Choosing the right mobility scooter

There are a large number of different mobility scooters for sale. This guide is designed to help you understand what to look for so you can buy the best scooter for your personal needs.

Mobility scooters: finding the right Scooter is a lifestyle choice. It’s important to get the right one for you – for example, with a tiller and controls you can operate if you have arthritic fingers. Otherwise, you could waste money or buy a scooter that isn’t the safest or most comfortable.

A mobility scooter is a great option to take the effort out of walking.

Be sure the user: Has good sitting balance, the ability to step on and off, adequate eyesight, and a good memory.

These are small mobility scooters, used on pavements only, that can be folded or taken apart for transporting. They are sometimes referred to as ‘boot’ scooters. If you can drive or have access to a car and you’re looking for something to take you short distances, perhaps to go shopping in a town centre or for a day out with your family, a boot scooter can be a good choice.

There are two types: folding and dismantling.

Folding scooters allow you to reduce them to a compact shape and wheel them, like a wheelie case. This makes them particularly convenient for air travel.

Dismantling scooters are made up of four or five sections that have to be taken apart for travel or put together before they can be used. Despite their portability, all models tend to be heavy to lift, so if you’re likely to need help lifting yours in and out of a car, buy a car hoist or arrange for someone else to do it for you.
Folding versus dismantling mobility scooters Weight is a particular issue with folding scooters, as you normally have to lift them as one piece. Removing the battery and armrests would reduce their weight by a couple of kilograms, but they will remain heavy to lift. Testing has found that the disadvantage of their weight can outweigh the benefits of easy folding and

unfolding. It is also found that lightweight scooters can be less comfortable to ride, as they’re not as good at absorbing the bumps in the road. Lighter folding scooters can feel more flimsy and less secure than dismantling scooters. In contrast, dismantling scooters allow you to lift each component separately. However, you do need to reassemble dismantling models before riding them, which you may find inconvenient.

Boot scooters are less powerful than those that can be driven on the road (see below), which makes them better suited to short journeys (normally of less than 10 miles). They are light and manoeuvrable, and can be used indoors, but their smaller, less-padded seats often mean they’re not as comfortable as larger models. Their wheels may also struggle with shallow kerbs.

A Mobility Scooter used to travel on pavements and in shopping areas are called Class 2 scooters.

If you live near a high street and you can get to your destinations by avoiding roads, this may be a good choice.  Class 2 scooters are smaller, lighter and often cheaper than those designed for the road, and can have three, four or, in some cases, five wheels. Although some models are capable of much faster speeds, they should be driven at 4mph on pavements – and some models may also allow you to cap the speed level to this legal limit.

Class 3 Scooters

A Mobility Scooter that can travel on the pavement and also legally on the Public Highway. Class Scooters by law have to have the following features,

The law calls mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs that can be used on the road ‘class 3 invalid carriages. They must have the following features:

  • The maximum unladen weight of 150kg
  •  The maximum width of 0.85 metres
  • a device to limit its speed to 4mph
  • a maximum speed of 8mph
  • an efficient braking system
  • front and rear lights and reflectors
  • direction indicators able to operate as a hazard warning signal
  • an audible horn
  • a rearview mirror
  • an amber flashing light if it’s used on a dual carriageway