Use this checklist to help you decide which mobility scooter is right for you.
What do you want a mobility scooter for?
Decide which size and type you need:
- Small (class 2) scooters can go on pavements. Some can be dismantled and put in your car boot. The smaller they are, the easier they are to use indoors, to store and to transport.
- Class 3 scooters are larger and can go on the road. They're more robust and better at travelling for long distances.
- Will you use your mobility scooter on public transport?
Find a mobility scooter that's comfortable, easy to use and suited to what you want to use it for.
Try before you buy
When buying – whether from a shop, over the phone or online - consider exactly what the retailer includes in the price and check the following:
- Will they carry out a full assessment of your needs?
- Do they deliver it fully assembled?
- What happens if it's unsuitable for your needs?
- What about maintenance and servicing?
- Is it guaranteed?
Test drives and practising
Before buying a mobility scooter, it's important to try out different models to see what suits you. Check:
Don't buy a mobility scooter without trying it out first
Practise before taking a mobility scooter out on your own, to build up your confidence and experience - especially when:
- slowing down
- using controls such as indicators and lights while driving along
This will train your reactions for when you're near pedestrians and obstacles.
Where to try your mobility scooter out
- Mobility centres: some have staff who can advise you and some have different mobility scooters to try out.
- Good retailers will let you try their products first, and some will do home visits. All Motability dealers do this.
- Try mobility scooters out at a local Shopmobility. You can find Shopmobility at shopping centres, where they rent mobility scooters to help people get round the shops.
- Renting a mobility scooter can be a good way of trying out different types and getting some practice before committing to buying one.
Will it suit you?
- Make sure the controls are easy to see, reach, grip and use for long periods.
- The seating needs to be comfortable, too.
- Check back support and legroom.
How to pay for your mobility scooter?
Motability can be a good option if you're eligible.
You pay for a mobility scooter using your mobility payments. You also get extra services such as insurance and repair.
The Motability scheme enables anyone who gets a higher rate mobility allowance (such as the enhanced rate of the mobility component of Personal Independence Payment or the higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance) to use their mobility allowance to lease a car, scooter, powered wheelchair or wheelchair accessible vehicle.
Don't buy online unless you know exactly what you want
Buying online means you may have to assemble the mobility scooter yourself.
For peace of mind, check if the supplier is accredited by other organisations or is endorsed as a Which? Trusted Trader.
Ethical mobility scooter suppliers
Ethical companies advertise larger products such as wheelchairs, electric wheelchairs, mobility scooters, bath lifts and riser recliner chairs online. But you'll only be able to buy these after you've had an assessment, either at home or in store.
These products are not just consumer products, they need to suit you, your situation, and any condition or disability which may impact the type of product you need.
Ethical suppliers of mobility scooters often have online statements as follows:
"As an ethical mobility retailer we strongly believe that before purchasing some items of mobility equipment customers should be correctly assessed and advised which product fits their needs best. The wrong product sold over the internet without a proper assessment could lead to added complications for a person’s condition."
Mobility scooter safety
- Remember the speed limits: 4mph on the pavement and 8mph on the road.
- If you're going on the road, know your highway code.
- Slopes, kerbs and rough ground can make your scooter unstable. Make sure you know what it can handle and how well you can balance.
- Get insurance so that you're covered against theft, accidents and third-party claims.
Travelling on public transport with a scooter?
Some smaller scooters can be taken on public transport. See Travelling with a mobility scooter.
Class and size
Think about the class and size of mobility scooter you want.
- Why do I want a scooter?
- Where do I want to use it?
- Will I need to use it on the road?
- How far will I need to go, on an average trip?
- Do I want to take it in the car with me or on public transport? Read about getting a mobility scooter into a car
- Where will I store it?