Electric scooters, e-scooters (or patinetes eléctricos in Spanish) are everywhere now. Especially in built up urban areas. Looking at the numbers of scooters for sale in supermarkets and specialist shops, they are not going to disappear anytime soon. The combination of cheap running costs, convenience and fun means their numbers are growing rapidly. Like it or not they are definitely here to stay.
At a time when countries around the world are trying to reduce carbon emissions, scooters represent a way to cut traffic for short journeys. However legislation has been slow to catch up with the e-scooter. In the UK for example they are still illegal except on private land. They fall between not being allowed on the roads because they are uninsured – but powered vehicles, and not allowed on pavements because they are a hazard to pedestrians.
Electric scooters and the law in Spain
Electric scooters are classed as vehículos de movilidad personal (or VMP) in Spain. These are vehicles used for personal mobility only – but does not include mobility devices used by people with mobility issues. They are also limited to 25 km/h.
The law in Spain classes VMPs as being road users. This is an important definition because it means that scooters should never be ridden on pavements and should observe all road signs like any other vehicle such as a motorbike. If you ride on the pavement you are breaking the law and can be fined and have your scooter confiscated.
One difference to other road users is there is no requirement to have insurance, or wear a helmet. This will probably change in the future, but a helmet is a good idea to have anyway, regardless of what the law states.
Now having said all of the above, I have not seen anyone on a scooter wearing a helmet. By and large, users do stick to the road though, but just like cyclists I have seen people cut onto pavements and then back onto roads as they see fit.
I live on a quiet urbanisation with very little traffic or pedestrians and I find my scooter really useful. I live about ten minutes walk from the local shop, so the scooter saves me having to jump in the car to get bread for lunch. It is also great fun!
I think the key thing is not to zoom about like an idiot upsetting people with your antics and you should be fine.
If you are going to use your scooter around traffic, try and keep to cycle lanes wherever possible (Spain is generally well served with those). I do ride mine on pavements where I live, but these are very quiet and I never ride past a pedestrian, instead I jump off and walk past them. Be courteous to those around you!
If you are interested in getting an electric scooter, I can highly recommend the ones from Pure Electric. They are powerful, well designed and water proof. If you want 5% off the normal price then please use this cheeky link!