Have you suffered a disability? Are you just chronologically advanced and time has taken your mobility from you? Don’t let your age or disabilities stop you. To hell with that, take advantage of modern technology, and enjoy your life. If you’re retired, you’ve put up with enough crap for 50 years or more, it’s time to enjoy your remaining life in peace. Mobility scooters can make that work, and I’m confident one of these will make your life so much more fulfilling. Please, you owe it to yourself and your loved ones, to seize this power and live your life to the fullest. Godspeed my friends, godspeed!
Easy mobility is something that the young and able take for granted, until unfortunate events, or the ravages of time, take it away from them. Sadly, we still live in a world where getting around with mobility troubles is itself a massive obstacle. For all the requirements for disabled access, it’s a world built around the mobile, and can never be that easy.
We stand at the cusp of medical and technological revolutions that will make this a non-issue. Someday, they will be able to repair and rebuild human bodies to the point that no physical disability need be permanent. For now, at least we’ve more or less perfected the mobility scooter.
2. Drive Medical Auto Flex
3. Drive Medical 54
This guide covers the TOP-6 best mobility scooters of various types and sizes. You will learn about the advantages of using portable small-size models or large-size ones intended for going on the road. Find out 15 most important things to take into consideration when shopping for this kind of product, including whether it is delivered fully assembled and how hard it is to buy spare parts. The guide will also tell you about how they work and why they cannot go faster than about 15 MPH. Discover some valuable recommendations on how to use and fix this vehicle, in particular, how to drive it on the road and where you should practice in using it. The author of this article has shared his personal experience with this kind of machine when he had his leg busted up, so you can pick some ideas from there as well.
TOP 6 Best Mobility Scooters
Below, you will find the TOP-5 best products at a price range from $1,000 to $5,300. Depending on your needs, you will be able to pick the most appropriate model for you. Whether you need a portable and lightweight device that will easily fit in a car or a model that can be used as a full-fledged means of transport, this review will definitely come in handy! These models differ in weight capacity, wheel style, maneuverability, turning radius, maximum speed, drive range, and some other features. Different scooters suit different climates: while roofed models are preferable for regions where rains are common, high-speed models will be ideal for urban environments.
Best High-End Mobility Scooter | Drive Medical King Cobra
This is one of the more high-end models on the market from a trusted American manufacturer Drive Medical. Founded in 2000, the company is engaged in the production of durable medical equipment, such as electrical wheelchairs, mobility scooters, rehabilitation and self-assist products. This model is comfortable, attractive, and evocative of speed and modernity. The seat is comfortable, it has a hell of a range, and it’s easy to learn to use. I’ve been on one of these things, Brigitte has one, and it can really go!
- Wheel Style: Air-filled.
- Size: 67 x 28.8 inches (about motorcycle size).
- Turning Radius: 83 inches (not half bad).
- Weight: 363 lbs.
- Weight Capacity: 450 lbs.
This puppy can hit 11 miles per hour, which is what a lot of track and field stars do on foot. It may sound slow compared to a car, but oh man does it feel like you’re doing light speed on this thing. I love to take Brigitte’s for a cruise, and tear down her street like a bat out of hell at 11 MPH and mock the punks on their little bicycles. It’s the simple things in life, right?
This will get you around, with a range of 35 miles. Yeah, 35. It blows my mind too! If you’re an out and about kind of person, then this is probably the scooter for you.
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I don’t have much more to say but, this is a fantastic model, and … totally get this one if you can! It’s one of my two favs on the list!
Drive Medical King Cobra: Check the current price
Best Folding Mobility Scooter | Drive Medical Auto Flex
So this is the only one on our list that’s terribly vehicle-friendly. It folds into a compact form, and it’s a lot lighter and easier to haul around. This is achieved by trading off with some other important factors, but it’s still worth considering!
- Wheel Style: Air-filled.
- Size: 17 x 37 inches (about motorcycle size).
- Turning Radius: 47.2.
- Weight: 90 lbs – light weight!
- Weight Capacity: 300 lbs; not for obesity sufferers.
