People buying their first mobility scooters will find a wealth of information to sift through. All of this information could potentially be useful when you’re narrowing down your choice, whittling your options down to just one mobility scooter that you’d eventually like to buy. At the start, though, it could all be too overwhelming. Instead, this useful information should make up the core of all of your research:
What’s the law regarding mobility scooters on the road?
You don’t need a license to ride your mobility scooter.
There are two types of scooter that you might choose to purchase.
A Class 2 mobility scooter has a maximum speed of up to 4mph and is for use on the pavement only. It can, however, be used on a road when no pavement is available.
If you’re keen to find the fastest mobility scooter then you’ll want to look in the Class 3 category. Class 3 mobility scooters can go up to a maximum speed of 4mph on the pavement, but can also be used on the road up to a speed of 8mph. These scooters have a minimum age limit of 14 years old, and they’ll need to be registered although you won’t pay tax.
What restrictions are in place for driving on the road?
You can’t use your mobility scooter in cycle lanes or on bus lanes, or on motorways. You should avoid dual carriageways. If you absolutely can’t avoid a dual carriageway, you’ll need a flashing amber light fixed to your vehicle as a warning to other road users. Parking restrictions apply to mobility scooters just as they do to cars, so they shouldn’t be parked on a footpath where they’ll block a pedestrian, pushchair or wheelchair user.
What about mobility scooter insurance?
Even the fastest mobility scooter need not be insured. There are no laws surrounding mobility scooter insurance, but it is wise to protect your investment. There are many mobility scooter insurance providers that offer prices as low as £30 per year, which means that insuring your scooter isn’t going to dramatically reduce your bank balance.
Where should you buy your mobility scooter from?
It’s estimated that 80,000 mobility scooters are purchased each year. Many of them are now bought online, which is convenient and can help you to find the best price. You can buy new or used mobility scooters online, or you might choose to visit a physical shop to buy your very first scooter. Many second hand mobility scooters are also sold on social media, including Facebook selling groups, and are occasionally available from charity shops.
It’s recommended that you get some training to learn to use your mobility scooter, or that you read the manual thoroughly and practice operation in a quiet private space.
Do you have to be reliant on your scooter?
In a government study, 74% of mobility scooter users claimed to be reliant on their scooter. That’s a significant majority, but it doesn’t cover all scooter owners. In fact, you don’t need to be completely reliant on a scooter to make it a worthwhile purchase. If it would make things easier, but you could do without it, then buying it might still be the right decision.
What about when you need to get rid of a mobility scooter?
Before buying your first mobility scooter, it’s sensible to think ahead. Disposing of them can be difficult. Reselling as a second hand mobility scooter might be your best bet if yours is still working at the time, but you will need to be careful that it’s registered with the new owner. Recycling a mobility scooter can be difficult and costly – you’ll need a Certificate of Destruction to deregister your scrapped mobility scooter, and it can be hard to find somewhere that offers this service. An old mobility scooter needs to be broken down to individual parts, which will have to be recycled separately.
If you’re not yet sure which mobility scooter you’d like, or if it’s really time to get one, then why not start by hiring a mobility scooter and trying it out for a while?
Mobility Smart is an online retailer stocking a wide range of mobility and daily living products, including accessories for your new mobility scooter. Products sold include covers, bags and scooter lightbulbs. Mobility Smart also stocks a fantastic selection of mobility scooters to buy direct.