Top 10 Best Mobility Scooter (Feb. 2020): Reviews & Buyer’s Guide
Getting around and about as an adult is easy until it isn’t. Mobility is something many of us take for granted and don’t even think about until we begin to have difficulties. I began needing a mobility scooter aged just 32. Yes, really! After giving birth to my second child, I somehow got an infection in my hip that destroyed the bone. I needed a hip replacement but I was very reliant on a mobility scooter for almost one year. Whether you’re looking for the best mobility scooter for yourself or for a loved one, this Guide will be able to give you all of the latest information about what is out there. Investing in a good mobility scooter will change your life. It can be the difference between staying at home all day and living an independent life.
What You Will Get Here
- Mobility Scooter: Buying Guide
- Our Top 10 Product List
- Top Choice: Drive Medical Scout Compact Travel Power Scooter
- Budget Choice: Travel Pro Premium 3-Wheel Mobility Scooter by Pride
- Our All-Terrain Choice: Drive Medical Scout Spitfire 3 Wheel Scooter
- Our Off-Road Choice: BUZZAROUND EX Extreme 4-Wheel Heavy Duty scooter
- Great for Indoors: Go-Go Ultra X 3-Wheel Travel Mobility Scooter
- For Optimum Comfort: GLION SNAPnGO Travel Mobility Scooter
- Lightweight Choice: SmartScoot Mobility Scooter by Innovative Mobility Products
- A List of 3 Other Products We Reviewed
- Other Tested Products
- Tips for Mobility Scooter Users
- Final Words
Mobility Scooter: Buying Guide
1. Operating Range
A mobility scooter’s operating range is the distance it can travel between charges. Generally speaking, mobility scooters go between 7 and 25 miles on a full battery. Consider what you will be doing with your scooter and the distances you will need to travel.
2. Weight Capacity
Make sure that you know how much you weigh before you choose a scooter so that you are choosing the right one for your size.
3. Maximum Speed
You can find some really advanced mobility scooters that can go up to 20 mph! If, however, you have difficulties making precise actions or have arthritis, it’s probably best to stick to a scooter than has a lower maximum speed.
This type of scooter is the most portable. These are really good for people who are active and who like to visit places further afield. They are easy to take apart or fold and are lightweight, which means you can easily lift them into a trunk. There are some models out there that even fit into a single piece of luggage!
The full-size scooter is perfect for older people or those who struggle with walking. There are some models that are super comfortable that can carry 400 pounds. What’s more, these often have seats with high backs and can go up to 30 miles on a single charge. In terms of speed, you’re looking at somewhere between 4 and 12 mph.
Heavy-duty mobility scooters are suitable for heavier individuals and can safely carry up to 500 pounds. These will have larger seats too. Some can be used on rough ground as well.
Three- and Four-Wheeled Scooters
Three-wheeled scooters are much more maneuverable as they are smaller and can fit through really small spaces. However, three-wheeled mobility scooters do have a smaller footrest. If stability is important to you, you might want to for a four-wheeled scooter. These are a bit more comfortable in the foot area but aren’t as maneuverable.
If you need something with good maneuverability, consider a 3-wheeled scooter. They have an improved turning circle and can get through really narrow spaces.
6. Battery life
The most exclusive mobility scooters use batteries so you need to choose one with a decent battery life. If you like a mobility scooter but it doesn’t have a great battery life, you can look at the option of having a back-up battery. This will mean you can rest assured you’re not going to run out of power and get stuck somewhere!
7. Product Warranty
Before buying a mobility scooter, check what warranty it comes with. You are buying something that gives you a lot of freedom but it also something that could have mechanical failures, a warranty is essential.
8. Battery Warranty
Rechargeable batteries do downgrade over time. Check that the batteries are included in any warranties available on your new scooter.
If you are buying a scooter just for using around the house, then you won’t need to worry about it being portable. If you do want something for around town too then you’ll need to find one that can be loaded into your car easily.
When choosing a scooter, make sure you try it out for comfort. Can you adjust the seat? Is the steering column adjustable? Do you have good legroom? Can you adjust the armrests?
