How to Choose a Mobility Scooter? 7 Things to Consider

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If you’re considering a mobility scooter to help if you have limited mobility or are just a must for your day-to-day activities, it’s important to choose the right one for your needs.

There are a few factors you’ll need to take into account, such as the types of mobility scooters for your needs or how often you’ll be using them.

In this article, we’ll outline the key things on how to choose a mobility scooter. So read on to find out more!

ALSO CHECK: Red Elephant Mobility Scooter Review

Things To Consider When Choosing a Mobility Scooter

Choosing a mobility scooter might be a difficult task at first, especially when there are so many plenty of options, especially for the basic models. When deciding which option to choose, this handy guide is a great place to start.

1. Before You Buy, Be Sure You Ask the Correct Questions!

Before you buy, find out how much extra costs will be, including buying batteries and repairing your scooter. Before purchasing a mobility scooter, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is there anything else I’ll need to buy, or does it come with everything I’ll need? Do you need a rechargeable battery? Which type of battery do you even need? How long will it take for my order to arrive?
  • Will the scooter come fully completed or will I have to build it myself?
  • Will it include instructions on how to operate and maintain the scooter? Is there a warranty and after-sales service included with the scooter?
  • Are spare parts for the model I’m considering available, and if so, how easy are they to obtain?

2. What Scooter Do You Require?

There are a lot of types of mobility scooters on the market now that you should have no trouble finding one that suits your needs. There are:

Travel Scooters

The smallest and lightest mobility scooter on the market, allows customers to effortlessly dismantle, store, and transport them in their vehicles. It is one of the many benefits of mobility scooters.

A smiling elderly on a red scooter

These scooters are ideal for people looking for a portable mode of transportation on their trips.

Medical Scooters

A smiling elderly man riding a red and black scooter

The medical scooter is a high-quality, multi-featured mobility device that gives even people with limited mobility the flexibility and independence to travel around without assistance [1].

Electric Mobility Scooters (electric scooters)

Electric mobility scooters are mobility aids that are comparable to wheelchairs but have a motor-scooter configuration.

Mobility scooters are sometimes known as electric scooters or power-operated vehicles/scooters [2].

Portable Mobility Scooters

Consumers who enjoy traveling and leading an active lifestyle would benefit from portable mobility scooters [3].

A foldable mobility scooter is usually small and light enough to fit in the trunk of the car or an SUV, it might also be the lightest weight mobility scooter and they are built for convenient storage.

An elderly lady in glasses riding a black mobility scooter

But before you go ahead and choose one for yourself, you must first ask this question for yourself:

What do you intend to use it for?

Do you need only a small scooter to move about your house or a shopping mall? Do you need it for a  mobility aid? Or would you prefer to have something to ride on to get it to the mall or to a friend’s house?

Or perhaps you require something more durable that you can use more like a car for travels to more distant locations?

Don’t forget to factor in your geographic location. What kind of terrain do you have in your neighborhood, is it rough terrain or outdoor terrain?

While a smaller scooter can negotiate level paths, you’ll need something with more power and larger wheels if you’re in an area with uneven ground.

Dr. Lee Kirby, a wheelchair maintenance expert advises to also consider your physical appearance. The seat and foot space of a smaller scooter are both smaller.

If you have a larger body frame, you will certainly require a larger item to feel more comfortable [4].

Read our list of the best outdoor mobility scooters!

3. The Right Fit

Ensure that you can sit comfortably and freely on the mobility scooter by measuring the seat height and if it has adjustable seats.

You don’t want to seat on medical scooters for an extended period of time with few mobility options.

Your knees must be bent at a 90-degree angle and your feet should be flat on the footrest. You must also be able to comfortably reach the tiller (more to this later) without bending your back.

Check the scooter’s listed weight capacity to make sure it can hold your weight and the objects you intend to transport.

The easiest approach to figure out which models of mobility scooters are perfect for you is to consult with a professional and test drive a few different models at a local dealer [5].

4. Maximum Weight Capacity 

It is critical to select a scooter that is appropriate for your weight and build, as this might have an impact on stability, particularly when turning.

Consider the weight of any objects that will be carried, are you going to carry the heaviest piece of equipment such as oxygen tanks, grocery bags, golf clubs, or pets, in addition to the rider’s weight.

Consider getting wheel mobility scooters in the next capacity range if you’re close to the weight limit, as people tend to gain weight once they stop walking and start riding.

Be truthful! In a range of mobility scooters, transporting too much weight will violate the guarantee and reduce performance, battery life, and might result in a tight turning radius for the scooter users.

Consider your other physical characteristics as well. You may feel uneasy if you are petite but ride larger scooters. You need a lot of ample space and legroom if you’re tall.

5. 3-wheel and 4-wheel Scooter

Another factor to think about when selecting a mobility scooter is the number of wheels you need.

Scooters are commonly designed with three or four wheels, and each alternative has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Four-wheel Scooters

  • The front and rear wheels offer excellent stability, making them ideal scooters for persons with balance issues.
  • 4 wheel models allow greater speeds and it’s safer.
  • 4 wheel scooters are ideal for rough terrain models. Four-wheeled scooters are more stable.

