Owning a mobility scooter is a lifestyle choice and it’s important to get the right one for you; As an example for usability, with a tiller and controls you
can operate the scooter if you have arthritic fingers. Otherwise you could waste money or buy a scooter that isn’t the safest or most comfortable.
Take advice from a trusted mobility scooter retailer or by contacting your occupational therapist before you make a final decision on what to buy. Although the local authority is unlikely to provide you with a mobility scooter, the occupational therapist can make recommendations about any equipment and/or adaptations you might need.
With Pavement Mobility Scooters, you can use them to travel on pedestrian pavements and in shopping areas. These types of mobility scooters are called Class 2 scooters. If you live near a high street and you can get to your destinations by avoiding roads, this may be a good choice. Class 2 scooters are smaller, lighter and often cheaper than those designed for the road, and can have three, four or, in some cases, five wheels. Although some models are capable of much faster speeds, they should be driven at 4mph on pedestrian pavements and areas. Some pavement scooter models may also allow you to cap the speed level to this legal limit.
Folding and Travel Boot Scooters These are small mobility scooters that are also to be used on pavements only and can be folded or taken apart for transporting. They can also be referred to as ‘boot’ scooters. If you can drive or have access to a car and you’re looking for something to take you short distances, perhaps to go shopping in a town centre or for a day out with your family, a travel/boot mobility scooter is a good choice. There are two types: folding and dismantling.
Folding mobility scooters allow you to reduce them to a compact shape and size, allowing you to wheel them, like a wheelie case. This makes them particularly convenient for air travel.
Dismantling mobility scooters are made up of four or five sections that have to be taken apart for travel or put together before they can be used. Despite their portability, all models tend to be heavy to lift, so if you’re likely to need help lifting yours in and out of a car buy a car hoist or arrange for someone else to do it for you.
Folding versus dismantling mobility scooters Weight is a particular issue with folding scooters, as you normally have to lift them as one piece. Removing the battery and armrests would reduce their weight by a couple of kilograms, but they will remain heavy to lift.
Sometimes the disadvantage of their weight can outweigh the benefits of easy folding and unfolding.
We also found that lightweight scooters can be less comfortable to ride, as they’re not as good at absorbing the bumps on uneven surfaces unless you choose a more modern model with all round suspension. Lighter folding scooters can feel more flimsy and less secure than dismantling travel/boot scooters. In contrast, dismantling scooters allow you to lift each component separately. But you do need to reassemble dismantling models before riding them, which you may find inconvenient.
Boot scooters are less powerful than those that can be driven on the road, which makes them better suited to short journeys of less than 10 to 15 miles. They are light and manoeuvrable, and can be used indoors, but their smaller, less-padded seats often mean they’re not as comfortable as larger models. Their wheels may also struggle with shallow kerbs. The ease of lifting a scooter in and out of a car, and how they handle on kerbs and different terrains.
Mobility scooters for the road are Class 3 vehicles. They are larger and heavier than their Class 2 cousins. You can drive them on any roads except motorways or dual carriageways that have a speed limit of 50mph or above. The maximum speed at which you can drive your scooter on a road is 8mph or at 4mph on the pavement. Being more powerful, with bigger batteries, means they are suited to longer journeys up to 25 + miles, and can cope better with hills. Road mobility scooters must have front and rear lights, indicators, hazard lights, a rear-view mirror, brakes and a horn.
They tend to provide a more comfortable ride than some of the smaller scooters. Choosing a mobility scooter: top five things to consider
1/. The types of journeys you plan to make on your mobility scooter.
2/. The types of terrain you’ll cover on the scooter.
3/. Your storage facilities.
4/. Your body weight and size.
5/. Your budget Types of journeys and terrains.
When you’re trying to decide on the type of mobility scooter you want, think about the sorts of journeys you’re likely to make in it. Will they be short, everyday journeys on mainly smooth terrain, such as trips to the local supermarket or to visit a nearby friend or relative? If so, a Class 2 mobility scooter will probably be right for you.
Will you mainly be using the scooter for days out with friends or family? If so, a Class 2 boot scooter that can be easily taken apart or folded and transported by car is likely to suit you.
Do you want to make longer journeys, perhaps to visit a neighbouring town, or do you live in a particularly hilly area? A Class 3 scooter that you can take on the road might make more sense.