Choosing The Best Mobility Scooter

Best Mobility Scooter

Mobility scooters can provide independence and freedom for older and less agile people.   They allow you to be more mobile and provide a method for you to travel to places you might have otherwise not have visited.  There are many different mobility scooters on the market so you have to look at the different features, types, and cost so you can select the best mobility scooter for your specific case.

You also have to look at the number of wheels, weight capacity, battery type, turn radius, distance per charge, and the width of the chair seat,  as well as other factors that will help determine the overall quality of the mobility scooter.  As a rule of thumb, 4 wheel mobility scooters tend to give a better ride while 3 wheel scooters have a tighter turn radius making them better for navigating tight hallways. 

best mobility scooter

In addition to the scooter itself, you have to think about the type of person who will be using the mobility scooter.  People can use mobility scooters as a primary method of transport or supplemental method  so you have to think about age, portability, weight, and the areas where the scooter will be primarily used.

Mobility scooters come in two major types of categories; 3-wheel and 4-wheel models.  Typically 3-wheel models are designed specifically for indoor use as they have a tighter turn radius making them ideal for narrow hallways.  On the other hand, 4-wheel models are more stable and provide a smoother ride, but require more space to turn.  

When you take this into consideration, its not surprising to learn that finding the best scooter for your needs is difficult.  In this buyer's guide, we will review the criteria you should keep in mind when choosing  a mobility scooter and provide you with our recommendation for the best mobility scooters on the market.

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What Are Mobility Scooters

Mobility scooters are battery powered devices which provide a means to allow people to retain an active lifestyle.  They are available in 3-wheel or 4-wheel drive models that consist of a seat that is equipped with wheels, a steering column, and battery.  Most designs feature three or four wheels depending on your  desired use of the machine.  Heavy duty mobility scooters are also available, usually in the 4-wheel drive models, which can accommodate large individuals over 300 pounds.   

Mobility scooters are designed to help people that have difficulties moving, so they can improve their overall life quality and provide a sense of independence.  Mobility scooters can be divided into 3-wheel and 4-wheel models, and they are available with different features.  Both models can be disassembled quickly and easily transported in almost any vehicle.  Most weigh between 100 and 130 pounds and breakdown into 5 or 6 parts for easy transportation.  This distributes the weight between al of the parts fairly evenly so almost anyone can transport these machines.

Depending on your intended usage of a mobility scooter, a 3-wheel or 4-wheel model may be better for your situation.  Four wheel model mobility scooters provide a more stable and smoother ride and are best designed for outdoor use.  They are a great way to help older, less mobile people retain an active lifestyle and allow people to travel to places they would not otherwise be able to visit.

best mobility scooter

On the other hand, three wheel mobility scooters are much more nimble and have a tighter turn radius.  Due to only having three wheels, they are not as stable as the 4-wheel models, but provide a great alternative when needed in nursing homes, assisted living, or any other facility with tight and narrow hallways.  

The best way to select the correct mobility scooter is by reviewing its features and determining your primary use of the machine.  Remember that there are many different brands and models that can have different features as well.  But, the most important considerations are usability and comfort.

A typical mobility scooter consists of a durable frame, seat with backrest, 3 or 4 wheels, arm rests, a battery, brakes, front and rear lights, and rack on the front or back.  They typically have a weight limit of up to 300 pounds, but there are heavy-duty models can support more up to around 350 pounds.

How to Select Your Mobility Scooter

Selecting a mobility scooter can be challenging and overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time buying one.  Practicality and comfort are the two main factors to consider if you will be the person using it or if you are shopping for a scooter for loved one.

Additionally, keep in mind that mobility scooters are large purchases and will ideally be used for a long time.  Because they can improve your quality of life, they have to be safe and comfortable, so manufacturers often invest a lot money into the design and manufacture of these devices.

best mobility scooter

If you are not sure on what to look out for when selecting a mobility scooter, keep reviewing this comprehensive buyer's guide to learn the different aspects you should take into account.

