Owning a mobility scooter is a fantastic way to maintain one’s independence and mental well-being when faced with a situation that would otherwise take it away. For those who are getting on into their senior years, it can be difficult to be stuck in one’s home all day long while the sun is shining and people are out and about. Despite the common misconception that only the elderly use the best mobility scooters on the market, there are plenty of physical and mental benefits that an elderly person can take advantage of if they have one of these scooters available to them. Not only will they be able to get outside and enjoy being around others, but they can maintain daily interests like going to the park, buying groceries, or taking their dog out for a walk. Those who are older who have become disabled either because of an injury or recent surgery may also benefit mentally as a scooter will provide them the freedom to still enjoy life outside of the home and away from the confines of their condition.
What is a Mobility Scooter?
A mobility scooter is a mobility aid that increases one’s accessibility to the world. It is very similar to what a wheelchair is, except it is motorized either by batteries or through electricity. Unlike a wheelchair which has four wheels, a mobility scooter can have three, four, or five wheels, either a prone or swivel seat, and either handlebars in the front or a basket. It comes with forward and reverse directions as well as speed controls and a steering column. It may also come with lighting controls if the scooter is a model that is intended to be used in lower-light conditions. Now there are indoor and outdoor models available, with indoor models usually having a lower weight capacity as they are often front-wheel drive only. You can find manual scooters, travel scooters, foldable scooters, large ones, mid-range ones, and slow ones.
How Are Mobility Scooters Powered?
Mobility scooters use a combination of an electric motor and batteries. For scooters that have an electric motor, it will either be a twelve or twenty-four volt which will be rated out on Watts per thirty minutes. Essentially, the more watts that the motor pulls or uses, the more power it needs which thereby shortens how far it can travel.
For mobility scooters that come with batteries, these are often two, twelve volt batteries that are usually a dry cell variant, which is why you will see Sealed Lead Acid, Gel Acid, or Lithium-ion as the battery type. Battery powered scooters will be rated in Amp Hours, meaning how many hours the battery will run for while one amp is being drawn. The higher the amp hour rating, the longer the scooter will run for. Now for both of these types of scooters, keep in mind that the weather conditions, load weight, and battery charge will all have an effect on how efficiently the scooter will run and therefore how far it will run before running out of power.
What to Consider When Buying a Mobility Scooter?
In order to help you make the best decision when considering a mobility scooter, you have to take a look at the main features that each type of model offers. Here is what you should be focusing on when looking at the various models:
• Maneuverability: there are two factors that you will need to take a look at when seeing how well the scooter can move around in open and closed spaces. The first factor is the size of the scooter and the second factor is how many wheels it has. A smaller sized scooter will be able to get around tighter corners easier and traverse tighter spaces with ease because the wheelbase is also much smaller. A three-wheeled mobility scooter will have a much tighter turning radius than say a four or five-wheeled scooter.
• Max Speed: since all scooters come with variable speed options, the max speed is something that the user can actually set. However, keep in mind that larger scooters will have a higher speed max, so if you require long rides then you will want a larger scooter.
• Battery Life: there are two reasons why you need to consider this. The first is the travel-range and consequentially a longer battery life. Keep in mind that a longer travel-range will mean a larger battery, which means a heavier battery. If you are going to be transporting your scooter often, you may want to go with a smaller battery and pick up a second battery option so you can swap them in and out when one needs to be charged. Keep in mind too that the type of battery will determine its overall “health” with lithium-ion batters being the most expensive but also the most durable and long-lasting.
• Warranty Options: you are going to want a scooter that comes with a warranty, whether that be for parts and labor or just the replacement parts. Scooters don’t tend to be very expensive to fix but a warranty is still an excellent option to get behind. If the scooter you are considering doesn’t come with a warranty, it means that the company or manufacturer doesn’t stand behind the product and thus it isn’t a good buy.
• Portability: if you plan on doing a lot of traveling by car, plane, or bus, then you are going to want the best mobility scooter to have portability built-in. This means that you may want to go with one that folds down.
• Comfort: this is pretty self-explanatory. If you are going to be sitting on your scooter for long periods of time, you may want to go with a softer seat so that you are comfortable for longer. You may also want to go with a scooter that has bigger footrests or a control bank that is farther away from your arms. Consider whether you want your seat to swivel or to be firm.
• Cost: depending on how expensive the cost is, the scooter might come with more features. So just be aware when you go to compare scooters, as the pricing will make a huge difference based on what you are looking for.
So now that we’ve gone over the basics of what a mobility scooter is and how they work, let’s take a look at some of the best mobility scooters on the UK market.
The Best Value For Money
For those on a budget and looking for a cheap mobility scooter.
Elite Care ST1 travel mobility scooter
The Elite Care Boot Scooter: is a comfortable and lightweight option for those who want a scooter that splits up easily for travel purposes or easy storage. It comes with a maximum range of six miles on one full battery charge and can go a top speed of four miles per hour. Both the seat, handlebars, and armrests are all adjustable in terms of width and height, and the seat rotates a full 360 degrees for easy on and off transfers. It has plug and wire-free connections, so you can dismantle it without worrying about pulling the connections apart or damaging them, and the front basket and seat are removable. It also comes with reflectors, illuminated controls, grey puncture proof tires, a horn, and an anti-rollback system so that it will not roll down hills when parked. It comes in two colors, ruby red and sapphire blue and has on and off-board charging. The weight capacity is 115kg or 253 pounds.
