Researching and buying a mobility scooter can be a daunting process. The market is packed full of various makes and models, with each scooter including a different set of features. Add into the mix the various accessories and the final price...it's no surprise you may be left a little confused. To help clear things up today's blog outlines the differences between each type of scooter and the features they include, hopefully helping you to come to a final decision.
Types of Mobility Scooter
Travel scooters are the smallest variation of scooter available, designed to be light in weight and compact in size. Ideal for quick trips to the shops, days out with family and friends, and even small enough to be taken on holiday (home or abroad), travel scooters are incredibly portable due to their splitting frames. Fitted with an intelligent built-in mechanism, you're able to break travel scooters down into individual sections, compact enough for many people to carry and pack away. Due to their narrow frames and shorter length travel scooters are easy to manoeuvre. Whether fitted with a standard or delta tiller bar you're able to comfortably grip the handles and direct it to where you want to go. Fitted with three wheels (easier to manoeuvre) or four (stabler), travel scooters typically include solid tyres able to tackle pavements, footpaths and short grass. With a maximum speed limit of 4mph, they normally include a battery ranging from 10 - 15 Ah in power, giving you an estimated distance range anywhere between 8 - 15 miles (12 - 24km).
The clue is in the name with Pavement scooters. Larger in size and slightly heavier in weight, pavement scooters are ideal for users looking to get out and about in their local town or city. Designed to be comfortable enough for longer journeys yet sleek enough to manoeuvre shops and malls, pavement scooters typically include four wheels with either solid or pneumatic tyres, a larger padded seat and a delta tiller bar.
While they may be larger in size compared to compact travel types, many models of pavement scooter are still very portable and can be split into separate parts, enabling you to pack the scooter away or store it in your vehicle's boot. Again, similar to travel models, pavement scooters have a maximum speed limit of 4mph, making them safe for use within public spaces. However, while they may be similar in terms of their transportability and speed, pavement scooters are normally fitted with bigger batteries (12 Ah and upwards), with a distance range of +10 miles (+16km). Due to this increase this type of scooter is better suited to users looking to get outside regularly or those requiring a wider distance range.
The final type of mobility scooter available is the 6-8mph Road Legal Scooters. Larger, bulkier and far more hard-wearing compared to the previous two, 6-8mph scooters have been designed to enable the user to drive on-road (up to dual carriageways with a speed limit of 50mph). The scooters themselves have a maximum speed limit of 8mph which can be lowered to 4mph when riding on pavements and other public footpaths.
Fitted with four wheels and pneumatic tyres, road scooters are built with suspension systems (either part or full) included. While pneumatic tyres absorb the shock of uneven ground, suspension reduces the vibrations caused by friction, creating a smoother ride all round. As you're able to ride on-road this type of scooter is typically fitted with added extras to comply by the rules stated by the government. These extras can include a loud horn, reflectors, indicators, bright LED lights and rear-view mirrors, and when combined ensure that you can see other drivers and that they can see you. Normally fitted with +12 Ah batteries, most road scooters have a distance range anywhere upwards of 15 miles (24km), with some able to reach 35 miles between charges.
There are two different types of tiller a mobility scooter can be fitted with, both designed to aid the user and make manoeuvring quick and easy.
- Standard: Standard tillers are comprised of simple, easy-grip handlebars, similar in style to those you'd find on bikes and motorcycles.
- Delta: Considered an upgrade to the standard type, delta tiller bars are D-shaped, giving the user an increased surface area to grip. Ideal for users with limited mobility in their upper body, those who have limited dexterity or even lacking the use of a hand, delta tillers are a favourite choice for users looking to make their journeys simple and pain-free.
The type of tyre fitted on your scooter's wheels can entirely depend on the size and model of it. While solid tyres are simple to maintain, pneumatic tyres reduce the feelings of vibration caused when driving. However, due to the fact that pneumatic tyres are air-filled, if a puncture occurs you'll need to replace it as soon as possible.
There are two options when it comes to charging your scooter. On-board enables you to plug the scooter directly into a mains power supply, with no need to dismantle the frame or remove the batteries. However, this may not be suitable for those who cannot store their scooter inside, as the batteries normally require an overnight charge of at least 8 - 10 hours. Off-board charging is the more attractive option as you're able to remove the batteries and take them indoors. This is ideal for those who like to keep their scooter stored away as you don't need to reassemble the frame to power it.
Almost all models of scooter, no matter the type, include a swivelling padded chair, enabling easy boarding/departing. Larger models, especially road scooters, can include a padded Captain's seat (higher back with headrest) that swivels and reclines, letting you customise the riding experience to fit your needs.
As with many other mobility aids, you're able to purchase a wide variety of accessories to improve and personalise your scooter, customising it to fit your tastes. These accessories can include cushions, covers, canopies, ramps and bags - something for everyone! If you'd like any further information or have a question feel free to call our friendly sales team on 0800 111 4774. View our entire range of mobility scooters and accessories here.