Before deciding on a scooter, think about the types of terrain you will need to go on. Larger wheels will absorb shock on bumpy ground and the best for this are pneumatic wheels. There are some rubber-wheeled scooters that can reduce bumps too as they have a special suspension system.
12. Easy assembly
If you are going to be transporting your scooter frequently, you will need to assemble and disassemble it with ease. There are scooters that require minimal disassembly, which make them more convenient. If you are buying a scooter for someone else, check that they are able to do this alone.
13. Turning Radius
If you live somewhere that requires you to turn in small places, you should opt for a scooter with a small turning radius.
14. Where You Will Use the Scooter
Think about where your scooter will get the most use and use that to make a judgement on the type of scooter you will buy. If you’re going to be on a bumpy pavement or grass a lot, choose a scooter than has larger wheels that can absorb shock.
Indoor scooters need to be able to move across your floor without leaving any marks and without getting stuck anywhere.
15. Keyed Ignition
If security is an issue, you might want to choose a scooter with keyed ignition as this means that no one can start it without your key. Some scooters even have alarms but if yours doesn’t, you can often purchase one separately to protect yourself from theft.
16. Ground Clearance
You only need to worry about ground clearance if you’re using a scooter outdoors. Having a high ground clearance will help you if you encounter obstacles like branches and rocks.
17. Freewheel Mode
Freewheel mode means that you can disengage the scooter’s drive mechanism so that it can be moved easily without having to turn it on. This is useful for those who have to maneuver in smaller spaces. It is also useful for when you want to move it out of the way quickly without having to turn it on.
Depending on its price tag, a mobility scooter might come with different accessories. Some have brakes that are hand-operated, which means that you are able to stop quickly. Some scooters have headlights, which are a good idea if you’re heading out in low-visibility conditions and are not just for those who use their scooter after dark. If you have problems with your neck or back, you might want to choose rearview mirrors. Finally, some scooters have speed limiters which will stop you from going too quickly.
- Under $1000 – some scooters like travel scooters aren’t very expensive but they aren’t very fast and aren’t great on tough terrain. However, you can get a good quality scooter for less than $1000.
- Over $1000 – heavy-duty, full-sized and premium folding scooters can cost in excess of $3000 feature-dependent. Scooters with three wheels are usually cheaper than those with 4.
There are many different scooter brands out there, here are some of the more well-known ones.
This company is one of the world’s best in terms of design and manufacture. The company began in 1986 and is based in Exeter, Pennsylvania. They also have branches in Canada, China, Australia, Italy, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and the Netherlands.
This company was launched in 1985 and is at the forefront of lift, chair, wheelchair and scooter manufacture across the globe.
This Californian-based company has been operating since 1988. Its products are advanced, innovative and affordable.
This company began in 2000 and produces lots of different types of medical supplies, such as rehabilitation products, mobility products, scooters and wheelchairs.
Our Top 10 Product List
Our number one spot goes to the Drive Medical Scout Compact Travel Power Scooter. In our testing, we found it really comfortable but also really easy to take places. The seat is a swivel seat and has a comfortable backrest that folds down. We liked the fact that you can adjust the armrests, which are also padded. The carry basket is handy too as it is quite large for a compact scooter. The tires are non-marking and so this can also be used indoors and it has a decent 300-pound weight capacity. In terms of range, you can go an impressive 15 miles and you can travel up to 4.25 miles per hour, which we found more than adequate for our needs. There are color-through panels with this model and these are great for hiding scratches and scuffs. When taking elsewhere, it is super easy to disassemble and separates into 5 pieces.
This scooter has a turning radius of 53.75 inches and a ground clearance of 2.5”.
When we looked at others’ opinions online in the form of reviews. We found this to be a popular item. In fact, this was the product that had the most reviews by a long way, which means that it is a product that people buy frequently. Not only that but it has an impressive average rating of 4.3 out of 5 on Amazon at the time of writing. This is coming from 824 reviews, which gives the buyer confidence. It is also one the cheapest scooters in our Top Ten, which just shows you that you can buy quality products for great prices!
