The following is designed to assist a potential mobility scooter purchaser, to make the correct choice. Mobility scooters fall into 3 categories, namely, PORTABLES / MICROS, CLASS 2 and CLASS 3. However, we at Mobility Buddy have decided to simplify the category system into a more understandable description, as follows:
A miniaturised mobility scooter designed to be easily disassemble and stowed in most car boots.
Designed for occasional use for trips to supermarket, shopping centres, trips out, holidays etc, with a typical range of 5 – 7 miles. NOTE, most modern portables are approved by airlines and are treated as a mobility aid which normally does not incur excess baggage charges.
Most portables are not suitable for regular day-to-day usage, due to the miniaturisation of key components, such as the transaxle and braking system. The batteries are also a key issue, a typical portable scooter is fitted with 2 x 12 Amph batteries, compared with a pavement scooter which is normally fitted with 2 x 30 Amph or more, which delivers far greater performance and lasts much longer. NOTE, using a portable scooter, as a day to day vehicle, will often result in costly major failure within 18 months.
There are hybrids scooters available, which offer the user the best of both worlds, e.g. the “Pride Colt”, or the “Pride GoGo ET 3 & 4 PLUS”, both of which are designed to disassemble and be used on a more regular basis. NOTE, due to the fact that these type of scooters are designed with more rugged and heavy-duty components the individual component parts tend to be heavier.
(4 mph class 2)
A larger, far more comfortable and rugged scooter than a portable.
Designed for those who need transport on a regular basis from home, for getting to local shops, trips to the doctor, friends, etc, with a typical range of about 15 - 20 miles. These scooters have a maximum speed of 4 mph and are designed for pavement use, although there are models available that can be used on the road as well.
As with all scooters the maximum user weight applies, it is worth purchasing a scooter with a decent actual user weight versus maximum user weight e.g. if user weight is restricted to 18 stone, then a 2 stone margin is preferable i.e. user weight does not exceed 16 stone. This formula will ultimately result in a longer life span of scooter due to less stress on vital components.
(4–6 mph & 4–8 mph class 3)
Altogether larger and faster than the other two categories, often a much longer range and greater user weight models available.
As with the smaller pavement scooters, designed for day to day use from home to local shops etc, but often with the capability of much greater range of about 25 - 30 miles and able to travel both on public footpaths and roads. Most scooters in this category are larger and have far greater comfort with better seats and all round suspension. Scooters in this category are often able to accommodate user weights of up to 35 stone.
It is an offence to travel on a public footpath at more than 4 mph; most scooters in this category have a switch from 4 mph to 6 or 8 mph.