If you are a fellow City Killer who finds roaming the streets of some uncharted metropolis the absolute ideal way to spend a weekend, I have news for you.
The automobile is officially dead. Deceased. Cancelled.
Looking for the Berlin E-Scooter apps?
Did you know that Berlin has the lowest car ownership of all the major German cities? Just 35% of Berliners own a car.
That is an incredible statistic, seeing as Germany has one of the highest rates of car ownership in the EU.
So what are Berliners doing if they are not driving cars?!
Well, thanks to a superb transport network within the city, it is absolutely possible to get around super-efficiently without a car.
Yes, the S-Bahn and the U-bahn are excellent.
They have been around for quite some time and it is even better when you can get a month of unlimited transport for just 9 EUR!
But trains are sooooo last century!
I want to talk about the new-ish kid on the block. A new favourite of mine. That’s right, you guessed it!
And not just E-Scooters… you can of course unlock all different types of vehicle. Bikes, mopeds and even cars can be unlocked by app now!
Berliners are living in the 31st century!
Yes I know, I know, E-scooters are not exactly a completely new concept. I have no idea why it took me this long to decide to finally give them a go!
Table of Contents
- Where Can I Find E-Scooters in Berlin?
- What Are the Rules for Riding E-Scooters In Berlin?
- How Much does it Cost to Rent an E-Scooter in Berlin?
- Lime E-Scooter Rental
- Voi E-Scooter Rental
- Bird E-Scooter Rental
- Bolt E-Scooter Rental
- Tier E-Scooter Rental
- What’s The Best E-Scooter Rental Company in Berlin?
Where Can I Find E-Scooters in Berlin?
E-Scooters can be found all over Berlin city center. You can literally unlock one anywhere by using the relevant app.
You will need an active mobile internet connection in order to use the apps.
If you are a foreign tourist, you don’t need to pay extortionate roaming charges nor do you need to buy a local SIM card to use E-Scooters in Berlin.
Just get yourself an eSIM instead. It is by far the cheapest and easiest way to get data abroad.
Once you have your mobile data sorted it is so easy to just jump on an E-Scooter, it can become completely addictive.
But this is not a bad addiction. No. This is an addition that I have been very glad to find!
… and I have decided to use my new E-scooter addiction for a good cause!
I set out to test every E-Scooter that I could find in Berlin and write a guide to help others decide which is the best to use:
- Lime – “Ride Green”
- Voi – “Reimagine your city”
- Bird – “Cleaner Air. Less Traffic. More Joy”
- Bolt – “Safe. Affordable. Eco-Friendly”
- Tier – “Change Mobility for Good”
After having a tonne of fun reviewing all of these scooters, there is a clear winner for us.
Stick around until the end of the article to find out!
What Are the Rules for Riding E-Scooters In Berlin?
The rules provided by Berlin Police for riding E-Scooters are as follows:
- No E-Scooters are to be ridden on the sidewalk, through bus lanes or pedestrianised areas.
- E-Scooters should be ridden on cycle lanes where possible.
- If no cycle lane is available, E-Scooters should be ridden on the road, keeping as far right as possible.
- Riders should adjust speed accordingly in order to allow cyclists to pass.
- Pedestrians have right of way on pavements and cycle paths.
- Indicators or hand signals should be used to signal a change of direction.
- E-Scooters should be ridden in single file and not side by side.
- E-Scooters should be parked like bicycles and not cause obstruction.
- One person per E-Scooter, it is not permitted to carry other persons.
- E-Scooters should not be ridden under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The same law applies as with driving.
- Mobile phones should not be used without hands free equipment whilst riding E-Scooters.
- The minimum age for operating E-Scooters is 14 years of age.
Always remember… safety first!
That is why we are first taking a look at some of the safety aspects of riding E-Scooters in Berlin.
Are they dangerous? Absolutely! On one hand this is what makes them so exciting…
However we absolutely do not want to put our life or the life of any others at risk through using E-Scooters.
Therefore it is very important to use E-Scooter rental services safely and treat E-Scooters with respect.
