What Are the Dangers of Renting an Electric Scooter While Abroad?

I have already written about the upsides of renting an electric scooter EV while abroad. You can see the article where I describe my good experiences with the YEGO scooter app based in France and Spain. But not every experience was good. Because YEGO scooters are electric, they can die on you. You also need to be especially careful parking them–if towed, you will have to foot the bill. Finally, you face all the regular dangers two-wheel travelers risk–plus the dangers of driving abroad.

What if your electric scooter dies?

Your YEGO scooter probably won’t die outright on you. First, you’ll see a low battery indicator. Then, the entire battery indicator on your dashboard will begin to flash. Finally, you’ll notice a drop in power. Make sure to pull over and park in a safe, legal spot long before this point to avoid a towing ticket.

Mint green colored YEGO scooter parked on a cobblestone walkway, a river visible in the background.
YEGO Scooter | Henry Cesari MotorBiscuit

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I once hopped off a train and had only 30 minutes to reach my Airbnb and check-in. I grabbed the first YEGO I could find and raced across town. But I failed to check the electric scooter‘s battery level first.

This mistake was completely on me: YEGO helpfully shows battery percent on its app, before you even choose your scooter. You can also see this information on the dashboard.

After choosing a dead scooter, I drove two miles with the empty indicator flashing. By the last block, my poor little scooter was creeping along cobblestone-paved alleyways at just 20 km/hour–that’s a measly 12 mph.

You need to think twice about where you park your YEGO

Small, app-based electric rental scooter parked next to a large Moped, a pink building visible in the background.
YEGO Scooter | Henry Cesari MotorBiscuit

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If your scooter battery does run low, you must park it somewhere legal and safe before shutting it off and ending your rental. The YEGO app tries to help out by showing a map of the city with red swaths where parking’s forbidden. This includes the countryside outside the city because YEGO doesn’t want to come and pick up a Vespa-sized scooter after you ride it to the next town.

But there are also some unmarked areas where the city may still not let you park. I once parked my scooter next to another scooter, thinking I was clear. Then a police officer came out of a nearby building to tell me I was parking next to his scooter in a police-only parking area.

Is scootering in a foreign city dangerous?

Scootering and motorcycling are dangerous activities anywhere. If a driver runs a red light and t-bones you, you will likely be seriously injured. And you have no control over the actions of other drivers. If you are scootering abroad, you face a series of additional risks.

Closeup of a YEGO rental scooter parked in front of the Spanish city of Sevilla.
YEGO Scooter | Henry Cesari MotorBiscuit

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You don’t technically need a motorcycle license to ride a scooter. Yet you can get injured just as seriously in a 30 mph collision on a scooter as you can on a motorcycle. If I had no motorcycle training, I might think twice about renting a scooter–in any city.

Riding in a foreign city, you face all the regular two-wheel transportation risks. But you also must contend with local traffic laws and etiquette–perhaps posted in a language you can’t read. I will say, scooters and mopeds are so common on the Mediterranean that I find most automobile drivers are more aware and cautious around two-wheel travelers.

Next, check out the behind-the-scene video of my scooter photoshoot in Sevilla, Spain in the Twitter embed below:

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