mobility scooter buying guide

When buying a mobility scooter, there are many different elements to consider before committing to a purchase.

 

Whether it’s for you, a friend or a family member, our ultimate guide to buying a mobility scooter will make the buying process incredibly easy for you.

 

With technology advancing quicker and quicker, there are many types of mobility scooter to choose from, and the price of these can range from around £400 to over £4,000 – it all really depends on the specification you require.

 

It’s important to make sure you choose a mobility scooter that is comfortable, easy to use and most importantly, within your price range.

 

Don’t worry, we understand this process can be daunting, which is why we decided to create a guide to help you and make this process simple.

Use the chapters below if you’re looking for something specific, but we recommend starting from the beginning and working your way down...

chapter-1    chapter-2    chapter-3

chapter-4    chapter-5    chapter-6

chapter-7

 

Chapter 1 – Mobility Scooter Class Overview and Size Guide

 

First things first, you need to consider which size scooter will be best suited and also which class you require.

 

What to consider about the size of your Mobility Scooter.

 

Mobility scooters come in all different shapes and sizes, the most important elements to ask yourself are:

 

- How big does it need to be?
- Will you have enough leg room?
- Do I have enough room to store it?

 

Mobility Scooter Turning Radius Information

 

The turning radius of a scooter is dependent on the size of the vehicle. This will determine how much space your scooter needs to turn around in a full circle.

 

If you’re using your scooter indoors, then the best option would be to buy a small scooter with a small turning radius.

 

If you’ll be often travelling by public transport, you’re likely to face some turning radius restrictions, you can learn more about this in Chapter 5.

 

Mobility Scooter Class Overview

 

Class 2

 

Class 2 scooters can only be used on public footpaths, pavements and to cross the road. There maximum speed is 4mph.

 

Here is everything you need to know about where you can use class 2 scooters and the benefits of them:

mobility scooter class 2 benefits

 

Mobility Scooter Class Overview

 

Class 3

 

Class 3 scooters can be used on both roads and the pavement. The maximum speed limit is 4mph on the pavement and 8mph on the roads. You must be at least 14 years of age to drive a class 3 vehicle.

 

Here is everything you need to know about where you can use class 3 scooters and the benefits of them:

mobility scooter class 3 benefits

 

 

Chapter 2 – How Mobility Scooter Controls Work.

 

Let’s take a look at how most common scooter controls work and the things you need to consider before making a purchase.

 

These are the 2 main functions you need to think about:

 

The Tiller

 

Mobility Scooters have two common tiller shapes, these are:

 

- D-shaped handles (offers the same gripping motion as a car steering wheel).

- P-shaped handles (offers the same gripping motion as riding a bicycle).

 

The best thing to do is to visit your local supplier and test both tillers to see which feels more natural and comfortable (you can test drive your Mobility Scooter in Manchester with us).

 

Also, these are other elements you should check on your tiller:

 

- Can the height be adjusted?
- Can they be pushed further away or closer towards you?
- Can you reach the controls whilst navigating the scooter?
- Do you feel comfortable and safe?

 

Don’t be afraid to ask these questions and take as much time as you need in testing the vehicle, the main thing is that you are confident in the functioning of the scooter whilst also feeling comfortable when driving it.

 

The Control Panel

 

Almost all scooters have a control panel in the centre of the vehicle and are extremely easy to use.

 

The overall layout of the control panel usually depends on the class of the scooter and the type of tiller it has.

 

Some scooters are designed to have coloured buttons, whereas others have traditional black and white ones, this is something to consider if the driver has impaired vision.

 

Also, these are a few things to consider with your control panel:

 

- Are you able to see all the controls clearly?
- Do you understand what each function does?
- Can you reach the controls comfortably?
- Do the colour buttons make it more visible?

 

Again, be certain with each of the above, it’s crucial that you feel as comfortable and confident as possible when driving your chosen mobility scooter.

 

 

Chapter 3 – The day to day functions of a Mobility Scooter.

 

Chapter 3 goes into more detail about how to:

 

- Turn your scooter on and off

- Set the correct speed for your scooter

- Accelerate safely and confidently

 

Here are some common questions asked when setting up and using the basic functions:

 

How do I know if my mobility scooter is switched on?

 

Certain models will have a light that indicates your scooter is on, other have a battery dial which lights up.

 

How do I power up the ignition on my mobility scooter?

 

The switch for your key will either be on the central control panel, on the side or even lower placed on the tiller.

 

Do mobility scooters come with a key attached?

 

Some will have a key attached; while others have a key that you can take out, it depends on your preference.

 

How do I set the speed of my scooter?

 

Small scooters come with a dial to set your speed. There should be a “min” or “max” label, a picture of a tortoise and a rabbit or simply a range of numbers to make it simple.