How Can You Safely Ride an E-Scooter In Berlin?
First and foremost you should follow the safety instructions provided by the scooter rental company. Here is a handy shortcut to those resources:
It is fairly easy to safely ride an E-Scooter in Berlin, even if you are a complete newcomer to E-scooters.
Berlin has great infrastructure within the city for E-scooter exploration.
Much of the city has its own cycle lanes, many of which are integrated into the sidewalk rather than the road.
Cycle paths are well marked in a similar way to the roads themselves. They feature white lines to make it clear where to go and some places have their own cycle traffic lights.
Here are my top tips to stay safe from my own personal experience:
- Berlin has some fantastic and huge inner city parks, such as Tiergarten Park. If you are new to E-scooters, these are a perfect place to learn how to ride a scooter before commiting to the road.
- A bit of an obvious one, but try to avoid rush hour in the city center, around 5pm to 6pm. Not so much because of cars, but because cycling traffic gets heavy too! It can get to almost push and shove when twenty cyclists are competing for a narrow cycle lane at a busy intersection.
- There are some cobbled streets in some parts of Berlin, which are best avoided on scooters. We found them in the south east and you sure do feel those bumps!
- Berlin has a very relaxed vibe and you will see people doing all sorts of crazy maneuvers on two wheels. Our advice is stick to the cycle paths. Don’t ride on the sidewalk and don’t ride the wrong way down a cycle path.
- If you want to turn left at a busy intersection, stay on the right as if you were going straight over it. Then as you reach the other side, turn 90 degrees to the left to join the cycle lane heading in that direction and wait for the green light.
- Don’t forget that you are relatively silent on an E-scooter and pedestrians won’t always hear you approaching. If a pedestrian cannot see you visually, always assume they could step out in front of you. Use your scooter bell to warn them of your presence.
Is A Helmet Required to Ride E-Scooters in Berlin?
It is not a legal requirement to wear a helmet whilst riding an E-Scooter in Berlin. However it is highly advised, as helmets save lives!
Some E-Scooter companies such as Lime have partnered with helmet manufacturers and are offering discount, making it an even more attractive prospect to wear a helmet!
You can find out further information on Lime’s safety page.
Can you Ride E-Scooters On The Sidewalk in Berlin?
You are not allowed to ride E-Scooters on the sidewalk in Berlin, as per the rules and regulations outlined in the official Polizei rules and information flyer:
- Do not drive on bus lanes, pavements or pedestrian areas.
- Generally, you have to drive on the areas designated for bicycle traffic.
- If these are not available, you have to use the main road; you must keep as far to the right as possible.
However it is worth mentioning that cycle lanes are not always marked on the road. Many cycle lanes run along a designated part of the sidewalk and are often marked in a darker red color.
You can and should stick to the cycle paths, whether they run along the road or are integral to the sidewalk.
You should not ride an E-scooter on the sidewalk in areas designated for pedestrians and walking.
How Much does it Cost to Rent an E-Scooter in Berlin?
The cost of renting E-scooters in Berlin is summarized in the following table.
Prices are relevant at the time of writing and reflect the price that we paid for the service.
|Per Unlock: €1.00|
Price per minute: €0.27
|Per Unlock: €0.49|
Price per minute: €0.19
|No longer operating in Berlin||Per Unlock: €0.00|
Price per minute: €0.22
|Per Unlock: €1.00|
Price per minute: €0.23
E-scooter rental is one of those things that looks totally cheap at a glance, but it can get expensive quickly if you are not familiar with the pricing structure.
The first bit of advice I would give here is make sure you have an idea how much you plan to use an E-scooter.
Are you going to hop on for a couple of 10 minute rides over a weekend?
Or perhaps you are planning to stay in a city for a month and use E-scooters daily?
At the most basic level there are usually two costs to consider each time you take an E-scooter for a ride:
- Unlocking fee – a one-time fee paid for activating an E-scooter.
- Per minute fee – once you have unlocked an E-scooter, you will pay a fee per minute until you end the ride.
Different E-scooter providers offer different deals, but usually you can buy passes that give you a better rate for more usage.
