designed to prevent accidents and ensure that electric scooters are used responsibly in public spaces.
Here’s a comprehensive overview:
- Preparation and Vehicle Check:
- Familiarize yourself with the vehicle’s rental conditions and/or user manual.
- Practice operating the scooter in a traffic-free area.
- Ensure the scooter is in good working condition, including a functional bell, effective brakes, and appropriate reflectors or lights (white at the front, red at the back, and yellow, red, or white on the sides).
- Make sure the battery is fully charged.
- Visibility Measures:
- Use a white light at the front and a red one at the back in the dark or when visibility is poor.
- During the daytime, it’s advisable to use lights, wear bright clothing, and use a reflector in dark hours.
- Riding the Electric Scooter:
- Ride sober and alone on the scooter.
- Helmets are mandatory for people under 16.
- Use cycle tracks, pedestrian paths, or pavements.
- Adhere to a 25 km/h speed limit and choose a speed appropriate for road and traffic conditions.
- Be alert to unexpected road hazards like curbs, potholes, or slippery surfaces.
- Ride on the right side of the road and overtake from the left.
- Slow down near pedestrians and maintain a safe passing distance.
- Approaching Crossings:
- Slow down or stop before crossings, look for approaching cars, and ensure it’s safe to proceed.
- Cross the road at a pedestrian’s speed.
- At railroad crossings, dismount and push the scooter alongside.
- Ending the Ride:
- Park the scooter without obstructing the road or pedestrian paths. Ensure at least 1.5 meters of space is left for pedestrians on pavements.
Compliance with these guidelines is key to enjoying the benefits of electric scooters while minimizing risks and disruptions.
E-Scooter Rules in Finland
In Finland, the legislation and requirements for electric personal transportation devices, including electric scooters, vary based on the device’s features. The Finnish Road Traffic Act and other specific regulations provide guidelines to ensure the safety and compliance of these devices.
Here’s an overview of the key rules:
- Device Classification:
- Devices are categorized based on their maximum speed and power into:
- Devices to assist/replace walking: Maximum speed of 15 km/h and power of 1 kW.
- Light electric vehicles: Maximum speed over 15 km/h but no more than 25 km/h, with a maximum power of 1 kW.
- Electrically assisted bicycles: Maximum power of 250 W, assistance only when pedaled, and a cut-off at 25 km/h.
- Motorized bicycles (L1e-A): Maximum power of 1 kW, assistance can work without pedaling.
- Devices are categorized based on their maximum speed and power into:
- Usage and Roadworthiness:
- Devices exceeding 25 km/h or with a maximum power over 1 kW, like powerful electric scooters, are not classified as light electric vehicles or devices to assist walking. They must be approved as mopeds or suitable categories and subject to type approval, insurance, registration, and driving license provisions.
- Requirements for Electric Scooters:
- Must have effective brakes, functional bell, and appropriate reflectors and lights (front white light, rear red light, side reflectors).
- When riding in the dark or with poor visibility, lights are mandatory.
- The maximum width for two-wheelers is 0.8 m and 1.25 m for vehicles with three or more wheels.
- Rules of the Road:
- Electric scooters should be used on cycle paths or pavements at walking speed. The same road rules as bicycles apply on cycle paths.
- Self-balancing devices can also be used on the footpath when traveling at walking speed.
- Applicability of Different Legislation:
- Depending on the device, various directives and decrees might apply, such as the Machinery Directive, EMC Directive, Vehicles Act, among others.
- Insurance and Registration:
- There is no requirement for insurance, registration, or driving license for light electric vehicles and devices assisting walking.
Understanding these rules is crucial for both users and distributors to ensure compliance and safety on the roads.
E-Scooter Rules in France
In France, the regulation of electric scooters has undergone significant changes to adapt to the evolving landscape of urban mobility.
Here’s an overview of the key rules and regulations for electric scooter use:
- Registration Requirements:
- From September 2019, electric scooters capable of exceeding 25 km/h fall into the category of motorized land vehicles. This means that they are treated similarly to small displacement cycles.
- Scooters over this speed threshold require a motorcycle registration plate, obtained after getting an electric scooter registration document.
- Speed Limits and Usage Restrictions:
- The speed of electric scooters is capped at 50 km/h.
- Driving on sidewalks is prohibited, regardless of the scooter model.
- Electric scooter use is confined to urban areas, such as cycle paths or roads. It’s forbidden to use them on departmental or national roads, even if the scooter is capable of higher speeds.
