James McCay

Aug 4, 2023

Cycling is a great way to get around town while also getting some exercise, and in recent years electric scooters (e-scooters for short) have exploded in popularity. As cities across the globe look to cut down on traffic and encourage more ecologically-friendly forms of transportation, a number of companies have begun offering ‘shareable’ bikes and e-scooters for people to hire, making getting around that much easier.

So, what are some of the most cyclist and scooter-friendly cities?

As contents insurance experts (which can cover bicycles and e-scooters), we decided to take a look at four different factors across 33 cities to rank them based on the popularity of cycling in their country, helmet mandates, total length of bicycle lanes, and the number of e-scooter providers in each city.

City­Percentage of cyclists in populationHelmet safety laws scoreBicycle path total length (km)Number of E-scooter providersIndex score
Vienna (Austria)47%31,65457.97
(South Korea)
Berlin (Germany)43%13,000126.72
Bordeaux (France)30%370076.72
Munich (Germany)43%11,20066.17
Sydney (Australia)22%52,07536.01
Buenos Aires (Argentina)35%520045.86
Los Angeles (USA)25%256365.23
Strasbourg (France)30%360035.08
Portland (USA)25%261945.08
Tokyo (Japan)36%44034.76
Barcelona (Spain)30%320044.61
Bogotá (Colombia)37%163434.45
(New Zealand)
Hamburg (Germany)43%128044.37
Helsinki (Finland)14%11,50054.30
Bremen (Germany)43%167424.22
(New Zealand)
Vancouver (Canada)16%24,59514.14
Amsterdam (The Netherlands)66%140024.06
Copenhagen (Denmark)50%138823.90
Utrecht (The Netherlands)66%142003.67
Rome (Italy)37%132033.67
Madrid (Spain)30%310133.67
Oslo (Norway)25%1250123.67
Paris (France)30%337103.59
Melbourne (Australia)22%513523.43
Antwerp (Belgium)29%157633.36
Montréal (Canada)16%290103.36
Toronto (Canada)16%259002.81
Ljubljana (Slovenia)10%330012.73
London (UK)19%126032.11
Lisbon (Portugal)1%120031.33


This index isn’t intended to suggest people in lower-scoring cities don’t enjoy riding a bike or e-scooter, but instead that having a smaller network of bicycle paths, fewer e-scooter providers and a smaller active population of cyclists means cyclists and e-scooter users arguably have less choice and kilometres of bike paths to enjoy.

Furthermore, while cyclists and e-scooter users may not be concerned about wearing a helmet, we felt that it was important to include as helmets help keep us safe in the event of an accident, so places with stricter mandates performed better overall.

What about Denmark and the Netherlands?

Danish cities like Copenhagen and Dutch cities like Amsterdam and Utrecht are famous for their cyclist culture, so why aren’t they higher up on our index?

The Netherlands and Denmark had the highest national statistics for cyclist users (66% in the Netherlands and 50% in Denmark). While 50% of Denmark’s population regularly travels by bike, it is worth pointing out 90% of the population owns a bike (Cycling Embassy of Denmark) (which means it is likely a lot more people cycle, but not necessarily as their main form of transport). However, neither The Netherlands or Denmark have helmet mandates, which in our index made these Dutch and Danish cities score worse than other cities.

Additionally, the total length of bicycle paths was 400km in Amsterdam, 420km in Utrecht, and 388 in Copenhagen – far from the biggest networks. However, given the size and disposition of these cities, those networks may be just as adequate as a larger network in a bigger city. Furthermore, these bicycle path statistics are specifically for designated cycleways for bikes and scooters, or paths shared with pedestrians – but not main streets, which cyclists can also often use to get around.

Amsterdam and Copenhagen only had two e-scooter providers available at the time of writing. Utrecht has stopped renewing the permits for e-scooter providers in town, which in our index kept these famous cycling cities from taking the top spots on our index, based on the data and the way our index scores are calculated (see our methodology below).

Cities banning e-scooter rideshare platforms due to bad behaviour and injuries

There was a moment where e-scooters and ride-share platforms for these electric scooters were popping up everywhere, and it would have seemed that their popularity was exploding.

However, in just a few years numerous cities have started banning them altogether, or heavily restricting available numbers and enforcing tougher rules around e-scooter use. Montréal, Rome, Paris, Toronto and Utrecht have all banned ride-share e-scooters in the last couple of years. Paris did so after a public vote, while other cities came to this decision at the city council level after complaints about e-scooters and increases in injuries.

In almost all cases it was because these e-scooters were not being used as often as intended. People were dumping them in pathways and roads, inconveniencing others, and the rate of hospitalisations for e-scooter riders and pedestrians being hit by these scooters were skyrocketing, forcing cities around the globe to act.

People who own their own e-scooter can use it as normal, provided they follow their city’s rules, and these bans or restrictions may yet change in the future – possibly with stricter rules on e-scooter use to try and reduce injuries and bad behaviour.

How contents insurance can cover your bike or e-scooter

If you have a bicycle or e-scooter that you use to get around, it’s possible to have it insured with home and contents insurance, so that if it gets stolen or damaged in a storm or insured event, you can be covered for the financial loss.

Even traditional human-powered scooters can be covered under contents insurance.

However, given how bicycles and e-scooters are typically used – as well as how expensive they can be – there are some caveats. Compare the Market’s General Manager of General Insurance, Adrian Taylor, explains.

“Home and contents insurance covers things that are kept at home, which means your bicycle or scooter might not be covered if you use it to travel or use it for racing,” Taylor begins.

“You can get coverage for your bike or scooter outside the house if you have a portable contents or personal effects cover. You might also be able to insure your bicycle or e-scooter for a specific value, as basic coverage limits might not quite cover the cost of replacing it,” Taylor continues.

“Remember, it’s crucial to review the details regarding cover and coverage limits in the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS).”


To calculate the index we gathered data for the popularity of cycling in a country, whether the country has any mandates regarding helmets for cyclists, the length of bicycle networks within a city, and the number of e-scooter rideshare providers in a specific city.

Each city was given a score out of 10 for each metric, with the highest score being given a score of 10, and the lowest scoring city getting a score of zero for that particularly metric. All other cities were given a score between zero and 10 depending on how they performed in comparison to each other. National cycling population statistics were used for each city within that specific country. These four scores out of 10 were then averaged to provide a final, equally weighted index score.

The helmet safety score metric was based on a score out of five. Cities in countries with no helmet mandates had a score of 1. Cities in countries where some locations did have restrictions had a score of 2. Countries with mandates for those under a certain age were given a score of 3. Cities in countries where there was a mandate but no fine or penalties were given a score of 4. Cities in countries where helmet use was mandatory were given a score of 5.