How to Choose the Right Scooter for your Mobility Needs

Mobility scooters are an investment towards your or a loved one’s personal freedom. They provide the independence necessary to navigate daily obstacles or visit areas that would otherwise be arduous to explore. With personal struggles, it can sometimes be difficult to even think about what you or your loved one needs without taking a step back and looking at the all the lifestyle factors. Our hope is that this guide will help you make an informed decision about what mobility scooter will best suit your needs, or the needs of your loved one.

Location and Terrain
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Location and Terrain

If you want to use your scooter indoors, a compact scooter or three-wheel scooter with a tighter turn radius will allow you to get around corners and weave through furniture. If you are looking for a scooter for outdoor excursions, such as sidewalks, parks and similar spaces, then a midsize or full-size scooter with longer driving range and higher speed will be a better choice. In either case, your scooter should be equipped with anti-tip casters on the back to tackle light inclines.

Hardwood floors are significantly easier to traverse than dirt paths, so knowing the types of terrain on which you want to travel is important. Much like cars and motorcycles, some mobility scooters have more power and oomph than others. For a true off-road experience, a heavy duty off-road scooter will be just the ticket, as they come with added safety features, cushioning, and off-road tires.

Mileage and Battery Life
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Mileage and Battery Life

Most batteries will last several years with daily use, and the daily charge travel distance varies – some power scooters can go for 45 miles before they need to be recharged! If your daily mileage will only be a few miles, consider purchasing a mobility scooter with a cost-saving smaller battery. However, if you know there will be times when you want to travel many miles without recharging, a scooter with a larger capacity battery will be a better fit for your lifestyle.

Portability
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Portability

For travel and transportation, there are multiple mobility scooters that are designed with lightweight components and intuitive disassembly. Some of the more compact models are foldable so that you can fit them in the back of a van of SUV. If you know that you want a larger mobility scooter, you will be able to transport it on a hitch-mounted carrier. Hitch-mounted carriers can be powered or come with ramps. If you go that route, please make sure that the carrier is rated for the total weight of your scooter. Another method is to tow your scooter on a separate trailer, which can present a hassle when parking and isn’t recommended for daily living scenarios.

Arm and Hand Mobility Limitations
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Arm and Hand Mobility Limitations

For some users with limited arm and hand dexterity, turning the handlebars of a power scooter presents too large of a challenge. Fortunately, power wheelchairs offer armrest-mount joystick controls that are designed for individuals with a limited range of motion. They also offer a tight turn radius, and have a small footprint so they can fit into areas that stump scooters.

Weight Capacity
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Weight Capacity

If you plan on carrying heavy objects along with you on your scooter, such as groceries, or if you are a person of size, then you must take the weight capacity of the scooter into account because not all scooters are made equal. Most lightweight and standard-sized mobility scooters can support users between 250 to 350 pounds, so look for ones with higher weight ratings if applicable.

Weight Capacity
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Seat Options

From a compact seat to a full, extra-wide captain’s chair or stadium seat, your preferred seat option should be based on your body shape and personal comfort level. If you know you want a smaller model for quick trips, a smaller seat makes sense; however, if you are a larger individual and prefer a roomier seat, then maybe a midsize or full-size scooter would be a better choice.

Accessories
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Accessories

Once you’ve decided on a scooter, consider what accessories will make help the transition go smoothly. Threshold ramps will help you ride your scooter through doorways or small steps in your home. To transport your scooter, there are a variety of carrier options available. The most popular choice are hitch-mounted carriers; however, if you are physically limited, powered scooter carriers can do the work for you. During storage or transport, covers will keep your scooter clean of dust, debris and the elements.

We're Here to Help!

Discount Ramps has trained sales and service representatives that can help you select the perfect mobility aid to best suit your lifestyle.
 Call 888-651-3431 to speak with our staff and find the answer to your diverse mobility needs.

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