So, we have trade-offs, as this only does 13 miles, and probably only does around 6 mph (rough estimate). But, it folds for fairly easy transport, so if you do a lot of long distance stuff, or like to fly, this is the best one for you.
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I normally wouldn’t recommend this one, but I hate traveling so, let’s say this is more than ideal if you travel or live far from civilization (another thing I never got into myself). It’s not a bad option, just the motility of it sacrifices things I personally value more.
Drive Medical Auto Flex: Check the current price
The Fastest Mobility Scooter | Drive Medical 72
For people who live nearby stuff, as in within a few miles, this one’s the scooter for them. This thing is as comfortable as the King Cobra, and it handles like a dream. But it’s fast, fast as safely possible. It’ll get you there in one piece.
- Wheel Style: Air-filled.
- Size: 27 x 53 inches.
- Turning Radius: 92.
- Weight: 190 lbs – not bad.
- Weight Capacity: 500 lbs.
Speed can be important if you take “walkable” routes on a regular basis. This is definitely a fast scooter, exceeding 10 MPH in some cases, as my modified one did. Unlike mine, this won’t eject you if you hit a speck of dust at that speed either. Be responsible, though …
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Do you live in an ideal suburban or urban environment where you can easily walk to places you love, if walking were an option? Then this is definitely for you, it will get you there faster than a walk, just please, don’t be a speed racer?
Drive Medical 72: Check the current price
Best Mobility Scooter For Outdoors | Drive Medical 54
This product is great for using outdoors and it isn’t just because of its full cover top and full front windshield. The vehicle can go at a speed of up to 15 MPH and cover a distance of up to 40 miles on a charge. You will also get a remote key fob with alarm, so you will be sure that the vehicle is safe when parked outside the building.
- Wheel Style: Air-filled.
- Size: 27 x 70 inches.
- Turning Radius: 164 inches.
- Weight: 331 lbs – heavy.
- Weight Capacity: 500 lbs; for obesity sufferers.
This includes creature comforts people usually expect from cars, including a roof from rain, heat/AC, and cup holders. This is kind of the corvette of motor scooters.
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If you live where it rains or is super sunny, you’ll love this one. It’s pretty slick, I must say. But, if you live in mild climates, it’s a bit much, to be honest.
Drive Medical 54: Check the current price
Best Budget Mobility Scooter | Drive Medical Go Elite Traveler 4
This one does kind of fold, but I wouldn’t call it a truly portable one. This is a budget at barely four figures, which is a lot less than others on this list. It’s not bad, but you get what you pay for, so be prepared for some reduced statistics my friends.
- Wheel Style: Air-filled.
- Size: 19.5 x 39.5 inches.
- Turning Radius: 44 inches.
- Weight: 100 lbs – lightweight.
- Weight Capacity: 300 lbs; not for obesity sufferers.
If you’re on a budget, this is the scooter for you. It’s tough, it’s durable, it’s not slow. But, it’s also an example of getting what you pay for!
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You on a budget, but refuse to let things stop you? This is probably the scooter for you. It’s not a mighty warrior so to speak, but it’ll function, and it will unlock your life, letting you get back out there, and enjoy time with family, friends and the world in general.
Drive Medical Go Elite Traveler 4: Check the current price
Best Mobility Scooter For Heavy People | Golden Technologies Avenger
I would recommend this item for users with obesity not just because of its impressive weight capacity. Apart from having a sturdy construction, the vehicle comes with an oversize seat and tires. This thing is amazingly comfortable as you can adjust the height of the seat depending on your body constitution.
- Wheel Style: Air-filled.
- Size: 57.5 x 24.5 inches.
- Turning Radius: 67 inches.
- Weight: 150 lbs.
- Weight Capacity: 500 lbs; good for obesity sufferers.
With a speed of 7 MPH, it isn’t the fastest model in our review, but this downside is overshadowed by other benefits. This scooter boasts a smooth ride, sporty mag wheels, and exceptional ground clearance. It also has a number of beneficial features, such as chrome accessories, four-way flasher lights, and a removable basket.
