Bolt electric scooter guide Ireland - techbuzzireland
The Road Traffic and Roads Bill 2021 is set to go before the cabinet before being signed into law in the coming weeks, paving the way for the use of shared electric scooter schemes in Irish towns and cities while also setting rules for private electric scooter users.
Bolt, the European mobility champion currently operating in 500 cities across 45 countries, has compiled an electric scooter Q&A guide focusing on the current legislative situation in Ireland

The purpose of this guide is to give clarity about the current legalities of electric scooters and when regulations might change.

There are currently no regulations surrounding the use of e-scooters on Irish roads by the public and the Gardaí have the power to confiscate and issue fines for their use. There are presently retailers stocking private electric scooters in stores and online for use on private properties, but not permitted for use on public roads or spaces.

What is the current status of Electric Scooters?

  • Presently, e-scooters are classified as MPVs (Mechanically Propelled Vehicles) thus requiring tax, a licence and insurance, if being used on a public road. Given there is no licensing or tax regime for this category of micro transport, their use on public roads is effectively illegal.

  • In general, Gardai have not been actively enforcing these requirements on electric scooter users in cities, however, they are still liable to be fined if stopped.


When will this change?

  • The Road Traffic and Roads Bill 2021 is a broad piece of legislation that allows for the Minister to introduce regulations to govern the lawful use on public roads of Powered Personal Transports (PPTs) which includes scooters, hoverboards, and future innovations.

  • The Bill was last debated in the Seanad on the 1st of February at Committee Stage. As a result of issues arising on that date regarding data protection for detection cameras on Bus Corridors, the Bill is awaiting further proposed amendments, before which will be proposed in the Seanad at Report stage. It will then be quickly referred back to the Dail for final stage, after which it will be signed into law. It is hoped this will have taken place by May 2023.

  • After the primary legislation has been enacted, the Minister will have the power to sign secondary legislation/regulations to govern the use of e-scooters. These regulations are likely to be completed in the coming months, however, prior to being signed into law, they will first need to undergo under further scrutiny by the EU for 3 months as part of the Technical Regulations Information System (TRIS).

  • The use of private electric scooters should be legal by late Summer or early Autumn.

  • At this time, local councils nationwide are also likely to begin completing Bye-laws and issuing tenders to operate shared e-scooters schemes in their jurisdictions.

  • With various electric bike schemes already in existence throughout the country, there is a high probability that we could see electric scooter schemes integrated alongside these existing schemes.

  • It is not expected that we will see shared e-scooter schemes in Dublin or other regional cities until early-2024.


What are the key milestones dates?

  • February 1st 2023 – The Road Traffic and Roads Bill 2021 was debated in the Seanad

  • The Bill is currently scheduled to be debated in the Seanad in mid to late April when it is likely to pass Report and final stage.

  • Likely May 2023- The Road Traffic and Roads Bill 2021 will be officially signed into law

  • The Minister for Transport’s draft Regulations will be sent to the European Commission for scrutiny under the TRIS procedure – The EU TRIS procedure aims to prevent creating barriers in the internal market before they materialise. Member States notify the European Commission of any legislation which may restrict certain products, so that it can be scrutinised in light of EU legislation to ensure it does not result in any unfair or anti-cpmpetitive restrictions. Member States participate on equal footing with the Commission in this procedure and they can also issue their opinions on the notified drafts.

  • Autumn 2023 – E-scooters will become legal to operate in Ireland for the first time and council tenders are likely to be issued.

  • It is likely that we will see shared electric scooter schemes being deployed in early-2024.


When and where could we see shared schemes come in first?

  • There is a keen interest in introducing shared e-scooter schemes into the larger towns and cities across Ireland. However, their introduction may vary due to a number of factors.

  • For example, how quickly Dublin will see shared e-scooters will depend on whether Dublin Councils work together or whether separate tenders will be launched for each of the 4 Dublin Councils.


We expect there will be a sense of urgency for a swift introduction of schemes in the capital and other regional cities. The speed at which we see e-scooters rolled out in Dublin may also depend on whether the four councils team up.


What are the main benefits of electric scooters?

  • Reduce congestion

    • Research conducted in conjunction with Norwegian-based TOI, demonstrated that 40-60% of Bolt app users across 10 European countries would opt to use an e-scooter instead of a taxi for journeys in the range of 3-5KM, demonstrating an awareness of sustainable alternatives and a desire to reduce traffic congestion in cities, when available.

