Buying a mobility scooter is a bit like buying a car - there are many makes and models available to choose from. Doing a bit of research beforehand can help you choose the right mobility equipment for your needs.
Scootaround recommends reviewing the following factors before making any purchase:
Weight - When buying a mobility scooter, your weight is the most important consideration. Simply put, you will want to buy a piece of equipment that is capable of handling how much you weigh, whatever that may be.
Most models of scooters on the market today are built to accommodate those who weigh up to 350 pounds. For those who run over this weight, there are still a number of models available for purchase.
On top of your own body weight, you should also consider whether any other objects (such as an oxygen tank) will regularly be on the scooter, as that will add to the weight the scooter has to transport.
Durability - According to the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), eighty percent of scooter buyers purchase a “traditional” 3-wheel model scooter (click here for more information). This type of model is best served for riding on flat terrain, such as concrete or indoor settings. Most three-wheel scooter models can be purchased in the following styles; standard or transportable, compact, midsize and rugged.
If you plan on repeatedly using your scooter on rougher, more uneven terrain (such as farmland or gravel), you will probably want to purchase a more durable 4-wheel scooter (click here for more information). Be advised that 4-wheel scooters can be bulkier, heavier and more expensive.
Size and Dimension - Make sure to review the dimensions and specifics of any scooter you plan on purchasing. Each scooter model is different and, based on your environment, its size is going to be important.
If you plan on using your scooter primarily indoors (inside your house or apartment, for example) and you need to navigate around corners and through hallways, then a smaller, more compact model of scooter would make for a better choice.
The dimensions of your scooter are also important when considering transportation. How you plan on transporting the scooter (by car or bus, for example) should determine the overall size of the piece of equipment you plan on buying.
Comfort - An often overlooked factor when purchasing a scooter is general comfort, namely how you feel when driving the scooter. Make sure your mobility scooter is comfortable.
Most scooters on the market today come equipped with a standard, industry regulated foam seat. This can be altered though to accommodate the buyer’s preferences. For example, if you plan on remaining in your seat for most of the day, you may consider a seat with added foam.
Height is also an important factor to consider. If you are tall, you will want to consider a more spacious scooter or buy a scooter with an adjustable seat.
Accessories - Most mobility scooter models offer a number of accessories for your own personal customization. This includes items such as pouches, baskets, headlights and oxygen tank holders, to name a few. Take note that most accessories are often not included in the original pricing.
Most scooters now come with foam-filled tires which may be customizable.
Some other questions to consider when buying a scooter:
Do you possess the proper vision and driving ability to operate a mobility scooter
Could your mobility needs be met with another type of mobility assistance, such as a manual wheelchair or walker.
Do you have the necessary resources available to transport a mobility scooter to and from you’re your intended destinations (vehicles, ramps, etc.)
Do you have the necessary range of motions needed to properly operate a mobility scooter.
The overall consideration is to look for a device that best suits your particular needs. If you consider these points and choose a device accordingly, you're mobility scooter should be a great fit!