Decree RC Cars, scooters and e-bikes: what the Government has approved

Green light for the legislative decree that transposes Directive 2021/2118 of the European Parliament and the Council on motor vehicle liability insurance, but a further decree will be needed to see its effects

Giuseppe Croce

– Milan

The Council of Ministers approved the new Motor Insurance Decree which implements a 2021 European Parliament directive. Numerous innovations have been introduced, but those that have made the most noise are those that concern thecompulsory third party insurance for some “light electric vehicles”: scootersfirst of all, but not only because at the moment this category of means does not even exist. There is no mentionat least in the official press release of the Ministry of Enterprise and Made in Italy, atlicense plate requirement for these vehicles to be insured. However, every vehicle that is required to be insured must also be identifiable in some way and recognizable and reportable by a police officer. For this reason, the license plate requirement will almost certainly come into force together with the insurance requirement.


Through the Motor Insurance Decree, changes are introduced to the Private Insurance Code and the Highway Code “to guarantee greater protection for the insured”. On the one hand, the suspension of insurance for historic and collectible vehicles is facilitated, on the other, thecompulsory insurance for private cars even if they remain stationary in places accessible to the public (such as courtyards and condominium car parks) and even for vehicles circulating in private areas. This means, for example, that if we do not intend to insure a car we must park it in a private garage, not accessible to the public.


The Motor Insurance Decree provides for compulsory insurance for some “light electric vehicles” which will be specified in a subsequent implementing decree. Currently the Highway Code provides, in article 47 (Classification of vehicles), a whole series of types of vehicles but does not have a specific definition of light electric vehicle. There is the L1e category, which includes two-wheeled vehicles with an electric motor with a maximum power of 4 kW and a maximum speed of 45 km/h. There is the L2e category, which includes electric tricycles with a maximum power of 4 kW and a maximum speed of 45 km/h. There is the L6e category, which includes electric quadricycles with an unladen mass of up to 350 kg (excluding batteries) and those with a maximum power of up to 4 KW and a maximum speed of 45 km/h. There is the L7e category, which includes electric quadricycles with a weight of up to 400 kilos (excluding batteries) and an engine power of up to 15 kW.


The changes made to the Insurance Code now provide for compulsory insurance for “light electric vehicles” driven solely by the mechanical force of the engine itself, provided that the vehicle reaches a maximum speed greater than 25 kilometers per hour, or a greater maximum net weight to 25 kilograms and speed greater than 14 hours. This category will almost certainly include: electric scooters. There are, however, no differences deriving from the power of the electric motor, nor from the fact that the scooter is kept stationary or actually used, on public roads or in private spaces: it must always be insured.


The obligation for scooters it does not seem to also extend to electric bicycles. In the case of e-bikes, in fact, we are faced with an electric vehicle, often weighing well over 25 kilos and with a speed of over 14 kilometers per hour, but which is not driven by the power of the engine alone. E-bikes, when compliant with standards, provide that the motor “assists” the pedaling and not traction and this should protect them from the insurance obligation. The same cannot logically be said for golf carts and other similar vehicles.