This is something we get asked quite a lot so we have done our best to address this question here. Electric scooters are becoming extremely popular in Ireland (and across the world for that matter) but what is the legal status of them here in Ireland? Well it is actually a pretty straight forward answer and not a “legal grey area” as many might have you believe. At the time of writing this article there is talk in government of bringing in specific electric scooter laws as the government can see the potential in electric scooters reducing traffic on our roads and minimizing our own personal carbon footprint. Luckily for electric scooters they are in fact legal as it stands and here is why:
Electric Scooters are not MPV’s:
An electric scooter like the Xiaomi M365 electric scooter are technically still kick scooters in that to begin the journey you need to push off with your foot before applying the throttle. Once you have pushed off of course you just use the throttle to propel the vehicle and you are away.
Because the electric scooters require a push off in order to begin your journey they fall short of the MPV laws (mechanically propelled vehicle) that states that any vehicle that is self propelled would require that you would need a driving license and insurance to drive the vehicle. The MPV laws would also state that any self propelled vehicle cannot be used in cycling lanes which would have been a disaster for the electric scooters.
The electric scooters do not fall under the MPV act as they do not begin their journey from a self propelled motor rather they use a push off from the rider to begin the journey. This is the main reason that they DO NOT fall under the MPV laws. You do not simply stand on the scooter and press the throttle, but you need to push off first and this is very important to note.
Do you need a drivers license and insurance?
As stated luckily electric scooters like the Xiaomi M365 are legal because a push off is needed to begin the journey. Because they are not an MPV this means that you DO NOT need a drivers license or insurance to ride an electric scooter. You also are allowed ride them in bike lanes as again they are not MPV’s.
Electric Scooters are the future:
Fine Gael TD, Noel Rock has proposed a bill to bring in a special law for electric scooters that will ensure that they are kept as they are and not be classed as an MPV. Noel Rock clearly sees the potential in the electric scooters to reduce our road congestion and give people the opportunity to be more Eco friendly and save a fortune in transport costs.