Some providers also offer rewards, such as a discount for parking in a designated parking spot.
What is the Cheapest E-Scooter in Berlin
Without using ride passes or special offers, the cheapest E-Scooter rental in Berlin at the time of writing is currently Bolt for rides that last less than 17 minutes.
For rides longer than 17 minutes, the cheapest E-Scooter rental is Voi.
Bolt charges slightly more per minute @ €0.22 but has no unlocking fee.
Voi is slightly less per minute @ €0.19, but has a €0.49 fee to unlock.
If you ride a Voi for under 17 minutes, the savings you make with the slightly cheaper per minute cost are not enough to offset the unlocking fee, making Bolt cheaper.
Once you surpass 17 minutes riding Voi, the savings made on cost per minute offset the unlocking fee and from then on you are paying a slightly lower cost per minute.
If that is a little hard to follow, I have illustrated it in the following graph:
Here we have analysed the vanilla pricing, useful for those who are making a short trip to the city and just want a few short rides.
All E-Scooter sharing services offer a variety of ride pass options, which make them cheaper to use if you plan to use them a little more often.
If you plan to use scooter sharing regularly in Berlin, check out the following individual reviews for further details on ride passes.
Lime E-Scooter Rental
Get the Lime app here and receive €3.00 FREE Lime credit
Lime seemed to us like the premium E-Scooter rental service in Berlin, not just because of the prices but also the robustness of the app, the comfort of the scooter itself and the options available.
In our experience of riding all E-Scooters in Berlin, Lime provides the best scooter and the best service.
However, this comes at a price.
Lime is the most expensive E-Scooter service in Berlin.
But… it is totally worth the cost. It costs a slight premium to ride Lime, but you do feel like the experience is better.
In addition Lime also offer a group ride option, which we made use of.
We ended up taking a riding tour of Berlin, all the way from the far west of Tiergarten to Alexanderplatz, which was awesome!
Lime also offer several different ride passes and a prime membership option that can reduce the costs.
At the time of writing, Lime are offering premium membership for €5.99 per month.
The most beneficial aspect of this is the waived unlocking fee. The ability to book 30 minutes in advance at no cost is also a nice bonus.
Lime Prime is still more expensive than Bolt, who do not have an unlocking fee at all.
However Lime Prime does make Lime cheaper than Voi for the first 5 minutes riding time, as illustrated on the following graph:
In order to really benefit from Lime Prime, you need to be using Lime regularly.
Lime Prime is ideal for those who will use Lime in Berlin for a month or longer.
However if you are visiting as a tourist for a shorter period of time, you can also save money buy using a ride pass.
Lime Ride Passes
Ride passes allow you to prepay for various bundles of time, whilst waiving the unlocking fee.
In Berlin it is possible to purchase a 60 minute pass, 100 minute pass and 220 minute pass, each of which last 3 days.
The following table shows the prices when using a ride pass:
|60 Minute Pass||100 Minute Pass||220 Minute Pass|
|Price of pass||€9.99||€16.99||€36.99|
|Price per unlock||€0.00||€0.00||€0.00|
|Price per minute||€0.17||€0.17||€0.17|
Unfortunately it seems that there are no additional savings for purchasing longer amounts of prepaid time, therefore our recommendation is to just purchase the time you need.
With that said, the table above shows us that if you need 60 minutes of ride time or longer over a 3 day period, using a ride pass makes Lime the cheaper than the standard pricing for Voi and Bolt!
Lime is a fantastic option for E-Scooter sharing in Berlin.
As we have found out on our travels, some scooter sharing companies are excellent and some are terrible! There are also the ones inbetween.
In my personal opinion, Lime is the best scooter sharing service that I have encountered so far.
Their scooters are without a doubt the most comfortable to ride and the app feels robust and of premium quality.
They offer great services, including a ride pass that makes the price very competitive, and also a premium subscription.
The only downside is the standard service is pretty costly. Not the cheapest option if you just want an occasional casual ride.
If you are going to ride Lime, pause for a moment and check the ride pass deals.