What To Look Out For

Mobility scooters serve different purposes and offer a wide range of features so there are several things you need to look at.   You should always determine what the main purpose of your mobility scooter will be.  Will you be using it mostly inside for everyday use or outdoors for extended distances as each mobility scooter has its advantages.

This means that you should keep the primary usage of the scooter, your weight, and portability in mind.  You also need to keep in mind the reason why you are purchasing a mobility scooter, which can help you decide between a 3-wheel vs 4-wheel model.

When selecting the best mobility scooter, you should consider the following:

1- Type Of Mobility Scooter

As we discussed above, mobility scooters are available in 3-wheel or 4-wheel models.  Despite the fact that overall design is basically the same, both have key differences that make them suitable for different functions.

Three Wheel Mobility Scooters

Three wheel mobility scooters are mobility devices with two wheels in the rear and 1 wheel in the front.  They provide a much tighter turn radius and are an ideal choice where narrow hallways and lots of turns are required.  Having only one wheel in the front makes for a tighter turn radius but for a little less stable of a ride.   Depending on your needs, a 3 wheel model may be your only choice if a mobility scooter is required.

Four Wheel Mobility Scooters

Four wheel mobility scooters are mobility devices with 2 wheels in the rear as well as two in the front.  Four wheel models provide a much more stable and smooth ride as compared to three wheel models.  They are also a much more favorable choice for extended outdoor use.  The downside to 4 wheel models compared to 3 wheel is the turn radius.  It takes more space to turn a 4 wheel model which makes the 3 wheel model a more suitable choice for indoor use where there are tight areas or hallways.

Heavy-Duty Mobility Scooters

2- Weight Capacity

When purchasing a mobility scooter, you need consider your weight and height as this will determine if you need a heavy-duty model.   The weight capacity on regular models is 300 pounds, so if you are close to that weight, you will need to purchase a heavy-duty model.  Additionally, if you are extremely tall you may want to consider a heavy-duty model as well.  In our experience, larger individuals will feel much more comfortable with a heavy-duty model when compared to a regular compact model.  

best mobility scooter

3- Battery Type

Most mobility scooters utilize two 12-volt sealed lead batteries.  The two batteries are normally wired to create 24 volts.  Amp hours (Ah) is basically the amount of energy a battery can hold.  The higher the number of Ah, the further your mobility scooter will be able to go.  Most mobility scooters will come with two 12Ah batteries while some of the higher priced models will come equipped with 18Ah or 20Ah batteries.     

Upgrading the battery in your mobility scooter is always something you can do at any time.  Most places that sell batteries will have mobility scooter batteries in stock or you can order online from many different websites.  

4- Turning Radius

As previously mentioned, three wheel mobility scooters provide a tighter turn radius and are ideal choices for buildings with narrow hallways.  If you are choosing a mobility scooter for everyday use, be sure to research the layout of where it will be used the most.  Having a mobility scooter with a small turn radius will make for a much more enjoyable experience and less accidental damage to your device or furniture.  

Note that different people have different requirements, so you need to make sure the mobility scooter you choose provides the right turn radius for you.  Finally,  if you will be using your scooter primarily outdoors or in wide open spaces, then turn radius may not be important in your decision buying process.  If this is the case, you may want more comfort and stability in a four wheel model.

5- Seat Width

The width of each mobility scooter can be an important selection criteria if you need a little extra space.  The typical width of a seat on the compact models in 16 inches.  If you require a wider seat, you may want to look into a heavy-duty model as they can provide up to 18 inch widths.  The BuzzAround heavy duty model also comes with a 20 inch seat width model which is the largest available today. 

6- Distance per Charge

Power mobility scooters come equipped with batteries that are responsible for powering the entire unit.  There are a large number of battery types to choose from, all of which affect your mobility scooter's distance per charge and overall performance.  

