Learn More about Mobility Scooters
Skooterama Scooter Buying Guide
Selecting a mobility scooter can be a daunting task. Skooterama is here to help and guide through that process. We want you to select the mobility scooter that suits you and your needs perfectly! In this article, we will get you up to speed (pun intended) as efficiently as possible. There will be links throughout should you want to dive into a subtopic in more depth. Let’s jump right in!
- Will you be using it indoors, outdoors, or both?
- What type of terrain will you be traversing? Carpet, pavement, turf, sand, gravel, or hills?
- What weight capacity will you need?
- Will you need it to be transportable? In the rear of your car, or on an airplane?
- How many hours per day and distance do you need to use it typically?
- How much do you want to spend?
Define Mobility Scooter
A mobility scooter is a battery powered electric vehicle intended usually for an individual (sometimes 2 or more) with mobility limitations (or just for fun!) with a broad array of sizes, styles, engineering, and applications.
Types of Mobility Scooters
Transportable & Travel Scooters: These either fold or dismantle; they are usually very lightweight, compact, easy for an individual to manage, and great for traveling. Some are designed to quickly and easily break down into a few lighter-weight components that are easy to manage and fit into an automobile.
3-Wheeled Mobility Scooters: They have a tighter turning radius that makes them ideal for use in home, workplace, or area with restricted space (like a restaurant or department store).
4-Wheeled Mobility Scooters: With their broader wheelbase they do not usually have as tight a turning radius as a 3-wheeled scooter but are typically very durable, roomier, and excellent for rougher surfaces. Some Mobility Scooters are designed specifically for rough outdoor terrain and are equipped with larger tires, motors, and batteries. Generally, a 4-wheeled Mobility Scooter offers more comfort and stability.
5-Wheel Mobility Scooters: A relatively new innovation in this industry, the unique 5-wheel stability system enjoyed by Quingo scooters retains the maneuverability, superior driving position and posture benefits of a 3-wheel mobility scooter while implementing the stability and safer cornering characteristics of a 4-wheel scooter.
Full Size & Heavy Duty Mobility Scooters: These scooters have a greater weight capacity, broader chassis, larger tires, motor and battery. They are designed for those with a larger frame and rugged outdoor activity.
All Terrain Mobility Scooters: These scooters are powerful, rugged, and equipped with all the best safety features. They are all about performance. They have upgraded suspension systems to handle rough terrain well, a longer driving range on a single battery charge, and upgraded captains’ seats to handle the full day of activity.
Mobility Scooter Classes
With the duty of protecting the public health, safety and security, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) endorse a classification system for medical devices that includes Mobility Scooters and Powered Wheelchairs. This becomes especially important if you intend to drive the scooter on sidewalks and/or streets.
You may see this classification in some of the descriptions.
Class 1 Mobility Devices: these are manually operated vehicles that must be pushed. They can be used on footpaths and paved sidewalks, but not in the street. They tend to be lightweight, foldable, or dismantlable, and easy to transport.
Class 2 Mobility Devices: These are powered devices that are allowed to drive on a sidewalk but not to exceed 4 mph. You can cross the street in a crosswalk, but you cannot drive IN the street – EXCEPT – where there is no sidewalk.
Class 3 Mobility Devices: Are Powered vehicles that are allowed to be driven on the street - AS LONG AS – they have fully functioning head & taillights, turn signals, horn, rearview mirrors, and emergency hand brake. You must obey all traffic laws as though you were in a traditional automobile.
Other Details to Consider
Weight capacity – Select a scooter that has a weight capacity that is about 50 pounds more than you weigh so that the vehicle is not always operating at it’s maximum load and straining the motor and draining the battery sooner.
Seat size & adjustability – Comfort is key! – Some seats swivel for easy in and out – some have adjustable height and forward/backward positions.
Armrest size & adjustability – Some find armrests unnecessary – others need them and need them adjustable.
Turning radius – A tighter turning radius will be a great advantage if the intended use is mostly indoors.
Incline capacity – This becomes a crucial factor if you intend to use it on hills, a steep driveway, or similar.
Overall size & weight of scooter – If you plan to transport the scooter to and from in another vehicle, it should be manageable for you - either with help or by oneself. Some models fold up like carry-on luggage - complete with pull handle. Some easily disassemble into smaller components making them easily transportable. Some even load themselves into the back of a car!
Throttle system – A 'Delta Tiller' has a curved instead of straight handlebar that provides greater flexibility in arm, wrist, and hand position. It also has a push/pull lever on each side (for acceleration & brakes). This is preferred by those with limited dexterity or strength. The ‘T-Bar’ design works very well for most users. Acceleration and braking is accomplished with a twisting motion on the handlebar system, much like a motorcycle.
Tiller Adjustability – Although Mobility Scooters designs are carefully calculated for the greatest performance and comfort, not all human bodies are the same. Some Mobility Scooters have a tiller that can be moved towards you (for those that have shorter arms) or away from you (for those that require more knee room).
Maximum travel distance – This is the maximum distance the scooter can travel on a full battery charge. This distance can be affected by weight, terrain, even outdoor temperature. Your daily needs will influence this decision.
Tires: Solid or Pneumatic – Pneumatic (or air-filled) tires are more efficient, provide a smoother ride and better traction. However, they are NOT maintenance free. Solid tires are ZERO maintenance because they won’t get a flat, however, they won’t necessarily last longer. Which is better for you will completely depend on the intended use and terrain.
Battery charge time – On average, a Mobility Scooter battery will charge in 6-8 hours – or – while you sleep. This time is affected by the age of the battery, the condition of the charger and power source.
Options, Upgrades, & Accessories
So many choices! There is a wide variety of options, upgrades, and accessories available for mobility scooters that will contribute to your comfort and safety. Everything from a cup holder to a full hard shell canopy! We will cover the main categories here but we encourage you to give them a look when ordering your scooter. Many are model specific.
- Cup and phone holders
- Cane, walker, crutches, and oxygen tank holders
- Golf club holders
- Waterproof covers
- Seat belts
- Seat upgrades; wider or more cushioned
- Additional mirrors, lighting packages
- Alternate handlebars
- Alternate seats; wider or more cushioned
- Baskets and zippered pouches and saddlebags
- Locked compartments
- Clip-on fans
- Canopies open sided
- Canopies closed sided
- Rain flaps for open sided canopies
- Extra batteries
Staying climate comfortable (canopies, rain and sun shields), staying organized, not losing the essentials (wallet, phone, medical supplies, keys, water, to name a few), and keeping them in place so as not to interfere with operating your scooter, is going to enhance your scooter experience and your safety!
Here at Skooterama, we only represent the most established and trusted companies in the industry. These companies make the highest quality products, offer the best warranties, and support that warranty! But it is important to understand that even the best vehicle can experience problems and having a warranty is place will provide peace of mind, knowing any issues will be addressed promptly.
Every product on this site has a factory warranty document available for your perusal. We encourage you to give it a read.
We also offer an accidental protection plan for purchase. The link is on every page under the price.
Ready to Shop!
We hope this guide has helped you to not only define your needs, but to get excited about your future independence using a Mobility Scooter! Every product listing is jam packed with information.
Options to help you further!
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