When people suddenly find themselves with a mobility problem that keeps them from getting around, mobility scooters are the easy solution. Not only that, but they are better than ever thanks to giant advancements in technology.
Today in the United States alone, there are over 6.8 million people who require assistance getting around. Out of that number, around 1.7 million have mobility scooters, wheelchairs, or some other kind of equipment to help them.
When Looking for a Mobility Scooter:
• Figure out your use case first and then choose a mobility scooter with features that fit your needs.
• Check out the warranty and if any repair or maintenance is provided.
• Be sure your insurance will cover you for that particular model.
Why Your Use Case Matters
You might think that any mobility scooter will work, but you have to examine how you will use it. For example, imagine you are picking out a scooter that you will only use at home. You won’t need your unit to be very fast or very heavy-duty, due to only riding it indoors. If you do intend to operate it outdoors, then you might want to select one that is durable enough for those scenarios. Other factors include whether your home has doorways wide enough for your new ride, or if it has the proper weight rating. The last thing you want to do is to make a big purchase only to find out later you need something a little different.
You don’t have to worry though, because you can keep reading to find out more about features you might need. Once you know what you are looking for, it’ll be a lot easier to settle on one particular model that fits your lifestyle. In addition to that, you won’t have to shell out extra for features that you know you don’t need to pay for.
Features to Look Out For
Of course, there are some things that you should always have on mobility scooters. The following five features are ones that will highly benefit you, no matter what you are going to use it for. Because of that, you should make sure any unit you want to buy has these first:
Battery Indicator: There are many ways to show your battery life, so you can choose whichever one you prefer. Just make sure it’s there, and that it’s easy to see and read.
Storage Options: Even if you don’t leave the house with your scooter, being able to bring things around in a compartment or a basket will be highly useful. If you do intend to go out, then this becomes an absolute necessity. Some might only have one spot to put your purse or a few other things, while others could have sturdier containers that can close or even lock.
Security Options: Speaking of locks, you’ll want to see what kind of security features comes on the unit you are considering. At the very least, an ignition key to keep others from operating the scooter is important. Beyond that, you might want one with an alarm, or purchase a separate alarm to compensate for the lack of one.
Lights: If the electricity goes out in your home, having a headlight will be a lifesaver. For people who will be going into public, having brake lights and indicators will also be imperative. After all, you don’t want others accidentally bumping into the scooter, which may end up hurting both of you.
Freewheel Mode: Sometimes, you might find it necessary to have someone push or nudge the scooter. Models with a freewheel mode essentially sets your wheels into neutral, making it easy to move around by hand. This feature allows the unit to be maneuvered into spots that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to drive, such as around tight corners or into a narrow space.
Getting Covered by Medical Insurance
You might not be on the hook for the whole price if you have the right insurance. Some plans and Medicare Part B will cover mobility scooters or other devices that are classified as Durable Medical Equipment (DME). In order to qualify, a doctor will have to write you a prescription and note that the unit is medically necessary. As for Medicare, there is usually a 20% copay after you cover the deductible.
Unlike cars, there’s no law stating that you have to get insurance for any mobility scooter. It’s generally a good idea though, and there will be some situations where getting insured is a requirement. For example, using credit to make your purchase might come with a stipulation that you also have to get insured. Another situation is if you purchase a heavy-duty scooter that is road-legal, which would then necessitate auto insurance.
Weight Rating Considerations
It’s a hard truth that losing mobility means that you will likely gain weight. Take that in mind when looking at weight limits of mobility scooters. You will also have to add on the weight of anything you will want to transport, such as groceries or other items. Err on the side of too much instead of not enough so that you won’t ever find yourself in a bad situation. Having a little more power than you need doesn’t stop the unit from working. The same can’t be said when you don’t have enough juice.
Lots of Competition = Good for Buyers
Like many other areas of technology, more and more manufacturers are bringing models to the market to compete with other sellers. In order to get an edge, many of these vendors will offer big discounts or financing options to attract buyers. That puts the advantage in your court, so you can save as much money as you can. Don’t forget to check the other cash-saving tips that have already been mentioned too. Calling your insurance company is a big step that you don’t want to miss to see how much they’ll cover. Even if you only have Medicare, you still have options to consider. Don’t forget to talk to your doctor, because some prescriptions will qualify you for certain discounts.
Getting the Best Deal Possible
The mobility scooter market is highly competitive right now, with multiple players each vying for position. There also isn’t a clear-cut leader, since the top vendors all have their own strengths when compared to one another. That’s why so many companies are offering big deals, so that they can attract the most customers. It might seem difficult to wade through all of the different discounts, but doing your research and looking online will get you started in the right place.