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Electric scooters in Spain: What are the rules and latest changes?

E-scooters and other personal mobility vehicles are becoming increasingly common in Spain, particularly in large cities, but they have also been causing lots of problems. Find out what the latest rules and changes regarding VMPs are.

e-scooters in Spain
E-scooter rules in Spain. Photo: Mircea - See my collections / Pixabay

An electric scooter or Personal Mobility Vehicle (VMP) is defined by Spain’s General Vehicle Regulations as a vehicle with one or more wheels, equipped with a single seat and propelled solely and exclusively by electric motors, which can give it a speed of up to 25km/h. 

This means that VMPs also include things such as hoverboards, electric unicycles and segways. 

According to the latest study by Spain’s Ministry of Development, around 6.7 percent of homes in Spain have a VMP. This means that there are more than half a million VMPs in the country. 

Problems and complaints

Electronic scooters and other personal mobility vehicles VMPs have become somewhat of a problem recently with people taking over pavements, riding really fast through pedestrianised areas, people wearing headphones so they’re not able to hear the traffic and not wearing helmets.

According to the latest data, in 2020 eight users of VMPs died, 97 were hospitalised and 1,097 suffered various injuries.

These numbers suggest that there is a growing problem and lead the Director General de Tráfico (DGT) recently to announce new changes. 

Latest changes

The biggest change is that while you still don’t need a driving licence to ride an VMP, you will need to make sure that the vehicle has a circulation certificate. 

This document is the responsibility of the manufacturers and brands, so you don’t have to worry about how to get one, but you will have to check that any VMP you decide to buy does have one. 

As of January 2024, all the VMPs that are sold will have to have this certificate and comply with all the requirements. If you have a VMP without a certificate, you will only be able to use it until January 2027. 

The DGT has also outlined the minimum technical standards, which each vehicle must comply with. This includes maximum weight, length and height requirements as well as a braking system.

They must also have white reflectors on the front, white or yellow reflectors on the side and red ones to the rear. Wheels must have a rough surface and the VMP must have a safe folding system.

Rules

The current MVP rules as outlined by the DGT are:

  • You must drive carefully, avoiding endangering other road users
  • You must not drive on the pavements: it is prohibited
  • You must respect the signs and pedestrian crossings
  • You must not ride with headphones in: in addition to being very dangerous, it is prohibited.
  • Only one person is permitted ride on a scooter at a time
  • You must wear a helmet
  • You are only allowed to park in the authorised places, as directed by your municipality
  • The person responsible for any incident is the driver, or their parents, if they are a minor
  • The minimum age requirement to ride a VMP is 16
  • VMPs are not allowed on interurban roads, highways, highway crossings and urban tunnels

Fines and consequences

If you are found to be breaking any of the rules above, you could be fined. 

Driving a VMP with headphones will incur a fine of €200, as will using a mobile phone while driving. If two people are riding the same scooter at the same time they will be fined €100 euros.

The DGT has also introduced a 0.0 alcohol rate for driving VMPs, meaning that you can’t drink at all before or while riding them. Failure to abide by this will also incur a hefty fine. 

Is it mandatory to get insurance for my VMP?

While the DGT has made it clear that it wants to make insurance obligatory for VMPs, it is not mandatory yet as a general rule for the whole of Spain. 

However, some regions and cities have their own rules regarding insurance. For example, in Benidorm, Alicante and Barcelona, ​​it is mandatory to take out electric scooter insurance, while in Murcia it’s currently not. 

If you’re unsure about the rules for your region, check with your local DGT office.

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TRAVEL

Spanish fuel prices fall but can’t stop most expensive August ever

Although the cost of filling up in Spain has been falling in recent weeks, petrol and diesel prices in August make it the most expensive on record despite government discounts softening the blow.

Spanish fuel prices fall but can't stop most expensive August ever

Filling up a tank of petrol or diesel in Spain costs between €16 and €23 more than a year ago, making it the most expensive August on record – despite the government’s 20 cents per litre discount on fuel.

Filling an average 55 litre tank with either petrol or diesel now costs around €93, which is equivalent to €16 more than a year ago for petrol, and €23 more for diesel.

READ ALSO: REMINDER: How drivers in Spain can get 20 euro cents off every litre of fuel

Until this week, peak prices for the first week of August were back in 2013, when petrol cost €1.472 a litre and diesel €1.376, 16 percent and 19 percent less than current costs.

Prices have also already exceed the average monthly costs in August 2021, by 17 percent and 25 percent respectively, when fuel reached €1.416 and €1.29.

Falling prices

Despite these record breaking prices, fuel prices in Spain have actually been falling in recent weeks, reaching their lowest values since May.

As of Thursday 4th August, petrol in Spain is sold on average at €1.702 per litre, and diesel €1.693, including the government discount. 

Without the discount, the price of petrol is €1.902 per litre and diesel €1,893 on average, according to figures from the European Union Oil Bulletin.

The government’s reduction on fuel costs, introduced as part of an ongoing raft of measures to help Spaniards amidst the cost of living crisis, means consumers save around €11 every time they fill up the tank.

The 20 cent reduction on the litre was introduced in March of this year, when fuel prices jumped and crossed the €2 per litre threshold.

READ ALSO: Where to get the cheapest fuel in Spain

Below European averages

Fortunately for Spaniards, the combination of falling prices and the government taking 20 cents off the litre mean that Spanish fuel prices are below the European average, where petrol costs €1.856 and diesel €1.878 across the member states.

The most expensive EU countries for petrol are Denmark (€2.218) and Finland (€2.19), while for diesel Sweden (€2.37) and Finland (€2.153) are the priciest places to fill up.

On the other hand, although Spanish prices are falling they are not the cheapest in Europe. The cheapest places for petrol prices are Hungary (€1.29) and Malta (€1.34), and also for diesel: Malta (€1.21) and Hungary (€1.558).

Of surrounding western European nations, Spaniards are paying the least for their fuel. In Germany, for example, petrol costs on average €1.814 a litre and diesel €1.943. In France, the costs are €1.844 and €1.878 respectively; in Italy €1.877 and €1.851; and across the border in Portugal, the prices are €1.889 and €1.83.

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