Popular Mobility Scooter Questions – Answered
Feeling a little lost in the wilderness of mobility scooters? No need to fear – we’ve got you covered! Below, we’ve provided the answers to some of the most searched mobility scooter queries online so that you can feel more confident about taking your next steps towards mobility scooters.
Let’s start with the most basic question…
What are mobility scooters used for?
Mobility scooters are mobility aids which are designed to assist people with limited physical capabilities. Finding the middle ground between an electric scooter and a motorised wheelchair, they are used for daily transportation needs by both elderly and disabled individuals. Some users fully depend on their mobility scooter to get around whilst others can walk short distances independently and only need their scooter when pain or fatigue starts to sets in.
Choosing a Mobility Scooter
When should I get a mobility scooter?
If you find that an increasing inability to walk has severely limited your independence – but not to the extent where you would require a specially designed power chair – a mobility scooter could be beneficial to your day to day living. A mobility scooter can offer a new lease of life to people facing the prospect of long term mobility or disability issues.
Many people living with deteriorating health problems such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease reach a stage where investing in a mobility scooter helps to prevent them being housebound. If you are not sure whether you should get a mobility scooter, we recommend speaking with a professional – such as your local GP or a specialist – who will assess your situation and advise on your options.
Which mobility scooter is best?
Unfortunately there isn’t a one answer fits all to this question! The “best” mobility scooter is ultimately what’s best for you and your specific needs and there are lots of different models out there with their own individual benefits. To learn all about the different types of scooter available – including compact, pavement, and road scooters – as well as some of the key need-to-knows about picking your scooter, simply head on over to our comprehensive and informative ‘Which Mobility Scooter to Buy’ blog post.
How much are mobility scooters?
The cost of a mobility scooter depends on the model itself. Smaller scooters such as compact and boot models can start as low as £400 with bigger, more sophisticated class 3 models costing several thousand pounds. It’s important to remember that you may be eligible for VAT exemption on your mobility scooter and other goods which are designed for disability. Learn more about VAT relief for disabled people on the gov.uk website.
Where can I buy a mobility scooter?
You can buy a mobility scooter from highly respected national retailers and local mobility shops – simply search online to find the nearest one to you – as well as order one online. If possible, try and test out the model in which you are interested before making your final purchase and ensure that you shop around to get the best price possible. Pro Rider Mobility is proud to offer our customers a ‘try before you buy’ service with a personal home visit from a member of our knowledgeable and friendly team. Not only do you benefit from their expertise, you can also get up to £50 cash back on your scooter purchase!
Can I get a mobility scooter on the NHS?
The NHS offers wheelchair services – subject to an assessment which determines eligibility and the best type of mobility aid for the individual in question – but doesn’t provide mobility scooters as part of this service. Those who are interest in a scooter are referred to the Motability scheme.
If you are based in the UK and receive one of the following allowances, you can apply to join the Motability scheme:
- The enhanced rate of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – this is gradually replacing DLA
- The higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) – soon to be fully replaced by PIP
- Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP)
- War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement (WPMS)
This scheme gives you the opportunity to lease a scooter for three years in exchange for your mobility allowance and the cost includes factors such as servicing and insurance. You can use their handy checker tool for an east way to see if you are eligible to join the scheme.
How do I get a mobility scooter for free?
Unfortunately, unless you are lucky enough to be donated a scooter or given one by a friend or family member, you won’t be able to get a mobility scooter completely free of charge. There are, however, other options available which make obtaining a scooter accessible.
Alongside the aforementioned Motability scheme, there are also numerous charities out there that offer grants and financial support to people living with severe disabilities, to those who are unable to obtain funding from the NHS, or to those who cannot afford mobility equipment themselves. Some examples of these organisations include the Mobility Trust and the ACT Foundation.
What’s the fastest mobility scooter?
A road mobility scooter is the fastest mobility scooter available with an impressive top speed of 8mph, although this is restricted to 4mph on pavements. Mobility scooters cannot legally exceed this top speed limit and are not designed to do so either. More luxurious models will offer better specifications such as lighting packages, suspension, and enhanced comfort but not a greater speed capacity.
Using a Mobility Scooter
How do you drive a mobility scooter?
In a word – safely! Mobility scooters are operated via a T-shaped or delta style tiller with a control panel. Take the time to understand what each of the controls do and ensure that you can see and reach them easily. The handlebars are used to steering your scooter so it’s important to make sure that you have a comfortable grip and don’t strain or over exert yourself when turning. Not having the proper set up for your body can lead to injury and a lack of control, putting you and others around you at risk.
If this is your first time using a mobility scooter or you don’t feel confident driving your current model, why not sign up to a training course? Charities such as the Queen Elizabeth Foundation for Disabled People (QEF) have specialist centres where users can practice basic scooter driving skills in a safe and controlled area with other initiatives across the country providing training on safe driving.
How do I store my mobility scooter?
Good mobility scooter care will ensure that your aid stays in top condition for as long as possible. Store your scooter in a dry and clean place to prevent corrosion or rust – sheds and garages are ideal as they can be locked for security. Your chosen safe space should have mains access so that you can easily charge your scooter when not in use. Some people like to store more compact models inside the home but this should be done with caution as your scooter could block access in an emergency.
How do you transport a mobility scooter?
If you own a folding or modular mobility scooter – one which breaks down into four or five pieces – you can usually transport this in the boot of your car. Keep in mind that folding scooters stay as one piece and so can be difficult to lift into the boot if you have limited strength, which is when you would need to consider a car hoist to assist you. You may need to also fold down some of the rear car seats depending on the dimensions of your scooter.
