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Mobility Scooters - Ten Tips On Choosing The Right One For You

Aug 17, 2007
Mobility scooters are a boon for those less able to get around - but how do you know which is the right one for your needs? Below are ten tips to help you choose and to help ensure your safety.

1. If you've never driven a car, or ridden a bike or motorcycle - or if it's a while since you drove anything on the road - it might be a good idea not to choose a model designed for road use. After being a pedestrian for a while, road sense can be difficult to re-acquire - and for those who have never driven, it may prove much more difficult than you think. Instead, stick to a model designed for use on footpaths, pedestrian areas and sidewalks.

2. Reputable suppliers shouldn't just supply you a scooter without checking out some facts about you. These include your general state of health, hearing, upper body strength and if you're on any medication that might affect your ability to control the scooter. They're not being intrusive - these questions are important for your safety. If a prospective supplier doesn't ask you these sort of questions, consider looking elsewhere.

3. Smaller scooters lack the seating comfort and suspension of larger models. It's worth considering this point if you have back problems or suffer from a condition such as arthritis that can make joints painful when jarred. Don't forget also to check that your scooter will fit in your car - and it's not too heavy to be lifted by the person who is going to put it there.

4. Always ask about sales backup. Good suppliers will have a comprehensive after-sales service to help you get mobile again shoud your scooter have any mechanical or electrical problems. Again, if service isn't offered or is unavailable it may be wise to take your business elsewhere.

5. If you are out on your scooter during the hours of darkness make sure you can be seen, particularly if you have a road-going model. Some have integral reflectors and all road models must have lights. Ask the supplier if there are other visual aids available for your scooter - be seen and be safe.

6. Check out what additional storage aids are available for your scooter. Many people use them to do a considerable amount of grocery shopping - and hanging heavy bags from the control handle simply isn't safe! The supplier should be able to provide a full list of baskets and holdalls available for the model that you're interested in.

7. Always check the small print in warranties - especially if you're going to buy a second-hand scooter. If there are a lot of 'exclusion' clauses be wary. A major mechanical problem not covered by warranty may well cost more to put right than the scooter's value. A good company will have a customer charter explaining in plain language just what is and isn't covered by warranty.

8. Your scooter should be supplied with an owner's manual detailing routine maintenance tasks. These are typically simple and straightforward and easily accomplished by the owner. If you think you may not be able to accomplish them, ask your dealer if they can arrange this. Always remember to keep the battery charged!

9. Always consider how far you may need to go on your mobility scooter. Models have differing ranges of operation and it can be embarrassing - and dangerous - for your scooter to grind to a halt a mile from home! Always ask the dealer for a realistic travelling range for the model you're interested in - and don't forget that as batteries age this figure will be slightly reduced.

10. Don't forget insurance! Check local statutes regarding this. In some areas insurance may not be required but, if it is, it all adds to the cost of your scooter in real terms. Even if insurance is not required by law, have a chat with a legal advisor to check your position in the event of any accident. This requirement may also affect your choice of model and is a point many people overlook.

Most dealers are perfectly reputable and their interest lies in supplying the model for your needs. Take your time when purchasing and don't be rushed - you're going to have your scooter for a while. Take a test drive, too - most dealers will happily let you do this. Scooters are a great aid to mobility - make sure yours is right for you and you'll soon wonder how you managed without it!
About the Author
Steve Dempster writes short stories, copy and informative articles such as the one above. For more advice and information about mobility products, visit Electric Mobility World.
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