Mobility scooters are life enhancing pieces of equipment for millions of people who have restricted movement, offering them a greater degree of freedom and independence. However, there are certain points you need to be aware of if you are thinking about buying one.  Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about mobility scooters.

Do you need a licence to drive a mobility scooter?

You do not need a licence to drive a mobility scooter or a powered wheelchair. However, not all types can be driven on the road. There are two categories of mobility scooter and powered wheelchairs:

Class 2-  This class includes powered wheelchairs. It is not permitted to drive these on public roads unless there is not a pavement, and they have a maximum allowable speed of 4 mph on footways and pavements. You do not need to register a class 2 mobility scooter.  

Class 3- It is permitted to drive these on the road at a maximum speed of 4mph. They can be driven off the road at a speed of up to 8 mph. Class 3 mobility scooters must be registered.

What age do you need to be to drive a mobility scooter?

The driver of a class 3 mobility scooter must be at least 14 years of age. There is no upper age limit.

Can you drive a mobility scooter if you have a visual impairment?

There is no legal eyesight requirement specifically to drive mobility scooters according to the official government advice. However, you should be able to read a car registration number from a distance of 12.3 metres (40 feet) either with or without glasses. 

It is also important to be aware that if you are involved in an accident and your poor eyesight was deemed to have caused or contributed to it, then you could be liable to compensation claims. 

Can non-disabled people use mobility scooters?

As a rule, only people with a physical disability, medical condition, or injury that makes it difficult for them to walk can use a mobility scooter. However, there are some exceptions, including for training purposes, taking the vehicle to or from a maintenance and repair centre, and demonstrating the vehicle as part of the sales process. 

Do you need vehicle tax for a mobility scooter?

For vehicles that have a maximum road speed of 8 mph and are restricted to 4 mph on footways and pavements, you do not need to pay road tax. However, you must still apply for the tax in order to register the vehicle as an exemption. 

Do you need insurance for a mobility scooter?

Insurance is not a legal requirement to drive a mobility scooter. However, it is highly advisable that they are insured for the same reasons that you would insure any vehicle: to protect you from costly repairs, theft, breakdown and recovery, and also to provide third party liability cover in the event of an accident.

If you are looking for a heavy duty mobility scooter, please get in touch today.