Mobility scooters offer a way for people with poor mobility to lead an independent life and, with a wide range to choose from there should something for everyone, no matter what their needs or the depth of their pocket!
Here’s our guide to staying independent with a mobility scooter.
What is a mobility scooter?
A mobility scooter is a three or four-wheeled vehicle that is powered by electricity. They have a relatively low top speed and are designed for people with disabilities and can be driven on the pavement or road.
Find out more about the laws around using a mobility scooter.
Are there different sorts of mobility scooter?
Yes, there are two classes: Class 2 and class 3. The former is smaller and slower than the latter, but they are also cheaper and easier to transport.
How do I know which one I need?
The first question is to pin down what you will be using your mobility scooter for.
The class 2 scooters are relatively small and can be used indoors and on the pavement. They are often easy to fold too, making them ideal to carry in the boot of your car or to take on public transport. However, they are restricted to 4mph and have a fairly limited range before they run out of power.
Class 3 scooters are bigger and more robust, but have a higher top speed (up to 8mph) and can be used on the road. They are also heavier and more expensive than their smaller sibling and might not be suitable for taking on public transport. They might not fit in your car either, unless you make some modifications.
The Research Institute for Consumer Affairs has a very useful guide to help you find a scooter that best suits your needs.
Read our guide to buying a wheelchair accessible vehicle.
How much do they cost?
The price of a mobility scooter ranges from around £500, all the way up to £5,000 or more.
Are they covered by the Motability scheme?
Yes, they are. You can find more details on the Motability scheme here.
Where can I buy one?
You can find your nearest scooter dealer here.
When you visit the dealer (although some may come to see you in your home to carry out an assessment of your needs if you ask), be sure to carry out a thorough test drive of any models they suggest.
There is no substitute for actually trying a scooter and for this reason we would avoid buying one over the Internet unless you’ve seen and tried it first; it’s just too easy to buy something that later turns out to be unsuitable.
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What about a guarantee?
You should ask your scooter dealer what warranty they will give for the product you are buying.
It’s also worth checking whether they will come out to your home to repair or collect it, or whether you will need to take it to them.
Do I need insurance?
Yes. If you get a scooter through the Motability scheme it will be insured automatically, but otherwise you will need to arrange this yourself.
The absolute minimum should be third-party cover to insure yourself in the event that you injure anyone on the pavement or road, but we’d recommend fully comprehensive to give you the very best cover.
Read our guide to the top accessible attractions in the UK.
Do you use a mobility scooter? If so, we’d love to hear your tips and advice in the comments section!