When shopping around for mobility scooters, you may hear a lot of different facts and opinions. The truth is, not all are factual. There is a lot of information on the internet, and not all of it is true. That’s exactly why we have put together a list of the most common mobility scooter myths that we hear on a regular basis. Hopefully, this will help make your decisions just a little easier!
1. They Can’t Go Up Hills
One of the most common questions we get is if mobility scooters can go up hills. The answer is, it depends. Every mobility scooter has what we call a “maximum climbing angle”. This angle refers to how steep the mobility scooter can drive within its safe limits. Every mobility scooter has a different maximum climbing angle, so if you live in a hilly area it’s best to look around at which scooters have the largest climbing angle. Usually, the larger and more robust 4-wheel scooters are able to handle hills the best.
2. They Don’t Have a Long Drive Range
I think you’d be surprised to know that some mobility scooters can drive upwards of 25 miles on a single charge. The driving range of a mobility scooter can be impacted by a few things. First and foremost, the type of mobility scooter. Some of the smaller, more travel-friendly mobility scooters will have a shorter driving range due to smaller batteries, smaller sizes, and other factors. Next, your battery size and how you care for the batteries. There are a few ways that you can care for your batteries that will extend their life, meaning you can drive further distances. Keeping them out of cold weather and regular charging can help you prolong your battery’s life.
3. You Have to Be Disabled to Use One
Another one of the most common mobility scooter myths that we hear is that you have to be disabled to use one. This couldn’t be further from the truth. While you absolutely may have a disability to use a mobility scooter, it is in no way, shape, or form necessary. Some may choose a mobility scooter because they experience pain walking long distances, they no longer drive a car, they need help running errands, or they simply want a more comfortable way to get from point A to point B.
4. Mobility Scooters Are Hard to Drive
While there may be a learning curve if you are getting your first mobility scooter, once you get the hang of it, it’s relatively simple. And, it’s pretty intuitive. On most scooter tillers, you can control the speed, and turn it off and on. Then, you can turn the tiller from left to right to steer yourself. A number of our clients state that driving a mobility scooter shares a lot of similarities with driving a car.
5. It Can Be Stored Without Charging
If you are planning on storing your mobility scooter for long periods of time, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. If the scooter is going outdoors like in a shed, garage, or covered, you will need to ensure it is safe from the elements. A lot of exposure to rain and snow can damage your mobility scooter over time. In addition, you must remove the batteries if the weather gets cold. Typically we say that any temperature under 32 degrees is unsafe for batteries. Bring your batteries inside, and give them a full charge once a month. This will keep them healthy throughout the winter.
6. They Make A lot of Noise
A lot of our clients say that they are shocked by how quiet their mobility scooter is. Years and years ago mobility scooters were pretty loud. Now, with all of our new technologies, mobility scooters are relatively quiet and relaxing to drive. If your mobility scooter is making a lot of noise, it may be a good idea to take it to your local dealer to ensure there is nothing wrong with it.
7. They Are Bad For the Environment
Mobility scooters are much better for the environment than cars since they do not produce emissions. Since they run on batteries, most often AGM deep cycle batteries, they produce little impact on the environment while in use. If you are getting a new set of batteries, they are very easy to recycle. In addition, mobility scooters can be popular to re-sell or gift to a loved one if you are done with yours.
8. Mobility Scooters are Dangerous
Any device that you drive can be dangerous if you are driving recklessly. But, if you are driving carefully and cautiously, there should be very little reason to be afraid of driving a mobility scooter. In addition, there are safety precautions that you can take, including using the scooter’s lights at night or adding a visibility flag. Some mobility scooters also come with a horn so you can warn others that you are coming up behind them. Here are a few tips that can make your ride as safe as possible.
- No drinking and driving
- No distracted driving (cell phones, reading, etc)
- Adhere to local bylaws and regulations
- Drive slower in busy areas
- Avoid driving in bad weather (rain storms, thunder, snow storms, extreme cold)
9. Can’t Drive Outdoors / Can’t Drive Indoors
We hear that scooters can’t drive outdoors and scooters can’t drive indoors – which is it? The truth is, both are wrong. Scooters can drive both outdoors and indoors. But, there are some models that will be a better fit for both. As an example, if you are planning to drive your scooter indoors like at the grocery store, shopping malls, or in an apartment, a small 3-wheel scooter may be the best option. While this scooter can drive on sidewalks, it’s not optimal for any bumpy or rough terrains. On the other hand, large mobility scooters can handle grass, gravel, and other rough terrains. But, purely because of its size, it may not be able to fit in tight spaces like an elevator.
10. They Are Expensive
While some mobility scooters can be expensive, not all are expensive. In fact, there are a number of mobility scooters that cost less than $2,000 including the Echo 3-Wheel and Dasher 4-Wheel. Additionally, most scooter retailers will offer some sort of financing option. If price is your main deciding factor, there are mobility scooters that are more affordable. But, you will not find any large, heavy-duty mobility scooters for a price under $2,000.
As you can see, there are a number of mobility scooter myths that we have to debunk on a regular basis. It can be a hard enough decision to choose the right mobility scooter for your needs, so having misleading information on the internet makes it even harder. If you have any questions about any of the mobility scooter myths mentioned on this list or would like help choosing the perfect scooter, don’t hesitate to reach out.