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What I like about this model is that it is super reliable. You will safely drive it over bumpy terrain and go wherever you like, without worrying about whether the road is smooth. On top of that, this vehicle comes with a very comfortable seat and adjustable armrests, so you will just enjoy sitting in it.
Golden Technologies: Check the current price
What Do Buyers Say?
The ZooMe FLEX model was reviewed by Marc’s Mobility Youtube channel. It was presented as “an exciting new product that will blow your mind.” This is a really small scooter with the seat being just 16 inches wide by 15 inches deep. It comes with two batteries, one in the front and one in the back. When the battery dies, you just take your back battery and put it in the front, and you will get another 6.5 miles. This video is particularly useful because it shows how to fold the vehicle. The first thing you would do is put the tiller down and turn it off. Then, push inward a little handle located under the seat, grab the handle in the middle, and you get a super compact item that looks like a medium-size bag and weighs just 59 pounds.
Blogger Don MacLaurin tested E-Wheels model in East Coast Park of Singapore. Just look at how he was going over an overhead bridge and then uphill at a speed of 15 miles an hour. Impressive speed! Since this model did not have an engine break-in, there was nothing that held the vehicle back when it was going downhill. So you can either set a speed record or just back off and let it run its own way. Don recommends doing the latter as it is the safest solution.
Another blogger tells his Youtube audience about the GoGo Elite model and what problems to expect. First, the bolts in the armrests can come loose and then you will have to replace them. The thing about this bolt is when it is in the chair, it needs to be a little bit away from the back. Otherwise, you will not be able to fold the chair. Another issue is when the power does not charge quickly enough, which happens either because the charger is starting to die or because the battery is going to die. He replaced the charger 3 times and each time it was necessary. Actually, this scooter has worked very well for him, but there is a kind of fault of the design. What he means is a handle that he uses to take the item out of the car. This handle snapped and there is no way to repair it, he says.
How Do Mobility Scooters Work?
If you are not terribly familiar with one of these, their closest relative would be those scooters for the disabled found in large retailers. The same technology is used, mostly to solve the same basic problems. There are major differences, though, between these scooter carts, and quality personal mobility scooters. We’ll point these out in a moment.
First, how do these work? It’s honestly fairly simple on a basic level. They’re just an electric motor, a steering system (usually handlebars), and a comfortable seat with spring shocks. They charge like an electric vehicle and can have various ranges, though rarely more than a mile or two – they’re not designed for long drives.
Where scooter carts barely do a couple of miles an hour (a leisurely walking speed), personal mobility scooters almost all hit speeds of five or six miles per hour, some upwards of ten. The technology to make them much faster is more than possible but too unsafe to allow.
Some technically-minded people have, however, modified them to go much faster, and to add all kinds of creature comforts generally not included.
What Are The Types of Mobility Scooters?
There’s actually quite a bit of diversity in design and application with mobility scooters. The most common are the ones called “electric wheelchairs”, which have the wheel base directly under the chair, and use a joystick to control. These are the easiest to move around confined spaces, and have the most maneuverability. However, they’re harder to master driving, they have less range, and are more prone to tipping over if you’re inebriated, or hit bad terrain.
Others are built more like an actual scooter, with a long underside, a wind-breaking front end attached to handlebars, and a bank of lights. These handle terrain better, drive more like a scooter or ATV and have a bit more speed and range to them as a result. They provide a very smooth ride, but they’re less maneuverable inside buildings. It’s not impossible to use them indoors though, and most locations do their best to accommodate them.
The other major consistent difference is three wheels versus four, but we’ll discuss that in more length shortly, as the implications are a tad complicated in the sense that, it deserves a moment of exploration.
How to Use Mobility Scooters?
If you’ve never ridden one of these, or something similar, learning to operate one can seem a bit daunting. Take heart, as while driving one smoothly takes practice, learning the basics is a breeze.
There will be a battery indicator – never try to use these devices if the battery is less than 25% charged, and of course, if you even do that, it better be a short trip. Do not get stranded on a sidewalk in the heat on your scooter. I’ve seen this happen to people, and it’s pretty dismaying.
