Mobility scooters: things to do before you buy
Mobility scooter prices
The prices we quote in our mobility scooter search are the manufacturers' recommended retail prices (RRP). Retail shops often sell scooters for 10-15% below the RRP. Mobility scooters can cost even less if bought online, sometimes as much as 50-60% cheaper.
But when buying – whether from a shop, over the phone or online - consider exactly what the retailer is including in the price. For example:
- Will they carry out a full assessment of your needs?
- Do they deliver it fully assembled?
- What happens if it's unsuitable for your needs?
- What about maintenance and servicing?
- Is it guaranteed?
Before buying a mobility scooter, it's important to try out different models to see what suits you. Check:
Don't buy a scooter without trying it out first.
Practise before taking a scooter out on your own, to build up your confidence and experience - especially when:
- slowing down
- using controls such as indicators and lights while driving along
This will train your reactions for when you're near pedestrians and obstacles.
Where to try your scooter out
You can try out mobility scooters in several places:
All good retailers will let you test drive different scooters, as well as giving you advice and training. Many will travel to your home with some models. All Motability retailers will do this.
Mobility Centres and Disabled Living Centres
Some Mobility Centres and Disabled Living Centres have staff who can advise you as well as different scooters to try out and practise with. See our useful contacts section for more on how to find one near you.
Retailers show their products to the public at exhibitions (such as Naidex or Motability's One Big Day and Big Events), so there are plenty of opportunities to try out scooters.
You can rent scooters from Shopmobility - see below for more on how. Renting can be a good way of trying out different types and getting some practice before committing to buying one. Their staff can give you advice and training, too.
Many retailers are members of the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA), which means they've agreed to a code of practice. We recommend checking that your retailer is a BHTA member. You can search the BHTA website for members near you:
If you plan to get a scooter through the Motability scheme (see Finance for more on this) you will need to go through one of their dealers. You can use their Find a Dealer feature to find one near you.
You could also contact local disability groups to see if they can recommend any nearby retailers.
You can buy scooters online, but there are some drawbacks:
- you won't be able to try that scooter out in advance
- some will be delivered in parts and you will need to assemble them
- there may not be any servicing or maintenance available
You should at least try the same model out somewhere else (see above). Be sure you're aware of the assembly and after-care service you'll be getting.
Read our guest blog post: I bought my mobility scooter online
Shopmobility loan out scooters in shopping centres and high streets all over the country. This could be a better option than buying a scooter if you only want to get around the shops. Some schemes loan scooters for free, others have a small charge or a membership fee.
On your first visit, you'll register with Shopmobility and talk to staff about the kind of scooter you want. They will show you how to use it and let you practise.
Individual schemes are represented by the National Federation of Shopmobility UK. Contact them to find out if there's a scheme near you:
See also: our mobility scooter search.
Our unbiased research with real scooter users aims to help you choose the mobility scooter that will work best for you.
Last updated: May 2018