Check out this video of a 4-wheel scooter.

@sammotorbikes #4wheel #4wheelscooter #mobilityscooter #leisurescooter #electricmobilityscooter #4wheelmobilityscooter #2022electricscooter #3wheel #3wheelscooter ♬ original sound – Chinaelectricbikes

Three-wheel Scooters

  • A 3 wheel scooter has a tighter turning radius, which allows for the most accessibility options.
  • The 3 wheel option is easier to maneuver.
  • It’s suitable for usage both indoors and on flat, paved surfaces.
  • More legroom, which is beneficial to those who are taller or have poor knees.

To give you a better understanding, below I share with you a video that differentiates 3 wheel and 4 wheel electric scooters

6. The Controls You Need

Okay, for this one, first I want to ask you a question- do you know how to use a regular tiller?

To use a normal T-shaped tiller, you must be able to hold this with both hands and have the manual dexterity to regulate the speed and other features (such as turn signals).

To move forward and backward on most scooters, continual pressure is required; withdrawing pressure from the throttle lever engages the brakes.

For persons who lack manual dexterity and hand strength, delta tillers are an option. The delta tillers can be operated with either hand.

 Here’s how both of them works:

7. Price: Should I Buy a New One or a Second Hand? 

If you only need a full-sized scooter for a short length of time, are testing it out to see how it works, or are on a tight budget, a used scooter may be a good option.

Before selecting a second hand of any types of scooters I listed above, I recommend that you think about all of the above considerations and learn about your possibilities.

You should ask a lot of questions regarding previous usage and the condition of electric wheelchairs you want to buy, just like you would when buying a car.

Red mobility scooter under title HOW TO CHOOSE A MOBILITY SCOOTER

Scooters can be rather costly, and some are covered in part or entirely by insurance.

However, before allowing it to influence your decision, read the fine print, talk with an experienced professional, and know fully what you are eligible to.

Here’s a list of the lightest mobility scooters.

FAQs

What is the safest mobility scooter?

All scooters in the mobility scooter industry have the potential to be safe, but comparing the 3-wheel and 4-wheel scooter, four-wheel models offer more stability and are less prone to tipping.

Can I take my mobility scooter on an airplane?

There is no definitive answer as each airline has its own policies in regards to what types of mobility devices are allowed on board. It is best to contact the airline prior to travel to ensure your scooter will be accepted. 

What type of terrain can my mobility scooter travel on?

a side view of an elderly woman riding a mobility scooter

Most mobility scooters are designed for use on paved surfaces; however, there are some models that can be used on rougher terrain.

Can I take my mobility scooter on the bus or train?

Again, there is no definitive answer as each public transportation system has its own policies in regards to what types of mobility devices are allowed. It is best to contact the transportation system prior to travel to ensure your scooter will be accepted.

Conclusion

 Scooters can be costly, but there are many options available for those who are looking to purchase or rent one. Always ask a lot of questions and be sure to read the fine print before making a decision.

Now that you have read this guide, you should have a good understanding of the different types of scooters available and what to look for when purchasing or renting one.

Remember, it is important to consider all of your needs and ask a lot of questions prior to making a decision.

I hope this article has helped provide some clarity and answer any questions you may have had. Thank you for reading!

2 smiling elderly ladies anda mobility scooter under title HOW TO CHOOSE A MOBILITY SCOOTER

References

1. Medical Scooters | Power Scooter for Adults | AvaCare Medical. www.avacaremedical.com. Accessed March 23, 2022. https://www.avacaremedical.com/wheelchairs/scooters#more

2. What is an electric mobility scooter? – SmartScootTM Mobility Scooter. SmartScoot TM Mobility Scooter. Published February 1, 2019. Accessed March 23, 2022. https://www.smartscoot.com/what-is-an-electric-mobility-scooter/

3. Top 7 Best Folding Mobility Scooters. Best Power Wheelchair. Accessed March 23, 2022. https://bestpowerwheelchair.com/pages/top-7-best-folding-mobility-scooters#:~:text=Folding%20mobility%20scooters%20are%20an

4. www.upmc-sci.pitt.edu. http://www.upmc-sci.pitt.edu/wmtp-materials/Clinicians%20reference%20manual_05172016.pdf

5. A Guide to the Best Electric Scooters for Heavy Adults (250 lb+). Raine Electric Scooters. Accessed March 23, 2022. https://raine.co/blogs/news/electric-scooter-for-heavy-adults

About Liliane

Lilian Wamaitha is a passionate writer and avid cyclist with over 4 years of experience in blogging. As a lifelong learner, she is driven by her curiosity to discover and learn new things. This curiosity and passion eventually sparked a love for the senior writing niche. She has written countless articles to help seniors find their footing in this world through healthy and holistic living. She’s passionate about seeing the seniors in society live a more fulfilling life to the end. Follow her on LINKEDIN. Read her LATEST POSTS. Learn more about her HERE.

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