Electric Wheelchairs, Guide, Mobility Scooters, Motability

Which Motability scooter or electric wheelchair is right for you?

The Motability Scheme offers over 400 different options, meaning there’s you’re sure to find something that matches your needs and situation.

Mobility scooters

If you don’t need to be permanently using a mobility device then it is likely that a mobility scooter is what will be best for you.

There are three different types of mobility scooter, it is important to narrow down which is best for you and to understand the differences:


  • Light and easy to transport in the car

  • Can usually be used indoors and around the home

  • Ideal for shorter journeys as range is smaller

  • Lower weight capacities

  • Ideal for those who need to transport their scooter in a car often


  • Can travel longer journeys
  • Higher weight capacities
  • Some can be used on the road
  • Usually more features, sometimes has better suspension, than a small scooter but sacrifices transportability and lightweight
  • Ideal for everyday use for those who rarely need to transport their scooter


  • Larger seats than the others and usually more comfortable

  • Longer ranges so ideal for longer journeys

  • Can be used on the road

  • Usually has decent suspension and better handling meaning a more comfortable journey overall

  • Ideal for those who do not need to transport their scooter nor use it inside, but very useful for longer journeys on bumpier paths (e.g. cobblestone) or roads

Electric wheelchairs

Ideal for those who need to use it all the time, including indoors and around the home, and cannot get themselves on and off it easily.

There are three different types of electric wheelchairs:


  • Standard seats and controls
  • Some models can be folded and transported in a car


  • Standard design and controls
  • Usually more comfortable seating
  • More optional extras to fit more complex needs

Custom built

  • Usually can accommodate for all needs and wants

  • Made to measure so ideal for those with very complicated medical needs

The main distinctions between these types is simply price and what is ideal for your needs, depending on how complex. There are even options available such as chin steering or standing functions which can help to give certain individuals more independence and freedom over their life.

Things to consider when choosing an electric wheelchair or mobility scooter

  • Your height and weight

  • How easy you can get on and off of the device

  • Your regular journeys (distance, kerbs, hills, public roads, terrain etc.)

  • Ideal seat comfort as this will become more important depending on terrain and amount of time spent on journeys

  • How solid tyres or air-filled (pneumatic) tyres differ

    • Solid tyres require less maintenance and are puncture proof or at least resistant so ideal for outdoor journeys

    • Pneumatic tyres are ideally checked for air pressure every week and more prone to punctures however provide a more comfortable ride so ideal for indoor journeys

  • Where it will be stored at home

  • The amount of luggage (e.g. shopping) you will need to carry

  • Will it need to be transported in a car and how often

  • Can you easily reach the tiller or steering column, some models will vary in their adjustability as well

  • How your disability affects you right now and in the future

    • Certain models of electric wheelchair are much more adjustable and others are made-to-measure so not ideal for those with changing a medical condition

What to do after you have been through this

Motability will work with trained dealers in your area most likely, they will be able to visit your home with a range of options for you to try. You can find the nearest dealers to you by visiting https://www.motability.co.uk/whats-available/scooters-wheelchairs/ or by calling 0800 953 3060.

Your dealer will take care of everything for you.

Motability want to find the best mobility scooter or electric wheelchair for you. A dealer will be able to take a smaller range of products to you than what will be available in a showroom so if possible it is ideal to visit a showroom.

Ensure that you have test driven multiple scooters or electric wheelchairs as well as discussing options with friends and family.