Mobility Scooters

Mobility Scooters are designed for people who have some mobility but find it challenging to walk for any length of time or distance. There is quite a range of mobility scooters available in New Zealand and it’s important that if you are looking to purchase one, you find one that meets your specific needs – one size doesn’t fit all!

Before starting to look at scooters, you need to have a think about the following:

  • What do you want it for and where will you mostly use the scooter? Indoors, outdoors or a mixture of both?
  • Where will you keep the scooter and charge it when you are not using it?
  • Do you need it to be transported in a vehicle - and if so how often?

Once you have determined what is important to you, you can refer to the three groups below to determine which size range of scooters best suits your needs. You can read more about each individual scooter listed below on our website by clicking on the product name. Once you have one or two specific scooters in mind you can start shopping around in your local area or online.We strongly recommend purchasing a scooter from a stockist that also has the availability to service and maintain your scooter.

While there are lots of second hand scooters available on the likes of TradeMe – be aware that many of these may come with batteries that may requiring replacing soon after purchase and it is often difficult to tell how much wear the scooter has had. Many are sold as “one careful lady owner” – but is that really the case?

Mobility Scooter Ranges

Small Mobility Scooters

As these scooters are smaller in overall size, they offer maneuverability and convenience and are ideal if you want something to get around indoors and need to be able to fit it in the back of your car.

They have a smaller turning circle, which comes in handy navigating around in a confined space such as a crowded shopping centre. Many of the models in this category can fold down or are easily dismantled so you can put them in the car. They can also be easier to take on holidays as checked baggage.

The trade-off is that a smaller size means smaller battery and less range per charge – usually only up to about 20 km. They also have smaller wheels which can make them less steady on uneven ground and they can lack the power needed to get up steep hills.

Models to include in this category are:

 

Mid-Sized Mobility Scooter

Medium scooters give you the ease of use of a smaller scooter with the extra power to tackle small inclines and outdoor terrain. This is ideal if you plan to make a lot of trips locally, like to the shops or a friend’s house nearby.

These may also be the best option if you intend to use it on public transport. While restrictions vary, you’ll generally be able to take your mobility scooter on any public transport that’s also wheelchair accessible.

Features you may find in these models include:

  • Puncture-proof, knobbly tyres for extra traction outdoors
  • LED front headlight, taillight and indicators for visibility
  • Front basket for shopping
  • Basic suspension for a comfortable ride
  • Padded seat including arm rests and headrests
  • Rear view mirrors for extra safety

Models to include in this category are:


Heavy Duty Mobility Scooters

Heavy duty or large scooters are better suited to handling difficult terrain and long distances. You’ll get a smoother ride thanks to the pneumatic rubber wheels and suspension. Models in this range also tend to have more supportive seats, including padded arm rests and headrests.

They are also better for people who are larger in stature – especially those with longer legs.

 Features you may find in these models

  • Pneumatic tyres for a smoother ride over uneven terrain
  • Deluxe padded high-top seat
  • Hydraulic braking system for more control
  • Full lighting system including LED headlight, kerb light, taillights and indicators
  • Large front basket for shopping
  • Ability to add additional storage and accessories
  • Generally cover a range of 25 – 50 kms

 Models to include in this category are:

 

For more information please refer to the FAQ’s below or email helpis@alliedmedical.co.nz. Alternatively you can live chat with our Customer Care team during business hours by simply clicking Need a hand? in the bottom right corner of your screen.

How do I choose the right scooter for my height and weight?

Each scooter has a clear list of manufacturer’s specifications.  Make sure that you compare weight capacities for each scooter you are considering. You also need to consider the overall length of the scooter based on your height. If your height is less than 5’5”, you should consider scooters that have an overall length of 1050 mm. If you are taller than 5’5”, it’s likely you’ll need more leg room so look for larger models that will ensure a comfortable ride.

Can I try before I buy?

Absolutely – like a car, you need to know how each possible option feels like to drive.  All reputable dealers will offer a no obligation trial at your home, which allows you to test drive it in the environment that you will be using it in. Another option is to visit your local shopping mall and try one of the rental ones that they have available. This will give you a good feel for driving a scooter and help you to gain confidence to use it in a public area.

When testing different models make sure that the controls are easy to see, reach, grip and use for long periods.

Are there any ongoing maintenance costs for a scooter?

Like a car, we suggest regular maintenance between every six to twelve months, depending on how often you use it and how far you drive it. Batteries and tyres are the two parts that do need replacing. Specific replacement timeframes for these depend on how much the scooter is used and if it is charged regularly whilst following the manufacturer’s recommendations.

How do I charge a scooter?

Each scooter comes with a battery charger that plugs into the electrical socket in the wall and then plugs into a charging point on the scooter. It is very easy to do - just ask to be shown this as part of your scooter demonstration.

Are there scooters that I can travel with or take in the car?

There are a number of scooters that can easily fold up or disassemble for transport – either in a car or to take on a plane. Generally these are a smaller style of scooter which may not be suitable if you are a larger person.

What is the difference between a scooter and a powerchair?

Good question – both definitely have their advantages as follows:

Advantages of powerchairs

Advantages of mobility scooters

Are more compact

Tiller provides stability

Have a smaller turning radius so are easier to manoeuvre in small spaces

Have more capacity to carry more items such as groceries

Mid wheel drive powerchairs turn on their own radius so allow the user to get very close to spaces like the table or kitchen bench

Can feel more stable

Can be driven with very limited strength and hand function

Easier to immobilise (lock) if you want to leave it outside a shop/house while not in use

Have built in capacity to traverse obstacles and rougher surfaces

Smaller scooters are easily transportable and easier to dissemble than a powerchair

Can be driven with just one hand

Generally lower cost

Can be more easily configured, including different programming, to better suit an individual’s needs

 

Do you need to have a driver’s license to drive a scooter?

No - you don’t need to have a license to drive a scooter and in fact it is really common for many people to start using scooters when they lose their license due to old age or ill health. However, you must be responsible when driving and you need to ensure that you drive the scooter safely and sensibly, especially when using footpaths that are also used by other people. For this reason, users with visual, perceptual or learning difficulties should seek medical advice before considering purchasing a scooter.

Can I get funding to help me purchase a scooter?

You can apply to the Lotteries Grant Scheme for Individuals with Disabilities to request a grant to purchase a mobility scooter (or powered wheelchair). These fixed amount grants can then be used to purchase a mobility scooter of your choice. Click here to go to the Lotteries website where you can complete the form. Our dealers are also very familiar with this form and will be able to assist you in completing it in case you get stuck.

Is there anywhere that I shouldn’t take my scooter?

Scooters are not generally designed to be taken off road or to the beach. Sand, water and excessive mud have the potential to damage the motors and gears and also will void any warranties.

Also be aware that slopes, kerbs and rough ground can make your scooter unstable. Make sure you know what it can handle and also be aware of how well balanced you are when driving.

What happens if my scooter breaks down when I am out and about?

All of our mobility scooters come with AA Roadside Assist, which means that one of their team (or a subcontractor) will get both you and your scooter home safely.

A final word of advice – once you have purchased a scooter, make sure that you get it insured to cover it against theft, accidents and third-party claims. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.