- Age and Safety Requirements:
- Riders of electric scooters traveling over 25 km/h must be over 14 years old and have a road safety certificate (BSR).
- These scooters must also be insured.
- Categories of Electric Scooters:
- Scooters traveling at less than 6 km/h are considered pedestrians and can be driven on sidewalks without insurance and a helmet.
- Models traveling from 6 to 25 km/h must use cycle paths or roads. However, local municipalities may have specific orders, so it’s advisable to check local regulations.
- Legal Responsibility in Accidents:
- In accidents without specific fault, the stronger user bears responsibility. Pedestrians are always protected, and in accidents between two electric scooters of different power, the faster one is typically at fault.
- Penalties for Non-Compliance:
- Non-compliance with these regulations can lead to fines of the second class or fourth class, with unbridling being heavily punished.
E-Scooter Rules in Germany
Germany has enacted a regulation that allows the use of light electric vehicles, including e-scooters and Segways, on public roads.
This move marks a significant shift in the country’s approach to personal electric mobility.
Here’s an overview of the key regulations for light electric vehicles:
- Definition and Characteristics:
- Light electric vehicles are defined as motor vehicles with electric drive, a top speed between 6 km/h and 20 km/h, and specific physical dimensions, including height, width, and length limits.
- They can be vehicles without seats or self-balancing vehicles with or without seats, and must have a handlebar or handrail of a specified minimum height.
- Power and Size Limits:
- The continuous rated power must not exceed 500 watts, or 1400 watts for self-balancing vehicles with at least 60% of the power used for self-balancing.
- The vehicle’s total size must not exceed specified dimensions, and the maximum vehicle mass without the rider should be no more than 55 kg.
- Requirements for Public Road Use:
- Vehicles must correspond to an approved type with valid type or individual approval.
- They must have valid insurance, a vehicle identification number, and a manufacturer’s data plate indicating key information like top speed and approval number.
- They must meet specific requirements for deceleration devices, lighting, audible warning, and other safety measures.
- Age Restrictions:
- Children under 14 years of age are not permitted to ride light electric vehicles.
- Riding Guidelines:
- Riders should use bike lanes or shared lanes for pedestrians and bikes. If unavailable, they may use the street.
- Public authorities may permit the use of light electric vehicles in other areas on a case-by-case basis, as indicated by a specific traffic sign.
- Rules of Conduct:
- Riders must drive behind each other, not hold onto other vehicles, and are prohibited from driving no-handed.
- Turns should be indicated with a hand signal if the vehicle does not have a blinker, and riders must pay attention to and adjust their speed to bike traffic.
- Penalties for Non-Adherence:
- Violations of these regulations can result in fines of up to €2,000.
- Parking Regulations:
- General rules for stopping and parking applicable to vehicles also apply to light electric vehicles.
E-Scooter Rules in Greece
Greece has introduced the New Mobility and e-scooter Law under the Hellenic Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, a significant step towards developing Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs).
This law includes specific regulations for Personal Light Electric Vehicles (PLEVs), such as e-scooters. Here’s an overview of the key rules:
- Safety Gear Requirements:
- Riders are required to wear helmets and reflective clothing at night, enhancing safety and visibility.
- Design Speed and Riding Areas:
- PLEVs with a design speed of up to 6 km/h are allowed on sidewalks, similar to pedestrians.
- For PLEVs with a design speed between 6 and 25 km/h, riders must use the road, akin to cyclists.
- There is a traffic ban for PLEVs with a design speed higher than 25 km/h.
- Restrictions Based on Road Speed Limits:
- PLEVs are not allowed on streets where the speed limit is 50 km/h or higher, prioritizing safety in areas with faster-moving traffic.
By setting clear rules for helmet use, reflective clothing, and defining where PLEVs can operate based on their speed, Greece aims to ensure the safety of both riders and other road users.
Compliance with these rules is crucial for the effective implementation of SUMPs and the promotion of sustainable urban mobility in Greece.
E-Scooter Rules in Hungary
In Hungary, the legal status and regulation of electric scooters are somewhat ambiguous, leading to misconceptions and varied interpretations.
The Future Mobility Association has highlighted the need for clear regulations. Here’s an overview of the current situation regarding electric scooters in Hungary:
- Lack of Specific Classification:
- As of now, electric scooters are not specifically classified under the Hungarian Highway Code (KRESZ). They fall into a gray area between bicycles and mopeds, lacking a uniform regulatory framework.
