Ballpark estimate: $1,000 to $2,500 for a reliable model (higher and lower options exist)
If you’re having difficulty getting around on your own, you may be interested in purchasing a mobility scooter (a small electric ride-on vehicle) to help you navigate more easily. Whether your mobility is limited due to advanced age, injury, weakness, or weight, investing in a mobility scooter can provide a convenient solution to take you wherever you need to go so you don’t have to curtail your activity.
Mobility scooters come in a wide range of types, sizes, and price points. The cost depends on the style, quality, and features you select. You can find a scooter with three wheels, four wheels, or five wheels. Most of them are powered by a rechargeable battery. Some are geared for indoor use, while others are more rugged and are appropriate to use outdoors. Some models can also work both inside and out.
Some of the common options include:
Portable scooter: This is a compact model you can take on the go. It can be taken apart easily and can be transported in a car trunk. This style of scooter travels well indoors and can make tight corners well. Since portable mobility scooters are typically lighter models, they are better suited for smaller people and may not be sturdy enough for someone who is very tall or very overweight.
Three-wheel scooter: This is a full-size scooter that has three wheels, making it easy to steer and navigate and to take sharp corners, such as in malls and crowded spaces. Most three-wheel mobility scooters are typically better suited to indoor use (although some models can also work outdoors as well).
Four-wheel scooter: This is a more rugged mobility scooter design that makes it ideal for outdoor use. Four-wheel scooters can often achieve more speed than other designs.
Five-wheel scooter: Five-wheel scooters are a new design introduced by a company called Quingo in the UK. This style of scooter is stable, like a four-wheel scooter, but is easier to navigate, like a three-wheel option.
Extras: With any style of mobility scooter you can select a variety of add-on features such as a powered seat, caption’s seat, generous footrest, headrest, cup holder, carrying basket, sun shade, oxygen tank holder, long-life battery or extra battery pack, and a vehicle lift to get it into a van if you go with a full-size model, to make it work for your specific needs.
Variables to Consider
When selecting a mobility scooter style, there are many variables to consider that you should weigh to help you narrow in on the best choice. Your height and weight will come into play (for instance, if you are over six feet or over 300 pounds, you may need a bigger or sturdier model); if you will need easier access getting on and off the vehicle (in which case a swivel seat can make it easier to master this challenge); how often you plan to use the scooter and how far you will drive it regularly (for heavier use, you will want a scooter that is more reliable, handles more smoothly and easily, has a comfortable seat, and offers good battery life); if you prefer front- or rear-wheel drive; whether you plan to use it indoors or outdoors; and whether you need to transport it in your car. If you plan to drive the scooter on the roadway, you will also need head- and taillights and signaling capacity. In addition, you’ll need a faster model (some travel up to about 10 miles an hour).
How to Find
Mobility scooters can be found through a number of websites, manufacturers, medical equipment dealers, wheelchair stores, and mobility scooter sellers. Some places to check online include Pride Mobility, Hoveround, Progress Mobility, 1-800-Wheelchair.com, DiscoverMyMobility.com, Amazon, and Walgreens. Many online sellers offer free shipping and returns and make it easy to compare models and features to figure out what best meets your needs. Make sure any seller you are considering is an authorized dealer for the product, has good reviews from other customers, and is highly rated by the Better Business Bureau. You should also ask what type of warranty the seller offers and how repairs are handled.
In some cases, Medicare will cover some of the cost of a mobility scooter if your doctor prescribes it as a necessary piece of medical equipment for you to get around your home. You will need to use a Medicare-authorized supplier to qualify and may need to follow a specific process depending on your specific Medicare plan.
Cost of a Mobility Scooter
The cost of a mobility scooter depends on exactly what you desire. You can find scooters for as low as about $500 and as high as $5,000 or even more much more if you want all of the bells and whistles. But most people spend somewhere in the $1,000 to $2,500 range for a reliable scooter they will use on a regular basis. For a compact or portable scooter, you can find one in the $1,000 to $1,500 price point, while a four-wheel scooter that you can take on the road may be $2,500 and up. Mobility scooters for bariatric patients can also be on the higher end because they need to be more rugged. Keep in mind that the more you pay for a mobility scooter, the more comfort, reliability, and extra features the model might include.
Less Expensive Options
If you’ll be traveling and will need a scooter at your destination, or if you need a scooter at home just for the short term, you may want to explore your rental options. You can do a search online and also try some of the larger car rental companies. To give an idea of rental cost, one online company charges $40 a day for a basic motor scooter rental, or $170 for a week. Some companies also offer rent-to-buy programs so the money can help toward the purchase cost if you like the model you try.
If price is an issue and your insurance won’t cover the cost of a scooter, you might want to consider buying a used one or a demonstration model. If you buy from a medical supply company, this might save you as much as 50 percent off the retail price. You can also try buying direct for even less from an individual seller through sites like Ebay.