Class and size
Firstly, think about the class and size of mobility scooter you want.
- Why do I want a scooter?
- Where do I want to use it?
- Will I need to use it on the road?
- How far will I need to go, on an average trip?
- Do I want to take it with me in the car, or on public transport?
- Where will I store it?
Answering these questions can help you decide whether you want a class 2 or a class 3 scooter.
In law, mobility scooters are divided into class 2 and class 3 vehicles based on where they’re intended to be used.
Class 2 mobility scooters
Class 2 mobility scooters can only be used on footpaths, pavements, and when crossing roads. They have a maximum speed of 4mph (6.4kph).
Key features of class 2 scooters:
- can be used indoors
- small, lightweight and compact
- basic driving controls
- some can be dismantled or folded up to fit into a car boot
- shorter battery life means they travel shorter distances
Class 3 mobility scooters
Class 3 mobility scooters can be used on roads and pavements. The maximum speed limit of these vehicles is 4mph on the pavement and 8mph (12.8kph) on the road. You must be 14 years old or over to drive a class 3 vehicle.
Key features of class 3 scooters:
- for outdoor use
- large and robust
- equipped with a rear-view mirror and reflectors, plus extra controls for driving on roads: indicators, headlights, a horn and hazard lights
- require a ramp or lift to get them into a vehicle
- longer battery life and tougher tyres means they can travel longer distances
Size of mobility scooters
Mobility scooters vary in length, width and height, so ask yourself:
- how big must your scooter be for you to sit on it comfortably?
- will you have space to stretch out your legs?
- where you will store your scooter?
- where you will use it?
The scooter’s ‘turning radius’:
- is related to its size
- determines the amount of space the scooter needs to turn around completely
A small scooter with a small turning radius is easier to use indoors.
Scooters with three wheels have a smaller footprint and are easier to manoeuvre, but they may be less stable than four-wheelers.
There are often size and turning radius restrictions when travelling on public transport – see our Travelling with a mobility scooter section.