Buying A Mobility Scooter For A Family Member

Growing older comes with a set of complications that make general day to day living a little more complicated than it used to be. Mobility naturally declines with age, but that doesn’t mean that your quality of life has to with it. We need to be able to move and explore, feel independent and confident in our movements, and the only way that you can ensure that your family member feels that independence is with their own mobility scooter. An off-road scooter can give your family member the chance to get out of the house, which will help them to avoid depression and social isolation. Seniors often feel more isolated than any other age group, but with a disability scooter, this can be avoided.

Mobility scooters are designed to help your senior family member move around even if their physical body is struggling to move. The only real concern with a mobility scooter is whether you can check out mobility scooters for sale – and we mean a sale. Mobility scooters are not cheap, and brand new scooters can run incredibly expensive. It’s essential that you know what you are looking for and you make the right choices when you are out buying one for your family member. They deserve to be confident, comfortable and independent, so let’s take a closer look at everything you need to know before you buy a mobility scooter.

Types Of Mobility Scooters

When deciding on which mobility scooter to buy, you have to consider the needs of your family member. Are they particularly sociable? Do they like to get out a lot? These questions are going to help you to decide the speed and design of your new mobility scooter. Still, it’s also going to help you to determine if you need to look at off road mobility scooters or disability scooters. Here are the main types of mobility scooter you’ll find on the market today.

Class 2 Mobility Scooters

These are an excellent, lightweight and low-speed mobility scooter on the market and they are perfect for pavements and shopping centres. While not the best option for off-roading with a max speed of 4mph, you can ensure that your family member safely drives along the street. The battery is limited, and so it’s not great for steep inclines or longer distances, and due to how compact they are, they can be a little uncomfortable at times. These are an excellent option for short distances and occasional use.

Class 3 Mobility Scooters

These scooters are a little more robust than the class 2 mobility scooters as they can be used on all roads (besides the highway) and there is a maximum speed limit of 8mph on roads and 4mph on pavements. These have a larger battery capacity, and they are a sturdier design than the class 2 mobility scooters. They’re made as comfortable as possible to handle the longer journeys, and there is plenty of legroom to avoid any cramps while driving. These ones are considered to be vehicles, which means that they come with a horn, brake lights and rear-view mirrors for safety purposes. 

Boot Scooters

One of the essential features that your family member will look for in a mobility scooter is the fact that it can be taken apart or folded to fit into the boot of the car. This will give them more scope for movement and travel, and allow them to be comfortable if you go on a holiday somewhere. For those who drive a lot as a family, boot mobility scooters are either foldable or ones that dismantle. Foldable scooters have structure and designs that can be collapsed into one. They can be folded down and loaded up when you need to travel, and airlines often prefer these as these can be used as carry-on larger items. Dismantling scooters do not just simply fold. You have to take the components of the scooter apart and then put it into the car boot or the hold of the plane. You can compress the shape and find them much easier to travel with as a result.

Putting the scooter back together again is also easy enough, but it’s often too complicated for seniors to do alone. These are heavy scooters, so it’s essential that you invest in either a car hoist or you ensure that your senior family member has someone there to put the mobility scooter back together when they need it.

Things To Consider When Looking For Mobility Scooters For Sale

There are a variety of mobility scooters available on the market, so what should you be thinking about when you go to buy for your family member? It will depend on what their needs are and what they are looking for. For example, disability scooters are often the preferred scooter of choice for those who have limited movement and need extra support. The choice you make for the disability scooter is going to be based on a lot of factors. Let’s take a look!

The Cost

It’s essential to research the mobility scooters price before you go ahead and start thinking about buying. Mobility scooters can be expensive, and so the type and style of mobility scooter that you choose will be primarily rooted in affordability. The price you pay will depend on the design and model, and some larger foldable models are more expensive than other mobility scooters.

You can buy second-hand mobility scooters if your budget is a little short, but it depends on where you shop. Once you know what your budget is, you can save time on your shopping by only looking at the mobility scooters in your price range. As well as the initial purchase costs, it would help if you considered the ongoing costs to keep it running. Service costs, battery costs and repairs and replacement costs are all something to consider, too. Some dealers will charge a flat fee for the repairs and replacement costs, and servicing should cover all issues related to maintenance and repairs. It should also cover technician costs so that you don’t have to cover the costs of that, either.

Comfort

Spending time on a mobility scooter means that comfort is a significant consideration before you buy one for a family member. It’s an important thing to consider when you are purchasing a scooter – mostly when a lot of time may be spent on it. Seniors often find that sitting for too long can be just as uncomfortable as moving around with limitations. With the right cushioning and shape of the mobility scooter, your family member can stay as comfortable as possible. Comfort is as important as health, and if you are buying a mobility scooter for a daily member who wants to travel longer distances, comfort is vital.

The best way to find comfort with a mobility scooter is to have your family member test out the scooter before the purchase. This way, they can have assurances that they aren’t going to spend money on something uncomfortable. They should assess the comfort-ability of the seat, the ability they have to steer it efficiently and how easy it is to get on and off. All of this will help to ensure that your family member is as comfortable as possible.

