What to Know Before Buying a Mobile Scooter

A mobility scooter can be a key component to helping people remain active and independent. If you’re thinking about getting a mobile scooter, there are some factors to consider to ensure you get the best one for your needs and lifestyle.

Top 10 Things to Look at When Buying a Mobility Scooter

1.     Class. Depending on your activity level and where you’ll be using it, the class of scooter makes a difference. Class 2 scooters are smaller and lighter. They’re usually less expensive and are perfect for use on pavement and shopping areas at speeds up to 4mph. Class 3 mobile scooters are considered road class vehicles. They’re larger and heavier and can achieve speeds up to 8mph. They can be used on any roads except for motorways and dual carriageways, making them better suited to longer excursions.

2.     Test it out. Before you buy a scooter, sit in it. Be sure you’re comfortable and can sit upright with sufficient legroom and easy access to controls.

3.     Get a recommendation. Check resources you trust for information and talk with your healthcare providers, friends, neighbors, etc. to see which scooters they suggest. Although everyone’s needs are different, if someone points out something they really like, or dislike, that can help you hone in one things you want (or don’t want) in your scooter.

4.     Transporting it. Class 2 scooters can’t be driven on the road, so you’ll need to put them in your car for longer trips. Be sure it’s light enough to lift and easy to disassemble and reassemble. Before you buy it, consider doing some trial runs with getting it in and out of your car.

5.     Maximum capacity. Although smaller, lighter scooters have their advantages, they also have maximum weight limits. Be sure you take your own weight into consideration as failing to do so may cause the scooter to be unstable and may also void any warranty.

6.     Where will you store it? The batteries need to be charged overnight, so ideally you’ll have a covered garage or shed with an electric outlet. Consider adding a ramp to make accessing the storage location easier.

7.     Get professional suggestions. Mobility scooters are considered a medical device. Your occupational therapist or other caregivers may have suggestions for features to help make your scooter most suited to your lifestyle.

8.     Choose your accessories wisely. As you may have noticed, the price range for mobility scooters is quite large. Consider which included features you really need. Some may not be worth the extra money.

9.     Carefully select the supplier. If you’re buying new, be sure you’re purchasing your scooter from a trusted manufacturer or supplier that follows industry standards.

10.  Check for warranties and service. New models should come with at least a one year warranty. Buying used can save you money, but be sure you consider the cost of any maintenance or down time if the scooter suffers a breakdown.

 

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More information

Please note: VAT is removed in the checkout process

In the UK, disabled people do not have to pay VAT when buying certain disability aids and services (This can be claimed by friend or family member purchasing on their behalf). Not everything supplied to disabled people is necessarily zero-rated for VAT. Goods and services on which you do not have to pay VAT are usually known as 'zero-rated' or 'eligible for VAT relief.

Who is eligible for VAT relief?

You must be 'chronically sick or disabled' to qualify for VAT relief. The HMRC comment on this is as follows. A person is 'chronically sick or disabled' if they either:

VAT Relief on our Disability Aids

All products on the Aids for Mobility website are flagged with an option to claim VAT relief during Checkout if it applies to that item. When you add a zero-rated product or service to your Basket, you will be asked to tick a checkbox to confirm that you, or the person for whom you are buying the item, are eligible for VAT Relief.

How VAT relief works

If you are claiming VAT Relief you will be asked to complete an extra few questions during Checkout, where we will ask you to provide brief details of your disability and confirmation that the product is for 'personal or domestic use'. We will keep a record of this declaration along with your order details. You can then buy the product(s) in your Basket at a price that excludes VAT. You will be asked to make this declaration each time you place an order that includes zero-rated products. It is a legal requirement that we record this information for every order, and we apologise for the inconvenience.

More information from HMRC

You can find out more about VAT Relief for disabled people on the HM Revenue and Customs website. If you cannot find the answer to your questions there or would prefer to speak to an adviser, you can call their Helpline on 0845 302 02 03.

The helpline is open from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday. (Closed weekends and bank holidays).