Mobility Scooters: 11 Tips to Choose the Best for You

Mobility scooters can be a great option for people with mobility challenges, but choosing the right one can be overwhelming. 

There are many different types and features to consider, so it’s important to know what to look for before making a purchase. 

In this article, we’ll give you 11 tips to help you choose the best mobility scooter for you. 

From weight capacity and turning radius to battery life and portability, we’ll cover everything you need to know to make an informed decision. 

With the right mobility scooter, you’ll be able to get around more easily and enjoy greater independence. 

So let’s get started and help you find the perfect mobility scooter for you!

Key takeaways:

  • Define your mobility needs to better determine which scooter will work out for your situation
  • 3-wheeled powered scooters are better for home use due to their sharper turn radius
  • Scooters range in price from $800 to $5000 or more, so budgeting is key
  • Most insurance companies will cover up to 80% of the cost of these assistive devices if you qualify for it
  • There are several different types of scooters catered to alternative patients
  • It’s always recommended to go for a unit from a reputed brand, with a well-known retailer
  • Scooters can be financed, and most retailers have options available
  • Renting a particular scooter model before buying it is an excellent idea to test it for around $30 a day

1. Determine Your Mobility Needs

Before you start shopping for a mobility scooter, it’s important to assess your mobility needs. 

Think about the areas where you will be using the scooter and the types of terrain you will be navigating. 

Consider factors such as weight capacity, turning radius, and battery life. 

Having a clear understanding of your needs will make it easier to find a scooter that meets them.

Some questions you should ask yourself are:

  • Would you use the scooter inside your home?
  • Do you have enough space to maneuver at home?
  • Do you have space to store the scooter?
  • Will you be transporting the unit in your car? How big is the trunk?
  • Would you require assistance getting on and off the device?
  • If it’s for outdoor use, how long are your average trips?
  • How much time would you be spending, daily, on the scooter?
  • Do you need it long term or is it just a temporary necessity?
  • How much can you spend on the device?

2. Would You Use It at Home?

Consider whether you will mostly be using your scooter at home or if you will be taking it outside. 

If you will be using it mostly inside your home, a smaller, more compact scooter may be a better option. 

Particularly, 3-wheel units are deemed perfect for in-home usage since they have a sharper turning radius, making it easier to navigate in small rooms and narrow hallways.

If you plan to take it outside, a more heavy-duty scooter with larger wheels and better suspension may be a better fit.

4-wheel scooters will give you a bit more stability and better turning traction, at the expense of an increased turning radius and less legroom.

You can check more of the differences between the types of vehicles I mentioned here:

3. Define a Budget

Determine a budget for your mobility scooter. 

Mobility scooters are available at a wide range of prices, so it’s important to decide on an amount that you’re comfortable spending. 

This will help you narrow down your options and find a scooter that fits your needs and your budget.

Starting at $800 and climbing up to $5000 or more, there’s an option for every wallet, but you shouldn’t be spending more than you can afford.

There are alternatives to get discounted or even free units, and we discussed them here:

4. Check if You Qualify for Insurance Coverage

Many insurance plans cover the cost of mobility scooters for those who qualify. 

Check with your insurance provider to see if you qualify and how much coverage you can expect.

Bear in mind that insurance companies will only cover scooters for those patients that really have a medical need where no other assistive device can aid them.

This, of course, has to be certified by a doctor, and by supplementing medical tests of flexibility and strength, among other things.

Also, most insurers will require a survey of the home of the individual to determine if there’s enough space to operate the unit at home.

Something that’s particularly important, since insurance companies will only cover mobility scooters for indoor home use.

You can get a grasp of how this process works for Medicare here:

The process is very similar for also for private companies.

5. Learn About the Different Types Available

There are several types of mobility scooters available, including travel scooters, heavy-duty scooters, and outdoor scooters. 

Each type has its own set of features, so it’s important to understand the differences and choose the one that best suits your needs.

For an in-depth look at all the different types of mobility scooters in the market, you should check the following article:

6. A Primer on the Most Popular Brands

Research the most popular brands of mobility scooters to understand their reputation and customer satisfaction. 

Look at customer reviews and ratings to get a sense of the quality of the scooters and the customer service provided by the manufacturer.

Although the final decision is yours, here are some of the current top scooter brands in the market:

  • Pride Mobility
  • EV Rider
  • Ewheels
  • Drive Medical
  • Golden Technologies
  • Shoprider
  • Drive Spitfire
  • EFoldi
  • EzFold
  • Red Elephant

7. Reputable Retailers

When buying a mobility scooter, it’s important to purchase from reputable retailers. 

Check the retailer’s website and read customer reviews to ensure they have a good reputation. 

It’s also a good idea to visit the store in person, if possible, to see the scooters and get a feel for the level of customer service provided.

Here are some of our top choices for mobility scooter retailers:

  • Vitality Medical
  • Save Rite Medical
  • Discount Medical Supplies
  • Betty Mills
  • Cascade Healthcare Solutions
  • Allegro Medical
  • 1800 Wheelchair
  • Mobility Direct
  • Scootaround

8. Average Cost of a Scooter

Mobility scooters can vary greatly in price, with basic models starting at around $800 and more advanced models costing up to $5000

Keep in mind that price should not be the only factor when making your decision, but it can be helpful to understand the typical cost of a scooter.

Luckily, if the price is an issue, there are many alternatives to offset the cost.

We will discuss them at the end of this list.

9. Consider Financing

Many retailers offer financing options for mobility scooters, which can make purchasing one more affordable. 

Be sure to compare interest rates and terms to find the best financing option for you.

10. Test the Scooter Before Purchasing

Before making a purchase, take the time to test drive the scooter. 

This will give you a chance to experience the scooter’s handling, maneuverability, and overall performance.

Although many retailers will offer you a free test drive, you will never get an in-depth knowledge of the device by just driving it a few minutes in the store.

What I recommend, before pulling the trigger on a certain model, is to look for it in the catalogs of rental companies.

You can then get it for a day, or even better for a week to discover all the nuances and quirks it might have.

We discuss scooter rentals in more detail in this article:

However, a typical scooter rental is about $30 per day or $200 per week.

If your budget allows for it, I encourage you to rent before you buy.

11. Warranties and Return Policies

Finally, be sure to review the warranty and return policy of the mobility scooter before making a purchase. 

A good warranty will protect your investment in case of any defects or issues with the scooter. 

And a good return policy will allow you to return the scooter if it does not meet your needs or expectations.

Tips on How to Get a Discounted or Even Free Scooter

Now that you have a clearer idea of what you should look for in your assistive device, it’s time you focus on how to make the most out of your budget.

For doing so, I think you will benefit from the following article we have published recently:

All the claims made in this article are only for informational purposes, based on the writer’s experience and not clinical advice. You should always consult your physician or physical therapist if you have any doubts about how this applies to your specific case.