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Electric scooter users this week on the bike lane on Avenida de Cervantes in Malaga. Salvador Salas
Compulsory insurance for electric scooter riders in Spain: Everything you need to know about the new rules in Malaga
Transport

Compulsory insurance for electric scooter riders in Spain: Everything you need to know about the new rules in Malaga

Insurance companies are increasing their marketing campaigns with policies ranging from 20 euros to more than one hundred

Chus Heredia

Malaga

Monday, 3 June 2024, 22:51

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More electric scooters and personal mobility vehicles are being used across cities and large towns in Spain, including Malaga city and on the Costa del Sol. It's prompted tighter regulation with many advocates who encourage them for being a sustainable transport option, while also pointing out their potential dangers.

This year, the national Directorate-General of Traffic (DGT) introduced a compulsory certificate for the scooters , followed by travel restrictions on public transport due to the risk of fire and explosions caused by the scooters' batteries.

In Malaga, the sustainable mobility ordinance has just been approved, which requires, among many other things, the use of helmets. In addition, this week, the Spanish government announced it will be compulsory for scooter riders to have insurance. Until now it was only compulsory in the case of rentals.

It is essential to have coverage both for the driver's own benefit and for the good of other vehicles or pedestrians. The motor workshop company and also specialised in the sector, Norauto, has offered some key pointers about the new insurance, which, once again, comes about from a European directive.

It will be mandatory for those vehicles that can reach a maximum speed between six and 25 km/h if their weight is less than 25 kg or a maximum speed between six and 14 km/h if their weight is more than 25 kg. In addition, a register of such light-duty vehicles will be put in place and will have to be ready by 2 January 2026. The exact date will depend on the validity of the insurance and will depend on the parliamentary process.

It is worth remembering that certification is mandatory for new VMPs. The older ones can continue to circulate until 22 January 2027.

Insurance prices and coverage

Insurance companies in Spain have multiplied their marketing efforts, although they had anticipated this move. SUR has consulted the offers of the main brands. They all agree that the policyholder must be of legal age, although drivers of the regulatory age for scooters (16 years old) are covered. There are all kinds of policies: from the simplest, with third party damages, to the most comprehensive. There are family policies, which cover claims during a trip if you have taken the vehicle with you; hospital cover; disability; death; sick leave; bail; legal expenses; material damage, theft.

Companies such as Mutua Madrileña, Zurich, Línea Directa, Axa, Mapfre and Generali, among others, offer policies from just over 20 to over 100 euros per year. On the one hand, it should be noted that, although the risk to the driver is greater than in other vehicles as he/she is more exposed, the risk to third parties is also lower. The limitation to one rider also has a positive effect on prices, which are more competitive than those of other means of transport.

Industry reports 64% drop due to over-regulation

According to data provided to SUR by price comparison website Idealo, an electric scooter costs 523 euros on average. Over-regulation is damaging the sector. "Electric scooters have enjoyed enormous popularity in recent years. As a result, users have not only started to use the rental options available in many cities, but have also decided to purchase these devices to combine them with their usual forms of transport. However, in recent months, some regions have banned access to public transport with these mobility vehicles," said Kike Aganzo, the company's communications manager, who puts the drop in sales at around 64%.

Malaga's new ordinance for July

A key issue, pointed out by Malaga city council councillor Trinidad Hernández, is that scooters are still classed as vehicles, with similar assumptions regarding the rules of the road. Councillor Avelino Barrionuevo pointed out they cannot exceed 25 kilometres per hour either de facto or technically, because they would be classified as mopeds. In fact, this week, council officers have confiscated the first vehicle in the history of the city for this reason.

As a general rule, electric scooters should be ridden on bicycle lanes or on the road, always avoiding pavements, pedestrian areas, crossings, motorways and main roads. But the new municipal regulations incorporate all kinds of rules which must be complied with, such as the use of helmets.

The new sustainable mobility ordinance will probably be in force in July. And it not only regulates low emission zones, but also vehicles such as electric scooters. The fine for driving without the certificate for new buyers is 100 euros.

Fines of up to 500 euros

The regulation includes some thirty precepts for MPVs. Among the very serious ones, which carry a fine of 500 euros: reckless driving; driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs; racing or being towed by another vehicle, or using it for hire without authorisation.

Serious fines of 200 euros, include: driving faster than 20 km/h in the old town, Soho, the CAC area or pedestrian streets, and failing to keep a distance of 1.80 metres from building façades or pedestrians. This fine also applies to negligent driving and failure to respect compulsory signs.

The range of minor offences opens up. This prohibits riding on the pavement and pedestrian areas; parking outside the 50 reserved parking areas; riding an electric scooter under the age of 16; having two or more people on board; riding without lights on at any time of the day; riding a scooter without a braking system, bell, lights, or reflectors; abandoning a scooter on a public road; riding with animals or objects that hinder driving. It is also forbidden to ride while wearing headphones, using loudspeakers or talking on a mobile phone.

The user's scooter must be over one and a half metres tall and, if not, carry a flag. Nor can they be riden in places where sporting, cultural or religious events are being held.

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