 

Larger scooters i.e. the class 3 models have various speed controls which allow you to do things like set a speed before you set off or instantly boost or slow your speed.

 

Class 3 vehicles sometimes come with a speedometer, which digitally displays the speed you’re going, and can even include features such as battery life, the time, your mileage and the current temperature.

 

Chapter 4 – How to charge your Mobility Scooter battery

 

Once you know how to charge your battery, it becomes a simple process. But for those who are first timers, this is the most efficient way to do so:

 

1.) Find the battery measure on your scooter (located usually on the control panel).

2.) Once you’ve located it, it’ll show you how much power is left (usually a colour coded dial or a set of lights).

3.) Find a suitable plug socket and plug it in (no need to remove any batteries).

 

NOTE: The battery power should always be on full before you set off.

 

What types of mobility scooter batteries can I use?

 

There are three common types of mobility scooter batter to choose from, these are:

 

- Lead Acid

- AGM

- Gel Cell

 

Which batteries are cheapest for a mobility scooter?

 

Lead acid batteries are the cheapest on the market, plus they’re very light and last a while. But beware; they usually are the ones that require regular maintenance.

 

Which mobility scooter batteries have the best quality?

 

AGM batteries are the newest on the market, these are by far the more advance and do not require any maintenance. They’re also the most expensive.

 

What are Gel Cell batteries?

 

Gel Cell batteries are more expensive than the lead cell type, but believe it or not they don’t actually last as long. The plus side is they don’t require any maintenance, and you can take them on an aeroplane.

 

 

 

Chapter 5 – Mobility Scooters and Public Transport

 

If you regularly use public transport, then you may want to consider opting for a smaller scooter, as the larger (Class 3) vehicles may not be able to actually fit on most buses or trains.

 

Here are some common questions and detailed answers regarding mobility scooters and public transport:

 

Can I take my mobility scooter on a bus?

 

As mentioned, you’re able to take the smaller models on to buses that have a low-floor function. We’d recommend investing in a small Class 2 vehicle if you often use public transport.

 

Are there certain policies for taking a mobility scooter on a train or tram?

 

Train operators all have different policies for mobility scooters, dependent on length, width and weight of the vehicle.

 

Click the images below for a summary of each train company’s policies and also a summary of each tram company’s policies (each bus operator has a different policy, therefore we recommend you contact them directly).

 

mobility scooter train policy    mobility scooter tram policy

 

 

Chapter 6 – Mobility Scooter Insurance & Safety

 

If you decide to get some third party insurance, this will also cover the people making a claim against you, if you’re involved in an accident for example.

 

Take a look at these commonly asked question regarding insurance and safety:

 

Do you need to insure your mobility scooter?

 

You might not be aware, but you don’t actually have to insure your scooter, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

 

To compare insurance packages, we’d recommend looking at this mobility scooter insurance comparison chart.

 

How can I stay safe whilst operating my mobility scooter?

 

First things first, feel comfortable and confident when driving your vehicle, practice getting used to it at home before going out in public.

 

When you’re not operating the scooter, make sure it’s turned off just in case an item of clothing gets trapped on the accelerator lever.

 

Make sure you’re stable when going down a kerb or going uphill, also be aware of other vehicles and people around you to avoid any incidents.

 

If you’re using a class 3 vehicle, refresh your memory and read over the relevant section of the Highway Code.

 

Chapter 7 – Finance Options for your Mobility Scooter

 

Depending on your current situation and where you decide to purchase your vehicle, you may viable to finance your mobility scooter through a scheme.

 

We’ll break down some of the most likely options for you, again, with questions and answers to make it simple for you...

 

How can I benefit from the Motability scheme?

 

The Motability scheme allows you to lease a scooter, and even allows you to hire a car or a powered wheel chair.

 

How long is the lease and what does it cover?

 

Mobility scooters are on a three year lease and the monthly costs also cover insurance, breakdown cover and all maintenance including battery replacements (see Chapter 4 for more details about Mobility Scooter Batteries)

 

How do I know if I’m eligible for the Motability scheme?

 

You’re eligible for the Motability scheme if you receive one of the following benefits:

 

- Armed Forces Independent Payment

- War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement

- Enhanced Rate Mobility Component of PIP

- Disability Living Allowance (the Higher Rate Mobility Component)

 

Can I get help from the Access to Work scheme?

 

If you currently work or are about to start a job, the Access to Work scheme may be able to assist you.

They usually cover the cost of a mobility scooter if it’s the most efficient way for you to get to work, each case is judged on the individual.

 

 

We hope our go to guide has helped you and given you the knowledge you need to ahead and buy the right mobility scooter for your requirements.

 

Feel free to share this article with those who could benefit from our guide and thanks for stopping by!