Mobility scooters give seniors a new lease of life. As we get older, we sometimes find ourselves struggling to stay mobile, and get to all the places we’d like to go. This is especially true for seniors who find themselves no longer able to drive.
A mobility scooter is a small motorized vehicle. You sit on it as if you were sitting in a chair, and use the simple handlebar controls to get around. Mobility scooters range in size and spec from tiny foldable travel scooters to heavy-duty vehicles suitable for off-road use.
Different Mobility Scooters For Different Purposes
Our team has been reviewing mobility scooters for some time now. We know how to choose the right mobility scooter, and we’ve seen different models come and go as the mobility scooter world evolves. Choosing the right model can seem daunting as they’re quite pricey, which is why it’s important to know the main options.
- Indoor vs Outdoor. Some scooters are only suitable for use indoors, while others are fine for out of doors too. For homebound seniors or those who have another means to travel outside the home, an indoor-only scooter is fine. If you want to go out of the house, however, you’ll want one designed for that!
- Type of terrain. If you choose an outdoor scooter, you’ll want to check what kind of terrain it can be driven on. Some models are designed for sidewalks only, while others are suitable for use on the road too. Still, others are sturdy enough to use on sand, grass or gravel.
- Portability. Portability options are important! Once you buy a scooter, you’re going to need to get it out of your house and transport it to where you plan to use it, unless you’re driving it from your home (which is an option in some cases, of course.) Some models are a bit big and bulky to easily fit into a car, while others fit comfortably. The smallest models can fold down for ultimate ease of transport.
Common Mistakes When Purchasing A Mobility Scooter
We’ve noticed a few common mistakes that lead to unsatisfactory (and sometimes expensive) purchases. Here are some things to avoid when choosing your portable scooter.
- Choosing a scooter that doesn’t match the terrain you need to use it on. As we said above – terrain matters! If you choose a sidewalk only scooter when you regularly go on forest tracks, that’s a problem.
- Not thinking about how you’ll transport the scooter. Once you’ve got it – you need to transport it! Be sure the one you choose is easy enough for you to transport.
- Not double-checking the range per charge. Running out of battery halfway to your destination is a big no. The range per charge varies from around 6 miles all the way up to 30, depending on the model you choose. Think about where you’ll use it, and make sure the range matches.
- Not paying enough attention to comfort features. It’s easy to get caught up in the price and specs, and forget that this thing has to be comfortable to use, too. Some of the most basic models lack suspension or extras like padded seats, adjustable armrests, or adjustable seatbacks. If those are going to make a big difference to you, be sure to choose a model that has them.
- Not asking about maneuverability. No one wants to get stuck trying to turn their scooter around. Ask about the turning radius before you buy, so you know what kind of clearance your scooter needs when moving it. You can also look for models with one-handed steering to make it even easier to maneuver.
- Forgetting to find out about the warranty. A scooter is an investment – you want to know that if something goes wrong, you can get it fixed. Always check with the seller what kind of warranty they offer, how long it lasts, and what it covers.
What We Look For When Reviewing Mobility Scooters
- A good reputation. We look for models/manufacturers that have decent community reviews and a strong reputation.
- Decent pricing. Small foldable mobility scooters might cost under $1000, while top of the range off-roaders cost $3000 or more. We make sure the scooter has features and specs that justify the price – value for money is important.
- Battery life. Battery life is a key feature when choosing a mobility scooter! When reviewing models we double-check the battery life so readers know what to expect.
- Features and extras. Every scooter model is a little different. Some have batteries that can be charged without removing them from the scooter. Some come with a storage basket to make those shopping trips easier. Others have extra light steering or offer a range of comfort features. Knowing about the features makes it much easier to ascertain whether a scooter has what you need, or not. Or even if it has a bunch of features you don’t need and therefore you can save money by choosing a less fancy model.
- The warranty. Every manufacturer or seller should offer a warranty, in case something goes wrong.
Ready To Look At Some Scooter Reviews?
Whether you or a loved one is looking to get more mobile now, or you know the need is coming up in the future, it’s a good idea to see what options are out there. Check out our reviews popular mobility scooter brands: