How to Choose a Scooter
If this is your first scooter purchase, it can be a daunting experience. There are so many questions that must be floating around in your brain since there are so many to choose from. Do I want one that costs $700 or one that costs $3000? How much can I afford? Do I want a three or four wheel one? What’s the difference between this one and that one? If I pay more, what more am I getting? What color? We are writing this blog to assist you to make the wisest purchase, to help you get the most for your money.
Three or Four Wheel?
Let’s first consider whether to choose a three or four wheel configuration since scooters of all sizes and prices are available in both varieties.
To illustrate, consider the Golden Buzzaround scooter. https://www.good-life-medical-equipment.com/golden-buzzaround-lt-gb107-3-wheel-scooter-300-lb-cap-lightweight/ (three wheel model) and the
https://www.good-life-medical-equipment.com/golden-buzzaround-xl-gb147-four-wheel-mobility-scooter/ (four wheel version of the same scooter.)
Because there are fewer parts, (one less wheel,) a three wheel scooter is less expensive than the four wheeler. In this case $100 less. Another advantage is more legroom on the 3 wheel since you can rest your legs on each side of the front wheel. The final advantage of three vs. four wheels is the turning radius. In the Buzzaround, it is 10 inches less. This is important in small areas indoors and not critical when used in the wide open spaces of a park, sidewalks, etc.
The most important reason that four wheelers outsell three wheelers is stability. Although all scooters are stable, the square stance of four wheels is more stable than triangular stance of the three. Consider this scenario—you’re rolling along the sidewalk looking at something interesting across the street, not looking in front of you, and you hit a bump because a tree root uplifted the concrete and tilted it. If you have quick reflexes and strong muscles, you’ll stick out your leg, shift your weight and prevent the scooter from tipping. Although it can happen with either scooter, a three wheeler is more likely to tip. So as long as you can afford a little more, we advise a four wheeler.
A scooter can be categorized by size. There are compact scooters, also referred to as travel scooters, full size scooters and heavy duty ones. Below is a discussion of each one.
The lowest price scooters are also the smallest and are sometimes referred to as travel scooters. This is because they can be taken apart, put in a car trunk and reassembled at the destination. This is very convenient for many of us who drive and own cars. Low price and easy transport are the major advantages of this group of scooters. They range in price from $629 to around $1200.
We are going to break this category down in two parts based on whether they use lead acid batteries or a Lithium Ion battery. Like all scooters, most compacts are available in either three or four wheel variety.
- A. Compacts with Lead Acid Batteries
To illustrate compact scooters with lead acid batteries, let’s use the Scout DST4. https://www.good-life-medical-equipment.com/drive-scout-dst-4-wheel-travel-scooter-with-20ah-battery-safety-package-and-front-and-rear-suspension/
This is what you get when you spend more.
- A more comfortable seat
- Higher weight capacity
- Suspension/better ride
- Easier to take apart
- Larger batteries to travel farther between charges.
- B. Compact scooters that use Lithium Ion batteries
When you want to transport these scooters, they remain in one piece and they fold up. They do not come apart. So, if you want to put this in the car trunk, you have to lift the whole scooter that weighs about 55 lbs. Lithium batteries weigh only 5-6 lbs., considerably less than lead acid batteries. It is the opinion of this writer that folding scooters with lithium batteries, which cost significantly more than other scooters, work best for persons who don’t own a vehicle and use taxis and public transportation. One can’t expect drivers to take apart and reassemble the scooter when you get in and out of the car. This is an example of a folding scooter that opens and closes by remote control. https://www.good-life-medical-equipment.com/transformer-folding-scooter-self-folding-with-remote/
Full Size Scooters
These scooters are larger, heavier, more comfortable and more expensive. They are not meant to be taken apart when you transport them. Many have suspension. You can carry them on a platform outside your van or truck or lift them automatically into a van or truck. You can buy three or four wheel versions of most of them. Most can hold a person who weighs 300 to 350 lbs. Most come with a high back seat, rear view mirrors and a full lighting package including turn signals. Prices range from $1500 to $3000 or more. Because of more powerful motor and batteries, they can travel faster and farther than compact scooters.
Heavy Duty Scooters
Heavy duty scooters, in general, can accommodate a person greater than 350 lbs. However, a lighter weight person will enjoy these scooters as well. They are longer, wider and heavier. They have larger motors and batteries and are more comfortable. Many have shock absorbers and can travel at 15 mph. They are not meant to be taken apart and you need an outside platform or trailer to carry them or a pickup truck. Most can be bought with either three or four wheels. Here are two examples. The EW-36 from EWheels is a three wheeler, https://www.good-life-medical-equipment.com/ewheels-ew-36-fast-mobility-scooter-in-purple-free-accessories/ and the Drive Ventura has four wheels. https://www.good-life-medical-equipment.com/drive-ventura-deluxe-4-wheel-scooter-with-400-lb-weight-capacity-and-20-wide-captains-seat/
This blog covers the basics of how to select a scooter. We welcome your comments and questions so please call us at 888-972-2300 any time.