However if you are in more of a rush and just want a cheap ride without having to check if a ride pass is cheaper, you may prefer to just hop on to a Bolt or Voi scooter.
- Excellent ride quality
- Responsive and robust app
- Plenty of scooters available in the city
- Ride pass options
- Monthly subscription option
- Standard service quite pricey
Who should ride Lime?
- Berlin visitors who want more than 60 minutes ride time in a 3 day period.
- Visitors staying a month or longer, or residents who want use of the service fairly regularly should consider Lime Prime.
- Those who value ride comfort over cost.
Voi E-Scooter Rental
Get the Voi app here and receive €5.00 FREE Voi credit
Voi is another great choice if you wish to jump into scooter sharing in Berlin.
Voi feels to me like the ‘Volkswagen‘ of scooter sharing.
Yes, there is a ‘Mercedes‘ of scooter sharing, whom we just discussed. But like with Mercedes, you pay a premium for the pleasure.
Voi might not feel quite like the most premium option, but it offers a good solution to the problem.
The scooters are comfortable enough, although they maybe not the best looking nor most comfortable to ride.
The app is functional and we found no problems with it, although there are some reports of problems.
With Voi you are getting an adequate service and great value for money.
The standard service is the second cheapest option for rides under 17 minutes, and becomes the cheapest option for rides over 17 minutes.
Some of the scooters look a little worn and sometimes the brakes need a bit of a squeeze.
However, we are in Berlin!
Slightly worn, functional, occasionally coming with graffiti. Voi just fits right in to the city!
Voi ride passes
Ride passes are available for Voi, which makes their already very competitive price even cheaper!
There are quite a few different ride passes available with various options, many of which are valid all over Germany and not just in Berlin.
Voi have created passes that suit both the casual rider and regular user.
The following table shows the ride passes that will most likely appeal to a casual user or city visitor:
|Voi Pass||Day Pass|
|Ride pass |
valid for 1 day
|Pay as you go|
The following table shows the ride passes that will most likely appeal to residents or those staying in Berlin over one month:
|Ride pass |
|Pay as you go|
*Voi sometimes offer deals on these prices.
Most tourists will benefit either from the day pass, or perhaps also the monthly free unlock if they plan to stay long enough.
Other ride passes with more minutes, such as the 750 and 300 minute options will certainly benefit city residents or those staying longer than a month (such as digital nomads).
So, when is it worth a city visitor getting a ride pass?
If you plan to unlock a Voi scooter 7 times or more within one month, it is worth getting the monthly free unlock pass.
If you plan to use a Voi scooter for between 40 minutes and 120 minutes in one day, it is worth getting the day pass with 120 minutes.
Voi reward scheme
In addition to ride passes, Voi also offers a reward scheme called Voiality.
The scheme works by giving you 30 days to earn enough points to either progress to the next level, or maintain your current level.
Each ride you take on a Voi scooter gives you 10 points. A ride must be at least 2 minutes long in order to qualify as a ride.
Earning enough points will progress you through the levels, earning a greater discount:
- Level 1 gets 5% off
- Level 2 gets 7% off
- Level 3 gets 10% off
In order to earn 10 points with standard pricing, a 2 minute ride would cost €0.49 to unlock and €0.38 in ride time, a total of €0.87.
It is clear that this scheme is designed to reward more frequent users with bigger discounts.
Riders must also maintain their commitment to Voi in order to maintain their discount.
If you are a long term visitor or resident who plans on using scooter sharing regularly, this is certainly something that you may be interested in.
Voi recommend a friend
Voi also has a recommend a friend scheme. Each rider has a refferal code that can be found by going to the app main menu and tapping free rides.
From here you can grab your referral code and share it with friends.
Each friend who signs up with your referral code will receive €5.00 in Voi credit.
If the friend then continues to use Voi and ends up takes a paid ride, you will receive €15.00 in Voi credits!
In fact, you can sign up right now and receive €5.00 for FREE in Voi credits by using my referral code!
Click here to get the Voi app with €5.00 FREE Voi credit!
