Choosing a mobility scooter
This guide is to help you get a mobility scooter that really suits you and what you need to do. If you can visit our shop in Stamford, we are very happy to help and we won’t put you under pressure to buy.
First things first
Before you start, think about these questions:
- Where will you use the scooter?
- Just on the pavement?
- On the roads?
- Off-road on uneven terrain?
- Will you want to put it in the car or on public transport?
- How far will you need to go on the scooter?
- Where will you store it when not in use?
Size and class
Folding travel scooters
The newest class of scooters can be folded into a compact unit that can be wheeled like a suitcase and loaded into a car boot in a single piece. Some use the latest lithium batteries instead of heavier lead-acid batteries. They are perfect for cruises or even air travel but they may have a smaller range and be less comfortable than bigger scooters.
Car boot scooters
For ease of loading into a car boot, it’s difficult to beat a scooter that can be separated into lighter parts. The individual parts will be easier to manage than a whole folded scooter, and it may be possible to have a bigger range or better comfort for the same budget. Hoists and ramps are another possibility for loading a scooter into an estate car or car boot. We are always happy to advise on the options.
If you want something to go on pavements around town, then a pavement scooter is a good choice. Legally, these are Class 2 scooters with a maximum speed of 4mph. They are permitted for pavement use only and can only go on the road only where there is no pavement, or just to cross the road.
Key features of class 2 pavement mobility scooters:
- Generally smaller and lighter than road-going (class 3) scooters
- Can be used indoors
- Most can be folded or dismantled to go in a car boot
If you want to go on the roads as well as the pavement, have better comfort and travel greater distances, then a class 3 scooter will be more suitable.
Mobility scooters permitted for going on the road are Class 3 vehicles. Legally, they are speed limited to 8mph for the road and 4mph for the pavement. They must have lights, mirrors, brakes, horn, indicators etc. and should be registered with DVLA, although there’s no road fund licence payable. You must be age 14 or over to drive one, but you don’t need a driving licence.
Key features of class 3 road-going mobility scooters:
- Larger, heavier and more stable than class 2
- They will probably require a ramp or hoist to lift them into a vehicle
- Some can go off-road and handle rough ground
If you plan to use your scooter on tracks and unpaved paths, then it’s worth considering a more specialised off-road scooter. These have better suspension and wheels that are big enough to deal with uneven ground. They are very stable and extremely comfortable as road-going scooters.
Will it suit you?
The ideal scooter should suit your size and weight, as well as your ability to manage the controls. It really is best to come in and test drive some different models.
Here are some key points to check:
- All scooters have a maximum load rating. Make sure it is suitable for your weight.
- Check that the seat size and legroom are suitable for you
- Consider how much back support and seat padding you need
- Make sure you can easily reach and manage the controls
- Some of the very lightweight mobility scooters may not be suitable if you have problems with balance.
Lightweight and pavement scooters can be folded or dismantled for transport or storage, whereas road-going scooters take up much more space when they aren’t in use.
Most pavement scooters are made up of four or five sections so they can be separated into lighter parts that can be lifted into a car boot. You can normally remove the seat, lift off the battery pack and fold down the tiller. They can generally be separated further by lifting the front part of the chassis away from the rear wheels and drive section. This is easier for some models than for others. We are happy to advise you.
Others scooters can be folded into a compact shape that can be wheeled like a suitcase, making them neat to store and also very convenient for air travel or cruising. Some even fold automatically at the touch of a button.
All mobility scooters normally need to be kept under cover, ideally in a place with power for keeping the batteries topped up. Road-going scooters are too big to fit into most houses, so a garage or dry shed is very useful. Alternatively, ask us about outside scooter covers and scooter storage options.