How to Choose a Mobility Scooter
5 Tips on Choosing a Mobility Scooter
- Where will the mobility scooter primarily be used? If the scooter is for indoor use, you may want to choose a three-wheel scooter that maneuvers around corners better. If you prefer a four-wheel scooter, select one with smaller wheels and a tighter turning radius. Measure doorways to ensure the scooter will fit through. Keep in mind that you may lose up to 2″ if the doorway has a hinged door. If the mobility scooter is for outdoor use, a four-wheel scooter is recommended since it travels over bumps and rough terrain better. Larger wheels and pneumatic wheels will also make the ride smoother.
- Fit—Measure the seat height to make sure you can sit comfortably on the mobility scooter. Your feet must be flat on the footrest and your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. You should also be able to reach the tiller comfortably without curving your back. Check the listed weight capacity of the scooter to ensure that it can properly support your weight and items you plan on carrying. The best way to determine which mobility scooter is right for you is to visit a local dealer to speak to an expert and test drive a few different models.
- Controls—Can you operate a standard tiller? To operate a standard T-shaped tiller, you will have to be able to hold onto it with both hands and have the manual dexterity to control speed and other options (such as turn signals). Most scooters require constant pressure to move forward and backwards, removing pressure from the throttle lever will engage the brakes. Delta tillers are an option for people who lack manual dexterity and hand strength. Delta tillers may be controlled by either hand.
- Seating—A comfortable, well-padded and contoured seat of a full-sized three- or four-wheel mobility scooter may be the right choice if you spend most of the day on the scooter. A captain’s seat tends to offer the most comfort and support. A portable/travel scooter is more compact in size, and the seat has less padding.
- Portability and storage—Choose a travel or portable scooter if you plan on traveling by car or airplane. A travel/portable mobility scooter can either fold or be easily disassembled. Pay attention to the weight of the heaviest piece and make sure you are able to lift it up and stow.