If you need advice in what type of scooter is best for you, click on the guide below to get detailed information regarding the types of invalid carriages available. Alternatively, to speak to one of our friendly and experienced advisors, call us for free on 0800 5420 210.
There are many points to consider when you are thinking of getting a mobility scooter.
- People with visual, perceptual or learning difficulties should seek medical advice because, as mobility scooter users, they will have responsibility for the safety of other road and pavement users.
- Consider where and when you will need to use a mobility scooter, and the distance you’ll need to cover. For example, is it mainly for visiting friends, getting round the shops, walking the dog?
- Think about your own size, shape, weight and any specific medical problems you may have. Scooters have weight limits; generally, the larger the scooter, the heavier the occupant it can accommodate. For some people seat position, suspension or the position of controls will be important factors.
- Carefully consider your own environment. You might live in a town where there are many kerbs to climb, or you might live in an area where there are many uneven surfaces to negotiate or hills to ascend. This will obviously have a bearing on the type of mobility scooter you choose and its capabilities.
- Will you need to transport the mobility scooter in a car, or take it on public transport? If this is the case, then a portable mobility scooter is recommended. These can be dismantled to fit in a car’s boot. They are smaller and lighter but can be less comfortable and less versatile.
- Where will you store it at home, and where will you charge the batteries? A secure and waterproof storage space is needed, with access to a power point for charging the battery. A garage is ideal, but for some this is not an option. If you need to take your mobility scooter indoors, you may need access ramps. Be mindful of the width of doors and the space required to store the scooter out of people’s way.
- What is your price range? Remember to include the cost of insurance, ongoing maintenance, accessories and replacement batteries and parts.
Mobility Scooter Information
There are three kinds of invalid carriage according to highway regulations. Manual wheelchairs are designated Class 1, whereas the Class 2 category encompasses all powered wheelchairs and scooters that are used on the pavement, to a maximum speed of 4mph. These may not be used on the road itself except on pedestrian and zebra crossings.
Class 3 denotes powered chairs and scooters for use on the road, to a maximum speed of 8mph. Since they are used on the road, they are required to have indicators, hazard lights, front and rear lights, a horn and rear view mirror. They are not, however, classified as motor vehicles so do not need to be taxed and insured (though insurance is advisable). Furthermore, a driving licence is not needed to operate one. Mobility scooters are not permitted on motorways, cycle lanes or bus lanes.
A mobility scooter is a mobility aid similar to a wheelchair but configured like a scooter, sometimes referred to as a Power operated vehicle, scooter, or electric scooter.
A mobility scooter has a seat over two rear wheels, a flat area for the feet, and handlebars in front to turn one or two steerable wheels. The seat may swivel to allow access when the front is blocked by the handlebars. Assistive and small sit-down motor scooters provide important advantages to people with mobility problems throughout the world.
Mobility scooters are usually electric-powered. A battery or two is stored onboard the scooter, and is charged via an onboard or separate charger unit from standard electric outlets. Gasoline-powered scooters are also available, though they are rapidly being replaced by electric models.
A scooter is useful for persons without the stamina or arm/shoulder flexibility necessary to use a manual wheelchair. Also, swivelling the seat of an electric scooter is generally easier than moving the foot supports on most conventional wheelchairs.
A mobility scooter is very helpful for persons with systemic or whole-body disabling conditions (coronary or lung issues, some forms of arthritis, etc.) who are still able to stand and walk a few steps, sit upright without torso support, and control the steering tiller.
A main selling point of the electric scooter is that it does not look like a wheelchair, which many people see as a sign of old age. However, as increasing numbers of elderly persons choose mobility scooters, the scooter is now developing its own reputation, at least among the able-bodied, as a geriatric item. Mobility scooters are generally more affordable than powered wheelchairs.