- In 2019, the Ministry of the Interior suggested classifying them as auxiliary motors, but this was contradicted by a 2020 court ruling stating that electric scooters couldn’t be definitively categorized under existing KRESZ rules.
- EU Regulation on Mopeds:
- An EU regulation defines mopeds as devices with a saddle, implying that electric scooters normally don’t fall into this category due to their design.
- General Traffic Laws:
- Despite the lack of specific regulations for electric scooters, general traffic laws still apply. For instance, drunk driving provisions in the Penal Code extend to electric scooter riders.
- Community Electric Scooters:
- In Budapest, a decree has been passed to regulate community micromobility devices, including shared electric scooters. This includes the creation of micromobility points and a public space usage fee for service providers.
- Accident Situations:
- In accidents, authorities categorize electric scooters on a case-by-case basis, either considering the users as pedestrians or as auxiliary motors.
- Need for Comprehensive Regulation:
- There’s a growing demand for a well-thought-out, comprehensive regulation of electric scooters, considering their rising popularity and potential to contribute to sustainable urban transport.
- The Future Mobility Association suggests that an ideal regulation would allow anyone to participate in traffic only if they are familiar with traffic rules.
- Driver’s License and Age Group Education:
- Currently, no driver’s license is required to use electric scooters.
- The association advocates for basic traffic rule education, especially for the 10-14 age group, potentially as an optional class in elementary schools.
The situation in Hungary highlights the need for clear and comprehensive regulations for electric scooters to ensure safety, legal clarity, and the promotion of sustainable urban mobility.
E-Scooter Rules in Ireland
Electric scooter regulations in Ireland are currently in a transition phase. Here’s an overview of the current rules:
- Legal Status: Despite their popularity, e-scooters are currently illegal on Irish roads as they are classified as mechanically propelled vehicles (MPVs) and cannot meet the legal criteria for road usage (tax, insurance, registration, and a license).
- New Legislation: The Road Traffic and Roads Act 2023, which has been signed into law, paves the way for the legalization of e-scooters. However, secondary legislation (regulations) is required, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2023. Until then, e-scooters remain illegal.
- Technical Regulations: E-scooters intended for road use must adhere to specific technical criteria: a maximum power output of 400W, a net weight of 25kg or less, a maximum design speed of 20km/h, a minimum wheel diameter of 200mm, and be equipped with lights, reflectors, brakes, a bell, and a manufacturer’s plate.
- Usage Conditions: Once legalized, users must be at least 16 years old, e-scooters can only be used by one person at a time without a seat, and must comply with an ordinary speed limit of 20km/h. They are not allowed on footpaths or motorways.
- Enforcement: Fixed charge notice (FCN) penalties will be applied for violations, with a set financial value of €50 for common tickets.
Source: Irish Independent
E-Scooter Rules in Italy
Italy has implemented specific rules for electric scooters to ensure safety and order in urban mobility. Key aspects of these regulations include:
- General Conditions:
- The minimum age to ride an electric scooter is 14.
- Helmet use is mandatory for minors.
- Dual brakes, turn signals, and stop lights are required.
- Riders must wear reflective vests or suspenders in low-visibility conditions.
- Speed Limits:
- The maximum speed limit is 20 km/h, with a 6 km/h limit in pedestrian areas.
- Carrying other people, objects, or animals, towing, or being towed is not allowed.
- Modifying scooters to alter performance is illegal and can lead to fines and confiscation.
- Parking Regulations:
- Parking on sidewalks is banned; scooters must be parked in designated areas or at bicycle stalls.
- “Wild parking” carries fines ranging from 42 to 168 euros.
- Rental Scooters:
- Mandatory insurance coverage is required.
- Rental operators must inform users about correct usage and prevent “wild parking” through photo verification.
- Future Regulations (Under Consideration for 2023):
- Helmet requirement for all riders.
- Introduction of identification plates for electric scooters.
E-Scooter Rules in Latvia
Here are the key rules for riding an electric scooter in Latvia:
- Age and License Requirements: Users must be at least 14 years old and possess a cycling license or any other category of vehicle license to legally use electric scooters.
- Registration of Electric Scooters: Mandatory registration of electric scooters will be required starting January 1, 2024, with a deadline for registration set for March 31, 2024.
