Portable mobility scooters are light, powerful, and incredibly convenient. They help those who have limited mobility get out and about, whether that’s to pop down to the shops or spend a day looking around a stately home, heading out into the countryside or making the most of a break away with the family.
If you’re looking for a portable mobility scooter and what should you consider before parting with your cash? Here’s a quick guide to picking the right mobility scooter for you.
Portable mobility scooters are, by their nature, smaller than larger ‘mid-range’ or road-legal scooters. They’re designed to be used everywhere, including in indoor locations such as shopping centres or pedestrianised areas in town. That means they’re more compact, with a smaller turning circle, and are often much easier to manoeuvre than larger scooters. It makes them perfect for frail users who may not have the physical strength to handle a larger, heavier scooter.
Smaller portable mobility scooters are also easier to fit through narrow doorways. Look for versions that are as narrow as possible, such as the ST1 Travel Mobility Scooter, which squeaks in at just 20” wide.
Portable mobility scooters are much lighter than larger versions. They’re usually fairly basic in design so you get a comfortable seat, a shopping basket, a platform, and wheels – and not much more than that! That makes them lighter and easier to carry. The ST1 comes in at a featherweight 40kg, while the Scout comes in at 43kg (that’s including the weight of the batteries). Because they fold down, a lighter mobility scooter should be easier to pick up and put in the boot of a car, for example. They’re also easier to drive, as they’re lighter and more nimble than larger, heavier scooters.
Remember, too, that it’s important to choose a scooter that is designed for your own weight.
Because they’re fairly basic in design, portable mobility scooters are pretty straightforward to assemble. Whereas larger, more complex scooters may take an expert to carry out the initial assembly, portable versions are ideal for everyday use and can be taken apart and reassembled as necessary.
The alternative to portable scooters that require assembly are foldaway versions. These work in the same way as a child’s pram – they have pivot points at various intervals that allows them to be flat-stored. The seat is usually removed completely, splitting the scooter into two parts, but the front tiller folds flat against the base, making them easier to stash in a boot of a car. When you need to get them back on the road, simply straighten out the tiller and lock into place and reattach the chair.
One thing you do need to consider with portable mobility scooters is that they are limited in both speed and range. The top speed for scooters like the Pride GoGo Elite Traveller or the Sterling Sapphire 2 is around 4mph. Batteries give them a range of about 10 miles on a single charge, so if you need to use them continuously every day, it may be worth thinking about getting a larger mid-range scooter rather than a portable version. This is particularly important if you value your independence and like to get out and about on your scooter. The last thing you want is for your batteries to run out when you’re away from home.
Portable mobility scooters are easy to use, with very simple controls. They usually work on a ‘twist and go’ principle, but don’t worry – with a top speed of 4mph you’re never going to careen out of control on a portable scooter!
A seat with good suspension is important for user comfort, and practical solutions such as easy-access charging points (so you don’t have to remove heavy batteries to charge them), a basket, and a swivel seat for easy on-off can make using a mobility scooter much more enjoyable.
If you need more advice and are still not sure what kind of portable mobility scooter is right for you, talk to the experts at Fenetic Wellbeing who’ll be happy to talk you through your options.