Electric scooter rental in Paris? Did we really do this?
Looking back on it, I still can’t believe we did but it was so much fun and we’re so glad we got up our nerve and tried renting e-scooters. We liked it a lot and we lived to tell you all about it 🙂 Read on and learn all you need to know to ride an electric scooter in Paris!
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Electric Scooter Rental in Paris
We had only been in Paris a few hours when we realized that there were little electric ride-on scooters ALL OVER Paris. They were lined up on sidewalks, grouped in twos and threes on corners, whizzing past us on the streets and virtually everywhere people gathered.
We saw local men and women in business attire on e-scooters, clearly on their way to a meeting or a meal. There were also lots of tourists using them. Strangely, we didn’t see e-scooters being used by children. Clearly, electric scooters were an easy and inexpensive way to get around Paris.
Of course, we had heard of these e-scooters before but we don’t have them at home in Vancouver and we had never had the opportunity to try them before or see them in action.
It only took a day before decided we had to try them for ourselves. After all we reasoned, we’re motorcycle riders so riding a little electric scooter couldn’t be all that hard. We actually found it pretty easy to get the hang of!
Electric Scooter Paris – How To Start
We soon figured out that there were quite a few different companies operating electric scooters in Paris. Known locally as trotinettes eléctrique, electric scooters are provided by more than 12 different firms. Of the 20,000 e-scooters in Paris, most are operated by the larger providers – Lime, Bird, Bolt, Ciric, and Voi. The latest news is that Paris will select just three firms in late 2019 who will be licensed to operate the fleets of electric scooters.
No matter which electric scooter rental in Paris you choose to use, the process to get started is the same.
- Download the appropriate app to your Smartphone (just search for the firm name) and set up an account using a credit card.
- Use the geo-locator in the app to find a nearby scooter
- Scan the QR code on the scooter handlebars to activate the e-scooter.
Lime Scooter Paris & Bird Scooter Paris – Our Favourites
We used Lime Scooters and Bird Scooters in Paris. There seemed to be more of them available in the areas we frequented. We also thought the Lime Scooters and Bird scooters looked well-maintained and safe to ride.
Lime Scooters are easily identifiable by the large Lime name on the handle of the electric scooter. Bird Scooters were also easy to spot by the large white attachment on the handle with Bird emblazoned on it.
E-Scooter Paris – How it Works
No matter what scooter you decide to ride, the process is the same:
- After you download the app and scan the QR code, it will unlock the scooter. Pro Tip: Always check the battery level before you ride. It will indicate how full it is by the number of bars showing.
- Stand on the scooter, push off and then push the throttle button with your thumb to go
- Stand with both feet on the footboard with your front foot at 90 degrees and your back foot at a 45 degree angle to your front foot
- Use the handbrake with your left hand (just like a bicycle brake)
- Tap the button on the app when you’re finished.
- Park the rental electric scooter in Paris in designated areas, as indicated on the app. When thinking about how to park, park the e-scooter just like a bike
E-Scooter Rental Paris – Where to Go
You can go almost anywhere in Paris on an electric scooter!
We rode rented electric scooters in Paris all over the place. When we had to meet our private Paris tour guide in Montmartre, we rode electric scooters from our hotel in the the 1st arr. to Montmartre. Despite that we had to go some distance uphill, the e-scooters did very well (and we’re not small people!)
We rode our Lime scooters in Paris when we needed to get somewhere a little quicker than just walking. The Bolt scooters, Lime Scooters and Bird Scooters were available on almost every corner. If we weren’t able to see an available scooter, we just flashed up the App and found scooters just around the corner.
We also rode small scooters in Paris just for fun! It was quite warm when we were in Paris and we found riding an e-scooter in Paris was very refreshing and cooling. As a bonus, we saw more of Paris as we scooted along :-). My favourite ride was along the Seine river bank.
