Mobility scooters can be found in many major retail stores, and they help seniors or persons with disabilities or injuries traverse large spaces. But when you need to purchase a power scooter, you’ll find that there are a lot of options.
And these scooters cost $750 – $2,000+ – they’re not cheap.
When purchasing, you’ll need to find a scooter that is:
- Supports enough weight
- Designed for proper usage
Store mobility scooters often have three-wheel designs that make the scooter smaller and lighter. These scooters work well indoors, and the turning radius is much more precise with these three-wheel options.
Four-wheel scooters offer additional stability and are the ideal option for use outdoors.
An added wheel makes the scooter studier and heavier, but it does remove some of the precision cornering that’s offered with a three-wheel model.
Mobility Scooter Classes
Mobility scooters have two main classes:
- Class 2
- Class 3
And these classes dictate where the scooter can be used safely. The classes are very important to know because they dictate:
- Maximum speed
- Age of usage
- Indoor or outdoor use
- Battery life
Class 2 Scooters
Class 2 scooters have a maximum speed of 4 mph, and these scooters are ideal for indoor use, pavements and cross roads. These models are smaller and more compact than a class 3 model, and they can often be folded or disassembled to fit neatly into a car.
The battery life on these models will be shorter than a Class 3 scooter’s battery life.
Class 3 Scooters
Class 3 scooters are larger and more versatile. These models come with better overall driving controls because they can go 4mph on the pavement and up to 8mph on the road. You may have to be 14 years or older to use the scooter, and it’s ideal for outdoor usage.
Large and robust, you will need a lift to place these scooters into a van for transport because they do not fold up.
The tires are thicker and built better than with the Class 2 tires, and the battery life is longer. If you plan on spending a lot of time outdoors, these scooters are ideal because they also have a slew of features, including:
- Hazard lights
- Rear-view mirror
More durable, these scooters can also hold a lot of weight which is a nice added perk for heavier users.
While these scooters can be used on “roads,” they cannot be used on motorways or bicycle tracks. You can use a scooter on a dual carriageway, but you cannot use them in bicycle, cycle or bus lanes.
The main issue with a Class 3 scooter is that they cannot be transported easily. You may be able to bring it outdoors, but when it comes time to travel, you will need a specially equipped van that will allow you to easily place and transport the scooter from one point to the next.
If you’re still unsure if you need to a Class 2 or 3 scooter, your doctor or a physical therapist will be able to help.