Pride Mobility

Larger batteries tend to provide longer travel distances but also take longer to fully charge.  On average, you should get anywhere between 7 and 12 miles on a fully battery charge depending on the brand and model so keep this in mind when searching for the best mobility scooter for your needs.

7- Portability

If you are purchasing a mobility scooter for everyday use, then an important criteria for your search should be portability.  Most of the compact mobility scooters available are very easy to breakdown and transport.  Most disassemble into 5 or 6 parts of fairly equal weight, which can be placed in an average sized car trunk.   If you will be transporting your mobility scooter frequently, then be sure to find one that is easy to assemble and dissemble.

Best Compact Mobility Scooter

The best compact mobility scooter should be portable, comfortable, and relatively light.  Moreover, it should also be durable and affordable for the benefits it offers.

Winner: Drive Medical Scout 4-Wheel Power Scooter

The Drive Medical Scout power scooter is designed and manufactured by Drive Medical, one of the most well known brands in the healthcare accessory industry.  This compact and sturdy mobility device gives users enhanced mobility and portability.

The Drive Medical Scout line is famous for manufacturing durable, high-quality mobility devices, and the Scout 4 wheel model will not disappoint.  This compact model falls under the category of 4 wheel models and can support up to 300 pounds.

Although some mobility scooters tend to sacrifice power for durability, the Drive Medical Scout offers a versatile option that was designed with practicality in mind.  This scooter can be disassembled in just a couple of seconds, and because it only weighs 94 pounds, it can easily fit in a small car trunk.

Drive Medical Scout

Our Rating

Not only is the Drive Medical Scout compact, but it’s also one of the lightest models in its category. It disassembles into 5 manageable pieces making it a perfect choice for everyday use that requires a vehicle for transportation.

The four tires have a diameter of 8 inches, which makes them ideal for both indoor and outdoor usage without being too bulky.  The maximum weight capacity is 300 pounds while the maximum range is 9 miles and the top speed is 4.25 mph.  The turning radius of the 4 wheel scout is 53.75" which is a little higher than the 3 wheel Scout which is 45.5".   

The overall dimensions of the Scout 4 wheel scooter are 42.5 inches in length, 21.5 inches wide,  with a floor to seat height of 17" to 19".  The base weight of the scooter is 58 pounds, the batteries weigh 20 pounds, and the seat weighs 16 pounds for a total overall weight of 94 pounds.  

One of the reasons why the Drive Medical Scout stands out is because it’s able to handle both even and uneven surfaces quite easily, and because it’s very stable.   You can take long trips with this scooter or use it all day inside without worrying about running out of battery.

Drive Medical has delivered a fantastic machine at a very affordable price.  It also comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame, 24 month warranty on the electronic controller and drive train components, and a 12 month warranty on the batteries.

Price at just under $700 and with excellent customer ratings, we highly recommend this model. Note that you can purchase additional or upgraded battery packs that can help extend your total travel distance as well.

Runner-Up: Drive Medical Scout 3-Wheel Scooter

The Drive Medical Scout 3 wheel scooter is another model from the well-known manufacturer that has been manufacturing quality mobility products for a number of years.   Drive Medical specializes in providing durable and safe mobility scooters that allow for maximum mobility without compromising quality.   We chose the Scout 3 wheel model as a runner-up because it tis essentially the same scooter but with 3 wheels.   It is suitable for users who weigh up to 300 pounds and can greatly enhance their mobility in indoor situations where a tight turn radius is required.

Similarly to the four wheel model, the Scout 3 wheel is a versatile mobility scooter that can be easily transported everywhere you go.  It can be disassembled very quickly, and it is designed to fit in the trunk of any car or sedan, regardless of its size.

Drive Medical Scout

Our Rating

Note that the Drive Medical Scout 3 wheel model is light weight, which makes it very easy to transport.   At only 85 pounds, it’s no surprise that its battery can last up to 9 miles.  You can always purchase additional or upgraded batteries, extending the total travel distance.

