Skip to content

Powered mobility scooter guide

Download the guide >

Before you buy a mobility scooter, consider the points listed below:

  • Consider if you need a road or pavement scooter. 4mph vehicles can only travel on the pavement, while 6mph or 8mph vehicles should only travel on the road. Consider insurance and breakdown membership
  • Consider how far you want to travel, your weight, local gradients, type of surfaces, kerbs, and cold weather can all affect the range of your scooter, so be wary of the range stated on the literature
  • Have you decided if you want a 3 or 4-wheeled scooter? 3 wheels might be more manoeuvrable, but 4 wheels feels more stable, especially on pavements with camber
  • A safe, covered area with level access and power is required for storage and charging; consider how you will achieve this at your home
  • Ask how often and how the battery needs to be charged and consider if you are able to do this yourself. If buying a scooter with a lithium battery, see additional safety guidance from Devon and Somerset Fire & Rescue Service in our Lithium Battery Before You Buy Guide. 
  • When you try a scooter, it should feel safe, sturdy and comfortable. Try for a minimum of 30 minutes before you buy. Try operating the controls and check they are in a comfortable position for you. Get on and off and check there is enough legroom. If you plan on using the scooter for long distances, it will need to be comfortable and durable. Arm support from the armrest is advisable for long distance. For routes with gradient, rough surfaces or grass, good tread in the tyres and some suspension is recommended
  • Foldable and lightweight scooters have a smaller footprint which can make them less stable. Lightweight scooters can also be less stable due to their reduced weight. These factors are worth considering especially with large or heavy users or those navigating rougher terrain or uneven surfaces. 
  • If you want to use a scooter indoors at home or in public buildings or shops, it will need to be compact and manoeuvrable
  • Does it have a starter key? If not, then consider how the scooter can be immobilised if left outside unattended
  • For bad weather you might need to consider a cape or cover
  • If you need to transport the scooter in a vehicle, you might need to fold or take it apart. Try this before you buy. You might need to consider the vehicle size and may need a ramp or lifting device. Even with lightweight scooters, the component parts can still be heavy and may therefore present the user difficulty or risk or injury if lifting the equipment manually
  • Choose a supplier that is easily accessible when you need their assistance for repairs and servicing

Prices in the region of £1,500

Scooter Safety Considerations

  • Ask your GP and optician to confirm you are fit to operate a scooter in a public place
  • Scooters can be dangerous to yourself and others. You must have complete control over the vehicle. Please consider this before you purchase
  • Always read the relevant ‘Before You Buy Leaflet’ before purchase or hire; available from the Independent Living Centre 01392-380181 or see our website
  • ‘Class 2’ scooters for pavement use only have a maximum speed of 4 miles per hour. ‘Class 3’ vehicles have a maximum speed of 8 miles an hour, but 6 miles an hour are available, and are for road use only, unless fitted with a 4 miles an hour speed limiter for pavement travel. If used on the road, ‘Class 3’ vehicles must be licensed for road use (check with the DVLA for regulations)
  • Always choose a reputable dealer with a local contact for repairs and emergency call out; Call ILC for retailers in your area
  • Always follow manufacturers operating and safety instructions
  • Always check vehicle is switched off before transferring on or off
  • Always check the wheels are engaged and not in ‘freewheel’ before getting onto a scooter
  • Ensure that your seat and armrests are locked in position before starting the scooter
  • Always remember the scooter is a substitute for walking not driving, so keep at a walking pace
  • Until confident, always take an escort on journeys
  • Always plan your route in advance to ensure safe level paths and level crossing places with good visibility
  • Never carry passengers or pets
  • Insurance is recommended against breakdown, loss, theft, or damage to yourself or third party