A few years ago, mobility Scooters were unfortunately synonymous with old age and disability. It’s fair to say that that stigma has been lifted and now thousands of us enjoy the freedom and convenience Mobility Scooters offer. The obvious benefits are obvious! No more relying on public transport or expensive taxis just to pop into town for a spot of shopping, or to visit friends and relatives. They don’t take petrol; they’re battery powered and a well maintained battery will last years. Charging the battery at home is relatively inexpensive and public charging points are slowly creeping into existence in many areas. The higher end models are considered ‘road worthy’ and can travel remarkable distances on a full battery charge; often over 30 miles round trip. Modern scooters deploy an ‘ignition key’ system, much like a car, meaning that they can be parked almost anywhere and left safely until your return. Mobility Scooters are a doddle to operate or ‘drive’ these days – indeed they can be great fun – you may even have to be firm with grand kids who will undoubtedly want to have a go at driving your scooter! Finally, for now, it’s worth mentioning the modern technology and safety features that are now standard with the vast majority of scooters. One important feature is the advanced braking system fitted, which prevents the scooter from freewheeling or rolling backwards on hills and steep inclines.
There are many more advantages to owning a Mobility Scooter – too many to list here. Indeed, choosing the right one for you, given all the options, has become quite difficult. Below is a list of the ‘vital statistics’ you need to consider when purchasing your scooter. It’s not an exhaustive list, but it may help you in identifying the main criteria for your ultimate choice in Mobility Scooter.
Range: This can vary from just 8 or 10 miles to as much as 35 miles. Clearly you need to consider how far you want to be able to go on one battery charge.
Number of wheels: Four wheel scooters are probably the most popular now as they offer greater stability all round, but three wheel scooters are perfectly safe if used properly and tend to come in cheaper, lighter and more portable.
Speed: 4, 6 or 8pmh top speed? Again, this tends to be down to price, but it also depends on how much of a rush you are in! One important consideration is Road Tax. Mobility Scooters capable of 8mph and over are required to display a tax disc. Don’t worry though – it’s free – and discs are easily obtainable from the DVLA.
User weight: It sounds awful, but you must make sure that you’re not too heavy for a given scooter! Weight ranges are typically: Up to 18 stones, up to 21 stones and up to 25 stones.
Tyres: Basically – solid or pneumatic? The solid ones tend to come on the smaller scooters and require little or no maintenance. The pneumatic ones come on the bigger scooters and offer a slightly smoother ride. They do however occasionally need pumping up to pressure.