“We’re late; we’ll miss our bus!” my friend wailed at the mid-day Spanish sun. I said, “Follow me,” and made for a mint green scooter EV parked on the sidewalk. She walked around the retro Vespa-style scooter, gave its chrome and stripes a one-over, and said, “Cute!” Then I pulled out my phone, and the scooter came to life. She recovered from her shock, hopped on the back, and we raced along Calle Torneo and over the Guadalquivir. As I accelerated, the wind dried the sweat gathering on our skin. two euros later, we hopped off our electric scooter and shut it down–and we even made the bus–thanks to an app called YEGO.
What are YEGO scooters?
YEGO scooters are electric Vespa-sized scooters. You can rent them, even for a few minutes at a time, using the YEGO app–much like Revel in the U.S. YEGOs are only available in certain Spanish and French cities, they are far from the most common rentable electric scooter–but they might be the most stylish.
If you live in certain U.S. cities, you may be familiar with Lime or Bird’s electric “kick scooters” the same size and shape as a Razor. But in Europe the Vespa-sized motor scooter is ubiquitous and scooter rental app means a company like YEGO.
The difference between a Vespa moped and Vespa scooter comes down to engine size. Therefore, newer electric vehicles are branded as “scooters” instead of mopeds to give them high-end appeal.
At the time of this writing, YEGO scooters are available in the Spanish cities of Sevilla, Malaga, Valencia, and Barcelona. They are also available in the French cities of Toulouse, Bordeaux, and Paris.
See my ride over Barcelona’s Montjuïc hill in the Twitter embed below:
Plan ahead to rent your YEGO scooter
If you decide on a whim that you want to take a cute, green YEGO for a spin, you have a couple of steps to complete first. You will need to download the YEGO app to your phone (which might require wifi if your roaming data plan isn’t robust enough). Then you will need to get your papers uploaded and approved.
I found the approval process quick and easy. I also found YEGO’s staff very responsive. That said, the company warns that reviewing your documents could take them two hours during the weekday, and longer on nights or weekends. Therefore, it’s a good idea to plan ahead.
Obviously locals can simply upload their Spanish or French driver’s license to the YEGO app. But for us foreign travelers, it can be more complicated. The YEGO app has the capacity to upload a picture of your driver’s license, your passport, or your international driver’s permit.
Theoretically, YEGO will let you ride with just your home driver’s license and your passport. But when I offered all three documents, the staff asked for my international driver’s permit specifically.
An app-based electric scooter can improve your vacation
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If you’re choosing not to rent a car for your next vacation, definitely consider electric app-based transportation. It might require some research and planning ahead, but is well worth the effort.
If you can get the app set up before departing, you will find a scooter such as YEGO gives you yet another urban transportation option. This affords you a bit more flexibility while traveling. It is also a fun way to go on adventures while abroad that you wouldn’t be able to enjoy by foot.
Next, learn about the dangers of renting an electric scooter abroad or watch a YEGO ad in the video below: