How often have you wanted to go the supermarket, but you didn’t want to ask someone to go with you and help you? Are you homebound because you can no longer drive, and you have to ask for help every time you need to go somewhere? Or maybe you can’t afford a vehicle due to the maintenance and insurance costs of owning one. Well, a scooter could be your answer.
If you live close to your favorite shopping center, you can leave your home on a scooter and get to the shopping center with no help from anyone. Licenses for scooters also are either non-existent or very minimal. Your city or state government office should be able to determine what kind of license you would need, if any, to operate a scooter.
Scooters are great for transportation if you have mobility issues. As you age, activities you once took for granted become more difficult to accomplish. Sometimes you need that little extra aid to perform certain tasks, i.e., going to the grocery store or the drugstore. Scooters can be a tremendous help to you in this instance. Most scooters can be taken apart to transport and then be reassembled easily once you’re at your destination.
You will no longer feel that you can’t accomplish the same errands on your own, as you were accustomed to before your mobility issues. Scooters offer independence and ease for the elderly or anyone who has any kind of physical constraints. They are especially helpful for people with knee or back issues. You don’t need to be old to use one of these either. Young people with physical limitations also use them to get around with ease. You will have the independence that you lost when you were no longer able to get around by yourself due to age or health issues.
Most scooters are designed to get around tight spaces, so they are perfect for handling the aisles in stores. Scooters have different weight constraints, so you will need to be sure to purchase one that can handle whatever weight you intend to put on it. Heavier styles would be more appropriate for people who are heavier in stature, and lighter styles would be better for people who are lighter in stature. As in any other vehicle, you will want to determine if the seat can be lowered or raised with ease.
They come in different sizes, battery operated and/or electric powered. Some manufacturers also have different color options available for the consumer, and they offer additional accessories for separate purchase that will meet your needs. You can find small trailers for some scooters and other small accessories that will make things easier for you. Whatever you can imagine, they probably have the accessory for it. Some accessories will be scooter specific, but if you look, you can find numerous accessories that will work with the scooter you ultimately choose.
Some smaller scooters can be used for airline travel and can be folded down like rolling suitcases, so you would be able to roll it to the ticket counter. If you do choose a scooter that is foldable with traveling in mind, be sure to contact the airline you will be flying with and ask them what their requirements are for traveling with scooters. You don’t want any surprises if that particular airline doesn’t allow them. If your scooter is also equipped with a battery, some airlines may require that the battery is placed/secured in a carry-on bag.
Scooters can also be used just to drive around and see the sights and have a bit of fun. You won’t have to worry about finding a place to sit and rest and you still have quite a bit of mobility. You can put snacks in the basket for later if you’re going to a park or just get hungry while you’re on your outing. Most scooters come equipped with a large basket that attaches to the front or the back that should be enough room for anything you may want to carry with you. Some scooters may also have additional storage available for whatever model you decide to purchase. The possibilities are endless.
There are many advantages in using and owning a scooter:
- The best method of transportation if you do not drive a vehicle
- No or minimum license requirements due to the slow speed of the scooters – you would need to check with your local government office
- Can be transported/reassembled with ease from one location to another
- Easy to maintain
- Easy to park
- Cost efficient
- Fun to drive
- Gives you back your independence
Some disadvantages are:
- May be too heavy for some people to transport
- May be difficult to assemble after transport
- Most don’t travel fast
The many advantages outweigh the disadvantages so there is really no reason that a scooter won’t work for you.
You may be able to purchase a scooter through Medicare, but the restrictions are much tighter now due to companies abusing the system. Review the Medicare website – Medicare.gov to learn more about the requirements they have put in place for individuals wanting to obtain a scooter. If you prefer to just pay for it out of pocket, they come with different price tags also.
It all depends on what you want or need the scooter to do for you. The bells and whistles you want will also dictate the price you will pay.
There are specific things to focus on when you’re looking for the perfect scooter:
- How comfortable is the seat? Does it fit your needs in size and comfort? You don’t want a scooter that will be uncomfortable to sit on and operate.
- How easy is it to turn corners and move around? If it’s difficult for you to maneuver the scooter, it may be too much for you to handle so you may need to look for one that is smaller and lighter.
- What is the weight limit? You don’t want a lightweight scooter if you have substantial weight. They make heavier scooters that would better support you. On the other hand, if you’re slight in stature, you don’t want a heavier style that will be difficult for you to handle.
