Whether you buy or lease, a mobility scooter is a big commitment; some of the larger road models can retail for thousands of pounds, so it is important to get the right one for your needs and take time to undertake proper research. Here is a guide with questions which you can ask to help work out what you really want to use the scooter for and also put to the seller or lease company – brought to you by SLKMobility.com
Can I test drive the scooter?
There are a huge variety of scooters available on the market and so many different models with varying features, so it is very important that you test drive the actual model you are thinking of buying or leasing. There could be little things which mean one scooter doesn’t suit you, whereas another will, and you certainly don’t want to find this out when it has been delivered and paid for. Don’t be frightened to try lots of different models before you find one which you like. Depending on any personal issues you may have, an experienced dealer or manufacturer will have experience at steering customers to models which they think might suit their particular requirements. Never buy a scooter you have not driven. Some companies will bring a scooter for you to test drive at home if your access to transport or mobility is limited outside the home.
What warranty does the scooter come with?
Your new scooter should come with a warranty. They tend to have a twelve-month warranty to cover any faulty components or unexpected defects. If you are buying a used one from a reputable dealer, then they might include a six-month warranty with it. Always read the warranty terms carefully, particularly if it is secondhand, and it is not the manufacturer’s warranty. If you buy a nearly new scooter from a private sale, then you may still have remaining time left on the original warranty, but you will need all the purchasing paperwork and documents to evidence this.
What is not covered under the warranty?
The warranty will not cover accidental damage, theft, or maintenance issues caused by wear and tear. Many dealers will offer an add-on or warranty upgrade, which might be more extensive in terms of reach and/or run for a period after the original manufacturer’s warranty has expired.
Don’t buy the cheapest on the market
As with any product, you go get what you pay for, but the top models with more features and range often run into several thousand pounds but can be built with higher quality parts and manufacturing standards.
What are the payment options
Rather like buying a car, three-piece suite, or white goods, many dealers will offer finance schemes on new or used scooters. You can still pay outright if you want to, or you can pay a smaller amount and spread the balance of the cost over a set period with monthly payments. If you are struggling to afford a more expensive scooter, then this can be a very good option as it allows you to buy better quality, higher specification model which could better suit your needs and will in all probability last longer.
Can you buy accessories for a mobility scooter?
There are lots of options to help you customise or add on specific items to your mobility scooter. Many of these are designed with the specific requirements of driver including:-
- Storage – there are open rear baskets or closed under-seat storage options, there are also front and rear lockable boxes. Scooter bags are another option which comes in myriad different designs and sizes to accommodate shopping or other things you may need to carry like crutches, sticks or even oxygen bottles
- Scooter care – if you don’t have anywhere convenient to put the mobility scooter when you are not using it, then a folding garage could be what you need to keep it protected from the elements. These are weatherproof and help promote security by keeping the scooter out of sight when it is not in use – they are usually a ride in and out design
- Protection against the elements – there are waterproof capes and ponchos which you can wear which cover you and most of the scooter making light work of bad or wet weather, or another option is a slanted front canopy. If you just want protection for your hands, then there are tiller covers which offer this, transparent so you can still see what you are doing
Ask your dealer about customisation and accessories when you have chosen the scooter model to suit your needs. Usually, any customisation that you require can be completed before delivery.
Making a decision
Some companies will let you have a scooter on a short trial for maybe a week to make sure you get on with the model, but not all. Find out what the dealer’s policy is if you were to change your mind because you simply couldn’t get on with that style or model of scooter.
- Always try before you buy – there are some amazing online offers but don’t be lured in just on price, you should go and try it first
- Don’t just sit on it, take it for a test drive
- Once you have found a model you like, you may be able to shop around online and find it more cheaply but don’t overlook the benefits that a proper retailer can offer you – the price may be a bit higher, but you can probably go and try it several times, and it will be easier to return if you don’t like it
- Always check the length of any guarantee, whether you can opt for an extended warranty and if there is any after-sales service
The mobility scooter market can be confusing as there are lots of different models on offer and varying ways of purchasing them. Online prices are often much cheaper, but you may be required to assemble it yourself, and there may be no servicing or maintenance included.