Out of all the products we tried and tested, we’re confident that this one is the best overall. If you don’t need a scooter with a super-tight turning circle and you’re looking for something that is reasonably priced, well-built and comfortable, then this is the one you should go for. It gives you a very quiet and smooth ride and has a great range. If you don’t know which product to choose and are new to needing a mobility scooter, we are sure you’ll be happy with this one.
Our Budget Choice is the Travel Pro Premium 3-Wheel Mobility Scooter by Pride. Since it has three wheels, this mobility scooter has great maneuverability. What’s more, we found it really smooth to drive in our testing. It can travel up to 6.4 miles on a single charge and has a top speed in excess of 4 mph, which is great for a budget scooter. This mobility scooter can also handle weights of up to 275lbs.
In terms of transporting this scooter, it is really easy! It disassembles into 5 pieces that are lightweight and can fit into the trunk of your average car. We found that this was a great one to transport because the lightest piece when disassembled weighed under 28 pounds and so our testers were able to carry this despite some having mobility issues.
Comfort-wise, we found this to be a great scooter. The seat is faux-leather and is fully padded. You can adjust its height too. The armrests lift up to make it easy to get on and off the scooter and they are very comfortable due to their padding.
In terms of accessories, we really liked its front basket and found it very convenient for storing a purse or some shopping. This scooter also features a saddlebag and free cup holder.
We looked at other reviews online to see if our thoughts were reciprocated elsewhere and we were pleased to see that this is a well-liked product all round. In fact, its average rating on Amazon was higher than our Number One product at 4.5 out of 5. This came from 247 reviews at the time of writing.
If you need a budget scooter with a tight turning circle, this is the one to go for. It can easily maneuver around tight spaces inside the home and is very transportable. This is a scooter that is very reasonably priced and you get a lot for your money with this one. So, if you need something that does the job and you have a low budget, this is the one for you.
When it comes to traveling on uneven surfaces, we think you’ll love the Drive Medical Scout Spitfire three-wheel scooter. Not only is it great on uneven surfaces but it is a really good scooter all round. Disassembling this scooter is easy and quick as is adjusting the seat and armrests to suit you. You can swivel the seat too, which we liked as it made getting on and off the scooter really easy. What’s more, there are even interchangeable color panels with this scooter so you can customize it.
This is a good indoor scooter as well as an outdoor scooter as it has a small turning circle and is nimble. For people who need to move this scooter easily, it has freewheel operation so that you don’t need to start it up to quickly move it somewhere.
Even those with problems with dexterity and movement with find turning the steering wheel on this scooter a breeze, which makes it ideal for everyone.
In terms of reviews, this had an average rating on Amazon of 4.3 out of 5. This score came from 266 reviews at the time of writing, which makes it a really reliable result. We were pleased that our findings were reflected in others’ views online too.
This all-terrain scooter is a great find for those who want to be able to use their mobility scooter indoors and outdoors on a variety of terrain. We found it comfortable and easy to take apart, which is great when you want to travel with it. It’s a reliable scooter that won’t let you down and is a great price too. The interchangeable color panels aren’t really necessary for the function of the scooter but are a nice touch.
When looking for a model for off-road use, this one is fantastic! Not only does it have a great range (18 mph) and a good top speed of 5 mph, but it has both front and rear suspension to keep you comfortable and your ride smooth. What’s more, the tires are larger than standard scooter tires and measure 9” in diameter. They also have an amazing 4-inch ground clearance, which is perfect for those off-road trails where you might come across stray rocks or branches. If you’re wanting to use a mobility scooter after dark or in low visibility, this one has an LED taillight and headlight which are very bright.
We liked the BuzzAround Extreme because although it is a heavy-duty scooter, it is still really portable and can be disassembled really easily.
This is a heavy-duty scooter and as such can hold a weight of up to 330 pounds, which is amazing! This beats all of the other scooters in our Top Ten and we found exceptional when tested.
When it comes to online reviews, the BuzzAround has a fantastic average rating of 4.5 out of 5 on Amazon. This comes from 121 reviews at the time of writing, which isn’t the highest number of reviews a product has had in this list but is still a comfortable amount that gives buyers confidence in their purchase.
