Frequently asked questions about mobility scooters and the law

17 December 2015

Find out what you need to know about mobility scooters, including how much they cost to run and what the laws are.



Is there a Highway Code for mobility scooters?

The British Healthcare Trades Association issues a Highway Code for mobility scooter users. Many of the important points are covered in this FAQ.

Do you need to take a test to drive a mobility scooter?

You don’t have to pass a test before using a mobility scooter. If you’ve never driven before, the dealer should spend time with you ensuring that you know how to use the scooter safely.

Are you eligible for Motability?

Do you need to register a mobility scooter with the DVLA?

Class 3 mobility scooters must be registered with the DVLA and show a nil-rated (no charge) tax disc. Dealers should do this for you.

Are mobility scooters allowed on the road?

Only mobility scooters with full lights and indicators are allowed on the road, where the maximum recommended speed is 6-8mph.

Think you know the law? Eight new laws motorists should be aware of.

Are you allowed on motorways or dual carriageways with a mobility scooter?

You are not allowed on motorways and when using a dual carriageway you must have a flashing orange beacon.

Are there rules for driving a mobility scooter on the pavement?

It’s illegal to travel at more than 4mph on the pavement. If you have an 8mph mobility scooter you must put it into low range when on the pavement. 

You need to be vigilant at all times as you are below the eyeline of most pedestrians – and pedestrians have right of way.

Read our guide to buying a wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV).

Are there parking restrictions for mobility scooters?

Parking restrictions for mobility scooters vary, so contact your local authority.

How much does it cost to run a mobility scooter?

Mobility scooters are extraordinarily cheap to run. Charging the battery overnight will cost you about 10p. 

Specialist insurance is not (yet) a legal requirement but public liability cover will give you peace of mind in case of any mishap.

Common myths about blue badges dispelled.

How often should you service a mobility scooter?

Mobility scooters should be serviced once a year. Make sure your dealer provides the necessary back-up and support.

How long does a mobility scooter’s battery last?

Battery size will depend on the distance you want to travel. 

Battery care is very important. Most mobility scooters need a full eight-hour charge after use; charging for a shorter time reduces the life of the battery, as will overloading your scooter with shopping bags or other heavy items. 

A battery should last from 18 months to two years with average use. 

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.