Can You Use Mobility Scooters in Shops?

We live in a world where inclusivity and accessibility are steadily becoming a global priority. 

This is crucial, especially when it comes to enabling independence for those with mobility challenges. 

One device that has been transformative in this regard is the mobility scooter. 

These battery-powered vehicles are designed to help individuals who have difficulty walking navigate their day-to-day tasks with ease. 

They have opened up a world of possibilities, enabling users to reclaim their independence and enjoy activities that were once challenging or impossible, such as shopping.

But when it comes to using mobility scooters in shops, many questions often arise. 

Are they allowed inside stores? 

Do parking lots accommodate these vehicles? 

What kind of restrictions might users face? 

This article aims to address these questions and provide a comprehensive guide to using mobility scooters in shops. 

In the end, our hope is to equip you with the necessary information to enhance your shopping experience while using a mobility scooter.

Key Takeaways

  1. Mobility Scooters in Store Parking Lots: Most store parking lots are designed to accommodate mobility scooters. They usually have designated spaces and ramps for easy access to the storefront. However, this can vary depending on the location and the store’s commitment to accessibility.
  2. Disability Scooters Allowed Inside Stores: Yes, disability scooters are typically allowed inside stores. This is in line with the principles of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which mandates accessibility for individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life.
  3. Stores Providing Scooters for Shoppers: Some larger stores provide their own mobility scooters for customers. It’s important to call ahead and confirm if the store you plan to visit provides this service. Remember, these scooters are usually available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
  4. Usage of Store Disability Scooters: Store-provided disability scooters can be used by anyone facing mobility challenges, not just those with disabilities. These are meant to enhance the shopping experience for all customers who may find it difficult to navigate large store spaces.
  5. Restrictions For Mobility Scooters in Shops: While generally accepted, some stores might have restrictions based on the size or type of the mobility scooter due to aisle width, merchandise placement, or other factors. It is always wise to confirm with the store before your visit.

In the following sections, we will delve into these takeaways in more detail, as well as provide some insight into choosing the best mobility scooter for shopping, and understanding where mobility scooters are intended to be used.

Can You Use Mobility Scooters in Store Parking Lots?

Navigating the parking lot is usually the first hurdle when shopping with a mobility scooter. However, most modern stores are designed with accessibility in mind, which extends to their parking lots. It’s common to find designated parking spaces for vehicles carrying people with mobility difficulties. These spaces are typically located close to the store entrance, reducing the distance one would have to travel from their car to the store.

Besides parking spaces, stores often provide ramps and lowered curbs to accommodate mobility scooters. This makes it easier for you to move from the parking lot into the store. There might also be scooter-friendly paths that lead directly from the parking lot to the entrance of the store.

Yet, these accommodations can vary significantly. For example, while some locations may have wide, paved paths perfect for scooters, others might only have narrow sidewalks or even no designated path at all. For a comprehensive guide on navigating various environments with a mobility scooter, check out this article on mobility scooter driving guide.

Are Disability Scooters Allowed Inside Stores?

In many places around the world, disability rights legislation protects the right of individuals with mobility issues to use their aids, including scooters, in public spaces. In the United States, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandates that all public accommodations, which include stores and shopping centers, must allow people with disabilities to use mobility devices in all areas where customers are allowed.

Therefore, disability scooters are generally allowed inside stores. However, the size of the scooter, the size of the store, and how crowded the store is at any given time can affect the practicality of using a mobility scooter. If your scooter is particularly large or the store is very small or tightly packed, maneuvering the scooter could prove challenging.

For more insights into the types of mobility scooters and their sizes, the article types of mobility scooters is a great resource to check out.

Are There Any Restrictions For Mobility Scooters in Shops?

When it comes to using mobility scooters in shops, there are indeed a few important considerations and potential restrictions that users need to bear in mind. The restrictions primarily revolve around space, scooter size, and shop policies.

Size and Maneuverability

The first consideration is the size and maneuverability of the scooter. The aisles in some shops, particularly smaller or older establishments, might not be wide enough to accommodate larger mobility scooters. Likewise, tightly packed displays and narrow checkout areas can also pose a challenge. Therefore, using a compact or a folding mobility scooter might be more suitable in these environments.

Shop Policies

Every shop has its own set of policies. Some may have restrictions on mobility scooters due to safety concerns or space constraints. However, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), businesses cannot discriminate against customers on the basis of disability and must allow mobility devices unless they pose a legitimate safety risk. It is advisable to check with the store ahead of time if you are unsure of their policy.

Indoor vs. Outdoor Scooters

Another consideration is whether the scooter is an indoor or outdoor model. Indoor mobility scooters are typically more compact and have a smaller turning radius, making them more suitable for navigating tight spaces in stores. If you are using a large, heavy-duty or all-terrain mobility scooter, you may encounter difficulties maneuvering within some stores.

Best Mobility Scooters for Shopping

There’s a broad range of mobility scooters on the market, and while many of them can work well for shopping trips, some are particularly well-suited to this task. Here are a few key factors to consider when choosing a mobility scooter for shopping, as well as a few recommended models.

Considerations for Shopping Scooters

  1. Size: Opt for a scooter that is compact enough to maneuver through aisles and checkout lanes with ease.
  2. Basket size: A larger basket will allow you to carry more items, making your shopping trip more efficient.
  3. Battery life: Ensure the scooter has a battery life that’s sufficient for your shopping trip and return journey.
  4. Portability: If you need to transport your scooter in a car, a model that is lightweight or can be easily disassembled or folded will be most suitable.

With these factors in mind, the following models are among the best mobility scooters for shopping:

  1. Pride Mobility Go-Go Elite Traveller: A compact and lightweight model with a handy front-mounted basket.
  2. Drive Medical Scout Compact Travel Scooter: This model disassembles into five pieces for easy transport, and has a comfortable, adjustable seat for long shopping trips.
  3. EV Rider Transport Plus: This foldable scooter is ideal for fitting into a car boot, and has a removable front basket.

Where Are Mobility Scooters Intended to Be Used?

While the focus of this article is on using mobility scooters in shops, it’s worth noting that these versatile devices can be used in a wide variety of settings.

Outdoor Use

Outdoor mobility scooters are rugged and well-suited to traversing different types of terrain, from sidewalks and pavements to grassy park areas. Some models, known as all-terrain mobility scooters, are specifically designed to handle more challenging environments such as gravel, sand, and uneven ground.

Indoor Use

Mobility scooters can also be used indoors, both in private homes and public places like shopping centers, museums, and restaurants. For these environments, smaller, more maneuverable models are often the best choice.

Public Transportation

Many types of public transportation, such as buses and trains, accommodate mobility scooters. However, each transportation provider may have its own rules and requirements, so it’s important to check these in advance. For more details on this topic, refer to our articles on taking mobility scooters on buses and trains.


For those who like to travel, certain mobility scooters are designed to be easily disassembled or folded for transport in a car or even on an airplane. 

Check out our guide to the best travel mobility scooters for more information.

In conclusion, mobility scooters can be invaluable tools for maintaining independence and improving quality of life. 

They can certainly be used in shops, provided users consider the size and maneuverability of the device, as well as the specific policies of the store. 

With a wide variety of models available, you can choose the one that best suits your lifestyle and needs.

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.