If off-road is what you need, this is exactly what you can get. Although more expensive than the others you’ve read so far, it is much more robust and has spring suspension. We loved the bright lights and felt really safe when out and about on this scooter whatever the weather. Bumps in the road or slippery grass were handled with ease. This is definitely recommended if you’re going on other surfaces.
If you’re wanting a scooter than you’re going to use indoors a lot, we loved the Go-Go Ultra X. Its weight capacity is a decent 620 pounds at most and it can travel almost 7 miles on one charge and goes up to 4mph. In our testing, we found this scooter to be really stable, despite having 3 wheels. It was really lightweight and could be disassembled into 5 easy pieces.
The heaviest of these pieces weighed just 28 pounds and so it was really easy to transport to other locations for vacations or days out for example. We found the turning radius and floor clearance to be good too. To us, this scooter felt much more sturdy than some of the others we looked at, yet it is quite light in comparison. However, it is quite a compact scooter and so it doesn’t offer as much legroom as others.
When compared with other scooters, it has an Amazon rating of 4.5 out of 5 coming from 100 reviews. This rating is actually higher than the one that has our number one spot! It does, however, have fewer reviews. Price-wise, this is reasonable and on the lower end of the scale when compared to all ten products in this review.
Out of all of the scooters we tested, we felt that the Go-Go Ultra X was the finest indoor choice. So, if you’re going to be using a scooter indoors for the best part, you should opt for this one. Of course, you can go outside with it but you are best sticking to smooth tarmac and similar surfaces as it doesn’t cope very well on rough ground. All in all, it is a decent scooter at a reasonable price.
If comfort is your main priority, we really loved the Glion SNAPnGo travel mobility scooter. This is a scooter that is really well made and it feels durable and reliable. The Glion SNAPnGo is comfortable for the vast majority of people as it is capable of holding up to 300 pounds. It is really easy to maneuver and control precisely.
As well as being comfortable, this mobility scooter feels really safe. It has three speed settings and has bright LED lights at the front and back for when visibility is poor or it is dark. You also don’t have to worry about distance. It can go up to 15 miles on a single charge!
Unlike some of the other travel scooters in this review, this one folds down a little differently. It is even quicker to disassemble! All you have to do is take the seat off, fold down the frame and you’re ready to go. It can fit in any trunk or can sit on the backseat of the car! Without the battery, it weighs just 31 pounds. Also, when it is folded, you can transport it like a wheeled suitcase, which is so convenient!
Price-wise this is at the higher end of the scale in comparison with others on our top ten, however, the convenience of the folding scooter and its comfort is arguably worth the price. In terms of online reviews, this scooter has an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 on Amazon coming from 74 reviews at the time of writing. Had there been more reviews, we might have been convinced to bump it up our list.
This is a comfortable scooter that is portable and well-built. If you don’t live in a hilly place and don’t mind a bit of motor noise, you won’t find many negatives at all about this scooter. The lights are a great feature, and the basket is big in comparison to others we tried. So for comfort and convenience, we think you’ll like the Glion SNAPnGo.
Sometimes, you’re just looking for lightweight and not much else matters. If that’s you or your loved one, the SmartScoot by Innovative Mobility Products is the lightest there is. All together it weighs less than 40 pounds and it is super easy to fold with no tools needed at all. When this scooter folds down, it breaks into 3 separate sections for easy transportation. The frame is made from lightweight stainless steel that will not rust so you can be confident that your scooter will last you a long time.
In terms of battery life, you can expect to get up to 12 miles. We found this to be accurate in our testing of the product too.
As far as online reviews are concerned, this scooter did have the lowest rating on Amazon of all of the products in our top ten. Having said that, a rating of 4.1 out of 5 is still a good score. This product also had the second-fewest number of online reviews too (46 at the time of writing). This doesn’t mean that it isn’t a great product, it just means that we can’t be as confident as we can with other products, hence its place in position 7 in this Top Ten Mobility Scooters Guide.
Whether you need a scooter that is easily transported or one that you can manage alone, if having a lightweight scooter is really important to you, the SmartScoot is a good choice. Only weighing 40 pounds and breaking into three pieces means that you can take this scooter almost anywhere. For those who like to travel and go on trips out and where money isn’t a problem, we recommend this mobility scooter.
