If you are staying in Barcelona for a few months, or have moved there permanently (great decision!), you probably know that transportation options abound. You have the metro, bicycles, buses and of course, you can always opt to walk around.
However, Barcelona is also the city with the biggest density of scooters in Europe. You’ll hear and see them everywhere. They are definitely the fastest way to get around town, so I was really happy when scooter sharing apps started appearing recently. Moreover, there are now various ways to use a car without actually owning one.
In this post, I will share my experience with the two leading scooter sharing apps, as well as the car sharing platforms. Not everyone likes riding scooters, and sometimes it’s just necessary to use a car (baby in tow anyone?).
Alright, let’s start with the scooters. There are three major platforms you can use: Yego, eCooltra and Acciona.
Acciona motosharing is not only available in Barcelona but also in other Spanish cities like Madrid, Valencia, Sevilla and Lisboa in Portugal. That means you can use your account in various cities without needing to sign up to another service, which is very hand if you travel to and from these cities.
Acciona is the newest service to land in Barcelona and is definitely the best one at the moment.
They have started operating in 2019, and have the best technology overall, with a nice website and easy-to-use app that works perfectly.
While having the advantage of driving the newest scooters in the city, you also benefit from features such as a mobile phone holder, so you can put in your phone and use Google Maps to get you to your destination, as well as a convenient packet of wet wipes in the helmet box that you can use to wipe the seat before you hop on.
What I love about it is that you have the custom “C” riding mode which allows speeds of 80km/h, making these scooters save to drive on the highways. Whenever I tried taking scooters from Yego, eCooltra or Scoot on the highway it always was a bad experience as you end up being slower than the rest of the traffic and makes things unnecessarily dangerous.
Thus I had been stuck to driving within the city even though sometimes it’s much better traffic-wise to take one of the cities rondas to get to the other side of the city. This problem is now thankfully solved thanks to Acciona’s scooters.
Yego is one of the best scooter-sharing services in Barcelona. They are doing very well and the number of scooters is always on the increase. Their web and mobile interfaces are modern and easy to use. Many of my friends have switched to using Yego from eCooltra.
However, as of 2019, they are definitely being beaten by both Scoot and Acciona in terms of scooter quality.
You are fully covered by the insurance for damages against third parties. For damages caused to the scooter, or theft of the scooter, the insurance reduces the amount to be paid to an excess – in a case of compliance with the rental agreement. There is also the possibility to get an excess reduction for your scooter insurance.
The insurance which is already included in the rental price covers third party damages. Additionally, it is also included road assistance inside specific radius outside the shop. The damages on the scooter or theft are covered with the excess of 500€. All the accessories (helmets, top case, GPS, gloves, lock etc.) are not covered by insurance and are paid apart in case of loss or damage. If you have an accident while driving, the insurance covers your hospitalization and that of the passenger, if need be.
Overall I like the service and wish that all scooters were electric. Barcelona is a very noisy city and non-electric scooters and motorcycles are a major noise pollutant.
In 2019 Yego has also added very cool electric bikes to their offering.
eCooltra is an app with the largest fleet of electric scooters per minute in Europe, with more than 1000 scooters available. eCooltra was the first on the market and has the largest coverage of Barcelona. They have electric scooters which are absolutely silent and super easy to drive.
Pricing is 0.24€/minute with an insurance excess of 500€ or 0.29€ with an insurance excess of 99€. You can choose which tariff you want to use from your user account once logged in.
The downside is that they are quite underpowered, especially with two people on board and going uphill. I would say it borders on being dangerous as the acceleration is way too low, it makes it hard to keep the balance when doing a stop and go on an uphill road. Apart from this, it’s a good service and I haven’t had any problems using it. On each scooter you have 2 helmets, sizes M and L. It might be a good idea to keep a head cover of some sort so that your hair is not directly in touch with the helmet, which would have been used by thousands of others. It’s not the most hygienic thing to do really, and that’s another downside of using a scooter sharing service, unless you have your own helmet and don’t mind carrying it around with you.
The idea behind Bird is simple–the scooters are fun, low-cost, and environmentally friendly ways to get around town without a car, an Uber, or a bus. The scooters, referred to as “Birds,” are meant to provide a cheap alternative mode of transportation and ease traffic, says founder and CEO Travis VanderZanden, who was an executive at both Lyft and Uber. They have become a global phenomenon and are now available in Barcelona too.
Before we move onto car sharing, I would like to point out that the two biggest advantages, apart from price, of renting a scooter versus a car are:
- Faster to get around town.
- Can be left at your destination without a requirement to return them to their original location.
Moving on to car sharing, the big player in town is Ubeeqo. See the offers below to get free credit when signing up.
Ubeeqo’s interface is very good. In this example, I searched for a car that I could use to go for a padel match in a part of Barcelona that is not very well connected for me to go by public transport. For a four-hour trip duration and 16km of driving distance, the calculated cost is 14.50 Euro.
Ubeeqo has two types of memberships. The first is free and the second is 5 Euro per month (annual payment, 6.90 Euro if you do monthly payments). With the monthly payment, you get cheaper hourly and daily prices, and I would definitely recommend it if you are going to be using Ubeeqo a few times every month.
With Virtuo you can rent a cool Mercedes to travel in style. It’s perfect for weekend getaways and is also one of my favorite mobility apps.
What are your thoughts and favorites?