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Electric Mopeds: Moto Sharing in Spain & Europe

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Update time : 2015-03-11 21:17:08

If you’re visiting Europe you’ll probably notice electric mopeds and scooters for hire everywhere. This guide looks at the moto sharing apps and how to use them.

Europe is the land of the moped. With all those narrow old town streets, almost non-existent parking and usually decent weather, it does make sense.

And with the growth in the digital economy, there has been a recent boom in the amount of scooter/moped rental apps available in Europe, especially in Spain. These are known as moto sharing, or eMoto apps.

Any visitor to BarcelonaValencia, Madrid, Lisbon, Rome, Bordeaux, Toulouse or Paris might be temped to sign up and hop on. Well… Although these easy to use electric moped and scooter rentals are a great way to get around, it helps to know a few things first.

What is an electric moped?

The classic image of a European whizzing around on a moped conjures up images of vespas in quaint cobbled streets. Today, the moped is available as an electric version, which is entirely un-lockable via an app.

Basically, you can be that cool European whizzing around on a modern version of a vespa. As they’re electric, they’re less polluting than petrol powered scooters, and they’re very easy to ride – as I’ll explain shortly.

And, as they are dockless, you’ll spot these moped rentals on street corners in many major European cities.

electric scooters are an efficient and non polluting way to get around town in Spain and Europe

What are the main scooter hire apps & where are they available?

I’m currently based in Valencia, Spain, and the choice here for electric moped hire is quite substantial. The annoying thing for now is that there is no single app (like CityMapper in London) which shows you all of the moto sharing available options. Instead, you need to download each individual app and sign up for their service.

The main moto sharing services in Valencia and Barcelona are:

  • Yego (also known as Yugo)
  • eCooltra
  • Acciona
  • Muving
  • Blinkee

This isn’t even all of them… Add into the mix the on demand cab app, Cabify, which has electric scooter hire as an option and you’ll see that you could end up with a lot of apps on your phone.

So, how do you get started using these electric moped apps?

How to sign up for moto sharing apps

To register to use moto sharing apps, you’ll need a valid drivers licence and to be over 18. In Spain it doesn’t seem to be important if you have a licence that covers you for riding a scooter, so long as your licence is valid.

How it works is:

  • Download your chosen moto sharing app
  • Register in the app – which will include adding your details
  • The app will ask for a picture of your driving licence (front and back)
  • It will then ask for a picture of you (taken via the app)
  • You’ll need to wait for verification, which can take up to 48 hours (nearly all of mine were same day, if not same hour)

And that’s it. Once you’re set up, you’ll need to add a valid payment method in the app to get going. Yes, you can use a non-resident payment card, and on some of them you can use Google/Apple Pay and PayPal.

If you have a promo code for any moped app, you can add it when you add your payment details or later if you prefer.

Promo codes for moped & scooter apps

Signing up for the first time? Get some free minutes/credit to get the hang of riding a moped in Barcelona, Valencia or other cities in France, Spain and Italy.

eCooltra – €10 free credit : FSBZJ

Acciona – 15 mins credit: WEF78985

Yego/Yugo – 15 free mins credit: KUXP0PYNXA

Cabify/Ride Movo – €3 discount : OLIL15

How easy is it to ride an electric moped?

Short answer, very. There are no gears, just a simple throttle on handle and two brakes.

The lights come on automatically when you start the moped, so the only thing you need to familiarise yourself with is the horn and the indicators.

Getting the motor running is normally explained either on the bike itself, or in the app. Oh yes, and you can choose your app language so the instructions are in English (if you want).

Moped riding tips

Although it’s actually quite straightforward to get going on your moped, it’s good to know the rule of the road. In Valencia especially, the roads are a tangle of one way streets and getting from point A to point B as the crow flies can involve a fairly circuitous route.

I’d highly recommend looking at a map first before you get going. The streets are well signposted, especially for the main areas of interest.

Places like Barcelona, Bordeaux and Rome come with their own hazards such as crazy drivers, strong winds and potholed roads. Although the speed of these mopeds is limited to 50 kph, it’s strongly recommended you take it easy when you first start riding.

These common questions should help you with your electric moped in Valencia or Barcelona.

Yugo moto sharing scooters are super cool looking
The cool looking Yego or Yugo mopeds

How much do moto sharing apps cost?

In general, you’ll pay around 25 cents per minute, but you can also buy packs which take the cost down to around 20 cents.

If you sign up for all of them and use the free minutes, you can even end up with a totally free moped hire for the duration of your holiday!

Where can I park my moped?

Park your scooter wherever you can when you arrive at your destination. Often this is on the pavement, but you may also spot parking bays for mopeds where you can squeeze in. Be considerate and don’t just park in the middle of the pavement or you’ll get evils from the locals.

Where can I take my moped?

Most of the moto sharing apps have a limited area which you can ride around, so no, you can’t pick it up from the airport and ride to town. Most of them cover an area in the centre of the city, meaning you can whizz to the beach and then back to your hotel before going out.

Can I ride with a friend?

Yup. Most (but not all) of the electric mopeds come with two helmets so you can ride pillion.

Do I have to wear a helmet?

Yes, of course you do. Don’t be silly.

What happens if I have an accident?

You’re covered for third party damage, so if you cause a bit of damage to another vehicle you should be OK. The apps have a help section so consult this for more info if you do have a scape.

For more serious incidents, you will need to be sure that your insurance covers you for riding mopeds. This is a high risk activity, and if you’re not legally allowed to in your home country, you’ll most likely not be covered under your insurance.

Healthcare in Spain, France and Italy is very good (on a par, if not better than the UK’s NHS). British travellers need to remember that thanks to Brexit, your EHIC will no longer be valid from the end of 2020.

Can I use the same app in a different city?

With the moto sharing apps having wide availability in many of the cities mentioned, they can be very handy if you’re a visiting or staying for an extended period.

Ride Yego (Yugo): Bordeaux, Barcelona, Valencia

Acciona Motosharing: Madrid, Milan, Lisbon, Valencia, Barcelona, Seville, Zaragoza

Blinkee: Valencia, Malta, Split (Croatia), Budapest and Pecs (Hungary), Stockholm (Sweden), Bucharest (Romania), Poland (28 cities incuding Warsaw, Krakow and Katowice).

Muving: Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, Malaga, Seville, Cadiz, Cordoba, Zaragoza

eCooltra: Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, Lisbon, Milan, Rome

Which is your favourite moto sharing app?

In terms of design of moped, I love Yego/Yugo. They have a fleet of super cool mod style scooters which are also a pleasure to ride. However, they don’t have many of them in Valencia so they’re hard to track down.

I think eCooltra is the next best, with their scooters generally being quite nice to ride and not as speed limited as Acciona. Muving’s app is pretty horrible and topping up your credit is a pain in the butt…

But, they’re all very useful and it’s quite handy to have more than one of the apps installed in your phone. Sometimes you’ll have a glut of one brand and none of another, so options are good.

Remember to respect the local traffic laws and don’t do anything silly like drinking or driving.

What do you think of the motosharing services? Have you used them, or are you looking forward to checking them out? Let us know in the comments below…