Voi scooters are very competitively priced, especially if you just want to hop on without worrying about investigating the ride pass deals.
The scooters provide an adequate experience for getting from point A to point B.
They do not offer the most comfortable ride, nor do they look the most stylish.
However I do not think Voi are aiming to be the premium scooter sharing service. Instead they aim to please the masses with great value for money.
However if you are looking for the best experience and are not necessarily too concerned about cost, perhaps hop on a Lime instead.
- Pricing is very competitive
- Plenty of scooters available in the city
- Many ride pass options
- Rewards scheme
- Not the most comfortable ride
- Phone holder a bit flimsy
- Some users reported problems with the app
Who should ride Voi?
- Casual riders and those making a short trip to the city will get great value with standard pricing.
- Long term uses who value saving money should check out their ride passes.
Bird E-Scooter Rental
Sometime between us visiting Berlin and me finding the time to write this article, Bird has sadly taken the decision to withdraw from Germany, Sweden, Norway and several US markets.
This does of course mean Bird is no longer operating in Berlin.
The reason appears to be related to the Business performance overall and the decision to exit these markets follows a move to lay off 25% of their staff.
For further information, check out this article over on TechCrunch.
RIP Bird 🙁 we hope to see you back in Berlin some time!
Bolt E-Scooter Rental
Get the Bolt app here and see what discounts are currently available!
Even if you are totally new to scooter sharing, you have probably already heard of Bolt.
The Estonian startup is probably best known for it’s taxi ride hailing app, a direct competitor of Uber.
Bolt has also expanded into other areas, such as scooter sharing, and you can now use the same app to manage both your taxi hailing and scooter rides.
Bolt have dived in to this competitive space and really shaken the pricing structure up.
I really like the way Bolt have priced their scooter sharing service.
There are no confusing ride passes.
There is no reward scheme, where you must ride a lot to benefit.
The pricing is very simple. Bolt made their service the cheapest, for everyone.
Bolt costs €0.22 per minute to ride. That’s it.
There are no hidden fees. No unlocking fee. No complexity to how pricing works.
You can also pay €0.11 per minute to pause the scooter ride, so it is a bit cheaper if you need to stop to collect some food, or similar.
If you want to reserve a scooter, it just costs €0.09 per minute. So if you want to reserve it for 10 minutes, €0.90. It really is very simple and easy.
So, what about the scooter itself, and the service?
We found the riding experience to be middle of the road. One might say, quite practical.
Perhaps not quite as comfortable as the more expensive Lime option, or Tier.
However, Bolt certainly felt like a noticeable upgrade over Voi.
Although Bolt has a slightly higher per minute price, not having an unlocking fee means you can ride bolt for 17 minutes before it becomes more expensive than Voi.
Bolt scooters also have a rather rugged phone holder.
It certainly felt more secure than other offerings, however I still felt a little nervous with my almost-brand-new iPhone Pro wobbling about in there.
After my first ride on Bolt, I decided to keep my phone in my backpack on future rides. In such circumstances I just use my Apple watch to navigate with Apple maps.
Bolt has certainly entered the market at a very competitive price point.
Although the scooters might not be quite the most premium feel, they are easily good enough and provide a pleasant ride from A to B.
I think it is fantastic that Bolt have simplified the pricing structure. Nobody wants to stand by a scooter with a calculator, trying to figure out if its cheaper to buy a ride pass.
- Pricing is very competitive
- Pricing is very easy to understand
- Scooter performance is good
- Uses existing Bolt app, which is great
- Robust mobile phone holder
- Mediocre ride comfort
- No incentive for more regular use
Who should ride Bolt?
- Anyone looking for the cheapest standard pricing option who plans to ride less than 17 minutes.
- Short term city visitors will get the most out of Bolt, as the ride quality is ok and standard pricing is best.
- Those who wish to avoid the complexity of calculating ride pass value will find Bolt’s pricing structure a breath of fresh air.
Tier E-Scooter Rental
Get the Tier app here and see what discounts are currently available!
Tier offer a service that edges slightly towards the more premium offering.
