First and foremost decide what you expect your Scooter to do:
- Get you to the local shop
- Get you into town
- Take you indoors when you get home
- Climb kerbs
- Go in the boot of a car
- Up/down steep hills
- On the road
- On the pavement
- Shopping in the supermarket
- Over rough ground
Next ask yourself these questions:
Are you likely to use the scooter daily?
It will need to be durable and very comfortable.
Will you want to use it indoors?
Will it fit? How wide are your doorways and are there any steps, how accessible are shops, pubs, etc. in your area.
When outdoors how far do you expect to go?
Beware that your weight, hills, surfaces, kerbs and extreme weather can all effect the published range of your scooter so always have a contingency plan.
Will you need to go over rough ground or grass?
It will need to have good tread on the tires and stability in the build.
Will you use pavements or do you need or want to use the road? Scooters generally come in 4mph or 8mph – 4mph can only travel on the pavement.
8mph vehicles can use the road and the pavement (restricted to 4 mph) and need to be registered with DVLA.
Where will you keep your scooter when not in use?
Will it be safe, can you immobilize it can you access the area easily and safely alone?
Do you have the appropriate electrics and space to charge the scooter or batteries?
Batteries are usually charged on board the scooter. Bedrooms are not recommended.
Will you want to take the scooter in a car?
Who will lift it or will you need a ramp or hoist? Will it take to pieces or fold? Always try this out before you buy.
When trying a Scooter think before you buy:
Decide which is best for you 3 or 4 wheeled – Some 3 wheeled scooters are front wheel drive and may loose traction under load. Does it feel safe, sturdy and comfortable? Have the batteries “staying power” for the distances you want to travel? Can you reach and work the controls comfortably? Can you get on and off easily and independently? Is there enough leg room? Try climbing a kerb – Always avoid this manoeuvre where possible but you need to know the scooter’s capabilities. Will this scooter fit in the boot of your car? Do you need a Disabled parking space outside your house? Is the seller close to hand should anything not work or for repairs? Will you need a ramp? – you would need this doing before purchase and delivery. Don’t expect the council to do this for you it is likely to be your own responsibility. Do you need insurance? – A good idea. Is there a guarantee? Especially when buying pre-owned scooters. Do you need breakdown cover and pick up service?
Do you need a maintenance contract?
Remember: A good retailer should discuss your needs with you to make sure you are choosing the right scooter. Beware of “special offers” and pre-owned scooters – they may be old stock or “discontinued” which will make repair more difficult – ask the seller or check the makers website it may be a genuine offer. See if you can try a scooter for at least 30mins before you make a final decision. It is your responsibility to make sure you have somewhere to safely keep your scooter and that you can access your own premises.
If in doubt ask an independent organisation such as Disability Equipment Bradford or the William Merritt Centre.
ALWAYS TRY BEFORE YOU BUY
If you are not happy with the service the retailer provides or you have been subjected to miss selling, tell someone. Write to the company and send a copy to Trading Standards or contact the British Healthcare Trades Association.
West Yorkshire Trading Standards (Consumer Direct)
British Healthcare Trades Association
William Merritt Centre
Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)
Disability Equipment Bradford