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Updated: 30 Dec 2021

Mobility scooter FAQs

We answer the most common questions people ask about mobility scooters to help you choose and use the right model for your needs.
Which? Team
Woman on a mobility scooter at an exhibition 429439

Mobility scooter prices: how much should I pay?

Mobility scooter prices depend on the type you buy and whether you want to buy a new or reconditioned model. You can pay as little as £400 for a new portable mobility scooter, or as much as £4,000 for a top-of-the-range Class 3 scooter for the road. 

There are plenty of small and medium-sized scooters available for between £800 and £2,000 (the higher-priced models tend to be the folding ones). 

Read our mobility scooters buying guide for more detailed information on prices and the right questions to ask before you buy.

Should I buy a new or second-hand mobility scooter?

Many people trade in their old models to part-exchange or upgrade to a different one, so you'll see lots of second-hand and reconditioned models for sale in mobility shops. Expect to see a reduced warranty on them – around three months, say, as opposed to a full year.

Visit our guide to buying a second-hand scooter to understand the pros and cons of buying a used machine, plus your rights when you buy second hand.

Do I need to service my mobility scooter?

Yes, it’s recommended that you do this once a year or at any point when you notice a change in performance, such as unusual noises or squeaks or if the tyre tread is becoming shallow. This might also be a requirement of your insurance policy if you choose to take one out.

An annual service should cost between £50 and £90, depending on the scooter's size and style. It will include checking for worn brakes and tyres, and ensuring the wiring underneath the scooter is intact. Your local mobility shop should be able to arrange a service, but if not contact the manufacturer directly. 

It’s advisable to arrange for someone to come over to service your scooter at your home or in a registered mobility centre, rather than taking it away. This will help to prevent the possibility of unwarranted repair bills by unscrupulous traders. 

Where should I store my mobility scooter?

Heat and condensation can damage a mobility scooter's electrics, so it's best not to leave it outside, exposed to the elements. We'd advise you to protect it in a shed or garage – ideally one with an electricity source so you can charge it. You can leave a boot scooter in the car and just bring in the battery for charging (if the model allows). 

You may have space to store a small scooter in your home, but make sure it doesn’t block doorways as this could make it a fire hazard.

If you do have to leave one outside, protect it with a plastic cover. Covers cost from around £40 for a basic cover to around £200 for a deluxe version that sits on a metal concertina frame and can be padlocked shut.

To find out more, check our guide to mobility scooter features and accessories.

Mobility scooter locked 469057

Can I secure my mobility scooter?

You can lock it with a chain and padlock, but it’s best to keep it indoors or in a locked garage. Scooters have serial numbers so they can be tracked by the police. 

Read our guide to avoiding mobility scooter theft.

How do I dismantle a boot scooter?

First, you unlock the seat underneath and take it off (once detached, some seats also fold and armrests detach). 

Second, remove the battery – some simply lift out and others require you to depress a lever. Some models now allow you to split the chassis into two at this stage. Finally, you unscrew the tiller or fold it down.

If you've lost your instruction manual, some manufacturers hold these online, so it's worth a search if you need extra advice – or you could contact the manufacturer directly.

What's the maximum weight a mobility scooter can carry?

Scooters typically have a maximum carrying capacity of 18-24 stone, but you’ll need to check the capacity of the scooter before you buy. Overall weight can affect performance – the heavier the user, the more the machine will struggle up hills.

Will my mobility scooter cope with hills?

Mobility scooters tend to struggle with hills, but that doesn’t mean to say you can’t use them in hilly areas. Generally, they can cope with a small slope – the same gradient used for wheelchair access ramps (1:12). Some can cope with a slightly steeper slope (1:8) but any steeper and they are likely to cut out.

Will my mobility scooter handle kerbs?

Kerbs can present problems for some mobility scooters – three-wheeled models and boot scooters in particular - as they can cause them to tip over. 

If you have a three-wheeled scooter, it’s best to approach kerbs straight on so you're directly facing them, rather than from an angle. If you're able to plan a route that only encompasses dropped/sloped kerbs, all the better.

Can I take a mobility scooter into shops or shopping centres?

You may be able to take your scooter into shopping areas but don't always assume it's allowed – it will depend on the regulations of the business. Reasonable concerns will be that the scooter could get stuck in a tight space and block a pathway, or that the scooter owner will travel too fast in a crowded environment or use the scooter without consideration to other shoppers.

Can I use a mobility scooter on pavements and busy areas

When travelling on pavements, keep in mind that pedestrians always have right of way, and watch out for children darting in front of your scooter.

Mobility scooters must not travel at more than 4mph on the pavement, in supermarkets or in shopping centres.

In crowded areas you will probably need to drive more slowly than 4mph, to give people a chance to move out of the way as you approach and to ensure that you maintain control of the scooter when weaving around people. Reduce your speed when turning corners to avoid any danger of tipping.

Can I use a mobility scooter on the road?

Only Class 3 mobility scooters – large scooters with a maximum speed limit of 8mph – can be driven on the road.

It’s wise to avoid busy roads where possible, and remember that all the normal rules of the road apply: drive on the left, follow the Highway Code, and stop at red lights and zebra crossings.

When turning right, it's a good idea to use pedestrian crossings (where available) rather than manoeuvring your scooter into the middle of the road to turn. As with driving on pavements, reduce your speed when turning corners.

A mobility scooter should not be driven in bus lanes, cycle lanes, on motorways or on dual carriageways that have a speed limit of 50mph or above. 

It's best to avoid all dual carriageways but, if you can’t avoid, you're legally required to use an amber flashing light for visibility.

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Can you take a mobility scooter on a plane?

The only general rule with boot scooters is to contact the airline in advance and provide details about your scooter to obtain prior permission. They're likely to ask you for the make, model, weight, size and whether it folds or dismantles. 

You’ll also need to know what type of battery your scooter has, and its weight. Take the operating manual with you when you fly. You won’t be able to take it on as hand luggage, so it will have to travel in the hold.

Taking a mobility scooter on public transport

Some bus companies run a scooter permit scheme, which allows you to take small Class 2 scooters on board. 

Most (though not all) train companies allow you to bring small scooters on board if you have a permit. However, policies vary so it's best to check prior to travelling. Some ban scooters completely, or only allow them to be carried as luggage when dismantled. 

The Research Institute for Disabled Consumers (RiDC) has more practical advice on how to get help when travelling with a mobility scooter.

How often should I charge my mobility scooter battery?

It depends on how often you use your scooter but, as a general rule, whenever you use your scooter during the day you’ll need to recharge its battery at night. 

Read our guide to Mobility scooter batteries for more on how to get the most out of your vehicle's batteries.

Do I need tax, registration and insurance for my mobility scooter?

You don't have to pay vehicle tax for a mobility scooter, but you do need to register Class 3 road scooters with the DVLA and display a ‘nil value’ tax disc. Get form V55/4 for new vehicles or V55/5 for used vehicles from the DVLA ordering service on its website.  

You don't need insurance for a mobility scooter, although it's recommended. Mobility scooter breakdown rescue cover is provided by a number of companies, including Chartwell and Blue Badge Mobility Insurance, for around £35 to £90 a year.