I have four scooters and a power chair and I've owned several others in the past so I've made a few mistakes that perhaps I can help others avoid.
First, decide whether you need a power chair or a scooter or both. If you have only limited mobility, you probably don't need a power chair and a scooter will suffice. If you need indoor assistance occasionally, consider a small travel chair as they maneuver better in close areas and are safer for the operator. I once had a large, powerful, fast power chair that was very difficult to use indoors and was scary fast on the street. It's was a great choice for those without the use of their legs because they have learned the patience necessary to safely operate them.
Scooters are basically two types; those that are street legal with turn signals, backup lights, headlights, hazard warning lights, and rudimentary suspensions. they are usually large, fast, have about a 25 mile range and are expensive. The other type are travel scooters that are small, lightweight and that can be easily and quickly disassembled into 4 separate pieces that can be stowed in the trunk(boot) of a small car. They have small solid tires, no suspension and no lights but are very useful when visiting theme parks, indoor malls, etc. Their range is usually about 10 miles. They run about half the price of the big ones.
Once you have identified your needs,start figuring out how to obtain the scooter of choice. Some medical, extended medical, or social services plans will pay for one for you. After you have thoroughly explored all of these possibilities, give some thought to purchasing a used machine. As Karl pointed out,the major components last for years, it's the batteries that go. When buying a used machine, sit on it, turn it on, go forward a bit and then back a bit. If that works it's probably okay. If the batteries are dead and it won't move at all, it's suspect and you have a great bargaining tool. At any rate, always make a low offer and plan on paying for new batteries.
The last one I bought was in very good condition and would sell for about C$4,800. new. The old guy had no price on it so I asked him how much he wanted for it and he said "make me an offer". Reluctantly, I only offered C$500. and he said "make it C$400. the batteries are about dead". That's not always the case,I've made low offers an other scooters and made owners angry but so what? I did it enough times that I eventually found an exceptional deal.
If you do purchase used, take it home and spend a couple of hours carefully detailing it so that it looks new then it will be new to you. Happy motoring!
for me what to look for in a mobility scooter is A, looks B, weight that it can take. C if it is certified on path or on road (incase needs to be insured to be an on road scooter), D the speed 8MPH top speed( on road scooter)
I have arthritis in my feet, knees and hips, and constant pain in my calves due to diabetes, as a result, I don't leave the house very often and when I do it's not easy! On bad days I use a stick, and on really bad days I have to call my elderly father and have him drive me around! I'd love to buy a mobility scooter, but I can't afford a cheap, second hand one, let alone the one I'd actually like!? I'm only 51 and have never driven a car, I want a scooter that looks COOL, not something like Grandma uses!?
But that aside, I remembered that when I was working, a young man came into the shop one day, and he obviously wasn't well, he told me that he had bone cancer and had bought a scooter from the shop a few doors down from where I worked!
He only had the scooter a couple of days and it conked out!
He had it checked out, and the battery was worn out and the scooter itself was worn out (it was a new scooter, not 2nd hand) and when he complained, the store manager refused to replace it and told him to 'clear off'!
I told him that I constantly saw the store manager trundling around town on a scooter (he was not disabled, just lazy) and he had a different scooter each time, so he was obviously using the floor stock and wearing them out!
I also told him that if he needed a witness to help him sue the B*****d, I'd be more than happy to help!
I never saw him again and can't help but wonder what happened, I hope the poor guy didn't die without getting a decent scooter that worked first!
I remember thinking that if I could afford it, I would have bought him a new one, from another shop!
I hate people who take advantage of someone who is vulnerable and unable to fight back!
I hope that Mongrel store manager finds himself in a similar situation one day and remembers what he did to that young man!