- Local Government Regulations: Local authorities have the power to establish rules for shared vehicle usage, including speed limits and parking exclusion zones.
- Penalties: Stricter penalties are imposed for electric scooter and bicycle users, especially for using smart devices while driving or operating the vehicle under the influence of alcohol.
E-Scooter Rules in Lithuania
In Lithuania, electric scooters are subject to specific rules under the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Safe Road Traffic and the Road Traffic Rules (KET). Here’s an overview:
- Classification: Electric scooters with a maximum power of 1 kW and a maximum speed of 25 km/h are classified as motorcycles and must follow the requirements for bicycle drivers.
- Allowed Areas: Electric scooters can be used on bicycle paths, pedestrian and bicycle paths, or bicycle lanes. When these are not available, riders may use sidewalks, giving way to pedestrians and not causing obstruction or danger.
- Crossing Roadways: Electric scooter drivers are prohibited from crossing roadways at pedestrian crossings.
- Visibility and Safety Requirements: Riders on roadways must wear brightly colored vests with reflective elements or have a white front light and a red rear light on the scooter. Minors under 18 must wear a safety helmet.
- Age Restrictions: Riding on roadways is allowed for individuals aged 14 and older, or 12 and older with a training course certificate. Children aged 8 and older can ride under adult supervision.
- General Conduct: All electric scooter users must comply with the Road Traffic Rules, be attentive, and respect other road users.
E-Scooter Rules in Luxembourg
In Luxembourg, electric scooters and similar vehicles are categorized under various classes in the Highway Code, each with specific rules and provisions:
- “Personal Mobility Device” Category:
- Includes small, non-electric, or electric wheeled devices with a maximum design speed not exceeding 6 km/h.
- No age restriction on pavements but must not impede or endanger others.
- “Cycle” Category:
- Applies to vehicles propelled exclusively by muscle power.
- Specific regulations regarding age, riding side-by-side, mandatory lights, and reflectors.
- “Electric Micro-Vehicle” Category:
- Small road vehicles, including electric scooters, propelled exclusively by an electric motor with a rated output not exceeding 0.25 kW and a maximum design speed between 6 km/h and 25 km/h.
- Mandatory lights and reflectors required.
- “Power-Assisted Pedal Cycle” and “Electric Bike” Categories:
- Specific requirements for output, speed, and lights.
- “Moped” Category:
- Includes self-propelled vehicles with a maximum design speed of 45 km/h, requiring an AM driving license.
- Helmet requirement and specific regulations for declaration to authorities.
Each category has distinct regulations regarding age restrictions, equipment, and behavior on the road. Electric scooters with motors between 250w and 500w are considered electric bikes.
E-Scooter Rules in the Netherlands
In the Netherlands, electric scooters are categorized based on their operation mode: scooters with pedal assistance and scooters with a throttle, each subject to different regulations:
- Scooter with Pedal Assistance:
- Operated with muscle strength, aided by an auxiliary motor.
- Considered similar to E-bikes in the Netherlands.
- Subject to bicycle traffic rules.
- No requirement for a helmet, driving license, minimum age, license plate, or liability insurance.
- Allowed on public roads if motor power is limited to 0.25 kW.
- Scooter with Throttle:
- Currently not allowed on Dutch roads.
- The Netherlands is undergoing a transition to new regulations, which are expected to be more stringent than in other European countries.
- Difficulties in meeting practical requirements such as EU-approved signaling blinkers.
- There is a move towards aligning with European standards rather than the Dutch initiative under Regulation 168/2013.
E-Scooter Rules in Norway
In Norway, electric scooters are subject to specific traffic rules similar to bicycles. Here’s an overview:
- Age Limit: The minimum age to ride an e-scooter is 12 years.
- Helmet Requirements: Helmets are mandatory for children under 15, but recommended for all.
- Influence of Alcohol or Drugs: Riding under the influence is illegal with a blood alcohol limit of 0.02 percent.
- Passengers: Carrying passengers on e-scooters is not allowed.
- Parking: E-scooters can be parked on pedestrian and cycle paths, pavements, or pedestrian zones without obstructing others.
- Riding Areas: E-scooters are allowed on roads, public transport lanes, pedestrian and cycle paths, and cycle lanes. Riding on motorways or roads where bicycles are banned is forbidden.
- Road Behavior: Riders must follow standard traffic rules, including giving way to pedestrians, stopping at red lights, signaling turns, and observing speed limits.