Electric Scooter Laws in Paris
- rented electric scooter in Paris are limited to 25km/h
- You must be at least 12 years old to ride an e-scooter in Paris
- E-scooters may carry one passenger only. We saw many couples riding together, but this has now been banned. You may not carry a child
- Do not use earphones while riding an electric scooter in Paris
- You may not ride on sidewalks
Paris Sidewalk Scooters – Top Safety Tips
Riding an e-scooter in Paris isn’t difficult! Here are a few tips for riding small scooters safely and without incident:
- If available, use a helmet. This is particularly important if you ride e-scooters regularly or for longer distances. Not only will a helmet protect your head but it also acts as sun protection (especially if it has a visor) and will keep you warmer in cool weather
- Ride slowly, especially when you’re learning. Electric scooters in Paris have a top speed of 25 kilometres per hour but you don’t have to go that fast.
- Practice on a quiet street before you venture out onto busier streets
- Use a bike lane. There are 700 kilometres of cycles paths and routes in Paris. Many main arteries in Paris have separated bike lanes (piste cyclable) and lanes denoted by a painted path on the road (bande cyclable). You can also ride your electric scooter in bus lanes that are specially marked.
- Take turns slowly. When you begin riding an e-scooter you’ll learn how to get the feel for turning. Don’t take sharp turns, as you’re more likely to lose your balance and fall. Don’t brake in a turn.
- Avoid busy roads without bike lanes. Drivers in Paris may appear to drive erratically, especially if you’re accustomed to North American drivers! Do yourself a favour and ride your Paris electric scooter on quieter roads.
- Don’t ride an e-scooter in the rain or on wet roads. I learned this the hard way. Rented e-scooters in Paris tend to slip on wet streets when braking. Just don’t.
- Use the bell. Most rented electric scooters in Paris come with a bell that looks like a bicycle bell. Know how to use it and keep your hand near it when you’re riding. It will come in handy when someone walks into your path or you want to go around someone!
Electric Scooter Cost in Paris
All the e-scooter firms in Paris charge a fixed rate to unlock a scooter and then per minute as you ride. Rates and promotions vary by city, time of day and day of the week. You can only really determine the cost of a ride by tapping on a scooter on a map.
Our Lime Scooter Paris and Bird Scooter Paris rides typically cost us around $7.50 (CDN). For one of our longer rides, I paid $18.73 CDN.
The price of renting an e-scooter in Paris isn’t super-cheap, but I wouldn’t categorize it as expensive either. It is similar to what you might pay for a subway ride, but much more fun :-).
Electric Scooter Tours in Paris
There are some really fun tours you can take in Paris while riding an electric scooter. These tours allow you to take in more of the sights of Paris than you would be able to see if you were just walking. Win win! You get to have the fun of riding a scooter but also see more of this beautiful city!
If you’re a bit hesitant about riding an electric scooter in Paris, these tours can help. The tour guides help and provide some basic instructions for riding a scooter. As a bonus, you can keep riding after the tour is over and keep on having fun :-).
This tour is an excellent choice. It’s two hours and capped at 10 people, which I really like.
This e-scooter tour combines the best of both a walking tour and a tour by car. This historical tour of Paris will take you through some of the most interesting historical sites with a knowledgeable guide. This kind of tour would make a great gift from Paris!
Electric Scooter Rental Paris – Controversy
When electric scooter rental first came to Paris in 2018 there was a great deal of controversy about whether the scooter “craze” would ruin Paris. City officials in other cities labelled e-scooters a menace and a regular headache. There were stories of abandoned electric scooters piling up and plaguing city streets.
But, it appears that the expected controversy didn’t cause much of a stir in Paris.
Parisians are so accustomed to riding motor scooters that riding electric scooters wasn’t such a big deal. As stated in The Guardian, Parisians are pretty quick to deny any opinion that e-scooters are uncool. Despite that, some Parisians have expressed irritation at the scooter clutter on pavements.
While electric scooter companies operating in the United States hire independent scooter chargers who pick up and charge their e-scooters each night, the e-scooter firms in Paris retrieve their own scooters every night to charge and repair them if needed, protecting their investment from vandalism. The scooters are deployed to popular spots in the morning, fully charged and ready to use.
Video – How to Ride an Electric Scooter in Paris
Have you tried riding an electric scooter in Paris or elsewhere? Did you love it too?