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Powered Mobility Scooter Buying Guide (2022)

Author Andrew H
Published on April 29, 2022
by Andrew H

The growth and innovation of technology have made life easier for people from all walks. The best thing about this innovation is that it has done a lot for disabled people, who can move about freely and comfortably. One of the best inventions for disabled people is mobility scooters, which are specially designed to facilitate them to move around without any pain or discomfort.

Mobility scooters have been upgraded in the past one or two decades, and there are various types of mobility scooters that you can choose from. Therefore, you need to understand the different types and their features and differences. We have researched and highlighted all of the powered mobility scooters in this guide.

Powered mobility scooters work with the help of a brushed or brushless DC motor that is connected to their large-sized wheels. You can control them through a handle with different buttons and controls to help you smoothly glide across different surfaces. With that said, let's look at the various types of powered mobility scooters that you can choose between for yourself or someone you know.

Travel Mobility Scooters

Travel Mobility Scooters
Travel mobility scooter
We start off our guide with travel mobility scooters, which are highly useful for disabled people. This type of powered mobility scooter is perfect for people who like or need to travel within the city or other cities or countries. These scooters are highly portable and made from durable materials. Plus, they are lightweight and can also be folded, so you can put them in the trunk of your car or give them to the stewardess on the flight.

Some travel mobility scooters can be disassembled into a couple of parts for easy storage and transportation, while others can be folded into different and compact shapes. The best ones can be folded automatically, and you have to press a button to perform the function. These scooters are equipped with a lithium-ion battery and an aluminum frame, contributing to their lightweight and portability.

While this scooter is suitable for travel and easy to carry around with you, it doesn't have the most comfortable seats. Due to its foldable design, the seats on travel mobility scooters aren't as plush or supportive as the ones you find on other scooters. Therefore, you shouldn't use it for extended periods.

Mid-Sized Mobility Scooters

Mid-Sized Mobility Scooters
Mid-size mobility scooter
A DC motor, like other types, also powers mid-sized mobility scooters, and they are specially designed for use in indoor and outdoor settings. They are slightly larger and much more durable than travel mobility scooters, and you can't fold them, which means that they aren't exactly portable. Mid-sized mobility scooters come with large wheels that can easily move across different surfaces, and they are also easy to maneuver on rough and rocky surfaces. So, you don't have to worry about getting stuck or stranded while you are outdoors. You can also use it conveniently at restaurants, coffee shops, stores, malls, and other indoor spaces.

You can also transport some mid-sized mobility scooters, but since they don't have a foldable mechanism, you might have to settle for a model that you can disassemble into different pieces for storage and transport. Compared to travel scooters, the seats on mid-sized scooters are much more comfortable and supportive, which means you can use them for a longer time.

Full-Sized Mobility Scooter

Full-Sized Mobility Scooter
Full-size mobility scooter
As the name suggests, a full-sized mobility scooter is larger compared to the previous types that we have discussed. They are also designed for indoor and outdoor use, and they can handle the outdoors much better than mid-sized scooters. They feature three large wheels and a high-performance lithium-ion battery with a 20-mile output. Moreover, they have a heavy-duty motor that offers a top speed of 4 miles per hour and can easily bear weight up to 135 kg.

You can also find a four-wheel variant in the full-sized mobility scooter, which can go up to 10 miles per hour and easily run for up to 30 miles. Moreover, it has a weight capacity of 225 kg, which makes it much more suitable for large and heavier people. These scooters have a durable and sturdy frame that doesn't bend or warp and doesn't succumb to the effects of the weather.

Full-sized mobility scooters are highly suitable for disabled people with larger apartments and those who like to be out and about. Thanks to their impressive range and comfortable seating, you can ride them for a longer time without experiencing any back pain or discomfort.