If you have a larger mobility scooter – such as a road scooter – which can’t be broken down into a compact size, you have the option of adapting your existing vehicle or investing in a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV). WAVs are vehicles fitted with a lift or ramp in order to provide easy access for your wheelchair or scooter and come with anchoring points to secure your chair during transit. You can adapt your vehicle or lease a WAV as part of the Motability scheme. There are numerous WAV specialists available in the UK, including Brotherwood.
How do you service a mobility scooter?
You should always get your mobility scooter serviced at least once a year as this will not only maintain optimum performance but also ensure that your scooter is safe to drive. Many mobility scooter suppliers provide after-sales support including services and repairs so it’s always worth getting in touch with them if you have any concerns or issues about your scooter. Pro Rider Mobility offers at least a 1 year warranty on all of our models to give our customers peace of mind about their purchase.
Are mobility scooters allowed on the road?
Yes, mobility scooters are allowed on the road, however, there are several stipulations to this:
- The scooter must be a ‘class 3 invalid carriage’, i.e. a road mobility scooter
- Your class 3 scooter requires specific features to make them safe for road use, including a braking system, a rear view mirror, and a full lighting package with indicators. Full details of the required features can be found on the gov.uk website
- You will need to register your class 3 scooter with the DVLA, although number plates and insurance are not a legal requirement
- Whilst road mobility scooters are allowed on the road, they cannot be driven on motorways, ‘cycle only’ lanes or bus lanes under any circumstances. Government guidelines also recommend avoiding dual carriageways with a speed limit of over 50mph
- A pavement scooter or ‘class 2 invalid carriage’ legally can only be driven on the footpath; however, the road can be used solely in the absence of a pavement. You should always endeavour to move back to the footpath as soon as one becomes available
Take care when travelling on roads as you will likely be travelling at a slower speed than other vehicles. Road mobility scooter users must observe the same rules as other road users, including rules on parking and indicating.
Are mobility scooters allowed on the pavement?
All mobility scooters are allowed on the pavement but the following must be observed:
- Maximum speed is limited to 4mph for all scooters – some class 3 scooters have a switch to toggle easy between high and low speeds
- Pedestrians have priority
- Be considerate of the fact that some pedestrians may have a hearing or visual impairment and so may not be aware of your presence
- No matter what type of mobility scooter you are driving, always ensure that you are medically safe to do so and that you have good eyesight. Government guidelines advise that you should be able to read a car registration from 40ft away
When driving your scooter on the pavement or footpath, always observe the same rules for pedestrians. Don’t hesitate to brush up on your Highway Code if you are ever in doubt about the rules for either pedestrians or road users.
Are mobility scooters allowed on trains?
This depends on the train company in question as well as what kind of mobility scooter you own. Just as scooters come in different sizes and weights, trains themselves have different dimensions, making it impossible for companies to provide a universal answer. The best solution is to get in touch with the train company themselves at least 24 hours before you travel; they can then advise you on whether their trains can accommodate your scooter and confirm what other accessibility services they offer to disabled passengers. National Rail has a useful list of different Train Operators in the UK, their policy, and contact information for further enquiries.
Can I take my mobility scooter on a plane?
A mobility scooter can be taken on a plane but it will need to be stored in the hold. Be aware that your airline may have restrictions regarding the dimensions of your scooter and will often only accept lithium ion or gel/dry cell batteries for safety reasons.
As with Train Operators, it is best to contact your airline or tour operator ahead of time – at least 48 hours in advance – with details such as the make, model, size, and weight of your scooter; this gives them the opportunity to advise of any issues with your scooter model as well as prepare and make adjustments for you at the airport. Bringing along the operating instructions is a great idea as it helps the airline staff make the loading process as smooth as possible.
Are mobility scooters allowed in shops?
As with public transport, this depends on the business or shopping centre in question. The main problem with taking mobility scooters into retail spaces is that they can pose a safety risk to small or narrow areas as well as to other pedestrians. Problems posed by scooters in shops include getting stuck in tight aisles, blocking access to emergency exits, and even travelling too quickly without due care and attention, resulting in others getting injured. Drive your scooter with consideration and don’t be afraid to speak with a staff member if you are unsure about taking your scooter into their premises.
Mobility Scooters and Legal Requirements
Does a mobility scooter need insurance?
Mobility scooter insurance is not a legal requirement, however, it is advisable that you invest in comprehensive cover for peace of mind and for protection should you be involved in an accident. There are numerous companies in the UK who offer specialised insurance to mobility scooter users, including Surewise, Blue Badge Mobility Insurance, and ETA. Each policy will offer varying levels of cover at different rates so always shop around to find the best and most suitable deal for your needs.
Does a mobility scooter need to be registered?
A mobility scooter only needs to be registered if it is a ‘class 3 invalid carriage’. This is a legal requirement from the government and can be done by completing a V55/4 form (new scooters) or a V55/5 form (used scooters) from the DVLA. Forms can be easily ordered online from the gov.uk website. You won’t be taxed on your scooter but will be presented with a ‘nil value’ tax disc as part of the vehicle registration (although this doesn’t need to be displayed on your scooter).
Does a mobility scooter need a number plate?
Number plates are not a legal requirement for mobility scooters but fun, personalised number plates have definitely grown in popularity over the years! You can design and order a personalised plate online and then attach this to your scooter via a self-adhesive tab. Make sure that the adhesive is nice and strong so that there is no risk of the plate falling off on the move.
Have More Questions?
Although we have covered some of the more common queries about mobility scooters, we appreciate that you may want further advice and guidance. Pro Rider Mobility is proud to be the UK’s favourite mobility scooter supplier, offering a huge variety of premium quality mobility scooters at affordable prices. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly and knowledgeable team who will be happy to answer your questions.