You charge the vehicle with a simple extension cord that plugs into an outlet. They usually can take any outlet on the house, regardless of the voltage, though higher voltages (220v/440v) will usually charge it faster.
To start it, you will have a key you turn, and usually a button/switch to turn it on. Look at your controls. You will see lights, possibly a turn signal, and speed control. Most speed controls are a lever or knob, with rabbit indicating faster, turtle slower. Sometimes the turtle and rabbit are replaced with “faster/slower”, or on rare occasions, speeds in numbers.
In the event that there’s no dedicated speed control, that’s okay, the speed will be governed like a throttle/accelerator, faster the more you press the “go” button, so to speak. Speaking of the “go” button, that’ll be a simple button or trigger-like part on one of the handlebars, and a brake on the other.
While not intended to be on the proper road (though small side streets are probably fine), treat the vehicle like you’re obeying traffic laws. If you have a turn signal, always use it. Mind other vehicles that may be on the sidewalk or bike lane you’re using, and hopefully, all present will obey common traffic etiquette.
Do not, under any circumstances, operate the vehicle while intoxicated or on narcotic medications. Not only is this unsafe, but it’s still illegal. Anything with wheels warrants a DUI if the law catches you doing it, be it a skateboard, roller skates, bicycles, segues or scooters like these.
Don’t try to take one of these down a ramp 45 degrees or steeper, don’t try to take this over steps, sharp speed bumps, or curbs. You will tip it over, and it will hurt more than you would expect!
It’s ideal to practice in parking lots, and level grassy environments, to get the hang of this on both general surface types.
What to Look for When Buying a Mobility Scooter
This is a massive improvement in life technology, but it’s also one that you need to seriously weigh and consider before committing to a purchase. They’re not cheap by any stretch of the imagination, and they will be your way to get out and live your life, age or disability be damned.
That in mind, let’s talk about fifteen key points that really matter, and why. I want you to have a perfect scooter for your lifestyle, I want you to tell disability or age where it can go. So, let me show you how to pick one of these machines out.
- Scooter type and where you’re going to use it – So, this is probably the biggest thing to consider. What type of scooter are you the most comfortable using? The “electric wheelchair” concept is more maneuverable and more capable of smaller spaces. But, it’s harder to learn, and a little less balanced. Conversely, the scooter form factor is easier to use, has a longer range, and is more comfortable really. Look at the places you love to go, and need to go. Can you get around them fine with a scooter? If not, you may want to consider the more compact concept.
- Range per charge – This one’s a bit of a pain. Have you ever wondered why electric cars, despite clearly being possible (you can buy one right now), aren’t common? It’s not some conspiracy by the petroleum companies (though I’m sure they’d love to have that capacity), it’s a practicality issue. See, batteries get depleted hauling a human around – we’re heavy, even if not by human standards. Electric cars only get about a hundred fifty miles per charge, and take forever and a month of Sundays to recharge. That all said, consider how far you need to go, and how long it takes to charge. If you do a lot of long rides and spend the day out and about, pick one that has a hellacious battery, price be hanged.
- Maneuverability – We more or less covered this with the first point, but it merits restating – make sure you pick something that maneuvers well in the spaces you visit, and that handles well by your own mental profile.
- Comfort – This is a big one too, comfort does matter, especially for a quality of life enhancer like this. You’ll be sitting in this puppy for a while when you go out, so make sure the seat design, leg room, and padding are to your liking. A lot of the higher-end models allow you to choose some seating options, and a skilled mechanic/electrical expert can probably change it out for a nicer seat. Don’t be uncomfortable, that defeats the point of laughing in the face of things and enjoying life!
- Portability – Yeah this one’s not something I have an easy fix for. They’re heavy, they don’t fold up too well, and if you’re going far, you’ll need to be able to load it into a vehicle. If you can’t haul a scooter, you want the wheelchair version, it’s not much bigger than an actual car seat, and easy to fasten down.