A List of 3 Other Products We Reviewed
Our number 8 is the Drive Medical Compact Scooter. We found this scooter to be very comfortable with its height-adjustable swivel seat and its padded and adjustable armrests. It was also quick and easy to assemble. This scooter is suitable for anyone up to 300lbs and has a wide 16.5-inch seat.
This is a mobility scooter that is really quick to set up. The batteries are ‘quick connect’ and there is a free-wheel option for quick maneuvering around the home. The tiller is easy to adjust too.
For those who struggle with dexterity, this scooter’s throttle is ergonomic and easy to operate. The scooter has a turning radius of 53.75 inches, a ground clearance of 2.5 inches and can go up to 15 miles on a single charge.
Accessory-wise, we really like the carry basket as it was larger than some of the others we tested.
This has quite a good number of online Amazon reviews at the time of writing (174) with an impressive average rating of 4.4 out of 5, which is actually higher than our number one product!
This is a good mobility scooter from a well-known brand with a good reputation so you can’t really go wrong here. The reviews are pleasing and there are enough of them to give you some confidence that you’re buying a good product. This compact scooter is great for anyone who wants convenience as well as quality.
In 9th position is the Pride Mobility Go-Go Traveler Elite Plus. This is lightweight but can carry up to 325 pounds, which is impressive. It breaks down for transportation and is 5 lightweight pieces making it easy to take in the trunk of a car. The heaviest of the 5 pieces only weighs 35 pounds.
For those who have dexterity issues, this scooter is great because you can operate it one-handed and rest your wrist at the same time. For safety, it has LED lighting. If you fancy a change, you can quickly and easily change it from red to blue or vice-versa with the changeable shrouds.
For those who have to maneuver in tight spaces, we found this one great. It has larger rear wheels too, which means it is sturdy and easier to drive.
Review-wise, we noticed that this one had the highest rating on Amazon out of all of the products listed here. In fact, it was 0.2 points higher than the next top-rated product with an impressive 4.7 out of 5. However, this score comes from only 48 reviews, which when compared to our Top Pick, is considerably less. For this reason, we didn’t place this higher up our Top Ten.
This Pride Mobility is a great scooter that lots of people rate online. The battery life is fantastic and the weight capacity is unbeatable. If you’re looking for a great scooter and don’t mind paying a higher price, you’ll be pleased with the Pride Mobility Go-Go Traveler Elite Plus. This certainly gives back independence to those who struggle with mobility on a day-to-day basis.
For a really innovative scooter, the Transformer Automatic Folding Mobility Scooter is amazing! This scooter has a remote control that operates the mobility scooter and folds it for you in a matter of seconds. What makes this even greater is that it is approved for airplane travel. Although you should check with individual airlines, this scooter has been designed and passed for travel on multiple airlines, which is truly wonderful for so many people who struggle to get around big and busy airports. This scooter actually folds to the size of a small suitcase. We didn’t believe it until we saw it for ourselves in testing – it’s great! You can also wheel it behind you once it’s folded down too, like a wheeled suitcase.
Even though it’s a folding scooter, it still has armrests, which is a novelty that we appreciated.
Because of its ability to be ultra-portable, this is a compact scooter that has a slower top speed that most at 3.75mph. It does, though, still have a 300-pound weight capacity, which is impressive and it can go almost 14 miles on one charge.
This scooter also has a limited lifetime warranty on its frame, with two years for the electrics and 12 months for the batteries.
If you look at Amazon reviews for this product, there aren’t very many of them – just 27 at the time of writing. This could be due to the fact that this is a particularly niche product for those that like airplane travel, which many with mobility problems avoid. It is also quite expensive. The reviews themselves are largely positive but it does have the lowest score with only 3.9 out of 5 on average. We placed this lower down on our Top Ten list as it seemed very specialized for airline travel and is well-suited to frequent travelers.
If you’re a frequent airplane traveler, you really should invest in this mobility scooter. The convenience of being able to go right up to the gate is fantastic and its ability to fold without you lifting a finger is worth the investment alone! Having said that, it is a lot of money to spend on a scooter and I would be wary of spending so much without carefully reading the reviews online. That said, it does have a good warranty period to offer you confidence in your purchase.
