A Guide to Mobility Scooters

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by No To the Bike Parking Tax

A Guide to Mobility Scooters

A mobility scooter can be of great benefit to anyone who suffers from arthritis or circulation problems as well as other medical complaints. Mobility scooters are very easy to use, and shouldn’t be daunting. Despite all the various models and types to choose from, they all work in similar ways. The main differences are the number of wheels (three or four), the maximum speed, and the size of the disabled scooter.


Three wheel electric scooters are ideal for using indoors, especially in the home or in a shop, as they have a smaller turning circle than the equivalent four wheel model, which makes them easy to manoeuvre. Four wheel disabled scooters were previously perceived to be more stable but, due to technological advances, there is very little difference in stability between three and four wheel scooters these days. Most mobility scooter manufacturers offer three and four wheel versions of the same model.


What the disabled scooter is going to be used for, and how often it is going to be used, will help to determine which model will be best. For example, somebody purchasing a mobility scooter which will be used daily to replace a car has different needs to someone purchasing a mobility scooter that will be carried in the car and used primarily at weekends for travelling short distances.


Mobility scooter batteries are rechargeable and depending on the model of scooter, and will allow the mobility scooter to travel in excess of 30 miles. The smaller boot scooters have a range of around 10-15 miles depending on the model. The batteries can sometimes be upgraded to provide better performance, or an additional battery pack can be carried on the scooter to effectively double the range of the electric scooter.


Mobility scooters normally require a key to start them and are immobile without the key. This allows the electric scooter can be left outside a shop or house safely and securely, and prevents unauthorised use. Disabled scooters have a freewheel mode, which allows the scooter to be moved, without the scooter being turned on. This makes storing and transporting your electric scooter easier, and can assist when the batteries are charging and it needs moving.


Disabled scooters are steered using the tiller which is similar to a bicycle or motorbike handlebar. The tiller is usually adjustable, depending on the model, and can often be dropped down for transportation. Mobility scooters are driven using the thumb or fingers pushing or pulling a lever. This control is called a “wig wag” and works on the “see saw” principle. If the forward lever is pushed, it is the same as pulling on the reverse lever, and vice versa. Some models are driven by pushing the lever with the thumb, whilst others are driven by pulling the lever with the fingers, like a bicycle brake. A Delta handlebar means that both forward and reverse can be controlled using the same hand. This is fitted as standard on some disabled scooter models and available as an optional extra on others.


The speed of the mobility scooter is determined by the amount of pressure put on the forward / reverse lever. The overall speed of the disabled scooter is governed by the speed dial on the control panel. When getting used to the electric scooter, it may be better to use a lower speed setting. On the road legal mobility scooters, there is usually a switch which lowers the maximum speed from 8mph to 4mph, which then allows the scooter to be used legally on a pavement.


In order to slow down, the user just needs to release the forward or reverse lever which then brings the mobility scooter to a stop. Disabled scooters have regenerative brakes fitted, which mean that the scooter can be left on a slope with out fear of it rolling away. An emergency bicycle style brake is fitted to some models for additional safety and security.


Class 3, 8mph mobility scooters are road legal, and so can travel on the highway. By law, these have to be fitted with full lights and indicators. This type of electric scooter is larger and more luxurious than those designed to be dismantled and transported in a car boot. These disabled scooters are often purchased to replace a car, and so are much more powerful, and more rugged than a boot scooter. These disabled scooters usually have an adjustable and removable seat. The more luxurious seats recline and slide and some even have a headrest, like a car seat. Depending on the model of electric scooter, the seat may be upgraded to a larger, more comfortable more supportive seat.


Boot scooters are very popular and are designed to be transported, and can be taken apart in a matter of seconds. The seat and battery pack are easy to remove, and sometimes the scooter chassis will separate into two parts. Depending on the model of mobility scooter, the components may have handles incorporated into them to make putting them into a car boot even easier. Some models of small disabled scooter separate without the need to disconnect plugs or cables which makes transporting the electric scooter even easier.


These smaller mobility scooters, or boot scooters, are usually less luxurious than the larger electric scooters, and often do not have the same sort of features such as pneumatic tyres, full suspension or a highly adjustable seat. The maximum range that the scooter can travel is usually less, as is the weight capacity. Small mobility scooters


Another option is the pavement mobility scooter, which is a compromise between the boot scooter and the road legal scooter. These models of disabled scooter usually have some of the features of the larger scooters, such as lights and indicators, suspension, and a comfier seat than a boot scooter, but can usually still be dismantled for transportation. Some models have a top speed of 6mph, rather than the usual boot scooter top speed of 4mph.


A mobility scooter can bring back, or help to maintain independence, and allow long and short journeys to be enjoyed in both comfort and style.

For more information about mobility scooters and other mobility aids, please visit