- Liability Insurance: From January 1, 2023, all e-scooters, including those owned by private individuals, must have liability insurance.
E-Scooter Rules in Poland
In Poland, new legislation governing the use of electric scooters came into effect on May 20, 2021. Here’s a summary of the key rules:
- Vehicle Classification: Electric scooters are now classified as vehicles, not pedestrians.
- Speed Limit: The maximum speed limit for e-scooters on public roads is 20 km/h.
- Riding Areas: Riders must use bicycle lanes where available. If not available, they may use roads with a speed limit of up to 30km/h, or footpaths at a walking pace of approximately 5km/h.
- Pedestrian Priority: E-scooter riders must give way to pedestrians and not obstruct their passage.
- Age Restrictions:
- Children under 10 years are prohibited from riding e-scooters on public roads.
- Children aged 10-18 years require the same qualifications as for cycling (e.g., a bicycle card or driving license).
- There are no specific documents required for riders over 18 years.
- Riding under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Transporting other people, animals, or objects.
- Pulling or towing other vehicles.
- Using a phone while riding.
- Parking: E-scooters must be parked on footpaths in designated areas without obstructing pedestrian traffic. The pavement width left for pedestrian traffic must not be less than 1.5 meters.
- Fines: The legislation introduces fines for various violations, including using a phone while driving, transporting passengers, and riding under the influence.
- Technical Requirements: The law specifies technical parameters for electric scooters and personal transport devices, applicable to those placed on the market after December 31, 2021.
E-Scooter Rules in Romania
In Romania, new regulations for electric scooter use have been introduced with the following key points:
- Age Restrictions: Only individuals aged over 14 are permitted to use electric scooters. Those under 16 must wear helmets while riding.
- Design and Speed: Electric scooters are defined as two- or three-wheeled vehicles with a maximum design speed not exceeding 25 km/h, equipped with an electric motor.
- Riding Areas: Electric scooters should primarily be used on bike lanes. If bike lanes are unavailable, they can be ridden on roads where the maximum speed limit is 50 km/h.
- Prohibitions: It’s forbidden to transport passengers on e-scooters.
- Night Riding: E-scooters must be equipped with night lights and reflectors when riding at night.
- Penalties: Non-compliance with these rules can result in fines ranging from 6 to 8 fine points, with one fine point valued at RON 145 (approximately EUR 30).
E-Scooter Rules in Slovakia
In Slovakia, the rules for electric scooter use are as follows:
- Minimum Age: Individuals aged 15 and over are allowed to use electric scooters on the road. Those under 15 may ride on cycle paths, residential roads, and forest tracks.
- Maximum Speed: The speed limit for electric scooters is capped at 25 km/h.
- Helmet Use: Wearing a helmet is recommended but not mandatory.
- Permitted Riding Areas: Electric scooters can be ridden on cycle paths, on the right-hand side of the road, and on pavements at walking speed without obstructing pedestrian traffic.
- Night Equipment: In conditions of darkness or poor visibility, electric scooters must be illuminated.
- Blood Alcohol Limit: The blood alcohol limit for e-scooter riders is 0.5 ‰.
- Mandatory Insurance: From 2024, selected types of electric scooters in the European Union will require mandatory liability insurance. In Slovakia, this applies to scooters exceeding 25 km/h or those with a speed over 14 km/h and weighing more than 25 kg. Electric bicycles are exempt from this insurance requirement.
E-Scooter Rules in Slovenia
In Slovenia, the rules for electric scooter use are as follows:
- Usage in Traffic: Electric scooters can be used on roads, with a maximum speed of 25 km/h. In pedestrian zones, the speed limit is 10 km/h. They should use bicycle lanes when available, or otherwise ride on the right edge of roads in areas with a speed limit of 50 km/h or less.
- Age Limit: The minimum age for riding an electric scooter is 14 years. Children over 12 years can ride if they have a bicycle pass.
- Mandatory Equipment: Electric scooters must have a red reflector at the rear, yellow or orange reflectors on the sides, and proper lighting during the night or in reduced visibility.
- Helmet Use: Wearing a helmet is mandatory for riders under 18 years old and recommended for all riders.
- Penalties: Non-compliance with rules, such as riding on pavements, exceeding speed limits, using mobile phones or headphones, or lacking mandatory equipment, can lead to fines ranging from €40 to €250.