Handling 

Similarly to the comfort of your mobility scooter for your family member, you need to ensure that the scooter can be handled well. If it’s too heavy to lift or steer, then it’s not the right mobility scooter for your family member. Mobility scooters are designed to be heavier to hold a battery and the weight of the materials used to make it. It should not be too heavy to fold or dismantle, and it shouldn’t be a headache to put back together, either. If the mobility scooter you are looking at can fold, then practice folding it and putting up so that you can ensure that your family member can do it themselves. 

It should also be checked to see whether it fits into the boot of the car. If it’s too heavy, then it’s a good idea to look into a hoist for the car boot to go along with your purchase. The last thing to do is to take it on a test drive before you buy. It’s the best way to get a feel for the controls, and you can see how your family member feels on the seat of a new way to get around.

Why It’s Needed

The intended usage of the mobility scooter is essential to take note of. After all, there’s no use in buying a mobility scooter that’s a Class 2 if you need to be on the road. It’s also not a good idea to buy a scooter intended for road use if you’re only using it for shorter distances or during a shopping trip. If your family member wants to be on their scooter for trips to their friends or using it for miles, then they need to think about the type of battery that they need to buy and which scooter would suit their needs. These questions are things you have to consider before you buy. There is no point in buying a scooter if it doesn’t suit your needs, and if you assess your needs first, you can look at the right scooters straight away!

Battery Needs

Mobility scooters do not run on gas. They are powered by batteries that can be plugged in and charged at home, and the most crucial consideration that you will have when it comes to the battery of your mobility scooter is the range at which it will enable you to travel. It would help if you asked the seller how far your mobility scooter will go on a single charge. The smaller Class 2 batteries won’t last long but can be used for short distances throughout the day. The larger scooters have a battery that will last up to 30 miles. Depending on your intended use, you need to check whether your scooter will last the life you need it to. Batteries are not infinite, either, as they gradually lose the ability to charge over time. You may find that after a period of two years, you need to buy a new battery for the scooter itself. You should include replacement battery costs in your budget.

Scooter Storage

Where does your family member plan to have their new scooter throughout the day? Ensuring that there is a space in the home for the scooter to be is so vital for the entire purchase. You wouldn’t buy a piece of furniture that doesn’t fit in the house, so you need to ensure that you have storage. If you have a garage it really doesn’t matter what size of a mobility scooter you get: it’ll fit for sure!

Important Scooter-Buying Tips!

Buying a mobility scooter may be entirely new for you, but it doesn’t mean that you have to get this wrong! With the tips below, you can ensure that your purchase is a smooth one. Let’s take a look:

  • If there are hills and inclines in your neighbourhood or along your usual routes, choose the mobility scooter that can get you up those inclines without a problem. 
  • Take a look at your health insurance and see if you are eligible for help with buying your scooter. Some disability schemes allow you to use them to finance your new mobility scooter. 
  • You can choose to lease your mobility scooter for your family member. They will be able to ford it compared to buying brand new.
  • Get another insurance policy purely for your scooter. This will ensure that you are covered for theft and accidents.
  • Check whether your scooter of choice comes with any accessories. You can talk about extra mirrors or a rain cover to protect you in inclement weather.
  • Ask about delivery arrangements. Do you need to pick up the mobility scooter for your family member, or will it be delivered? Is there an added cost?
  • Ask about how to access spare parts for your particular model of mobility scooter. If there is a breakdown, it can help to know that you can source the parts yourself and save money.

Questions You Should Ask

There are a range of questions that you should ask when you are buying a mobility scooter or if you are purchasing one for a family member. We’ve compiled a list of the most common ones for you below:

How Long Will My Battery Last?

Battery life will largely depend on how often you are using your mobility scooter. Daily use will drain the battery faster, but the actual experience of the battery may last up to 18 months. Battery maintenance is vital, here, so make sure that you are looking after your batteries if you want them to last you as long as possible.

Why Does My Scooter Go Slow?

Slow cooters usually have an issue with the battery or motor. Don’t forget that even the heavy-duty scooters have a maximum speed of 8mph. Faulty throttles and speed controls can make the scooter lag, too, as can a dying battery. The best thing to start ith is a new battery and go from here. The technician will likely check the charge port, too, to ensure that it’s in the best condition actually to charge the battery. You can search for loose or burnt wires, and a smell of burning could indicate overheating in the motor, too. Changing the batteries is a simple, but often effective solution.

How Do I Get Rid Of My Old Scooter?

If you are replacing an old scooter with a new model, talk to your dealer. You can either donate or sell an old mobility scooter, or you can do a buy-back, where you can offset the cost of your scooter against your new one and save some money. Some mobility scooters can even be recycled, with parts redone and sent off to a recycling facility to be repurposed. Check with your dealer to know whether there is a scheme where you are purchasing your mobility scooter for returns to be recycled. 

When it comes down to it, this is a significant investment. You need to think about the needs of your family member and whether you can find the right scooter to suit those needs. The last thing that you need to buy is the wrong scooter and discover that they have spent a lot of money on the wrong thing. The best thing to do is always have a second set of eyes on the purchase with you so that you can be as informed as impossible about your purchase. A mobility scooter should give you the freedom you are looking for, boosting the confidence and comfort of your family member all in one purchase. With the right company, you can ensure that you are getting the very best deal for your budget. Shopping around today will make a big difference!

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