Here we clarify the insurance situation when using electric bikes abroad.
In autumn 2014, some queries from Club members arose concerning electric bikes abroad, following reports in the English and Spanish media concerning the conclusion of the case against a woman named Conchi Moreno in the Murcia region. She was reportedly charged with having neither insurance for her machine nor the documents to prove it, fought the case for two years, finally lost and was reportedly fined EUR2,000 in November 2014.
Our advice to members is as follows
- We have looked into the subject of third party insurance for electric bikes in some depth, with reference to:
- Local authorities in Spain
- Guidance from the European Union
- A Spanish cycling organisation
- Our campsite partners during site visits.
- Laws concerning this subject may vary, not only from country to country but from region to region.
- Some sites have a particularly good and close relationship with the local police, and the police have not directed any special attention to the issue.
- No campsites have said they are aware of any requirement to have third party insurance for electrically-assisted pedal bikes. The EU definition for these machines is:
- Cycles with pedal assistance, which are equipped with
- An auxiliary electric motor, having
- A maximum continuous rated power of 0,25 kW, of which
- The power is progressively reduced and finally cut off as the vehicle reaches a speed of 25 km/h, or sooner, if the cyclist stops pedalling.
- Machines as described above are generally regarded as being in the same category of vehicle as pedal bikes.
- More powerful machines, and those that can be powered without any pedalling, are generally considered to be mopeds, scooters, motorcycles, etc.
- Some members in Spain have found local insurers willing to offer third party insurance for a minimal cost (around EUR30.00 for a year), and some members on long stays have decided to take out such insurance for peace of mind.
- As always, the interpretation and application of the law on the ground are subject to local law enforcement officers and courts.
- We recommend that if in any doubt about the legal position in any particular area, members take advice from the campsite management. They will have a better awareness of the local situation and, as already mentioned, often have close links with the local police.
- Further to enquiries with site partners in Portugal, we are not aware of any problems around this issue in that country, and our advice for all countries within the EU would be the same as that given above for Spain.