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Mobility scooters are becoming increasingly popular, which is hardly surprising when you consider how useful they are for anyone who has difficulty walking. Mobility scooters give the user a far greater degree of independence than anything that has gone before, whether it’s just a case of being able to get to the shops, visit friends and relatives or whether you are a jet-setter who regularly needs to take their scooter on a plane.
Which Mobility Scooter Should I Buy?
Before you go to buy a new or used mobility scooter, it’s a good idea to get prepared with a checklist of what your specific needs are, and also what questions to ask the vendor. It is an important decision and you want to get it right first time. With this handy guide you will be armed with the most important things to consider, so you can be sure of investing in something suitable.
With a range of makes, models and types of scooter, there’s a lot to consider. Once you know what your specific requirements are, and you’ve made a checklist, you should be able to zoom in quickly on the relevant model for you, but here are a few more pointers, in case you're having trouble narrowing it down.
Just like making any high value purchase, you will want to be confident that you are getting good advice and a good quality, suitable mobility scooter. To put it simply, you want to buy something you can ride on, but you don’t want to get taken for a ride. Check out the buying guide for tips on what to expect, and what to insist on.
One of the key aspects of buying a mobility scooter is a test drive. It's no use just looking at pictures and reading specs in a brochure. Even looking at models in a showroom can only get you so far. But it may not be easy to get out and about to visit a showroom until you have bought your mobility scooter. That's where Monarch's home demonstration service comes in handy. Let them bring the scooters to you, take a test drive, make sure you are comfortable and can use the controls. With no obligation and no pressure.
Understanding The Different Classes Of Mobility Scooters
If money is tight or you just don’t want to commit to a brand-new scooter yet, you can get great deals on previously owned vehicles, and still enjoy the peace of mind that comes with buying from a trusted supplier. Fully refurbished and supplied with a new battery and charger; peace of mind doesn’t have to come at a premium.
Intended for use on pavements, as well as indoors, Class 2 scooters are usually relatively lightweight. They are limited to 4mph as a statutory requirement, but their smaller size makes them easier to use in shops and with cars and public transport. There is a range of models to chose from for every user. While some of these can be dismantled for transport, the lightest fully-folding ones have their own listing; see folding mobility scooters.
Class 3 scooters are intended for road use. Limited in law to 8mph (see 8mph scooters) a few have a top speed of 6mph, generally a little lighter than the 8mph options, the 6mph scooters still feature lights, indicators, reflectors and mirrors to make them legal for use on the road, as well as on pavements, but with a smaller footprint they might be easier for use indoors.
The heavier and more robust road-going range of scooters, with a maximum speed of 8mph on roads (4mph on pavements) a longer range and more power than most. Ideal for those who will use their scooter a lot and over longer distances (20-30+ miles range). Also ideal for users of above average height and weight (up to 32st).
Combine mobility with portability in the lightweight range of foldable class 2 (4mph) mobility scooters. With ultra-modern lithium-ion batteries, these versatile vehicles can carry riders up to 21st but can be folded down easily and wheeled along or put in a car boot. Ideal for those who still want to enjoy regular travel but need a bit of help with mobility when they reach their destination.
Not everyone can use mobility scooters, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be able to get around. Powered wheelchairs are technically categorised as a class 2 invalid carriage. They have a secure enclosing seat and a small ‘footprint’ which makes them easier to use indoors and on public transport. They can be controlled with a joystick for those who have limited arm use or may be adapted still further, for ease of operation. There is a range of models, from lightweight folding power-chairs to the most robust vehicles with extra comfort, for the heaviest users and for those who will be seated almost all the time.
If you don’t need power, you can still find a classic wheelchair, lightweight, robust with the emphasis on comfort and safety, as well as good value.