  • Electric Scooters can be integrated into the wider public transport system

  • They are a sustainable alternative to private cars

    • A Bolt internal survey showed that Bolt scooters helped avoid more than 2.4 million kg CO2 eq emission (20 million car km) in 17 countries in 2022.

      • That’s equivalent to:

        • Offsetting 18.5 million plastic single-use bags

        • Taking more than 2600 flights from Paris to New York (round trips).

        • The amount of kg CO2 eq offset by almost 117 thousand trees yearly.

    • Bolt is making cities for people by shifting drivers from private cars to sustainable shared mobility.

    • By offering sustainable shared scooters, Bolt helps people to switch from driving private cars, which translates to reducing CO2 emissions, noise pollution, and congestion.

    • According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), over 30% of car journeys in Europe cover distances of under 3 km, and 50% cover less than 5 km. This means there is a huge potential in shifting people from private cars to shared mobility and thus making cities less congested, noisy and polluted.


E-scooters are a sustainable, effective and inexpensive alternative mode of transport for short to medium-length journeys. In a study in conjunction with TØI, Bolt found that 40-60% of app users would choose a scooter over a taxi/shared ride for journeys measuring 3 KM or less when prompted that an electric scooter was available nearby. Once people discovered the simplicity and convenience of using a scooter, they were more likely to opt for one instead of a car in the future. When integrated with the wider public transport system, electric scooters, alongside other forms of micro-mobility, are an effective solution to reducing congestion and pollution caused by an excessive amount of private car journeys.


What will the regulations look like?




Likely outcome

Max speed


25KM/H with Lower Max speeds in designated busy areas

Age Restrictions


Unclear if the Minister will impose age restrictions in regulations. Most shared e-scooter operators prohibit use for under 18 year olds.

Banned from paths and pavements


Extremely likely that electric scooters will only be permitted for use on roads and bike lanes

Need to wear a helmet?


Unlikely to be a requirement but likely to be recommended

Situation on insurance?


Private electric scooters will not be required to have insurance but will be personally liable for damage or injuries that they cause. Insurance is ordinarily included in the rental fee for shared scooter scheme users

Licence/ Reg Plate/ Identification requirement


Users will not be required to have a licence to operate an electric scooter. However, they will need to adhere to the rules of the road.

What will fines/consequences look like?


Breaking the rules of the road, not following regulations and improper and/or dangerous use of an electric scooter will likely result in fines.



Likely to vary across Councils, but mandatory virtual parking locations will likely be required in urban areas to ensure controlled and orderly parking.


What is Bolt doing to promote e-scooter safety?

  • Bolt sets a max speed for first times users at 15KM/H

    • Users then have the ability to set their own speed limit if they want to keep the speed lower than the 25km/h max

  • Speed control in mixed use areas

  • Tandem riding detection which will alert a user to the breach of rules if they are carrying a passenger on the scooter with them, and restrictions will follow if repeated.

  • Geo-fencing technology which can control virtual parking to ensure parked e-scooters do not present a hazard to other road users

  • Cognitive reaction testing, used during night-time hours to detect and prevent usage of the e-scooters while drunk.


Bolt has introduced several features to enhance the safety of its users and the wider public. Inexperienced e-scooter riders are provided with the option of implementing ‘beginner mode’, which provides them the freedom to set their max speed lower than the default 25km/h until they are more comfortable in their ability to use the scooter.

We have installed geo-fencing technology, which enables us to prevent users from riding scooters in restricted zones – i.e. pedestrianised streets – or beyond city limits. In addition, Bolt can control the speed of e-scooters in areas of mixed use.

Our tandem riding detection tech has the ability to detect if there is more than one person using the scooter, curtailing irresponsible and dangerous riding. 

During the nighttime and early morning hours, we switch on cognitive reaction testing on the app. This is aimed to detect and prevent users from using our scooters when under the influence of alcohol. If the user fails the cognitive reaction test, they are prompted to order a taxi on the app as an alternative and the e-scooter is not unlocked. 

By Jim O Brien/CEO

CEO and expert in transport and Mobile tech. A fan 20 years, mobile consultant, Nokia Mobile expert, Former Nokia/Microsoft VIP,Multiple forum tech supporter with worldwide top ranking,Working in the background on mobile technology, Weekly radio show, Featured on the RTE consumer show, Cavan TV and on TRT WORLD. Award winning Technology reviewer and blogger. Security and logisitcs Professional.

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