Riding an e-scooter in the Netherlands

Last year I went on a city trip to Madrid, Spain. One thing that I noticed and really liked was the e-scooters everywhere. Several e-scooter share services had their e-scooters standing on the street. You could just grab one with the app and go! We don’t have that in the Netherlands because of all the strict rules. This was the first time I was introduced to the e-scooter, and of course as a bit of a tech nerd, I immediately wanted one for myself. In the Netherlands it’s not legal though to ride an e-scooter. Read about my experiences with an e-scooter in the Netherlands!

Doing research
Because I knew e-scooters are not legal in the Netherlands, I first did some research online. What do other e-scooter riders experience in the Netherlands? What is allowed, what is not allowed? What experiences do people have with the police? It turns out, the police is not doing much about it. Which is very positive for me, of course! But you do risk a fee and your e-scooter could be taken in by the police. I read some people got a fee, but only when there was a police control on normal scooters and they check everyone who rides on a motorized vehicle. I decided to take my chances and get an e-scooter!

What e-scooter is best for me?
The next step was to see what e-scooter I was going to get. Two brands really stand out with a good and solid e-scooter for a reasonable prize for what you get: Xiaomi and Segway. I searched for reviews online, and I found the Xiaomi has flat tires very easily. It also has some more wires that could make the e-scooter vulnerable. The Segway was a bit more expensive, but has rubber tires so you can’t get a flat tire. It also had some other advantages. I liked the design more, it looked more solid to me and the brand is very well known for it’s vehicles. I decided the Segway KickScooter ES2 was perfect for me!

What are the challenges?
I took a little time to getting used to riding the e-scooter. Luckily, bike lanes in the Netherlands are mostly asphalt, so riding is very easy. I notice people look at you when you’re riding, because they are not used to seeing someone on an e-scooter. So far, the responses have been very positive and people seem to like it and find it cool. Unfortunately, the weather is also a big thing in the Netherlands. It’s raining a lot, so sometimes it’s hard to go with the e-scooter because of the weather. I also noticed the battery goes down faster with a wet underground. Another challenge is that you are constantly looking out for police. I live in a big city, so police is present a lot of times. I have come across a few police cars, and I was just slowly driving by with my e-scooter. Luckily none of the times they acted, but they very well can of course. Another challenge is that you can’t park it anywhere outside. That means you always have to go to a place where you can take it with you inside. When I go to the gym for example, I can park it in the hall of the gym with a lock. But doing that outside is just too risky.

Legalisation in the Netherlands
Riding an e-scooter is officially illegal in the Netherlands. Luckily the police is not doing much, because they see it is no harm in traffic. Recently the Dutch government had a meeting about electrical vehicles and they concluded there have to come separate laws and rules for the e-scooter soon. The minister of infrastructure is coming with new rules later this year. Then manufacturers can file for a license. It will probably take a while before e-scooters are finally legalised. In the meantime, I will just be riding it anyway.

Let me know if you are considering an e-scooter or already have one. What are your experiences?

Thanks for the read!

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