All-Terrain Mobility Scooters

All-Terrain Mobility Scooters
All-terrain mobility scooters
Next up, you can find the all-terrain mobility scooters. Also known as heavy-duty mobility scooters, these models are designed for easy maneuverability and smooth riding over rough terrain, unpaved areas, or rocky sidewalks. You can also ride it on golf courses, gardens, farmhouses, and similar surfaces.

All-terrain mobility scooters are similar to full-sized ones, or they might be slightly larger. Moreover, they have higher ground clearance, which refers to the space between the bottom of the seat and the ground. A higher clearance helps you pass through larger obstacles and rougher terrains without any difficulty. You can also find an undercarriage that supports the seat and your weight and four heavy-duty weather-resistant wheels that can bear all types of conditions.

All-terrain mobility scooters are particularly useful for disabled people who like off-roading and trails, and it allows them to join in with their family and friends, having a good time. They also have a weight capacity of 225 kg and come with long-range batteries. Therefore, you don't have to worry about getting uncomfortable due to sitting too long on their comfortable seats.

3-Wheeled Scooters

3-Wheeled Scooters
3-wheel mobility scooter
As the name suggests, 3-wheeled mobility scooters contain three large wheels, which gives them a shorter turning radius. They are highly beneficial for maneuvering in tight spaces and corners, and they also occupy less space than the 4-wheeler, thus making them easier to park or store inside your home. With a little help, these scooters can also be disassembled for transportation, and you can carry them with you on local and international trips.

3-wheeled scooters are highly durable and portable, but they are a notch lower than 4-wheeled scooters when it comes to stability. If you are driving them at a higher speed and turn the handle quickly, you may run the risk of toppling them over, injuring yourself in the process. Moreover, 3-wheeled scooters have less space and a smaller footrest area due to their narrow deck.

4-Wheeled Scooters

4-Wheeled Scooters
4-wheel mobility scooter
Last but not least, we come to 4-wheeled scooters. They come with four large wheels and a longer turning radius, but they are also more stable and safe than 3-wheeled scooters. You can expect it to remain stable as you drive it indoors and outdoors. Moreover, the 4-wheeled mobility scooter has a larger deck, which provides you with enough space to rest your feet.

In terms of comfort, you might think that 4-wheeled scooters are better since they have a larger and more comfortable seat. Therefore, you can easily rest your frame without adjusting yourself or worrying about toppling the scooter. Compared to a 3-wheeler, 4-wheeled scooters are more difficult to maneuver in tight spaces and around tight corners. However, you would be able to manage them easily after you drive them for a while.

4-wheeled scooters are perfect for tall people and people who are on the heavier side. Their wheels are heavy-duty and provide them with a higher weight capacity. Overall, 4-wheeled scooters are more preferred by disabled individuals than the 3-wheeled model.

Features to Consider

There are various parts and components of a powered mobility scooter that you should take under consideration.

Tiller - A tiller is the T-shaped steering column you hold onto and turn clockwise or counterclockwise while turning the scooter right or left. The tiller also has a control panel that includes buttons for forwarding/reverse, speed, turning signals, and other features that the scooter might have.

Seats - The seat on a mobility scooter needs to be comfortable and supportive since you have to sit on it for longer periods and can't adjust yourself if you feel any discomfort. Generally, travel and 3-wheeled scooters have smaller seats, making them unsuitable for longer use.

Suspension - Mobility scooters with a suspension offer more stability and a smoother ride, especially on rougher surfaces. Usually, 3 and 4-wheeled scooters come with standard suspension, and few travel scooters have them.

Wheels & Tires - There are three wheels on powered mobility scooters: solid, pneumatic, and foam-filled. Out of these, foam-filled and solid wheels don't run out of air, but pneumatic wheels have a smoother ride. Most all-terrain and full-sized mobility scooters have pneumatic wheels on them.

This brings us to the end of our guide on the different types of powered mobility scooters. You can explore them and see which one suits your needs. Whichever one you choose, you can be assured of a comfortable and hassle-free experience.