Explore all of your options so you don’t face the costs later.
by Jasmin Palomo, SCME, June 1, 2021
With 125 million US citizens now vaccinated and spring upon us, families are making up for lost time and going out. After all, there is over a year’s worth of memories to make up for. If you or a loved one experience pain from walking, have difficulty with smaller walking aids like canes and crutches, uses oxygen, or has a disability, wheels may make getting around easier.
There is a whole new world of possibilities with a scooter so let’s discuss the basics. For starters, mobility scooters generally have a 5-year life span. However, the battery lasts around 18 to 24 months depending on the frequency of use. When getting ready to shop or a scooter and even as you read this article, things to keep in mind are style, power, comfort, versatility, and price.
Try Before You Buy
For something as long term as this, you want to make a trip down to your local durable medical equipment showroom. Just like buying a car, you will want to test drive your new set of wheels before buying. Once you are in front of this section, know that your first decision will need to be how many wheels to go with.
- Got a need for speed? Two-wheeled models typically go two to three times faster than the others.
- Keeping it suburban chic? Three-wheeled scooters are lightweight and work well on pavement and indoors.
- Does adventure await? Four-wheeled models are heavier and able to maneuver bumpy terrain and public buildings alike.
Next, consider things like seat comfort, seat adjustability and rotation, fit for your particular body, leg length, and weight capacity. Follow that up with specification questions like the speed of the scooter. Think about how far you can travel before needing to recharge your battery. Once you do need to recharge, how long does it take to be full? Is that particular model travel-friendly, particularly for airlines if you do travel frequently? Is this scooter easy to take apart and transport? Lastly, before committing, be sure to ask where you can take the scooter if there is a technical issue.
Make sure this purchase makes sense for your particular lifestyle and set of needs. After all, like with buying a car, you want to be happy with the purchase and get the most use possible out of it.
Paying for a Mobility Scooter
Scooters can run anywhere from $900 for base models up to $3000+ so start by accessing what financial resources you have access to. What is your budget? Consider in-stores financing if you need wiggle room. Most stores help you apply right then and there for a credit line. One of the most popular third-party lenders is CareCredit. Ask a sales associate if you’re interested.
If you plan to be out often and will need to park your mobility scooter outside, a plastic cover will keep your scooter clean and dry. Planning on running errands and carrying items? Most scooters are less than 24 inches wide so a basket or scooter coach will give you extra space to move items you need hassle-free. Speaking of logistics, moving your scooter on and off vehicles will be easiest using a scooter lift or ramp. And last but not least, think of power. It is always helpful to have a car and/or home charger as well as a backup battery.
Once you get your scooter you want to make your new set of wheels last, here’s how to do that. Make sure to charge it regularly before and after outings. If your scooter won’t start, make sure the battery is sitting securely in position. This is the most common issue and fix. If your ride is bumpy, check your motor and tires. It could mean it’s time to replace one of these parts. Last but not least, always keep your scooter clean and dry when possible. Prolonged exposure to the elements can erode some mechanical parts causing your scooter to fail. When in doubt and experiencing issues, call your vendor or a local mobility repair technician.