Do I need insurance for my mobility scooter?
At the moment, you are not legally required to have insurance for driving your scooter on the road. However, it would be a sensible precaution to take out an insurance policy to cover your mobility scooter against accidental damage, theft, and third party liability, in case of damage or injury to someone else or their property.
Where can I go and do I need to register?
You do not need to hold a tax disc or licence for any class of mobility scooter or powered wheelchair, but you may have to register it. Only certain types of mobility scooters can be driven on the road, and these must be registered with the DVLA.
Generally speaking, mobility scooters can be driven on public pathways and pavements and the larger scooters, the ones that go at 8 miles per hour, are legally allowed on the roads. However, experience has taught us that driving your scooter on public roads should be avoided wherever possible.
Do remember though that there are some obligations and restrictions as to where you can use your mobility scooter.
Class 2 Mobility Scooters - These scooters can legally travel up to 6.4kph (4mph) on pavements. They are allowed on the road only when crossing the road, or when there is not a pavement. The Class 2 category includes any 4mph mobility and travel scooters.
Class 3 Mobility Scooters - Class 3 category vehicles tend to be larger than those found in Class 2, and those which can travel up to a speed of 12.8kph (8mph) can legally be driven on the roads, though this is not advisable. Most class 3 mobility scooters have two speed settings, so it is usually possible to drive at 6.4 kph (4mph) and switch to 12.8kph (8mph). Remember, 6.4kph (4mph) is the maximum speed permitted on the pavement or footpath. The top speed of 12.8kph (8mph) is permitted only on the road. You do not require a driving license to use a Class 3 vehicle but you must register it with the DVLA, and you should obey the Highway Code at all times, including complying with relevant eyesight requirements and not driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs etc.
Class 3 vehicles are not allowed on motorways, bicycle tracks or bus/cycle lanes. Although legally allowed on dual carriageways, with a compliant size and flashing beacon, this is not recommended. The law requires all class 3 vehicles to be fitted with: lights, indicators, horn, rearview mirror, rear reflectors and a manual handbrake. A flashing beacon can be used when driving on the road to warn other road users of their presence and must be used if driving on a dual carriageway.
Can I get my mobility scooter into a car?
Most transportable mobility scooters have been designed so they can fit easily into most cars by either folding down or dismantling into easily manageable pieces. You are also able to take apart some of the larger mobility scooter models, however, their component parts will be heavier to lift. Although larger scooters are more comfortable to use, they are less easy to transport.
If you have a people carrier or an estate car you may be able to get your scooter in using ramps. Although this is fairly straightforward, it is important that you select the right scooter and ramp combination. If you don't mind fitting your car with a hook and a pulley lifting system, you have the option of being able to hoist a mobility scooter into your car. Again, it is important that you make sure that the car and scooter are compatible with a hoist system. We are happy to advise you on these types of combinations, so please contact us for more information on 01522 509781.
Choosing a Mobility Scooter - Which one for me?
There is a lot to take into account before buying a mobility scooter and you should take time to consider which type of scooter suits your needs best.
On journeys do you need to take your scooter out in the car with you?
Then a foldable scooter or a model that is easily dismantled and transported should be at the top of your list.
How big are you? What is your body size and weight?
These may be personal questions but, whether you have a big or a small build, you need to choose a scooter model that will best accommodate your size so that you find it comfortable to use.
Will you be mostly travelling on bad, cracked pavements and uneven ground?
Then you will probably require a four-wheeled mobility scooter to provide you with maximum stability.
Not got much space to manoeuvre a scooter in at home or around the shops?
Then you will need a scooter that offers excellent manoeuvrability, such as the three-wheeled models.
What about the access to your property? How wide is it?
You will need to pay attention to the size of the scooter and choose a model that you can get onto your property - it's no good picking a mobility scooter and finding it is too wide to fit through your front gate!
Everyone has different needs and we are more than pleased to give you help and advice on mobility scooters, but we cannot advise in relation to specific cases.
Looking after your Scooter
Fortunately, modern mobility scooters are very reliable but it is a good idea to have an annual service, just to keep it in tip-top condition.
Here are a few other tips to keep your scooter running smoothly:
Get into the routine of charging your batteries when you return from a journey. Not only will this help with the long-term life of your batteries, but it will also reduce the chances of you running out of power and being stranded.
Try to keep it clean and tidy, and if possible, avoid getting it wet. Of course, there will be times when you will get caught out in the rain, so protect your scooter (and yourself!) with rain covers - you will find a range of these in our wet weather wear.
Do not overload your scooter with heavy items. If you carry too much and overload your scooter, it could affect its stability and performance.
Mobility Scooter Maintenance - General
Keep your mobility scooter clean. This will help prevent dirt and grime from getting into any moving parts and causing premature wear. Also, check the scooter's underside every few weeks whilst removing any obstructions you find, including a build-up of dirt around the steering rack and battery terminals. Try to keep your mobility scooter dry. If you get caught out in the rain, wipe down your scooter with a clean cloth, paying particular attention to the seat and upholstery, to help stop any premature corrosion. You can easily protect your scooter from the elements by using a wet weather cover: see a range of these in our wet weather wear.
A sensible battery charging routine will help to ensure a good performance from your scooter and prolong the life of your battery. Always read your user handbook for a guide to battery charging. If possible, store your scooter in a clean and dry environment. Mobility scooters perform much better and run more smoothly if not subjected to extreme temperatures or damp. You can look in our scooter accessories section to find some storage ideas.
Mobility Scooter Battery Care
Keep your batteries fully charged - a fully charged battery runs very efficiently by releasing a small amount of power known as a "trickle charge". Every time you get back from a trip out, put your scooter on charge, even if you only nipped down to the corner shop.
Keep your batteries clean - if you go out in the mud and rain wipe them down with a dry cloth before you put your scooter away, and try to make sure the terminals are greased.
Keep your batteries cool - don't store them near fires or radiators.
Where can I store my Mobility Scooter?
Wherever you store your mobility scooter, it should be in a secure, clean, and dry environment that is protected from damp and extreme temperatures (both hot and cold). Some people store their scooters inside their homes, usually in the kitchen or hallway. Generally speaking, it is better to use an outdoor shed or garage with a power supply so you can charge your scooter after it has been used. If you do not have access to a shed or garage, don't worry, you can keep your mobility scooter under a cover. These are ideal if you only have a limited amount of space and want to keep it close to your home - you will be able to re-charge your scooter using an extension cable - only when it is safe to do so, of course.