- Enforcement: Both Police and city wardens have the authority to enforce these rules and issue penalties for violations.
E-Scooter Rules in Spain
In Spain, new regulations have been established for electric scooters or Personal Mobility Vehicles (VMPs) by the Director General de Tráfico (DGT) to ensure safe usage:
- Technical Requirements: VMPs, including hoverboards, electric unicycles, and electric scooters, must meet specific technical requirements regarding braking systems, weight, dimensions, and wheel surfaces. They should also have white reflectors on the front, yellow or white reflectors on the sides, red reflectors at the rear, and a secure folding mechanism.
- Riding Rules: Riders must drive cautiously, respect pedestrian crossings and traffic signs, avoid riding on pavements, and refrain from using headphones. Helmets are mandatory, and VMPs should only be used by one person at a time.
- Parking: VMPs must be parked in designated areas as per municipal regulations.
- Age Limit and Road Use: The minimum age to operate a VMP is 16 years. VMPs are not allowed on interurban roads, highways, highway crossings, and urban tunnels.
- Alcohol Consumption: A 0.0 alcohol rate is enforced for VMP operators, with strict penalties for violations.
- Circulation Certificate: From January 2024, all VMPs sold must have a circulation certificate and meet all regulatory requirements. VMPs without a certificate can be used until January 2027.
- Regional Regulations: While VMP insurance is not mandatory nationwide, some regions and cities may have specific insurance requirements.
Compliance with these technical standards, rider safety requirements, and circulation certificates is crucial for the legal and safe use of VMPs in Spain.
E-Scooter Rules in Sweden
In Sweden, electric scooters are considered a type of electric one-person vehicle and are subject to specific rules:
- Vehicle Classification: An electric scooter is classified as a bicycle if it doesn’t exceed 20 km/h and has a continuous rated power of no more than 250 watts. In this case, it follows the same rules as bicycles.
- Usage: Electric scooters should be ridden on cycle paths and, in some cases, on motorways.
- Equipment: They must have brakes, a bell, front and rear lights, and reflectors when ridden in the dark.
- Helmet Requirement: Riders under 15 years old must wear a helmet, but it’s recommended for all riders.
- Parking: Electric scooters should not be parked on sidewalks or cycle paths unless designated parking facilities are available. They should not obstruct the way for other road users, especially considering those with mobility impairments.
- Riding Restrictions: Riding on sidewalks or footpaths is not permitted. It’s also prohibited to ride if the individual is too tired, ill, or under the influence of alcohol or other substances.
- Other Classifications: If an electric scooter exceeds the bicycle limits but doesn’t meet moped requirements, it cannot be classified as either and is not allowed on public roads.
- Responsibility of the Rider: Riders must ensure their scooters comply with the set requirements, including speed and engine power. Riding a scooter beyond its legal limits can be considered illegal.
For specific rules regarding rental electric scooters, it’s recommended to contact the rental company directly.
Source: Transport Styrelsen
E-Scooter Rules in Switzerland
In Switzerland, electric scooters and other similar vehicles like hoverboards, Segways, and non-electric kick scooters are subject to specific rules:
- Classification and Licensing:
- Electric scooters and Gyropods (like Segways) are considered light mopeds.
- Inline skates, skateboards, and children’s bicycles are classified as ‘fahrzeugähnliche Geräte’ (similar to vehicles) and are not subject to licensing.
- Allowed on Public Roads:
- Electric scooters, Gyropods, and motorized wheelchairs are permitted.
- Prohibited vehicles include unicycles, smartwheels, hoverboards, electric skateboards, and e-karts.
- Rules for Electric Vehicles:
- Motor power: Max 500W for electric scooters and 2000W for Gyropods.
- Maximum speed: 20 km/h.
- Required equipment: White front light, red rear light, rear reflector, and brakes (front and rear for electric scooters, operating and parking brake for Gyropods).
- Helmets are not mandatory but strongly recommended.
- Electric scooters require no registration; Gyropods do.
- Minimum age for driving: 14 years, with a category M driving license required between ages 14 and 16. No license needed above 16 years.
- Non-Electric Vehicles:
- Helmets not mandatory but recommended.
- Mandatory equipment for night and poor visibility: white front light and red rear light.
- Allowed to ride on sidewalks, taking care to not inconvenience pedestrians.
- Where to Ride:
- Electric scooters and Segways are allowed on cycle paths (mandatory if available) and roads.
