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Tips when Buying a Mobility Scooter

Oct 11, 2007
In the UK, mobility scooters are well established and have their place. They are an absolute boon when you are unable to get around easily, struggle to walk longer distances or simply want be able to have the independence to get out and about, visiting friends instead of being prisoner in your own home staring at all four walls.

Scooters are miracle workers when you need to nip up to the shops, or join the family for a day out, but like anything in life, if you don't have the correct one to suit your needs you will be left feeling as though you have wasted your time and money on something which does not meet expectations. Therefore it is essential to ask yourself a few questions before buying a mobility scooter: What is my general budget for this item? Am I looking for indoor use, outdoor use or both? How far to I intend travelling? Then add on a bit for when you feel comfortable using it and go that bit further? Is this going to be a mobility scooter for the boot of the car or not? How much do I weigh? Where am I going to keep the scooter? And charge the scooter battery? Do I want puncture-proof tyres or softer pneumatic tyres?

Because these are all such important questions, lets go through them: Budgets are important, we all need to know what we can afford, it is worthwhile shopping around although not worth compromising on quality. You might well need servicing or repairs if your mobility scooter has any problems. Make sure that you choose someone who has a proper presence and is not only on the internet. Choosing a reputable shop with trained engineers to offer you servicing and repairs is essential.

Indoor use might well indicate that you would be better suited to a powerchair, which can turn in very tight circles, great for negotiating the lounge. Larger powerchairs are suitable for in and outdoor use as well. Scooters are generally outdoor as they are larger and need more space to manoeuvre.

Distance, the are a few things to remember when you are given the mileage expected from a scooter, tests are carried out by the manufacturers to give a general idea, but these tests often are in a controlled environment, flat surface, average size person riding at a constant speed, this is not true to life popping up the shops etc, so I would always advise knocking a few miles off the manufacturers recommendations, this way you won't ever be disappointed or caught out. Always allow for that day when you are out zooming around London Zoo with the family and need to go a few more miles than you thought. If you live in a particularly hilly area you will use the battery up much quicker than on the flat. If your weight is closer to the limit of the scooter you will also use up more of the battery power.

If portability is an issue, for example on a holiday, visiting family and friends that little bit further a field, you need to make sure that you look at the travel scooters which click apart and go into the boot of a car and that your car boot is big enough to transport it. There are many travel scooters on the market, but ask for information, some of them go a long way and are a wonderful buy.

As with anything in life, we all have our limits, mobility scooters do as well. Please make sure that the scooter that you choose is one that you are well within weight limits of, it will travel easier, use less battery power and you will not invalidate any warranty. Most importantly, it will last longer and be more comfortable for you to use.

Think about where you are going to keep the scooter. Indoors? Is it easy to get in and out? Outdoors, do you have a shelter or a cover for it? Where are you going to keep the batteries charged? A garage is always favourite, drive in, plug it in, close the door and use it again when you need it but many people do not have that luxury. Remember always keep your batteries on charge when not in use a battery that is constantly low will soon die if it is not being charged, especially if you only use your mobility scooter for a 10 minute pop to the shops, put it back on charge when you get home and leave it on charge.

Puncture proof tyres are the most popular today, but it does mean a slightly harder ride. The good side of that is that you won't be caught short in the middle of that Zoo trip with a flat tyre. They do cost a bit more, but we consider them well worth while. These tyres normally need to be ordered.

Mobility scooters are incredibly flexible, wonderfully enabling and on the whole a fantastic invention, which is why knowing the fundamental points of choosing a scooter which is appropriate to fit your specific requirements is more important than ever. Time spent in thought about the various points could just save you money and not to mention the disappointment of buying a product which only meets your needs in part, your scooter needs to be comfortable and practical, after all you will hopefully be going a long way together.
About the Author
Shaun Parker is a leading expert in gerontology and the needs of the elderly specialising in mobility solutions. Mobility Scooters
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