When it comes to choosing a mobility scooter, there are many considerations you have to make, but don’t forget about the main features of the vehicle. These can have a huge impact on your overall experience, so make sure you always take a closer look.
Main Features of a Mobility Scooter
- Lights & Signals
Mobility Scooter Ignition
Generally, mobility scooters are started with a standard key ignition. This means when the key is removed, it will not be possible to move the scooter which adds an extra layer of security – you are the only one who will be able to start it. However, the parking brake can be easily disengaged when the key is removed, so it’s essential to secure the vehicle with a lock before leaving it unattended.
Wheels & Tyres
You can choose from a 3-wheeled mobility scooter and a 4-wheeled one. A mobility scooter with 3 wheels, 1 in the front and 2 in the back, is generally lighter and more manoeuvrable due to a better turning circle. However, a mobility scooter with 4 wheels is generally more stable due to their wider deck, even if they are heavier and have a wider turning circle.
Tyre sizes range between 6 and 12 inches. If you will be using your mobility scooter primarily for indoor use, smaller tyres would be better in order to navigate tighter spaces. If you will be using your mobility scooter primarily for outdoor use, and rough terrain, larger tyres would be better for more stability and durability.
Tiller & Steering
The front part of a mobility scooter which houses the steering column and includes handlebars and the controls to drive the vehicle is called the tiller. Smaller scooters only require a small tiller which makes them lighter and easier to turn, however this may mean they are less stable. This is the opposite for larger scooters as the tiller will be bulkier and although more stable, they may be harder to turn.
Sometimes, the tiller angle is adjustable on larger scooters so the controls can be moved closer. It can be very uncomfortable if the tiller is positioned too far away from you, so be aware of this when you are looking for your mobility scooter and make sure you’re always comfortable operating it.
Finally, there is also normally a choice between front-wheel and rear-wheel drive. Larger mobility scooters are usually rear-wheel drive as they have more speed, duration and can handle more weight and rough terrain. Front-wheel drive is normally used for smaller models as they are more likely to be used indoors or on level surfaces.
Mobility Scooter Seats
Following on from the point about comfort above, there is more to a seat than you might first think. If you will be using your mobility scooter every day or on long journeys, your comfort is a priority. From a small back rest and simple padded base to a “Captain’s Seat” with a head rest, there are many options to choose from.
In general, most mobility scooter seats will swivel, including the arms, to ensure it is easy to mount and dismount as necessary. Also, the height and position of the seat should also be able to easily adjust to individual drivers on larger scooters with larger chairs. If you require extra lumbar support, padding or even seat covers, make sure you enquire about this so the drive is as comfortable for you as can be.
Battery & Power
The type of battery power you choose will depend on your requirements, much like your seat. If you will be using your mobility scooter every day or on long journeys, your requirements will differ. Usually, all mobility scooters use 1 or 2 12-volt rechargeable batteries, however the sizes of these will depend on the size of scooter you purchase.
The larger the scooter, the larger the battery which means the greater the output capacity. Sometimes more than 12 volts will be required, and a higher amp-hour rating (Ah) will also be needed. Typically lasting up to 18 months, additional batteries and chargers can be purchased along with your scooter.
Lights & Signals
It’s essential for every vehicle to have a set of lights, especially to drive in the dark evenings or mornings. Other lights and signals on your mobility scooter also enable you to drive safely, such as indicators and brake lights. Plus, on your control panel there will be LED light to indicate when your battery is running low.
Mobility Scooter Features: What Should I Look For?
If you’re overwhelmed about all the features to take into consideration before purchasing a mobility scooter, come into our showroom to take a look first-hand. Also, you’ll be able to talk to one of our friendly team members who will be here to help guide you.
Contact us today to find out more.