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Key Considerations When Purchasing An Electric Scooter

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Types of Scooters, Electric Wheelchairs, and Power Chairs

Scooters come in all shapes and sizes, from the small-sized travel scooters that fit perfectly in the trunk of your car to the large fully enclosed models. Scooters can have either 3 or 4 wheels. Depending on the user’s needs, electric wheelchairs can be used instead of a mobility scooter. Small power chairs are ideal for indoor use, at retirement villages and homes, as well as around other purpose-built care facilities. Browse the range of mobility scooters at www.mobilitygiant.co.uk.

Warranties

Manufacturers will have various specific warranty timeframes and conditions for cover of components etc. These usually vary and it can be a good idea to discuss this with the sales representative. When you make your purchase, you will be covered by the government-initiated consumer guarantees act. Additional information can be found online or in your local library. 

Companies are bound by the act to only sell products that are fit for the purpose. If something breaks in the first year of ownership and you have not misused your scooter, the company is obligated to either repair or replace your scooter under the warranty terms.

Pricing

Price is usually a key consideration when buying a scooter. With that in mind, it is particularly important to know what you need from the scooter. You can then start considering all the available options within your price point.

Different models/brands may have similar features, but there’s sometimes a huge difference in prices. It is always advisable to opt for a reputable brand since the after sales service, etc. is guaranteed.

While some scooters might be new and still be sold at significantly reduced cost, this isn’t always a good thing. The problem is that this usually affects the after sales service along with the accessibility of support and parts.

Wheel Size

The larger the wheel the rougher the terrain the scooter is capable of handling and the more its ground clearance. Small scooters usually have smaller wheels and are intended for around town use. Larger scooters have larger wheels and batteries and are better able to ‘soak up’ the bumps of the sidewalks but generally take up more space and have a bigger footprint.

Features

Scooters have a wide range of features, which include seats, suspension systems, electronic packages, and control panels. Not all scooters are the same, so it is worth considering all the finer details of the scooter you would like to buy. Specification sheets should be provided for scooters for feature comparison. 

Mobility Scooter Canopies

Mobility scooters can be fitted with a full weather/rain cover that allows the user to use it throughout the year in any weather. However, prior to fitting such a canopy to your mobility scooter, you need to consider whether doing so will affect the scooter’s warranty since most manufacturers are not willing to cover warranties if the scooter has any kind of modification.

Canopies unfortunately cause extra strain on the scooter’s motor and frame, and therefore it might not be advisable to fit a canopy. Canopies fitted to small/medium mobility scooters can be a hazard in windy conditions with the scooter being easily blown sideways or blown over thus causing the driver to end up in the road.

Still, there are some good quality mobility scooters that actually come with manufacturer-fitted canopies. However, such scooters are usually expensive since they are full-sized mobility scooters built to operate even in wet conditions. Such scooters have solid front screens that allow the driver to clearly see through along with optional fabric rain sides.

Battery

Mobility scooters usually have a 24 V motor that’s run by two 12V deep cycle batteries. The batteries are measured in Ampere Hours (AH). The greater the amount of Amp hours the larger and more expensive the battery. Battery sizes range from 24AHR to 80 AHR. The smaller the scooter usually the smaller the battery while larger scooters usually have larger batteries.

Mobility scooters use deep cycle batteries that are more expensive than standard car batteries. Mobility scooter must have deep cycle batteries fitted or they won’t function properly. Not all batteries are created the same and often the cheaper battery usually results in a costly new purchase within a short period of time.

Batteries have a lifespan of anywhere from 2 to 5 years, but this mostly depends on how well they have been cared for and used. A set of new batteries cost anywhere between $300 and $1,000. You should always follow instructions provided by the manufacturer to help maintain the life of the scooter’s battery.

Travel Distance

A scooter’s range can be affected by many different factors, which include but are not limited to: how you drive, the size of batteries fitted, outside temperatures, terrain covered, etc. Smaller scooters are usually capable of traveling up to 25 km on a single charge while large scooters can go over 40 km.