Mobility Scooter Buyers Guide: What To Know Before You Buy

Published In Mobility Devices

September 6th, 2015

There are so many scooters out there!

Choosing the right scooter for you or a loved one can be overwhelming, but if you focus on your specific needs, you will narrow down the choices in no time. Below you will find out what you need to know and the questions to ask before you buy.

The standard things to consider when purchasing any scooter include:

  • Comfortable seating (seat choices include seats with extra padding, adjustable up and down for longer/shorter legs, and swivel/lock options as well)
  • Easy assembly (if you are transporting your scooter in another vehicle, will you need a scooter that disassembles and reassembles easily or do you plan to get a lift)
  • Operating range (how many miles the scooter can go before needing a battery recharge – depending on the model, this will be between 7-25 miles)
  • Turning radius (how easy it is to turn around in tight spaces – expressed in inches, look for a range between 30-55)
  • Location of primary use (indoors or outdoors)
  • Size (whether small for indoor use or larger for outdoor use, it is not unusual to have more than one scooter to handle different situations)
  • Weight capacity (how much weight your scooter will need to carry – most will carry between 250-350 lbs)

What are the main types of scooters available and which are the best types for people with differing mobility issues?

There is a wide range of scooters on the market that cater to a wide range of needs. Main types of scooters include:

  • 3 Wheel Indoor/Outdoor Scooters: Mostly for inside use.
  • 3 Wheel Travel Scooters: They are often the least expensive option, but are more suited to travel than everyday use as they tend to lack many features.
  • 3 Wheel Heavy Duty Scooters: Built for larger framed individuals.
  • 4 Wheel Indoor: Good choice for comfort, speed and battery range, but will not maneuver as well indoors as a 3-wheel model.
  • 4 Wheel Travel Scooters: Good for short trips around town. Easy to take apart and put back together.
  • 4 Wheel Heavy Duty Scooters: The largest models of the power scooter, great for outdoors and use on more rugged terrain, like grass.

You also want a good warranty to cover major components of the scooter. Typical scooter warranties will cover the frame, the drive train, electronics and battery. Warranty periods range from 6 months to lifetime. Components that may need regular maintenance or replacement include the battery (expect 300-350 charging cycles before needing replacement), brakes, and tires.

Scooter choices by mobility issues, safety and price.

Scooters prices can range from $800 up to $1500. The most common price point is between $1100-$1300. You can reduce mobility and safety issues by ensuring you choose the correct scooter for your needs. By identifying where and how you will use your scooter, you can then eliminate the scooters that aren’t appropriate and be left with the right choice for you.

Which model 2015 scooters have the best overall features and durability reviews and records?

The following scooters have been reviewed by consumers on the Power Scooter Review and listed as the best of 2015.

Top Ten Reviews awarded the Spitfire Ex (around $1000) their 2015 Gold Award for Excellence when compared to its competitors. Its heavy duty swivel seat can carry weights of up to 300 pounds, it is relatively speedy with a maximum speed of 3 mph, is easy to maneuver, easy to put together, can travel 15 miles before the battery needs recharging and has a lifetime warranty.

Top Ten Reviews rated the Rider Xpress (around $1330) their 2015 Silver Award for Excellence because it is quick, durable and an ideal choice for almost all buyers.

Which model 2015 scooters have the best safety features?

The Shoprider Sunrunner (around $1300) is listed by Top Ten Reviews as one of the safest scooter reviewed by consumers. This scooter has a variety of safety features, including headlights to improve your vision at night and rear-view mirrors for increased visibility.

For slightly less, the Phoenix 4 (around $1100) was also noted by Top Ten Reviews for its high-end safety features. They include an auto-straightening function, a finger pull throttle and tires that work well on almost every surface. The Phoenix 4 scooter surpassed the American National Standards Institute/Rehabilitation Engineering Society of North America (ANSI/RESNA) testing requirements for safety.

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