- Not allowed on sidewalks.
- Non-electric scooters, skateboards, etc., must use sidewalks where available and can use roads under certain conditions (e.g., in encounter zones or Tempo-30 zones).
- Insurance: Starting from 2024, certain electric scooters will require mandatory liability insurance.
E-Scooter Rules in the United Kingdom
In the UK, electric scooters are categorized as “powered transporters” and fall under the classification of motor vehicles as per the Road Traffic Act 1988. Here are the key rules and regulations:
- Usage Restrictions: Privately owned e-scooters cannot be legally used on public roads, pavements, or other public spaces as they cannot be insured. Their use is limited to private land with the landowner’s permission.
- Rental E-Scooter Trials: Government-sanctioned rental e-scooter trials are being conducted in certain areas. Users must comply with road traffic laws, hold the appropriate driving license (category Q or P/M), and be of the minimum age set by the rental provider.
- Legal Consequences: Using a private e-scooter on public roads or spaces can lead to vehicle seizure for lack of insurance. Other penalties include fines and penalty points for not having the correct license, riding on pavements, using a mobile phone while riding, and other traffic violations like riding through red lights or drunk driving.
- Safety Recommendations: While not legally required, wearing a helmet and adhering to the speed limit is highly recommended for safety.
- Seizure Risks: E-scooters used antisocially in public can be seized under section 59 of the Police Reform Act.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Helmet Mandatory in Europe When Riding an E-Scooter?
In most European countries, the use of helmets while riding an electric scooter is not regulated. However, in some countries wearing a helmet is mandatory for everyone or until some age.
In Which European Country is the Helmet Mandatory While Riding an E-Scooter?
In Greece and in Spain, everyone must wear a helmet while riding an electric scooter. But in Italy and Bulgaria, everyone who is underaged must wear a helmet if they want to ride an e-scooter.
Norway, Sweden. Estonia, Croatia, and Romania have established a rule that those under 15-16 must wear a helmet if riding an e-scooter.
Fun Fact: In the United Kingdom, a helmet is not mandatory when riding an electric scooter.
Is There a Minimum Age to Ride an E-Scooter in Europe?
Most European countries have established a minimum age for riding an electric scooter.
The most strict countries are Bulgaria, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, and Ireland. In these countries, the rider of an electric scooter must be at least 16 years of age.
On the other hand, in Estonia and Poland, everyone over 10 years of age is allowed to ride electric scooters.
The rest of the countries fall between those two age limits. Check the table above.
What is the Maximum Permitted Speed of an Electric Scooter in Europe?
The maximum permitted speed of an electric scooter in Europe is 20 or 25 km/h.
While in most European countries it is allowed to ride an e-scooter at the speed of 25 km/h, there are some countries where the speed limit is just 20 km/h. These countries are:
What is the Maximum Permitted Motor Power of an E-Scooter in Europe?
Not all European countries have set the rule for electric scooter motor power.
In Estonia, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, and Finland, the maximum motor power of an electric scooter is 1,000 watts. It’s the same wattage that has allowed for electric scooters in the United States.
The most conservative countries in this area are Sweden, Croatia, and Ireland. The scooters in these countries can have only 250W motors.
In the rest of the countries, the given limit falls between these two.
Is it Allowed to Carry a Passenger on an Electric Scooter in European Countries?
It is not allowed to carry a passenger when riding an electric scooter in Europe. However, it’s one of the most common e-scooter riding mistakes.
Although every country in Europe has not regulated it, there is no country that says it is allowed. And there are many countries that are very strict on this matter and have stated in the local laws, that only one person is allowed to ride an electric scooter at once.
We believe that electric scooters are here to stay. They provide great assistance to pedestrians and help to save a lot of time.
On the other hand, electric scooters cause lots of problems for people who don’t use them. There are issues with the parking of shared electric scooters, riding under the influence of alcohol, riding too fast, and so on.
Prohibiting all electric scooters is not a solution. Establishing correct rules and laws that regulate the use of e-scooters, is the right direction to go. Since electric scooters are relatively new vehicles on our streets, it takes some time to implement all the rules.
Please let us know in the comments if the provided info is outdated or if you have some interesting points of law in your country. Let’s keep this article updated together.
Read also: How to Choose an Electric Scooter
Table of Electric Scooter Laws in Europe
|Country||Min Age||Helmet (until age)||Speed (km/h)||Motor Power (watts)||Passenger|