Other Tested Products
- 01Shoprider Echo 3 Wheel Mobility Scooter, Red
- 02Drive Medical Bobcat X3
- 03Drive Medical Spitfire Scout 4-EXT 4 Wheel Travel Power Scooter
- 04Drive Medical Phoenixhd4 Phoenix Scooter
- 05Drive Medical Bobcat X4 Compact Transportable Power Mobility Scooter
- 06Pride Mobility S74 Go-Go Sport Electric Mobility Scooter For Adults
- 07Shoprider Sunrunner 4 Wheel Scooter, Burgundy
- 08Ewheels Ew-36 Elite Recreational Electric Mobility Scooter for Adults
- 09Pride Mobility Go-Go LX with CTS Suspension S50LX
- 10E-Wheels EW-36 3-Wheel Electric Senior Mobility Scooter, Orange
- 11EWheels EW-66 2-Passenger Heavy-Duty Scooter
Tips for Mobility Scooter Users
- It’s a good idea to check with your health insurance company before you make your buying decision as they might be able to provide one for free. Even Medicare offer this. But you might have limited options in terms of the sort of scooter you might be able to choose.
- You should check and maintain your scooter regularly to keep the vehicle in its peak condition. Make sure you get repairs done straight away before they become even more costly.
- If you are using a scooter at home, you might need to check your door clearance. Older homes can have narrower doorways, which make it really hard to use a mobility scooter.
- Although it’s not obligatory, you should really consider getting insurance for the scooter you own. Check with your home insurance or car insurance to see if it can be added to that.
- If you buy a heavy-duty scooter and want to take it somewhere, you might need to get a lift for the vehicle.
Thank you for reading this Top 10 Best Mobility Scooters Buying Guide, we hope that this has helped you come to a final decision. With this guide, we have come up with lots of different types of mobility scooter that we think will cover all needs and all budgets.
If you’re still unsure which one to go for, you can’t go wrong with our Number 1 – the Drive Medical Scout Compact Travel Power Scooter. This is the best all-rounder that will suit most budgets and meet all needs.
If money is no object, you might want to look at some of the more expensive and robust models but always remember to read online reviews and product specifications first – buying a mobility scooter is a big investment and makes such a difference in your life, we want you to be happy first time! Happy scooter shopping!
1. Why is a mobility scooter's turning radius important?
This decides how much space you will need to turn your scooter around by 180 degrees. Scooters with smaller turning radiuses are more maneuverable.
2. Can I drive my mobility scooter on the road in the US?
No. When you are on your mobility scooter you are still effectively a pedestrian and must use a sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, you can use the very left side of the road.
3. What are the rules for mobility scooters?
Although they are not classed as a vehicle, you should still use common sense when using a mobility scooter and be aware of rules to follow. For example, you shouldn’t use one under the influence of alcohol.
4. Is a 4 wheel scooter better than a 3 wheel scooter?
Not necessarily – it all depends on personal preference and usage.
5. Should I leave my mobility scooter on charge all the time?
No. If you are going to use your mobility scooter less than three times a week, then you shouldn’t leave it on constant charge. You should unplug the scooter once the battery is full. When your mobility scooter isn’t being used for a period of time, you should ensure that you charge up the batteries once per month.
6. Can mobility scooters go on buses?
Yes. You will need to stay seated on your scooter and use the appropriate space.
7. Do I need insurance for a mobility scooter?
No, you do not need insurance as they are not classed as a vehicle.
8. How many miles can you do on a mobility scooter?
This depends on your model. Some models can do 30 miles.
9. Can I carry a passenger on my mobility scooter?
No. Not unless it has a double seat.
10. Can I bring my mobility scooter on an airplane?
If yours is foldable, you can bring it on board an aircraft. If you travel frequently, you may want to choose one that is capable of this. Make sure you always check with individual airlines too.
11. What’s the difference between a mobility scooter and a power/electric wheelchair?
Power wheelchairs have steering that is operated by a joystick while scooters have a tiller for steering. Scooters are usually able to travel further too.