Mobility scooters are an excellent means of conveyance for those with mobility issues. If you’re experiencing temporary or permanent mobility issues, then a mobility scooter is definitely a worthwhile purchase. It will allow you to do things and reach places that you are otherwise unable to.
Consider these ten things when buying a mobility scooter. This will allow you to bring home the most comfortable, relevant to your case, and value-for-money ride.
Top 10 Tips for Buying a Mobility Scooter
Where Do You Plan to Use the Scooter?
Where do you intend to ride the mobility scooter – indoors or outdoors? A three-wheeled scooter is a good choice for indoor use because of its smaller turning radius. You’ll accomplish the same objectives with a four-wheeled scooter with smaller wheels. A portable, folding scooter is the mobility scooter to buy if you’re planning to use it at an indoor location that’s away from your home, for example a shopping centre.
A four-wheeler will serve your purpose better if you plan to use the scooter outside, especially on rough terrain. For such terrain, you may want to consider a scooter with a higher ground clearance. Ensure that you ascertain the maximum incline the scooter can tackle at full load.
The ideal mobility scooter storage area is waterproof, secure from theft, and with a plugin point close by for charging the vehicle’s batteries. If you don’t have a separate garage, then you may have to bring the mobility scooter indoors. Will bringing the scooter indoors require ramps and is the entrance wide enough to accommodate the scooter?
Choose an area such that the scooter does not impede movement. If your need for conveyance is satisfied by a small scooter that can fit into the boot of a car, then you only need to carry the battery pack inside for charging. This is an option for those with space shortage inside and outside the home. If there’s no space inside but you can store the scooter outside, then you can purchase a shelter or fold-over cover for outdoor mobility scooter storage. Sheds offering reasonable security are available in the market; buying one and also installing a power supply inside the shed is a great idea for many with limited space indoors that still delivers safety.
What’s the Ideal Scooter Class for Your Needs?
Your choice from the top ten mobility scooters UK is between a Class 2 mobility scooter and a Class 3 mobility scooter. The former is ideal for short traverses on the pavement and can be taken on travels in a car or on public transport. This scooter does not need to be registered; it has a maximum speed of four miles per hour.
A Class 3 scooter is larger and must be registered. It can be driven on the roads and has a top speed of 8 miles per hour, it’s offroad speed limit is 4 miles per hour. You can ride a Class 3 mobility scooter if you’re 14 or older. A Class 3 scooter has a maximum unladen weight of 150 kgs or 200 kgs when carrying essential user equipment.
Choose a seat that lets you ply the vehicle comfortably with the right posture. The seat’s design and features provided influence the comfort offer. The distance travelled and the state of the road affect the degree of comfort too.
At the very least, you want a padded seat and backrest with width-adjustable armrests. Almost all mobility scooter seats can swivel. Some can turn a full 360°. The swivel and arms that can be flipped allow for a comfortable disembark from the scooter.
Seat adjustments to look for in a mobility scooter include seat height, seat position, seat back angle, and headrest height plus tilt.
Class 3 mobility scooters may have larger seats with a headrest.
The Distance Travelled
Consider the distance you need to travel regularly. A portable mobility scooter is compact, lightweight, and ideal for trips of up to 15 km. As the name suggests, this mobility scooter can be taken on travels in cars, trains, aeroplanes, and boats.
A mid-sized mobility scooter weighs more than a portable one and can cover twice the distance over more diverse terrain. These offer greater choice in accessories. They are also portable; they fit into the boot of a car.
Large mobility scooters can weigh up to 200 kg and have batteries that support distances of around 50 km. These feature Captain Seats, large rear tires, and are designed for comfortable riding over long distances to the shopping mall, the beach, etc.
Mobility Scooter Features and Accessories
Choose features that will facilitate travel and ensure safety. A swivel seat lets you get on and off securely. It enables you to get closer to objects without straining or pulling a muscle.
Consider a portable mobility scooter with an auto-folding option that can be activated by pressing a button. This will let you load the scooter easily into cars. It’s a useful feature for those with limited mobility in the back and hips.
Automatic speed reduction when driving around corners is a safety feature that minimizes tipping risks. Anti-rollback is a similar safety feature to prevent riders from rolling back downslope. It keeps the scooter stable while it is moving or when stationary.
Sturdy brakes and rugged suspensions for stability over diverse terrain are other features. Accessories to consider include USB charger, travel cover, safety flag, can holder, baskets, and oxygen tank holder.
Mobility Scooter Insurance
Mobility scooter insurance, while not a legal requirement, is desirable and recommended by experts. It covers third party liability, theft, accidental damage to the vehicle, flat tires, flat batteries, etc. Obviously, third party liability is the most important cover to avail of because without it you are potentially exposed to costs that may run into thousands of pounds.
Costs Associated with Mobility Scooters
Factor in the costs associated with the mobility scooter. There are three major cost components to consider – the one-time buying cost, insurance premiums, and maintenance and repair costs. The purchase price of the scooter varies with the model, brand, features, and any accessories that you may opt for.
Be prepared to have the scooter serviced once every twelve months. However, mobility scooters used daily should be serviced twice a year. Know what is normally included in a service – batter repair or replacement; brake and steering testing; maintenance and replacement of wheel bearings; checking the tires; and checking electrical components and moving parts.
Future Intended Use
Mobility scooter buyers will likely prepare a list of questions to ask when purchasing a mobility scooter. Such questions cover guarantees, warranties, repairs, replacements, ease of use, etc. You must also take into account future use. Factors such as your present and likely future medical condition, weight gain, weight loss, need for oxygen bottles, change in the status of cognitive function and physical abilities, and lifestyle changes must be considered.
This will let you make an informed purchase decision and buy a mobility scooter that serves you well over time even as your requirements change. Read reviews on mobility scooters to further aid the purchase decision.
Test Drive the Mobility Scooter
Visit one of our mobility scooter dealerships to test drive a few different brands and models. This allows you to compare vehicles for safety, brakes, tiller mechanism, comfort, etc. When testing a mobility scooter, check if you can comfortably reach all the controls. Determine the ease with which you can get on and off. Will the mobility scooter of your choice fit in your car’s boot and will you be able to store it inside your home?