Legally, wheelchairs and mobility scooters are classified as ‘invalid carriages’. They are divided into three categories.
Class 1 manual wheelchairs
Manual wheelchairs don’t need to register with the DVLA. It doesn’t matter whether you wheel yourself or have someone helping you.
Class 2 powered wheelchairs and mobility scooters
These are ‘class 2 invalid carriages’ for use on the pavement and have a maximum speed of 4mph. For convenience, we subdivide them further:
- Travel or Boot scooters that can be folded or dismantled to go in a car boot
- Pavement scooters, not intended for car boot use
- Power chairs – typically wheelchairs controlled by a joystick on the chair arm
Class 2 mobility scooters and wheelchairs can’t be used on the road (except where there isn’t a pavement). They don’t need to be registered with DVLA and no drivers licence is required.
Class 3 powered wheelchairs and mobility scooters
These can be used on either the road or the pavement. They have maximum speed of 8mph on the road and 4mph for use on the pavement. They must also have lights, mirrors, brakes, indicators etc.
- They should be registered with DVLA
- You must be 14 or over to drive one
- You don’t need to hold a driving licence
These Class 3 vehicles are exempted from many of the more stringent technical requirements for other road going vehicles.
Scooters for two and passengers
Mobility scooters for two are not legal on public roads or pavements in the UK because they don’t qualify as ‘invalid carriages’ under the law. They can only be used on private land with the permission of the land owner. The regulations also mean you can’t carry a passenger (even a small child) on a mobility scooter.
Mobility Scooter Insurance
Insurance is not a legal requirement for mobility scooters, but it is highly recommended.
Comprehensive policies including third party liability as well as cover for theft, vandalism and accidental damage are not expensive. If you are dependent on your scooter, it is also worth considering additional breakdown cover to provide peace of mind and a rescue and repair service if needed.
We work with a specialist insurance company and will advise on the appropriate cover for your needs.
Reference and more information
Regulations are defined in law under the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970. Section 20: Use of invalid carriages on highways. This exempts ‘invalid carriages’ from certain provisions of the Road Traffic regulations as outlined above. Under this Act, an ‘invalid carriage’ is defined as ‘a vehicle, whether mechanically propelled or not, constructed or adapted for use for the carriage of one person, being a person suffering from some physical defect or disability.’