What’s the Difference between a Class 2 and 3 Mobility Scooter?
Disability scooters come in a wide range of models, offering different features according to the user’s specific needs. But there’s still a great deal of confusion about the differences between the three classes of mobility scooters, so we’ve prepared this handy guide to guide you through your options.
Class 1 is reserved for manual wheelchairs, so it’s Class 2 and Class 3 mobility scooters that we’ll focus our attention on.
Class 2 mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs
Many users of disability scooters are looking for something light and portable that will enable them to get out and about under their own steam in a variety of situations. And Class 2 scooters perfectly fit the bill. They’re lightweight and portable, with many models easily folding up, making it easier to store and transport them too.
Class 2 mobility scooters are often referred to as 4mph scooters since that’s their top speed. That’s just a little faster than the average walking speed, so they’re designed to be used on pavements. Modern batteries are compact and provide sufficient power to travel substantial distances. Many users opt to carry a spare battery with them too, just in case they need it.
Class 3 mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs
Class 3 mobility scooters are larger and bulkier than Class 2 models and are designed more along the lines of a small car. You’ll often find Class 3 mobility scooters referred to as Road Class Scooters since, with a top speed of 8mph, they’re designed to be used primarily on roads as well as on pavements. You may see them described as 8mph mobility scooters too, which helps to differentiate them from lower-powered models.
An 8mph mobility scooter can be used on pavements, but care is needed to make sure that pedestrians aren’t inconvenienced. They mustn’t be used at speeds higher than 4mph when using pavements and you are not permitted to use your 8mph mobility scooter in cycle lanes, bus lanes, or on motorways. They are permitted to be used on dual carriageways with speed limits below 50mph, but flashing amber lights need to be fitted beforehand for extra safety.
Although neither Class 2 nor Class 3 mobility scooters need to be taxed, Class 3 scooters must be registered with the DVLA. This can be done by completing a V55/4 form if you’re buying a new mobility scooter, or a V55/4 form if you’re buying a second-hand model.
Class 2 or Class 3: Which is best?
The decision as to which class of mobility scooter is most suitable for your needs depends on your lifestyle. If you’ll be travelling in a car or other vehicle with your mobility scooter, then a Class 2 model will perfectly fit the bill. It will be light, transportable and may even fold down to take up less space. And batteries can easily be removed for charging.
If you’ll be relying on your mobility scooter as your principal mode of transport, then a Class 3 8mph mobility scooter will be your best option. Bigger and bulkier, it offers much more space and comfort, although it will also take up more storage room. But many users consider that a small price to pay for the freedom it offers.