As a means of transportation for those incapable of walking, a mobility scooter is one of the most important inventions of all time. It’s a powered wheelchair that provides people with certain medical conditions the opportunity to move freely, as well as other benefits.
Over the years, mobility scooters have gained a lot of popularity, especially in the UK. As a result, you can now find different models of mobility scooters. To find out which model or type is perfect for you, here’s a list of the nine most important things to consider while buying a mobility scooter.
#1 Why not rent it
Buying vs. renting a mobility scooter is a debate that people have all the time. Most people prefer renting over buying for many reasons. For starters, many people don’t use mobility scooters that often. They only use them once in a while, and hence, they prefer a rental scooter over buying a new one.
Besides, renting a mobility scooter is much cheaper and can save you quite a bit of money. Thus, if you’re not going to use it every day, you might as well rent the scooter.
If you’re still not convinced, visit here to get a more in-depth analysis of whether to buy or rent a mobility scooter.
#2 Picking the size
To have a comfortable ride on your scooter, you need to buy the one that fits your measurements perfectly. While getting a mobility scooter, you need to check the seat height, width, and depth. You also need to look at its manual to see the maximum weight capacity. Based on these factors, you have to pick a scooter that can accommodate your body perfectly.
#3 Checking the range
There are three types of mobility scooters. First, there’s the lightweight one, which has a compact size and shorter battery life. Thus, it’s good for short distances only. Medium-sized scooters have a much longer battery life and can cover more distance. Finally, there’s the heavy-duty one. It has the longest battery life of the three and can cover even more distance than the medium-sized ones.
If you’re going to use the scooter for regular movement, the medium-sized one is the best option. However, if you’re more into off-roading or traveling long distances, the heavy-duty scooter is the one to go with.
#4 Controls should be easy to use
A common complaint that a lot of mobility scooter users have is that the controls are a bit difficult to handle. It could be the case for you as well if you’re a new user. However, even for experienced riders, the controls can be a bit tricky to deal with. Hence, before you buy the scooter, check whether or not you’re comfortable with its controls.
The controls should, first of all, be easy to reach. You shouldn’t have to lean forward by much to access them. They should also be easy to understand and get accustomed to.
Off-road scooters might have a few different driving modes or settings for you to try out. In that case (if you end up buying a heavy-duty mobility scooter), you should read the manual properly before you take it out on the roads. If possible, the dealership or seller should help you get adjusted to the scooter and give you a few quick lessons on how to drive it.
#5 Moving the scooter around
If you move around from place to place and want to carry the scooter with you, you should opt for the lightweight one. It has a compact size and can easily fit into the trunk of your car (after being dismantled). Besides, you can also move them around on any bus or train that’s wheelchair accessible.
If you buy an off-road or heavy-duty mobility scooter, you’re going to have to carry it around on a pickup truck. These scooters are a bit heavier. And unlike the lightweight ones, you can’t dismantle them that easily.
#6 The ride should be comfortable
Assuming that you’ve picked the right seat measurements for your scooter, the ride should feel comfortable. Yet, if this isn’t the case, you can try increasing the comfort on your scooter by adding a small cushion over the seat. If you’re still uncomfortable, you should move on to another scooter.
#7 Type of terrain you’ll use the scooter on
If you’re going to use the mobility scooter on regular streets or roads, a normal scooter will be more than enough. You don’t need any modification job done to it. However, if you want to go off-roading, you’d be better off with an off-road mobility scooter. These scooters can provide you with the additional power needed to go over rough terrains or steep slopes. They can also be driven in muddy conditions.
If you’re buying a mobility scooter and plan on using it for a long time, you have to maintain it properly. Hence, when you’re making the purchase, make sure the scooter is easy to clean and maintain.
As a mode of transportation, you’re going to have to take care of your scooter as you would for a normal car or bike. From cleaning it regularly to making sure that its mechanics are working fine, you’re going to have to spend quite some time on its maintenance. Thus, while selecting a scooter for you, go for one that’s easy to maintain. Its battery should be easy to charge and replace, the seating position should be easily adjustable, and cleaning should be as simple as spraying water directly onto the scooter.
#9 Going for a test drive
Once you’ve understood the features of the mobility scooter and are satisfied with what it has to offer, you’re almost good to go. There’s just one last thing you need to do; go for a test drive. Take the scooter out for a quick run (if you’re allowed to do so) and see how it feels. You’re going to be using it for a while, and hence, it’s important that you feel comfortable riding it.
That’s all you need to know before you go out to buy a mobility scooter. And while it might seem unnecessary at first, considering these points will help you get adjusted to your scooter a lot faster, and will also allow you to get the most out of the vehicle.