Do’s and Don’ts of Buying A Scooter

Most importantly, ensure you consult with a reputable mobility scooter dealer!

Mobility Scooters are designed for people who have limited mobility either due to a disability or old age and your condition will determine whether a scooter, powerchair or a wheelchair is the right choice for you.

You should consult your doctor or specialist prior to purchasing any assisted technology to ensure you are buying a product suited to your needs and capabilities.

Some of the functions your doctor or occupational therapist will assess you for are as follows:

  • Eye Sight
  • Hearing
  • Range of Motion, Movement and Dexterity
  • Attention Span
  • Reaction Times
  • Cognition
  • Medication
  • Home Environment

You do not need a license to operate a mobility scooter, however, it is important to receive the right training to ensure you can operate the scooter safely in various situations.

Training should include

  • Turning and managing inclines
  • Navigating kerbs
  • Emergency stopping
  • Safe and correct charging
  • Storage
  • Basic Maintenance
  • Scooter assembly and disassembly (if you purchase a portable model)
  • If relying on a carer or family member to help you move, make sure to bring them to training with you

Although classified as motorized mobility devices, scooter users are legally considered as pedestrians and must obey the same rules as other pedestrians.

The maximum speed for a mobility scooter cannot exceed the legal 10km/h otherwise it must be registered as a vehicle.

There is a wide range of mobility scooters available on the market and it is important to choose the one that will meet all of your requirements besides just looks and cost.

Considerations should include


Make sure it suits your body and that all controls can be accessed comfortably. Check leg room, seat width and adjustment, getting in and out of chair (bending), arm rest adjustment and steering tiller adjustment.


Ensure to check the weight capacity for each scooter you test drive. Remember that the maximum weight capacity refers to how much weight the scooter can safely carry on flat, level ground. Small inclines can impact how a scooter functions and will add extra strain to the scooter motor. You also need to consider additional extra’s that will add overall weight to your scooter. Have you added weather protection ie. canopy, sun shade, rain sides? Have you added a shopping bag with shopping or a walker holder?


You will want to bring your carer or family member along with you when shopping for a mobility scooter and to any training so that they can also learn how to assemble, store and maintain your scooter.

Future Changes to Consider will include:

  • Likelihood of gaining or losing weight
  • Is your medical condition likely to deteriorate
  • Will you be required to start carrying additional equipment, ie. oxygen bottles, walker holders
  • Likelihood of moving house
  • Will you need to transport your scooter, ie. On holiday


You will want to consider the type of terrain you will need to cover in your scooter. Will use be predominantly indoors such as shopping centres, nursing homes or hospitals etc. Will you be planning to drive your scooter outdoors, in hilly and bumpy or rough terrain. How far are you wanting to travel per trip and what maximum distances are you able to travel on a fully charged battery.


When the scooter is not in use, you are going to need to store your scooter somewhere safe and secure. Ideally, somewhere out of the weather, locked indoors away from potential thieves. If you are unable to store indoors or in a garage, under a patio covered with a scooter cover would be the next best thing.


Second Hand Scooters

There can be a lot of hidden costs with buying a second hand scooter. Some important things to consider if you are purchasing a pre-owned scooter will include:

  • History

     Try and find if it has been serviced regularly. Has it been involved in accidents.

  • Parts

    Batteries, tyres and charges need to be replaced regularly. Check if they have recently been replaced. Talk to a local reputable dealer and enquire as to the availability of parts for your scooter make and model, servicing and repair costs.

  • Documents

    Pre-owned scooters often won’t come with warranty or owners manual which contain important information. Check online if a free version of the owners manual can be downloaded.

  • Warranty

    It will not be possible to obtain a warranty if buying a second hand scooter through a private seller, however, most retailers will provide a warranty for re-furbished or pre-owned scooters. Make sure your warranty includes both parts and labour for at least 6 months.

Once you have purchased your scooter, it is important to make sure you operate safely and responsibly. Below are a few tips to minimize your risk of having an accident.

  • Stay Visible Install a safety flag and remember to use your lights when travelling at night.
  • Be vigilant crossing driveways
  • Stick to footpaths wherever possible
  • Keep all wheels on the ground
  • Don’t carry too many parcels
  • Don’t speed through crowds
  • Service your scooter regularly (every 12 months is recommended)
  • Know what to do in case of a breakdown. We recommend joining the RAC Wheels 2 Go Program.

With scooter theft being on the rise in recent years, we would also recommend obtaining scooter insurance. Your insurance policy should include three areas –

  • Scooter damage
  • Third party liability
  • Theft

Some of the benefits offered by having insurance include –

  • Repair or replacement of a damaged scooter
  • Loss or damage caused by fire, theft, flood or vandalism
  • Third party injury cover
  • Costs incurred to get you and your scooter home in the case of an accident
  • Personal items that may get lost, stolen or damaged
  • Cover for someone else you may authorize to operate your device