What to consider when buying a Mobility Scooter or Power Chair
Before you look for a scooter it’s a good idea to consider this first…
- Where and how are you intending to use one?
- What types of surfaces does it need to be able to be used on?
- What is your budget for a Mobility Scooter?
- Does it need to be put in and out of a car?
- Is weight and issue for ease of lifting it in and out of a vehicle?
- What sort of battery life will you likely need?
- What features will suit you best?
Once you know the answers to these questions, you are ready to look for a new mobility scooter
TYPES OF MOBILITY SCOOTERS
Lightweight Portable Scooters
Portable Scooters, are popular with many people. Their compact size and ease for transport make them a popular choice. These scooters can be dismantled quickly without use of any tools.
They can only be used on flat surfaces and usually have a maximum speed of 4mph, making them safe to handle and control. This type of scooter is best suited for those who make shorter journeys, as they have smaller battery capacity and a shorter range. They are usually charged more often than larger models.
Mid size Scooters
These scooters are larger than portable scooters and are more robust in design and function. They have larger batteries so they can travel further between charges. Mid size Scooters tend to be more comfortable and more storage space. Some mid-sized mobility scooters may be dismantled for transport by car. These Scooter are also faster than most portable scooters and may be suitable for limited or short range road use.
Road scooters are for people who want to use their scooter for longer journeys, on more rugged terrain. They are larger and more powerful than other scooters as they can reach higher speeds. They have lager wheels and typically have better suspension and brakes. This makes them heavy and less suitable for portability by car and also more expensive. They are ideal if living on a property or where you need to travel long distances. Great for getting out and about and visiting parks.
PROS & CONS
- What to look for in the company you buy the scooter from
• How long have they been in business? Many businesses pop up offering Mobility scooters, only to vanish before you have need to claim against the warranty of worse. So, its always best to go with someone that’s been in business for a long time.
• What do their customers think of them? Have a look at their customer feedback, did they write it themselves or is it genuine and recent. Check they have at least 30 or more positive reviews.
• Compare apples with apples. The old saying, “you get what you pay for” is a very costly lesson when buying a cheap, but poor quality Mobility Scooter. Remember, you may not be paying for a car or rego anymore so its worthwhile thinking comparatively in seeking new freedom of independence that a Mobility Scooter may provide.
• How long is the warranty? Longer is always better. Can we buy an extended warranty? This may be an option that suits most best.
• What are the servicing options, costs?
USING A MOTORIZED WHEELCHAIR IN QUEENSLAND
If you use a motorised wheelchair on a footpath or road area in Queensland, it must be registered.
To be registered, your motorised wheelchair must:
- have an electric motor
• be designed and built for a person with mobility difficulties
• have a tare weight of 150kg or less
• not be capable of travelling at more than 10km/h on level ground.
• If you move from another state or territory to Queensland to live you must register your motorised wheelchair within 14 days. Visitors to Queensland are exempt from registration.
In all cases, the person in control of the motorised wheelchair must be capable to safely operate the motorised wheelchair.
Registrations of motorised wheelchairs are free.
There are also no transfer, number plate or compulsory third party (CTP) insurance fees.
MOTORISED WHEELCHAIR USE
When using a motorised wheelchair outside of the home, for example on a footpath, the person using the motorised wheelchair is considered to be a pedestrian under the Queensland Road Rules. This means a motorised wheelchair (including mobility scooters) can only be used where a pedestrian can travel, referred to as pedestrian travel routes.
A person using a motorised wheelchair, or any other pedestrian must:
• use the footpath or nature strip where available
or if there is no footpath or nature strip available, or there is an obstruction that needs to be avoided, the person must travel as close as possible to the left or right hand side of the road—you also should face oncoming traffic if possible
• cross a road by the most direct route and use a crossing where available.
In addition to the above general rules, a person using a motorised wheelchair must also exercise due care and attention for the safety of others at all times, including travelling at an appropriate speed (which depending on the situation may be less than the maximum speed of 10km/h).
You can permit another person to use your motorised wheelchair. If you do, you must make them aware of the Queensland Road Rules relating to the use of a motorised wheelchair.