- Is assembling it easy or difficult? If you are alone, it may make more sense to purchase one that is lighter in weight so it will be easier to manage on your own.
- How far can you travel on a single charge and how fast would you be able to go? You don’t want the scooter to run out of juice in the middle of your trip. That would make it difficult to reach your destination. You also want to be able to go at a steady pace that isn’t too slow or too fast.
- Is it easy to get on and off the scooter? If it’s difficult to get on it, you may need one that is smaller and more appropriate for your stature. You can also purchase scooters that have four wheels rather than three. That would make the scooter easier to manage also.
You should check off these questions for any scooter you’re looking at. Making a list of pros and cons for each scooter you’re interested in will also help to narrow down your search. Other things to consider would be a helmet and elbow/knee pads. These safety items will help keep you from harm if you were ever to be in an accident.
If you have never driven a scooter, it would be in your best interest to go to some type of class that will allow you to get some practice. Some cities offer classes so check in your area and see what’s available to you.
The following are five examples of scooters from one price spectrum to the other. You should be able to find the perfect scooter in your price range and needs. These particular scooters can be purchased through Amazon and they all rate four stars or higher with consumer reviews.
To review the warranty for any of these scooters contact the manufacturer/seller, or you can also search their website if there is one available. Sometimes they will include a question and answer section if they have a website, which may answer any questions or concerns you have. Manufacturers have a wealth of information for their products; you just need to know where to look. Most manufacturers also have variations of their scooters that are upgraded and offer more than another.
SmartScoot Lithium, lightweight & folding plane or Cruise travel electric mobility scooter Open Box by SmartScoot
Features of the SmartScoot
- 5-star review on Amazon
- Approved by American Airlines for travel – the battery must be in a carry-on bag
- It will fit in the trunk of most vehicles
- There is a cane holder and also a horn
- Weather resistant front wheel drive
- Forward and reverse modes
- Three-speed settings
- Rechargeable battery
- Includes battery charger
- Parking brake
- Front basket which is also removable
- Adjustable seat
- LED headlight
Features of the EWheels EW-19 Sporty Scooter
- 4 ½ star review on Amazon
- Ships completely assembled and ready to ride
- Large basket for the back
- Three-speed settings
- Removable seat
- Can reach speeds of 15 MPH
- Can travel up to 21 miles on a single charge
- Seat is large and roomy
- Can be used for air travel
- Maximum weight is 300 pounds
- Weighs 85 pounds
Product Dimensions: 55” x 26” x 38”
Pride Mobility Go-Go Sport 4-wheel Electric Travel Scooter Heavy Duty S74
Features of Pride Mobility Go-Go Sport 4-Wheel Scooter
- 4 ½ star review on Amazon
- Maximum weight is 325 pounds
- Top speed is 4 MPH
- 18 AH battery pack
- Weighs 87 pounds
- Comes in red or blue
- Drink holder available for separate purchase
Features of E-Wheels EW-36 Scooter
- 4 ½ star review on Amazon
- Speed up to 18 MPH
- Up to 45 miles on a single charge
- Rear shock absorbers
- Anti-theft alarm system
- Reverse switch armrest
- Large basket that attaches to the back of the seat
- Weighs 200 pounds
This scooter is for the individual who wants more speed and performance than the smaller ones can achieve. It does have three wheels, so it’s stable when someone is sitting on it. This one doesn’t fold down as other scooters do.
iLIVING USA iLIVING i3 Foldable Electric Mobility Scooter by iLIVING USA
Features of iLiving USA iLiving Foldable Scooter
- 5-star review on Amazon
- Weight capacity – 250 pounds
- Speeds up to four MPH
- Folds to take to the airport like rolling luggage
- Available in two colors – red or blue
- Includes battery
- Lightweight – 53 pounds
- Can go up to 14 miles on a single charge
As you can see, these scooters are at different price points, but they all have basically the same features with slight differences or performance. Some are larger, and others are more portable and easier to handle. These examples are just a starting point for you to begin your adventure of searching for the perfect scooter. The possibilities of owning a scooter are numerous; they can open up a whole new world for you and give more meaning to your day to day activities.
If you think you need more information after researching the scooters you prefer, scout around and determine if anyone you know has one. Ask them how they like using a scooter. Most importantly of all, have fun looking for that one scooter that will open new experiences for you and the way you live your life.