- Safety – Safety matters in all things. If you’re a senior citizen, I hate to be insensitive, but injuries are super severe for you. Bones break easily, wounds take longer to heal and infections are more of a danger. I mean no disrespect to my elders who helped build this world to the excellent civilization it is today, but know your limits, please, everyone. Make sure that your climate, environment, and skill with operation match the safety capacity of your chosen scooter. Don’t pick one that tips easily. I … lost a dear friend to a tipping accident in the long run. I refuse to let that happen to you. Talk to your dealer about safety issues. Please, please prioritize this.
- Top speed – Okay, don’t be a speed demon. But, if you go on long “walks” with one of these, let’s just say, the faster the better, within safe parameters. So, weigh that in your mind when you’re shopping for one of these.
- Maximum weight – Not to be insensitive, but people are heavy, and if you’re shopping, you’ll add more weight with such things. So, make sure you can handle about 100 pounds more than your own weight, if possible. Trust me, as a bit of a bulky dude, I’ve run afoul of this (you’ll hear about that shortly).
- Will I need extra accessories (additional costs) – What do you want for comfort and versatility? Choose something that rolls all you want into a single purchase or lease, rather than letting it nickel and dime you to death. Trust me, just like with cars, it happens with these as well.
- Is it delivered fully assembled? – You don’t want to put this thing together, trust me. I don’t mind complex mechanical projects, but you just wanna get out and live your life, right? Make sure this puppy is assembled for you, it will frustrate you otherwise, trust me.
- How hard is it to buy spare parts for the model? – Yeah, this is something you know too well if you’ve owned a motorcycle, car, truck or other mainstream vehicles. Make sure it’s not hard to get parts and service for the model you choose, because the same woes of an obscure car, are worse here. Trust me, the voice of experience here folks!
- Service – Yeah, the last point covered this to a degree, but make sure your after-sale usage for extended periods of time has a service and repair package. Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it, I always say.
- Warranty – Like the previous point, make sure you have a limited lifetime warranty for the price you’re paying. This is your new set of legs, insure them dang it. Trust me, machines break, this thing will break eventually. Make sure you’re prepared. Please.
- Electronics – You might want to make sure you can hook your phone up to one of these, which a lot of them can do now. This allows for GPS, hands-free calling, and some music while you cruise. You want your vehicle to do it, why not your scooter?
- Weather – Does it rain a lot where you live? It sure does where I live. So, it may be a good idea to pick one that can provide retractable or long-term protection against the rain, wind and snow, if you live in an inclement area.
My Personal Experience With Mobility Scooters
I have some stories to tell about these. Today, I’d like to share three of them with you. These will illustrate life with a scooter quite well, methinks.
So there was my friend Brigitte, who bought one at a garage sale. Now, despite being 74, she to this day is in good shape, and I can’t keep up with her. She’s quite beautiful for her age too, so good for her. But, she has dogs, and dogs need to be walked. Yet another reason cats are superior.
She bought a four-wheel scooter as a way to walk them without being exhausted. I had to get it working, and it’s one of the “throttle is direct speed control” types, and I drove right into a banana tree. Yes, bananas fell on me. It wasn’t funny at the time, but it is now.
As for my own experience. I was given an older model when my leg was busted up, and I’d be off my feet for most of a year as healing and therapy took place. I hated physical therapy, my god, did I hate it. Tyrannical butterfly that handled my therapy …
Anyhow, I was not content with an unmodified machine because yay, messing with technology. I installed a cell transponder so I could use my data plan to listen to YouTube and Pandora, I installed a convertible nylon roof, and even zippable curtains with an electric heater.
I also took some capacitors (things mitigating electric power) to make the thing hit 40MPH. Well, I had to spend a thousand bucks on a better battery, and the full speed ran me into so many walls, puddles and so on.
But the end result was amazing, cruising down the sidewalk in a tricked out four-wheel scooter with a subwoofer sound system blasting the Beatles. Yeah, I drove with style by god.
Finally, my first personal experience with these was when I first moved out on my own after college. I’m from LA, and low-income housing is your only option at that stage. Let me say, there’s a motley crew of people in such places, but most of them are actually cool. One friend I made (we became drinking buddies, and smoking buddies during my days of heavy cannabis use), wound up with one of those electric wheelchair types of scooters, which were a super novel and crazy expensive thing at the time. His real name isn’t important, everyone called him Pops.
