Mobility scooters are critical to maintaining independence for millions of seniors. They provide a way to get around without having to rely on others when you can no longer easily walk for long distances or if you tire easily. People with poor circulation, instability due to Parkinson’s, or anyone suffering from edema may benefit from a mobility scooter.
Mobility scooters are motorized personal vehicles with a seat and steering mechanism. Most of them also have a small basket for carrying personal items so individuals can go grocery shopping and generally carry on with normal activities without having to walk.
What Kind of Mobility Scooter Do You Need?
Shopping for a scooter can get complicated, as there are dozens of different features and styles. To narrow it down, start with the which style you want. There are three main styles:
Travel Mobility Scooters – These are lightweight and break down to easily stow in the trunk of a car and can weight as little as 25 pounds. The seat detaches, the battery pack comes off, and the scooter disassembles and reassembles easily. These have the shortest battery range.
Folding Mobility Scooters – These don’t disassemble, but the battery pack comes out, and the scooter folds down so you can store it in most trunks. They have a slightly longer range and are, like the travel scooters, best for indoor use.
Full-Size Mobility Scooters – A full-size scooter is best if you will be using it outdoors or on rough terrain, as you can get either a three-wheel or four-wheel model. They also have better suspension, often come with luxury features, and can travel at higher speeds. They can’t be easily transported in a standard car, however. The weight limit is much higher in these (often up to 500 pounds).
What To Look For in a Mobility Scooter
Take into consideration how you will be using your scooter. If you need it for inside your home or apartment, you’ll need a smaller model, probably with three wheels so that it’s easy to maneuver around furniture. If you’ll be using it outdoors over rough terrain, you may want a full size with four wheels for added stability. Also, consider your comfort. If you need to keep a lot of things with you, such as medications and other aides, you’ll want a scooter that has plenty of storage room to keep what you need close at hand.
The range of your mobility scooter is a crucial consideration as well. Some mobility scooters can travel for less than five miles on a charge, others will travel over fifteen miles on a single charge. If you love driving around outdoor flea markets for hours, you’ll want something with a battery that won’t die and leave you stranded.
Price is always a consideration. With more features and a longer charge, you’ll see a higher price tag, with prices ranging from several hundred to several thousand dollars. While many insurance policies cover some or all of the cost of a mobility scooter, it often comes down to whether the insurance provider deems it necessary. They may also only cover the cost through specific mobility scooter companies, so do your homework.
There are a lot of options, but we’ve chosen five we stand-outs to get you started:
An attractive, stable scooter with a roomy, comfortable seat, and lots of storage in the front basket. It’s collapsible for travel but offers you an impressive range on one charge and four wheels for stability.
- 330-pound weight limit
- Good suspension
- 56” turn radius
- Long battery life of up to 18 miles
- Adjustable seat height
- Arms flip back for easy in-and-out
- Can get through standard door widths
- Could use a bit more leg room
- Charging takes some time
Final Thought: This is an excellent investment if you’ll be using it outside. The engine is powerful even on inclines, and it will last for years.
This folding scooter is one of the most attractive on the market with a metallic blue finish and a surprisingly comfortable seat. It is extremely stable and has an impressive range of 13 miles, which is unusual in a folding scooter.
- Easily toggles to manual mode
- 13-mile range on a single charge
- Folds easily
- Exceptional stability for a folding model
- Reflectors for visibility
- Aluminum construction
- Airline safe lithium battery
- No headlight
- No storage basket
- Armrests are height adjustable, but don’t fold out of the way
- A bit pricey
Final Thought: This gets high marks from users for portability, easy folding and unfolding, and stability. Consider buying a basket to attach to the front for storage.
This travel style mobility scooter is easy to assemble. It has three inches of ground clearance, so it’s suitable for rough terrain. It has a long battery life and a Delta style tiller for easy steering even with limited mobility or one hand.
- Easy assembly and disassembly
- Two ports for easy charging
- 3” clearance for rough ground
- 300-pound weight limit
- Maneuverable in tough spaces
- Basket included
- Flip-up arms and swivel seat for easy exit
- Less than 9 miles in a charge
- Headlight not included
Final Thought: Four-wheel stability in a travel scooter that’s lightweight and easy to steer at a reasonable price.
This is a sporty looking, full-size scooter with a profile that’s vaguely reminiscent of a Vespa. Yet, it can be easily disassembled for transport or storage. It has lots of luxury features and can be used indoors or out due to a tight turning radius.
- 5-inch turning radius
- 300-pound weight capacity
- Four wheels for stability
- 13+ drive range
- Wrap-around handles on Delta tiller
- LED headlight
- Basket included
- Adjustable seating and flip-back armrests
- 1.8” ground clearance
Final Thought: If you prefer a stylish scooter that works best outside, the Victory 9 is an excellent choice, but it may not be the best choice for smaller interior spaces.
This is a folding scooter that is ideal for in-home use because of its narrow turn radius and slender profile. It offers good stability and adjustable seating with a unique remote control folding system for traveling.
- Two-way throttle control
- Delta tiller
- LED headlight
- Folds and unfolds at the push of a remote control button
- Weighs just 44 pounds
- Extremely portable
- Can stow in the back seat or in any trunk
- Great for use in small spaces
- Even weak individuals can set up and transport
- Max speed is just 3.8 mph
- Max weight is 250 pounds
- Max travel range 6.8 miles
- No arms
- Basket not included
Final Thought: This is a good short-range, portable scooter for indoor use and small spaces, but you’ll want something sturdier for uneven or rugged terrain.
With people looking for so many options, it’s challenging to narrow it down to our favorite. That being said, we’ve chosen a few favorites and outlined their best attributes as well as their limitations.
Best Full Size Mobility Scooter
We love the Golden Technologies: Buzzaround EX 4-Wheel Scooter. It will last for years, it gets exceptional customer reviews, and it’s built to last for years. It works over any kind of terrain and can hold anyone up to 330 pounds, which is heavier than most other mobility scooters at this price point. Add in the 18-mile battery life and tight turn radius, and you have a real winner.
Best Folding Mobility Scooter
You can’t go wrong with the EV Rider: Transport AF, which folds at the touch of a button and weighs just 44 pounds. Whether you’re traveling by trains, planes, or automobiles, it’s a simple thing to toss this little number in the back and go. Yet it’s still surprisingly comfortable with nimble steering.
Best Travel Mobility Scooter
The Pride Mobility: Go-Go Elite Plus Traveler 4 Wheel Scooter – SC54 offers lots of ground clearance and a spacious seat for outdoor users in an easy-to-assemble scooter. We like the adjustable seat and flip-back armrests. The four-wheel design and spacious basket mean you aren’t giving up stability or storage for the convenience of a travel scooter.
Your mobility scooter can broaden your horizons and open up your world. Take the time to read reviews and talk to others who have scooters. Ask friends what they do and don’t like about theirs. Consider when and where you’ll be using yours and determine a budget. Many sellers have financing options, so you can pay over time and enjoy your scooter now. Investing in the right scooter can enrich your life in myriad ways.