As sales of mobility scooters mushroom and critics pan dangerous driving, Which? has advice and reviews of the best and worst.
BBC One’s ‘The Trouble with Mobility Scooters’, broadcast last night, highlighted the lack of regulation in this growing market – you don’t have to have training or insurance to drive one and dodgy driving and accidents are reportedly on the rise.
But Which? tests of boot mobility scooters – the most popular type on sale – have shown that just as basic is whether you buy a mobility scooter that performs well and will keep you and other pedestrians safe.
We put the Class 2 scooters through more than 500 technical tests and real-life assessments and found some issues that could be buying deal-breakers.
Worst mobility scooters
Boot scooters come in two kinds – folding or dismantling. We found that all the scooters in one of these categories performed worst in our tests. Visit our reviews to find out which one.
The worst boot scooters are also very heavy to lift – some weigh around four stone, which many people would struggle to lift into their car boot – and didn’t travel as far as others on test in the Which? lab’s simulated distance tests.
And some scooters cope better with rough surfaces – such as a car park surface – and kerbs and pavements than others. We have questions you can ask to make sure you choose a mobility scooter that can cope with the types of journeys you make.
Avoiding mobility scooter accidents
It’s all-important that a mobility scooter is right for the person using it to avoid accidents.
They suit a wide range of people, from frail older people to those whose mobility is limited by conditions such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis or obesity.
But if you can no longer drive a car due to sight, hearing or perceptual awareness difficulties, a mobility scooter is not for you, as you still need these senses to drive a scooter safely.