Mobility scooters; some top tips for first time buyers.
If it’s your first time purchasing a mobility scooter for yourself or a loved one, it can be a daunting task. A mobility scooter will likely be a major element in maintaining independence, so it’s essential to make the right choice when buying one. We urge you to purchase a scooter from a showroom. The staff will be experts in mobility, and will know each model for sale in detail. It can be tempting to purchase a cheap scooter online, but you won’t receive the expert advice, peace of mind, and may even end up driving away with an absolute disaster.
Your budget- a good-quality scooter will cost somewhere between a few hundred and a thousand pounds. As tempting as it may be, never purchase a ‘bargain’ scooter from an online site such as EBay; there’s likely to be a reason as to why it’s so cheap.
Your body weight and size- one of the many reasons why it’s best to test drive a scooter before you purchase it. Many smaller, lighter, and more portable options will have a fairly low weight capacity (think 15-20 stone). If you’re too heavy for your scooter, it’s very likely that it will become unstable. It’s also worth bearing in mind that purchasing a scooter with a recommended weight capacity of lower than your actual weight will invalidate the warranty on the scooter.
The types of journeys you’re likely to make- mobility scooters tend to be one of three types; Class 2, Class 3, or a boot scooter. Class 2 scooters are much more suited for shorter journeys, whilst Class 3 scooters are much hardier, and can also be used on the road. Boot scooters are the most portable of the three, and will most likely be fold-able. If you’re only planning on using your scooter for regular, short journeys (visiting the shops, for example), a Class 2 scooter will be the most suitable for you. If you live in a hilly area, or if you plan to make much longer journeys, a Class 3 will suit you best. If you’re being accompanied on a day out by friends or family who drive, a boot scooter may be best.
Storage- portable scooters, and some smaller models, can be dismantled or folded, and will be ideal for those with a smaller living space. However, folding/dismantling the scooter after each use can prove to be inconvenient. Larger scooters will obviously require more room- ensure you have somewhere dry and secure like a garage or shed if you don’t have room in your home. For a much more convenient option, the battery of some scooters can be removed for charging. Don’t forget to take into account the width of the doors in your home or if you need to install ramps anywhere- many larger models may not fit through a regular-sized door when brought inside, and ramps are essential for storing your scooter with as little fuss as possible.
Always try your utmost to give the mobility scooter of your choice a test drive before purchasing, or at least view it in person first- a seemingly-perfect looking scooter could be an absolute nightmare to drive. Wherever you choose to purchase your scooter from, there’ll be a mobility expert on hand. They’ll help you learn how to drive your vehicle, will advise you on any maintenance the scooter may require, and may even accompany you on several trips to ensure that you feel safe and comfortable.
For more information and advice on purchasing your first mobility scooter, don’t hesitate to contact our Discount Mobility team today.