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A Rome Scooter Rental Guide For Your Vacation Planning

This Rome scooter rental guide to help you plan for the variety of electric scooters for rent in Rome that are scattered all over the city ready for riding.


Rome scooter rental - Electric Scooters

Electric Scooters on Sidewalk in Rome, Italy


There is a very wide variety of electric scooters (e-scooters) available for rent in Rome. They are scattered all over the city, on the sidewalks, in the parks and in the streets. I can only speak to my experiences in the historical center (Centro Storico), but I understand that they are also in the more suburban parts of the city.

Electric Scooter Rental In Cities

I know these are important additions to the city, and I don’t want to be negative for the sake of being negative, but as a resident, I’m not a big fan of these e-scooters. They are basically an obstacle course for those of us who walk down the sidewalk. My preference would be something  like the bike rentals that have an organized rack from which to rent and return when done. This is better aesthetically, but I realize it isn’t practical for the way that e-scooters are used. 

The city of Rome promotes its use by publishing a guide, but I can’t help but notice that in the accompanying picture all the e-scooters, and an e-bike, are nicely lined up on a piazza with plenty of room. This hasn’t been my reality. 


Where Did Rome Scooters Rental Come From?

The guide I mentioned above was published in the summer of 2020 and they mention that there are 3000 e-scooters all over the “streets” of Rome. At the time there were three operators in the city, Helbiz, Lime and Bird. All over the streets of Rome appeared an army (what is the collective term, flock, gaggle, murder?) of different types of e-scooters, known in Italian as “monopattino“.

Presumably, since the timing of the launch of the e-scooters aligns with the pandemic, the explosion of e-scooters in Rome is due to the reluctance to use public transportation, although the timing might be coincidental because e-scooters were growing in the United States prior to March 13, 2020 (i.e. Black Friday).

How Are Rome Scooter Rentals Done?

If you want to put your life in your hands (just kidding) and rent an e-scooter, here are the steps. I’ve generalized them for any operator since they all basically operate in the same way:

  1. Download the operator’s app. E-scooters  can only be rented using the app specific to the operator (i.e. the owner) of the e-scooter.

  2. Register with the app. Typically this means that you will need to provide your name, email address, phone number, and address (home and billing address for your credit card). You’ll need to then verify all of this information.

  3. Select the e-scooter and use the operator’s app to scan the QR code. 

At this point you should be able to ride the e-scooter, but be sure to take caution. Even though I believe it is prudent, it is rare to see anyone wearing a helmet on an e-scooter. It is also common to see people riding them alongside buses and cars, on sidewalks even though it’s prohibited and carrying another passenger.


Rome scooter rental - Lime Scooters

Lime Scooters on Sidewalk in Rome, Italy.


Rules For Rome Electric Scooters

When you are done with it, the e-scooter should be parked off the road. As I mentioned before, this typically means on the sidewalk. Please be considerate of those that live in Rome and leave them in a position that is as unobtrusive as possible.

How much Are Rome Scooter rentals?

This is so variable that I don’t see the value in detailing it. There is an unlock fee, a per minute fee and some have minimum rental times. Check the operator’s app to see the current pricing as it can change.

Do I Need A Driver’s License To Rent A Scooter In Rome?

No, because these are electric motors, no driver’s license is required. Some operators have a minimum age limit, either 14 or 18, but without a license I don’t see how that can be enforced.

Is Rome Safe for Scooters?

In my opinion, no. Given the traffic, road conditions, driver’s temperament, buses and cobblestones, I don’t think I will ever rent one, no matter how convenient. I agree they look fun, but I’ve heard enough horror stories to know that walking, taking buses and riding subways are right for me.

Contrary to the reputation of the city of Rome, there are rules about these e-scooters from the Municipality:

These means of transport, equivalent to bicycles, can only circulate on urban roads where there is a limit of 50 km/h and which are not already banned for two pedal wheels, and to be used on bike lanes whenever available. The maximum speed allowed is 25 km/h, reduced to 6 km/h in pedestrian areas; it is mandatory to make yourself visible in the evening and when the lighting is poor. Both hands must be free and hold the handlebars, except when it is necessary to signal that you are turning. It is forbidden to carry other people or objects. Also, keep to the right and never go side-by-side. Never tow or be towed. The sidewalks are for pedestrians only. The same applies as in article 182 of the Highway Code referring to bicycles, specifies that “Cyclists must push the vehicle by hand when, due to traffic conditions, they are in the way or endangering pedestrians. In such cases they are treated as pedestrians and must use common diligence and prudence”. 

That is very optimistic, but I can assure you that there is no shortage of people riding on the sidewalks, both with e-scooters and e-bikes. I’d like to see the city enforce these rules, but I doubt that will happen any time soon.

More Rome Transportation Information For You

Conclusion

If you have your heart set on a Rome scooter rental, don’t let my negativity dissuade you. You are the author of your own destiny, so the decision to rent a scooter in Rome is totally up to you. You won’t be alone as it’s a popular way to get around, but please be safe.


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