Thursday, 17 September 2015

12 Questions to Ask before Shopping for an Electric Mobility Scooter





Guest Post prepared by staff writers at Parentgiving

Mobility scooters are designed for persons who have some mobility, but who are fatigued either by walking distances, or walking duration, or walking exertion (on hills, in hot and humid weather, etc).  Modern electric scooters are well-designed machines that can easily cost anywhere from $600 (for low-end basic models) to $4000 (for full featured specialty scooters with all the bells and whistles).



For best application, a scooter shopper should consider the following important questions:
1.     How will the electric scooter primarily be used?  (outside of the home, in the home, or both?)
2.     Where will the scooter be stored and charged when not in use? (indoors, walkway, garage, or carport).  We would never advocate storing an expensive scooter outdoors or under a tarp (and people have told us they planned on doing that!)
3.     Will the scooter be transported in a motor vehicle?  Does this require ramps or vehicle lifts to get the scooter into the vehicle?
4.     Will the scooter be used as a Travel Scooter on trips? (Carried onto airplanes or other modes of public transportation like buses or trains?)
5.     Does the Scooter User have special size requirements? (the user is over 300 lbs or the user is super tall).  Specialty sized scooters for the tallest and/or heaviest users do exist and careful consideration should be made to ensure a proper fit.
6.     Does the user have the hand-strength and dexterity to operate the scooter controls? 
7.     Does the user have the cognitive ability to navigate roadways, intersections, and all types of traffic? (auto and pedestrian traffic)
8.     If my favorite store(s) has electric shopping carts, do I really still require a scooter in my daily life?
9.     Will the scooter be used in a gated community or resort-like environment?  Vendors such as Parentgiving sell scooters that go as fast as 18 mph  and certain shopper segments gravitate to these car and golf-cart “alternatives” in safer-to-navigate environments.  These types of scooters are becoming EXTREMELY popular and an ever-expanding assortment of custom colors, finishes, and accessories are delivering more and more consumer choice to the discerning 55 and over community scooter shopper.
10.  If the Scooter is for outdoor use, how far can it travel on a single charge?  What is the roundtrip capacity for the Scooter?  If you plan on riding your scooter into town for a day of shopping (and back), does it have the charge capacity to do so?
11.  What Kind of Accessories should I consider for my scooter?  Just as in purchasing a car, the right accessories can deliver so much more satisfaction in daily usage.  Anyone travelling in a scooter outside should consider a safety flag for drivers to better recognize them.  Other popular accessories include water bottles, extra batteries, and cup holders.
12.  If driving out of the home, will I ever be using the Scooter at night?  Some scooters come with LED headlights and can be driven at night.  Others do not come with lights and no after-market light system will make the scooter effective for night-time driving.

Here are the most common types of mobility scooters:

3 Wheel Mobility Scooters
Three Wheel Electric Scooters are the most common of all of the scooter types.  These scooters are full featured, and can accommodate larger and taller users, and are flexible enough to be used indoors at home or outside the home.  This scooter type generally offers more spacious legroom for taller users, and is easier to use indoors with its’ smaller turn radius.  Scooters in this class often carry an array of features like arm rests, storage baskets, swivel seats and more. Maximum weight capacity varies, but many models go up to 350 lbs and beyond. 


4 Wheel Mobility Scooters
Four Wheel Mobility scooters offer the most stable scooter platform, and with a wider wheelbase, are designed primarily for outdoor use.  Larger models can have studded tires and higher ground clearance and can even travel over rugged terrain. Some models offer an effective travel range of 20 plus miles per charge and a top speed of 10 mph. Because of their stable four wheel design and platform, we often see larger weight capacities in this scooter class.

Travel Mobility Scooters
These scooters are effortlessly folded and ready for transport and are perfect for the person who likes to travel. Models in this category can disassemble into 3 or 4 pieces for easy transport in the trunk of most cars. The heaviest disassembled piece on our travel scooters weighs slightly more than 20 pounds. Sealed batteries make travel scooters airline safe (but be sure to contact your airline before booking a flight). These scooters tend to be compact so we don't recommend them for users over 300 lbs or over 5'10" in height. Pride's Go-Go scooter is a
really popular choice in this class of scooter.






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