Mobility Scooters
 

The origins of the mobility scooter date back to 1968, when the first power-operated scooter was developed by Michigan-based plumber Allan R. Thieme. Aptly named ‘The Amigo’ or the ‘friendly wheelchair’, the scooter was designed to aid a family member with multiple sclerosis and travelled at a steady 3-4 miles per hour.
 

At the time, such a vehicle was considered revolutionary, but in today’s modern market the wide variety of mobility scooters now available – ranging from small (class 2) models to large road-legal scooters (class 3) – means there are many factors to take into account before selecting a mobility scooter to meet your exact needs.
 

Class 2
 

Small (class 2) scooters can be used on all pavements and footpaths, as well as in the home, but they are not permitted on the UK’s roads. A lighter frame makes class 2 variants easy to transport and store, making them ideal for accessible holidays. For example, most small scooters can be dismantled into fewer parts and stored in a car boot. The lightweight structure does mean that they have a lower maximum weight capacity (usually 21 stone/135kg) and have a smaller average range of travel before they need charging. A small scooter, for instance, can usually cover a maximum of around 10 miles before charging is required.
 

Class 3
 

Class 3 mobility scooters are larger vehicles designed for travelling longer distances and negotiating rougher surfaces. A greater battery range, means they can travel further between charging, usually up to 25 or 30 miles.
 

Capable of speeds of speeds up to 8mph, class 3 scooters are fully road legal if they have the correct road tax (provided free of charge by the DVLA). This does, however, come with restrictions. For example, class 3 scooters are not allowed on motorways, bicycle tracks or in bus or cycle lanes, but are legally allowed on dual carriageways. Whilst, to be considered a class 3 vehicle, scooters must have a horn, headlights, rear lights and indicators, as well as a rear-view mirror and emergency hand brakes.