Opening date: 16/03/2021


Closing date: 26/11/2021


Residents who want to try a new and environmentally-friendly way to travel hire a Voi rental e-scooter for their essential journeys as part of a Department for Transport trial on Portsmouth’s roads and on routes where people can cycle.

To be eligible to ride a Voi e-scooter, users must be 18 years old and over and hold at least a provisional driving licence, which must be scanned  through the Voi app when a user rents their first e-scooter.

Top tips for a safe ride

  • Only ride on roads, cycle paths and shared use paths
  • Never ride on pavements that are only for walking
  • Wear a helmet – it’s not required but it’s safer
  • Like with any other motor vehicle you must follow the highway code
  • Never drink and ride
  • Never ride with more than one person on the rental e-scooter
  • Never let someone else on the rental e-scooter during your ride
  • Before your first ride watch the Ridelikevoila safety training

To get started, download the Voi app for free from Apple App Store or Google Play Store, or visit Voi Scooters for more information. Find out if there is a parking rack near you by checking our map.  We will update this as more racks are added.

If you see someone riding a Voi e-scooter dangerously, take a note of the e-scooter’s number plate and the time and please report to Voi.

Privately-owned e-scooters remain illegal, except on private land and with the land owner’s permission.

Rental e-scooters should only be used as part of your essential journey. To check the latest government guidance on travel during the pandemic visit, the transport and travel coronavirus information webpage.

Frequently asked questions

How are Voi keeping riders Covid-safe?

All Voi e-scooters in Portsmouth are fitted with anti-bacterial handlebar grips. They are rubber but use a special nano-zinc oxide compound to combat bacteria and viruses which offers antibacterial, bactericidal and antiviral protection. All scooters are disinfected regularly, including every time a scooter is handled for a battery swap, re-balancing, or maintenance. Voi uses high-quality anti-viral cleansing agents that last up to 24 hours. Read more about Voi’s Covid measures and safety tips.

Please continue to follow the government guidance to stay safe from coronavirus.

 ‘Hands. Face. Space.’

  • hands – wash or sanitise your hands regularly and for at least 20 seconds
  • face – wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet
  • space – stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings)

How can I rent an e-scooter?

To be eligible to ride a Voi e-scooter, users must be 18 years old or over, and have at least a provisional driving licence, which must be uploaded to the Voi app when a rider first registers. Riders are encouraged to wear a helmet and take part in the Ridelikevoila training.

To get started, download the Voi app for free from Apple’s App Store or Google Play Store, or visit Voi Scooters for more information.

How much will it cost to ride a rental e-scooter?

Voi rental e-scooters cost £1 to unlock and then 20p per minute of usage. Voi also offers 24-hour (at £10) and 30-day (at £40) subscriptions, allowing users to take an unlimited number of 45 minute rides at a fixed rate.

The company also offers discounts for students and those on a low income. While the lockdown is in place, Voi is offering free rides for NHS and Emergency Service workers during lockdown and 75% discount thereafter.

Will rental e-scooters be able to go anywhere?

No. Using geofencing technology, the rental e-scooters are restricted to within the Portsmouth boundary. There are no-ride zones and slow-speed zones for some areas. In the app, a map will also indicate areas where the e-scooter cannot be ridden and if a rider enters this area the e-scooter will automatically slow to a stop.

Where can I find the rental e-scooters?

There are a number of parking racks across the city and you find out where they are in the Voi app or on the map.  You must start and end all journeys at the parking racks.

Where do I leave a rental e-scooter at the end of my journey?

All journeys must end at one of the parking racks and these can be found in the Voi app or on our map.

If a parking rack is full, try and find another one nearby with spaces available. If this isn’t possible you can park the scooter appropriately by the rack, using the scooter’s stand, as long as it doesn’t cause any inconvenience to pedestrians. The scooter will then be picked up by Voi’s local team.

Voi have recently added an enhanced ‘End of Ride Photo’ in their safety features to encourage good parking behaviour amongst e-scooter riders. When a users uploads their photo to the app, Voi’s support team reviews the photo and will take action if the safe parking guidelines have not been followed.

Read more in Voi’s guide to parking

If you see any unsafe parking or abandoned e-scooters take a note of the e-scooter’s number plate and the time and report to Voi.

How fast can a rental e-scooter go?

The speed limit of the rental e-scooters was set below 10mph for the first month and has been slower in some areas to allow people get used to them. Following a review in late April 2021 the speed limit was raised to 12.5mph. The new speed limit allows e-scooter riders to integrate better with other traffic.

The government has capped the speed limit of rental e-scooters during the national trial to 15.5mph.

Are there any rules about riding whilst being under the influence of drink or drugs?

Never ride rental e-scooters under the influence of drink or drugs.

Voi e-scooters are classified as motor vehicles. If a rider is stopped and found to be under the influence of drink, drugs or other substances they will be in violation of Voi’s terms of use.

