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Questions to Ask Before Buying A Mobility Scooter

February 07, 2019 -
mobility scooter driving

Mobility Scooters are a critical mobility aid to many people, with such a wide range of mobility scooter products available we thought it would be helpful to provide our visitors with a little more understanding of the various types of mobility scooters available on the market today. Read our comprehensive mobility scooters buyers guide here, and also look at our Occupational Therapist's top tips about picking a mobility scooter. An electric mobility scooter could be your ticket to personal freedom. It could help you to live a more independent life and help you to get out and meet people. The decision of which mobility scooter to buy can be daunting. However, mobility products are an investment that you can enjoy for many years, so taking the time to do your research can save you frustration down the road.  Use this guide to help identify what you need from your mobility scooter.

1. Indoor or outdoor travel?

For inside use consider the turning radius and ease of manoeuvrability of the scooter you are buying. A compact travel scooter could be the right choice for you. With smaller shops and markets you should also be aware that the aisles can be too narrow for larger pavement scooters, travel mobility scooters should navigate narrow spaces with ease. For travel outdoors, you will want to have a more solid model that can handle rough ground and uneven pavements gracefully. Stability and speed will be important considerations, for the best stability a 4 wheel mobility scooter could be your best bet. You may also want to consider a mobility scooter that has suspension, some mobility scooters even have suspension on the seat to give you a smoother ride.

2. Will you be navigating curbs or steep hills?

If so you may need a mobility scooter with extra power. A 4 wheel mobility scooter often has the power and the stability to handle such obstacles. The travel mobility scooters have smaller wheels making climbing a kerb difficult and dangerous. Most pavement mobility scooters or 6 & 8mph mobility scooters have larger pneumatic wheels which can be as large as 14 inch diameter to help easily navigate rough and uneven terrain.

3. Will you be driving on roads?

If you are likely to be driving your mobility scooter on roads instead of on pavements, you should consider any local laws. In most cases, medical mobility scooters have to travel 8 MPH to be used on roads, and must be equipped with both headlights and taillights. If you are using a mobility scooter on the roads we would always recommend wearing suitable high visibility clothing to alert other road users you are there. Mobility scooter insurance is another consideration when taking to the road on your mobility scooter. Ensure you are covered, mobility scooter insurance is much cheaper than you may think, some suppliers offer 3 months free insurance on their products.

4. Consider any restrictions you may have at home.

Consider the width of your front gate or door and any steps you need to negotiate. If storage space is going to be an issue then a portable travel mobility scooter may be an option. For the larger mobility scooters you will need to ensure your garden is large enough to accommodate your mobility scooter, you will need either a portable storage cover or a permanent cover for your mobility scooter. You don't wan't your mobility scooter damaged by the elements when not in use!

5. Ensure the mobility scooter will be comfortable?

Consider the leg room and support you require. A swivelling seat will make getting on and off easier. You may want to look at mobility scooter that the arm rests swing up out of the way. Certain models of mobility scooters have suspension on seats to make the ride more comfortable. Suspension and inflatable rather than solid tyres will also improve the smooth comfortable ride on your mobility scooter.

6. Does it need to be transportable?

Transportable mobility scooters or travel scooters are designed for convenient travel. Some models on the market can fold down to fit into the rear of a car, or be assembled and disassembled without requiring tools. There are new transportable mobility scooters which fold compact and fit inside a case, these mobility scooters are also fitted with aircraft friendly batteries and can be taken abroad.

7. Charging the batteries

Mobility scooter batteries can be charged on-board or off-board, basically this means you can either charge them whilst they are fitted to the mobility scooter or they must be removed to be charged. With off-board charging you can remove the batteries from the mobility scooter, these are normally found on the travel scooters, some pavement scooters also have removable batteries. On-board charging is normally for the larger 8mph mobility scooters, this is due to the much heavier batteries needed for the speed and driving range.

Types of Mobility Scooter

Travel Mobility Scooters

Travel mobility scooters are known by many names, Portable mobility scooter, Folding mobility scooter and lightweight mobility scooter are just a few you might hear in shops and online. Travel mobility scooters are ideal for transporting in the car, they are light weight and manoeuvrable.  The travel mobility scooters are suitable for use round the home, in shops or short trips. They can be either 3 or 4 wheels, and usually travel up to 4mph. The folding mobility scooters have smaller batteries to reduce the weight, this also reduces the maximum travel distance compared to Pavement mobility scooters and the large 6 & 8mph mobility scooters. Go to the CareCo Travel Mobility Scooters shop.

Pavement Mobilty Scooters

Pavement mobility scooters are ideal for use on pavements, they are suitable for trips to shops, visiting family etc. The pavement mobility scooters are more stable than the lighter portable mobility scooters and capable of travelling greater distances. Pavement Mobility Scooters offer a wider range of features and comfort, normally they have a padded captains chair for a comfortable rider. Pavement Mobility Scooters are restricted to pavement use and a top speed of 4mph, if you are looking for more speed the 6 or 8mph mobility scooters would be the best option. See all our CareCo Pavement Mobility Scooters here.

6 & 8mph Mobility Scooters (Class 3 Mobility Scooters)

The 6 & 8mph mobility scooters are the largest of the available road mobility scooter options, they are ideal for use on pavement and road for longer trips. Both 6mph and 8mph mobility scooters have much larger capacity batteries enabling you to travel further distances and at a higher speed than travel or pavement mobility scooters. 8mph mobility scooters are able to travel on the road and should be equipped with lights and indicators. You should register your 8mph mobility scooter with DVLA and be issued with a free tax disc. View all our CareCo 6-8mph Mobility Scooters. If you need any further assistance why not call one of our helpful mobility advisers on the telephone number at the top of the page.

Will Harrison
Will Harrison

Will Harrison is the founder of CareCo. He has worked in the mobility industry his entire life and grown CareCo from a grassroots business in his family home to the UK's leading mobility retailer with nationwide mobility showrooms and operating in the global market.

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