Like Lime, they offer a group riding option, something I really missed from Bolt and Voi.
When travelling, we usually like to get an Airalo eSIM for roaming. However we don’t usually need to get one for both phones.
Group ride options allow us to easily take a pair of scooters using just one phone. Awesome!
The ride quality of Tier is very good. Perhaps not quite a good as Lime, but close.
However the Tier vanilla pricing sits just beneath Lime at €0.23 per minute, compared with €0.27 for Lime.
Get free rides
Tier offer several bonuses on their platform, one of which is a 5 minute free ride.
Tier vehicles that feature a little star on their map icon have a special power!
Ride one of these outside of a 500 meter radius and you will receive 5 minutes of free ride time in your Tier wallet. Awesome!
Buy a ride pass
It is also possible to buy a ride pass on the Tier platform.
At the time of writing there are two offerings available in Berlin, both of which will appeal to visitors who are staying longer.
Both ride passes auto-renew every 30 days, so are clearly aimed at regular users.
Costs €5.99 per month and has the following features:
- Unlimited free unlocks
- Ride any vehicle wherever Tier is active
- Auto-renews monthly, cancel anytime
Go All Month
Costs €37.99 per month and has the following features:
- Unlimited free unlocks
- 250 minutes to use within each month
- Discounted per minute cost: €0.15 per minute
- Ride any vehicle wherever Tier is active
- Auto-renews monthly, cancel anytime
Recommend a friend
In addition to ride passes, Tier also has a recommend a friend scheme.
Friends who sign up using your discount code will receive a given discount and you will also receive the same discount.
At the time of writing the offer gives 50% off five rides within a 90 day period.
If you want to try Tier, feel free to give my discount code a try and get 50% five rides! (assuming the offer still stands)
Go ahead and grab the Tier app here to use my discount code.
Tier offers a similar level of service with similar features to Lime.
They have a fantastic app with plenty of options, whilst still maintaining a level of simplicity.
Ride passes are available, although there are not too many. This could be good or bad depending on how you look at it.
Some may prefer the simplicity and some may prefer having more options.
Tier ride passes also operate in any area that Tier is active, so those who travel and may encounter Tier in multiple locations will certainly be interested in their ride passes.
- Nice quality ride
- App performs well and is robust
- Ride passes available
- Recommend a friend scheme
- Group pass available
- Slightly more expensive than some of the others
Who should ride Tier?
- Visitors to Berlin who have not used scooter sharing before can enjoy a more comfortable ride for slightly less cost.
- Those who wish to use Tier in multiple locations.
What’s The Best E-Scooter Rental Company in Berlin?
From our experience of riding all off the E-Scooter offerings in Berlin, we found Lime to be the best overall.
The ride quality of Lime scooters was noticeably better than the other offerings.
Even though the standard pricing for Lime is the most expensive, using a ride pass brings the cost down to be competitive with the cheapest options.
With that said, the best E-Scooter for you really depends on your circumstances.
Not forgetting that sometimes there might not be an E-Scooter of your preference close by.
If you prefer Lime, but the nearest is 0.5km away and you are standing next to a bunch of Tier scooters, there is no point skipping those Tier scooters just to grab a Lime.
So, here is our advice…
- Download and install all of the E-Scooter apps. If you are visiting Berlin, this is a great way to pass the time in the departure lounge:
- If you want the overall best experience and are not concerned about cost, go for Lime.
- If you have never been on an E-Scooter before, go for Lime or Tier if there is one closer.
- If you are just visiting the city for a short time and need a quick and cheap ride, jump on Bolt or Voi.
- If you want to use E-Scooters for a month or more and want the most economic price, check out Voi ride passes.
- If you are visiting Berlin for a short time but plan to use scooters a lot, check out Lime ride passes.
- If you have time, try them all and you decide!
It is true to say that scooter sharing services do not always measure up. We have experienced some pretty poor services with poorly programmed apps.
However all of the scooter sharing services in Berlin are fantastic.
There really is not much between them.
We can certainly recommend that you try them all if you have time and find the one that is right for you!
Thanks for reading, and happy riding!