More importantly they will be subject to the law in the same way as any vehicle driver and could face imprisonment, a driving ban and a fine if found guilty of drink-riding. Find out more about drink-driving penalties.

 

Are under 18's allowed to use rental e-scooters?

No, you must be 18 and over to use a rental e-scooter in Portsmouth.

More importantly rental e-scooter riders are subject to the law in the same way as any vehicle driver. If you let someone use the scooter who is underage you could face a driving ban, points on your license or a fine.

If you see someone using an e-scooter who is clearly under 18 take a note of the e-scooter’s number plate and the time and report to Voi.

 

How many people can ride a rental e-scooter?

Only one rider can be on a rental e-scooter.

Never share your ride. Rental e-scooters are designed for one rider and no passengers. Riding with another passenger will affect your balance and the functionality of the brakes, and you risk seriously injuring yourself and your passenger.

If you see twin riding take a note of the e-scooter’s number plate and the time and report to Voi.

How do I report someone for reckless or dangerous riding?

You need to contact Voi directly using their reporting form.

You can also email them  support@voiapp.io or call the 24-hour customer service helpline 0800-3768179.

Voi has a clear approach to responding to concerns about riders. If an issue is considered to create a risk to the riders or other people Voi will give the rider three chances before removing their account. If an incident is more serious Voi will remove the account more quickly if necessary.

How do I report a misplaced or badly-parked e-scooter?

Besides having a team on the ground to monitor the e-scooter activity and ensure scooters are parked without causing a nuisance to pedestrians or other road users, Voi has introduced an enhanced version of the ‘end of ride photo’. This feature requires users to take and submit a photo of their parked scooter at the end of each ride, encouraging them to park their scooter correctly. These photos are reviewed daily by Voi, and action is taken if users do not comply with the safe parking guidelines.

Users who leave e-scooters lying down on the floor, parked in a way that is obstructing the pavement and causing an obstacle to pedestrians, strollers or wheelchairs, will receive an email containing a warning and an educational message. After the first warning, riders who park their vehicles incorrectly will receive a £25 fine.

To report a badly-parked or misplaced scooter complete Voi’s online form  and a member of their team will be sent out to retrieve the e-scooter. To report a specific scooter, make a note of the scooter’s four digit ID.  

Where can I find out more about rental e-scooters?

Voi have a wealth of information in their frequently asked questions.

Can I get a discount for travelling to a vaccination appointment?

If you’re travelling to a vaccination appointment you could get up to £8 off trips to or from vaccination sites using Voi’s discount code.

Trips must start and end at one of the vaccination sites listed on the NHS website. Please note that due to demand, discounts are limited and subject to availability.

To claim your discount visit Voi Scooters

What do I do if my e-scooter breaks down?

If you have a problem with your scooter contact Voi support on 0800 3768179

How are rental e-scooters safer than illegal, privately owned e-scooters?

Safety is a top priority during the e-scooter trial in Portsmouth and there are clear rules around who can use the rental e-scooters.

People who rent e-scooters from Voi must be 18 or over and hold a provisional or full driving licence. Riders are encouraged to take part in online training before their first ride, and are offered incentives to encourage helmet-wearing. The rental price includes third party motor insurance and personal accident cover for all trips.

The Voi rental e-scooters include unique identification plates, are a distinctive colour and are equipped with bright lights and reflectors for increased visibility. During the first month of the trial the speed of the e-scooters will be limited to 10mph and will then be set at the Department for Transport maximum speed limit for rental e-scooters of 15.5mph.

Privately-owned e-scooters are illegal, except for use on privately land. They can also travel at much higher speeds than rental e-scooters.

Why is the trial taking place in Portsmouth?

Portsmouth is one of a number of cities taking part in a national trial of rental e-scooters. We’re working with our partners at Solent Transport who have been awarded funding from the Department for Transport (DfT) to launch rental trials in Portsmouth, on the Isle of Wight and at other locations across the Solent region, as part of the Future Transport Zone Programme.

The Portsmouth trial was approved at the council’s Traffic and Transportation Committee meeting in February 2021. It provides an opportunity for people to use e-scooters for commuting and leisure and to share their experience of rental e-scooters with the council and Solent Transport. This will form part of a national approach to building a more sustainable travel network.

Rental e-scooters offer a safe and socially-distanced transport option to help the region recover from the coronavirus pandemic and can replace short car journeys, help improve air quality and reduce traffic congestion. They can be easily combined with public transport trips and provide a practical option for short journeys which make up 60% of all road trips in the U.K.

Who provides the legal rental e-scooter trial?

In Portsmouth, the e-scooter rental trial is operated by Voi Technology, who are operating trials in 21 cities across the UK . Participants are encouraged to take part in online training, through Voi’s online e-scooter driving school. Riders must be over 18 years old and hold at least a valid provisional driving license. They will also be encouraged to wear a bicycle helmet.

Can I rent an e-scooter at any time of day?

The e-scooters are available for hire between 6am–10pm in Portsmouth. Riders may return their scooters to the racks beyond 10pm if the rental started before this time.