Sometimes, we’d take turns running across the street to the Lucky for beer, snacks, cigarettes, etc. Once he got the scooter, a lot of people used it. At first, he wouldn’t let me, I was the new guy. And. Bear in mind I was all of 23 at the time, so young and stupid. I coveted the moment he started letting me use his scifi vehicle to get around.
The day he did had to be a day when I was already a bit tipsy, of course. So, I got out of the building fine. I got onto the sidewalk fine. And there was this long stretch of never-trod, straight sidewalk, surely I could open that baby up and zoom, right? Well … bad idea. I hit a rock a few feet later. And overturned the whole thing. It wasn’t damaged, but it sprained my shoulder, and scuffed the seat. Oh, Pops was going to kill me. Oh man …
So I spent a half hour at the Lucky, and some of my own money, to buff all the scuffs off it, and get it looking nice. The ride back was a less exciting and more existential worry. The funny thing is, Pops wondered why it was in better shape, and when I told him, head hung in shame, that I crashed, he laughed and said that was something of a rite of passage.
How To Fix a Mobility Scooter?
Frankly, don’t try to fix most things yourself. This is why service and warranty are so important. If your battery stops holding a charge, wheels go flat, or another damage occurs, then you want a skilled technician to handle repairing these issues. Thankfully, most products, and dealers thereof emphasize the importance of this kind of service plan and warranty.
The battery is a common issue. As you charge it frequently enough, the battery loses its capacity to hold a charge. What you need to do is check the connections and make sure that the battery is positioned appropriately. Then, you may use a multimeter to check the voltage which should be no less than 12. How do you know that a connection is loose? Knock the scooter to see whether it will cut off. If it does, then it means that there is a loose connection. You may find loose wires yourself by opening a battery compartment or call a service department.
If you frequently leave the vehicle in the rain, this may lead to engine failure because these devices are not intended for prolonged water exposure. And yet, this happens. You may suspect an engine issue if the battery is charged and there is no lose connection. This issue is definitely the one you should not try to fix yourself, but rather entrust this task to a professional.
Check the tires regularly to see whether they are split or worn. It is important that you replace a faulty tire in time, otherwise, your safety may be put at risk. One more part that can cause trouble is the switch. If the switch is defective, it can make the vehicle stop or fail to start. As a rule, using tweezers helps to remove the stuck ignition key.
Which scooter will fit in a car?
Of the ones on our list, the Drive Medical ZooMe Auto Flex is the best option. It is equipped with a key fob that will automatically fold and unfold the scooter.
Are there affordable models with a roof?
Consider E-Wheels 54 with a full-cover top.
Can mobility scooters go on a plane?
Yeah but it’s a pain!
Can these vehicles be stored outside?
Please don’t. You should avoid storing your scooter outdoors in a hot, humid or cold environment. The cold weather may kill the battery while the body of the vehicle can be damaged by rains as it isn’t waterproof. You may park it in a shed, garage or your corridor but avoid damp areas.
Are mobility scooters for the obese?
Some of them are, yeah. Try the Golden Technologies model that has a weight capacity of 500 pounds, a sturdy construction, and a very comfortable seat.
Will my insurance cover a mobility scooter?
Some will, some won’t. Insurance is necessary, but super dumb.
Pros & Cons
- Gives you a second lease on life, with full mobility and access to the world!
- Puts less strain on a bad leg, joint etc.
- Lets you spend more time out with your family, something invaluable right?
- Easy to use.
- Best solution for mobility problems for now.
- They take some work to learn.
- They’re electric, limiting range.
- Few are weather-resistant.
- Hard to take inside confined buildings.
- Portability is an issue.
- They’re expensive.
- People disrespect drivers of these on roadways.
Table of Content
- TOP 6 best mobility scooters
- How do they work?
- What are the types of mobility scooters?
- How to use this kind of vehicle?
- What to look for when buying a product
- My personal experience
- How to fix a mobility scooter?
- Pros & Cons