Pride Go Go Elite Traveller Portable Mobility Scooter
The Pride Go Go Elite Mobility Scooter is an excellent option for those who want a scooter that disassembles into five lightweight pieces. The scooter comes with an auto-latching lock-up system which makes the frame come apart and snap back together very easily. It has an auto connecting front to rear end cable, so no connecting worries there when assembling and disassembling. The modular design makes it very easy to service if you need any repairs done to the body. It has a maximum speed of four miles per hour and up to thirteen miles on the eighteen amp battery. The battery can be charged either on board or off board, the seat can be folded down, and the front mounted basket can be easily stored when travelling. It comes in red, blue or silver with a weight capacity of 147kg or 324 pounds.
BetterLife Style+ Mobility Scooter
The BetterLife Style+ – 4mph Portable Travel Car Boot Scooter: the Style+ comes with a deluxe cushioned seat and can be dismantled into five pieces so that it fits into the back of a car. It comes with a 360-degree swivel seat, off-board in-house charging, electromagnetic braking system, and delta style handlebars for easy control. The max travel speed is four miles per hour, with ten miles being the maximum range on one full battery charge. The tiller is adjustable, the armrest width is adjustable, and the height of the seat is adjustable. The tires are black and come as puncture proof and are anti-tip. The weight capacity is 130kg or 286 pounds.
Premium Options At a Higher Price
For those looking for a higher spec, more premium mobility scooter.
Drive Medical Envoy 8 Plus, Class 3 Mobility Scooter
The Drive Medical Envoy 8 Plus offers users a huge thirty-mile drive range. It comes with an all-around suspension, black pneumatic tires, and delta handlebars for easy control. The top speed of this mode is eight-miles per hour as it comes with a powerful five hundred watt battery at fifty amps per hour or two twelve volt batteries. It comes with a secondary cable brake, fully functioning indicators and mirrors, as well as, a one touch tiller adjustment. The seat is a full sport rider style, so it supports the arms, back, and head.
BetterLife Heavy Duty Shoprider Cadiz 8mph Mobility Scooter
The BetterLife Heavy Duty Shoprider Cadiz Mobility Scooter comes with a full suspension, thirteen-inch pneumatic tires, and a modern and stylish design. The eat can be adjusted in the forward, backward and height positions and it comes with a delta tiller, making for easy control/ It also comes with hazard flashers, a horn, and front and rear lights. There are two-speed controls, with the max speed being eight miles per hour and a range of twenty miles.
Drive Medical Royale 4 Class 3 Deluxe Mobility Scooter
The Drive Medical Royale 4 Class 3 Deluxe Mobility Scooter comes with an all-around suspension, a digital dash with a delta handlebar style, a sliding and rotating seat as well as automatic braking. It comes with an impressive thirty-two-mile range, large sixteen-inch diameter wheels, and is available in black, white, and red. It has a top speed of eight-miles per hour and is considered one of more the luxurious models on the market.
TGA Mobility Vita X Deluxe 4 All Terrain Class 3 Mobility Scooter
The TGA Mobility Vita X Deluxe 4 Class 3 comes with an innovative design in that it has a rear mono-shock absorber and all around suspension. The wheels are pneumatic but they are low-profile and come in with a 5-spoke alloy design. The seat is fully adjustable, is contoured, and will rotate. The LED lights have dark smoked covers over them, giving them a striking appearance on the road. The display is digital and is able to show off the speed, time, and temperature as well as how far you have travelled and what the batter condition is. The display will be illuminated in low-light conditions. It comes with delta handlebars, twin rearview mirrors, twin cup holders, and a high-level charge socket. The driving range is twenty miles and the weight capacity is 158kg or 348 pounds.
If you are looking for something more practical and perhaps a mobility scooter that you can fit in the back of a car or one that can be stored away then have a look at the list below of the best foldable mobility scooters.
Ability Superstore Lightweight Curlew Automatic Folding Mobility Scooter
The Ability Superstore Lightweight Curlew Automatic Folding Mobility Scooter is an ultra-light, automatic folding scooter that folds down with a touch of a button. It comes with eight-inch silver alloy wheels, puncture proof tires, and has an excellent turning radio of 780mm. It comes with a lithium-ion battery, making it air travel-friendly and comes with a top speed of four miles per hour. The maximum range is six miles and it is available in copper, red, or purple. The wheels are anti-tip and it comes with an anti-rollback system to stop it from rolling backward on inclines. It even comes with a travel bag!
Genie+ Electric Folding Mobility Scooter
The Genie+ Electric Folding Mobility Scooter comes with electromagnetic brakes and an automatic folding system which can be switched on with the rear placed button or through a remote control. It comes with six-inch front tires and seven inch rear tires which are puncture proof. The maximum travel range is nine miles and has a maximum speed of four miles per hour. The maximum weight capacity is 135kg or 300 pounds.
TGA Mobility Minimo Folding Portable Mobility Scooter
The TGA Mobility Minimo comes with an adjustable tiller, standard armrests that fold, puncture proof tires, and a lightweight but strong aluminium frame. The tires come with a safety sensor on them to help control speeds when going around corners, and it comes with a lithium-ion battery that keeps the weight of the scooter down. It can be folded down with one simple movement and none of the parts need to be removed during transportation, making it a user-friendly favorite. The range is approximately ten miles and the maximum weight capacity is 115kg or 250 pounds.
The main thing to keep in mind when selecting from one the best mobility scooters in the UK is how far you want to travel with it and if you require it to be car and airplane ready. Make sure that when you are going over which scooter to buy, that you look at the type of battery it has and how much the scooter weighs overall as this will be a huge factor in whether you will want to buy it. If you can’t put it together because it is too heavy or take it apart when you want to travel, then you need to select a lighter model. Also, check out the various features, typically you will want one that is adjustable in the seat, handlebars, and tiller areas as these will ensure that you have a comfortable ride.