It is clear that this mobility scooter was designed with navigating tight hallways in mind as it features a small turning radius of about 45.5 inches, one of the tightest in its category.  This means that this scooter will easily navigate sharp turns and tight corners.

Finally, the Scout 3 wheel model is an ideal mobility solution because it brings a relatively low price tag of just under $700, which is more affordable  than other scooters on the market today.

If you are looking for a mobile solution with a tight turn radius then look no further than the Drive Medical Scout 3 wheel model.  It is built with durability in mind makes and is one of the best mobility scooters available.

Best Heavy Duty Mobility Scooter

Heavy duty mobility scooters are available for larger individuals weighing close to or over 300 pounds.  They tend to offer a heavy duty and more durable suspension, have wider seat options, and upgraded batteries. 

Our top recommendations for the best heavy duty mobility scooter are:

Winner: BUZZAROUND EX 4-Wheel Heavy Duty Scooter

Our number one pick for the best heavy duty mobility scooter is the BuzzAround EX 4 wheel scooter.  This  heavy duty, extremely durable model was designed with larger individuals in mind. Its heavy duty and oversized frame allows the person easy maneuverability without much effort.

This mobility scooter offers a wider 18 inch seat and upgrade batteries which provide for an extended 18 mile drive range.  The BuzzAround is also one of the only models that is available with a 20 inch wide side, making this an ideal solution when a larger seat is required.

The BuzzAround mobility scooter is available in green, orange, or the standard red and blue panel model.  This model is also very simple to disassemble and easily transported in any car truck or suv.

BuzzAround Scooter

Our Rating

The BuzzAround mobility scooter weighs slightly more than the compact models at 150 pounds due to its upgraded batteries and heavy duty suspension.  The padded armrests provide a comfortable seating experience, and the nylon seat and backrest make it extremely easy to clean and maintain.

The larger 9" wheels along with the comfort suspension springs provide one of the smoothest and most comfortable rides you can find.  This model also features a new ultra bright LED headlight and taillight for the ultimate feeling of safety.

The BuzzAround comes standard with 2U1 batteries, the industry's best and largest battery in this category.  This allows the BuzzAround EX model to travel distances up to 18 miles on a charge.  

Ranging from anywhere between $1,500 and just under $1,800 depending on the model and seat size, the BuzzAround EX is exceptionally priced considering the amount of first class features it has to offer.

Runner-Up: Pride Mobility Go-Go S74 4-Wheel HD Scooter

When it comes to heavy duty mobility scooters that don’t compromise durability, the Pride Mobility Go-Go S74 is one of the best in its category.

This heavy duty mobility scooter weighs in at only 87 pounds but has a whopping 325 pound weight capacity.  This light weight scooter is an ideal solution for someone that needs a heavy duty scooter but will be transporting it around frequently.   

Designed with durability in mind, the Go-Go S74 comes equipped with two sets of colored panels, red and blue , which are interchangeable for your convenience.  

Pride Mobility Scooter

Our Rating

The Go-Go S74  comes equipped with two 12V 18 ah battery packs which provides a total distance of up to 12 miles and a top speed of 4 mph.  This model can be disassembled into 5 light pieces quickly for easy transport.  

It 9 inch wheels for a smooth and secure ride and features a 50.5" turn radius.   Moreover, the red and blue interchangeable panels combined with the black wheels and upholstery give it a stylish look that is modern and sleek at the same time.

Lastly, you will not require any tools to assemble the Go-Go S74.  You will receive the scooter pre-assembled, and it usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes to put together.  

Final Verdict

Finding the best mobility scooter can be a time consuming and difficult task, but you should be able to choose the best mobility scooter by following the advice outlined above.  Remember to determine whether a three or four wheel model will be better for your needs before diving into the features of each.

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