Spotted a Listing for a Used Mobility Scooter For Sale? Here’s What to Look For at a Viewing
There are some of us who may need extra help when it comes to getting out and about; whether that’s due to old age, a physical condition or a disability. Luckily, there are many mobility aids available on the market, such as canes, walking sticks, wheelchairs, and mobility scooters.
Mobility scooters are an extremely popular aid and provide an easy and comfortable way for those with restricted movement to get around and retain some independence. However, mobility scooters can be expensive depending on the make and model, so many people opt to buy one second hand. While there are many high-quality used scooters available, it’s important to ensure that you’re getting a good product.
If you’re thinking about buying a second-hand mobility scooter and want to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible, read on for our handy guide on what to look for.
What is a mobility scooter?
A mobility scooter is a mobility aid similar to an electric wheelchair, although they have a few operational and design differences. Mobility scooters are configured in the shape of a motor scooter, with three or four wheels (compared to an electric wheelchair’s standard six wheels).
Most mobility scooters are battery powered and these batteries can be recharged via electric power with an onboard or separate battery charger unit. They can be steered using a tiller and handlebars, and often come with footrests or a plate for the user to comfortably place their feet.
Different types of mobility scooter
Mobility scooters come in several different sizes and formats to suit a user’s needs; from compact travel scooters to more heavy-duty all-terrain scooters. It’s important to make sure that any used mobility scooter you buy is the right model for you, so we’ve compiled some information about the different types below.
Compact travel scooters
These are specifically designed for users who need to regularly travel on public or private transport, so these scooters are lightweight and easy to disassemble. Many can be easily folded into a compact shape, and they’re made from lightweight materials like aluminium frames. They’re not as comfortable as the larger, sturdier models but provide maximum convenience for travel.
Mid-size mobility scooters
These scooters can be used both indoors and outdoors, and they offer easy manoeuvrability for use in tight spaces, as well as a larger wheel size for outdoor terrain. Mid-size scooters offer the best of both and are a good choice for those who haven’t owned a mobility scooter before. There are also many models available with extra features such as power seats, headlights and full suspension.
Full-size mobility scooters
These scooters are mainly designed for outside travel use, and some can travel at speeds of up to 10 mph with a 30-mile battery life. Full-size scooters take up a lot of space so are only really suitable for use indoors if you have a large home, but they are excellent for maximising outdoor independence. These scooters also have a high weight capacity, with some models holding weights of up to 500 lbs.
These scooters are engineered for use on more uneven terrain like grass, farmland or gravel paths. If you live in the countryside or an area with fewer paved areas then an all-terrain scooter is the one for you. All-terrain scooters have a reinforced undercarriage and wheels so they can cope with the extra strain of driving on rough surfaces.
Advantages of buying a used mobility scooter
All of the above models can be found available second-hand, and there are of course many advantages to buying a used scooter over a new model. You can purchase a second-hand scooter from either a shop or a private seller, and one of the main advantages is, of course, the price.
A second-hand scooter will naturally cost less than a brand new model, so if you’re on a budget then buying a previously owned mobility scooter is the way to go. Buying a second-hand scooter from a shop also means that the staff will have inside knowledge of the features of each scooter, how they run and how much use they’ve had. This allows you to get all the expert advice you need before making a decision, whereas if you buy from a private seller they may not be completely honest about the condition the scooter is in.
Buying second-hand is often much cheaper than buying a new scooter, but it comes with the disadvantage of a shorter warranty. It’s important to factor in the costs of insurance, breakdown cover and any potential repairs when buying a used scooter, as in some cases it may be easier to simply purchase a new one.
A used scooter will also naturally have more wear and tear than a brand new model, so it’s important to check details like the tyres and the seat to make sure it’s comfortable for your shape. You may also find that there is less choice available when buying second-hand, which isn’t ideal if you need a scooter immediately and there isn’t a suitable model for you.
Questions to ask and things to look out for
It’s important to thoroughly inspect any second-hand scooter before you buy, as well as establish the answers to issues regarding warranty and service history. Whether you buy from a mobility shop or private seller, see below for a few things to consider before you purchase.
What is the warranty?
Most new scooters come with a warranty of one to two years, but for a used scooter this is often as little as three months. This isn’t really something you can negotiate with a private seller, but if buying from a shop, ask them for a full service history, new batteries and a warranty of at least three months before you buy.
Check the battery and tyres
A scooter with a battery over 18 months old will not be able to hold a charge for as long, so you may find that they need to be replaced soon after you buy. You should also check the tyres for signs of wear and tear; tyres with existing infills can be prone to splitting which makes them useless.
Ask why they are selling
If buying from a private seller it’s a good idea to ask why they are selling and why now. It doesn’t mean there’s a problem with the scooter and they may simply want an upgrade, but it’s useful to know more, as well as if the scooter has been regularly maintained.
Get the original paperwork
It’s very useful to have a copy of the original paperwork, including the instruction manual, so ask any seller if they still have a copy. This can include important information such as the warranty, and help you to operate your scooter safely.
Check the vehicle number
Always ask for the vehicle number if possible, this allows you to check the number with the manufacturer and see exactly how old the scooter is. This can alleviate any suspicions if you suspect the seller is not being truthful about how old the scooter is, and you can also make sure that spare parts are still available for the model.
If you’re looking for a mobility equipment supplier with a range of affordable and reliable mobility scooters, get in touch with A Mobility Shop. We offer a wide variety of mobility scooters to suit our customer’s different needs, including scooters of varying speeds, sizes and weights, with many models from leading brands. We also have a choice of alternative mobility aids, such as stairlifts, wheelchairs, reclining chairs, bathroom aids and more. To learn more about any of our products or to discuss your personal mobility needs, give us a call today or visit the website.