Electric scooters, or mobility scooters, are motorized vehicles designed to help people get around more easily, especially seniors and people with a disability. The best mobility scooters help people retain their independence and freedom of movement. Mobility scooters commonly come in three-wheel and four-wheel designs. They vary in terms of features and capabilities, how easily they transition from indoor to outdoor use, and how quickly they can be disassembled for transport.
Quality build and performance
The EV RiderXpress is designed to be rugged and durable, and is therefore fitted with tough alloy wheels to tackle a variety of different terrain. It supports a maximum weight of 300lbs. The RiderXpress mobility scooter has a maximum speed of 5mph and a driving range of 12.5 miles per battery charge. EV Rider has four anti-tip wheels to boost your confidence that it will remain stable while you’re using it. If you’re planning on using the EV Rider in busy indoor spaces, the 36.8-inch turning radius will come in handy, enabling you to pivot more easily in tight spaces.
350lb weight capacity
The Drive Medical Phoenix HD 4 is widely considered to be one of the best mobility scooters for people searching for something that’s travel friendly, yet can support a higher maximum weight. It holds up to 350 total pounds and is designed with anti-tip wheels to ensure it remains stable during use. The top speed is 4mph, has a finger-pull throttle that makes it easier to operate by people with limited hands mobility, and a swivel seat for getting in and out easier. If you’re planning a road trip the Phoenix HD 4 is a good choice here too as it breaks down into four parts to easily fit in your car.
Emphasis on ease of use
The Pride Travel Pro Premium 3-Wheel Motorized Scooter is affordable without skimping on quality. The Pride Mobility ZT10. The Pride Travel Pro Premium has basic forward and reverse controls, and with three wheels instead of four it is exceptionally easy to maneuver through tight spaces. It disassembles into five pieces, with the heaviest weighing about 27 pounds, making it easy to store into small areas, including your car’s trunk.
Tough terrain is no problem
The Pride Zero Turn 10’s powerful dual motors and two-wheel drive are designed to offer better traction on more challenging terrain with a smooth glide. Pride Mobility has also made the ZT10 with a view to indoor use too, shaping it so that it can more easily fit through hallways, doors, and into some types of elevators. The biggest selling point with the Pride Mobility ZT10 is its use of iTurn technology, which essentially enables the mobility scooter to pivot quickly and turn easily in tighter spaces.
Folds with the press of a button
The EV Rider Transport foldable travel scooter is airline-approved, and can also be taken on trains and cruise ships. That’s because, in addition to its lighter weight, the Transport has a folding mechanism that requires little input from you. To fold or unfold it, push a button and the mobility scooter handles the rest. Not only is this scooter compact, it’s designed with a tight turning radius to make it easier to maneuver in narrow spaces. EV Rider has bundled the scooter with a handheld remote for the folding/unfolding function.
The Drive Medical ZooMe Flex Ultra scooter comes with an airline safe lithium battery, is lightweight, and folds up to the size of a suitcase with just a push of a button. The padded seat and armrests are designed to offer enhanced support and comfort, and the adjustable delta tiller should be easier to operate if you experience limited hand strength or joint pain. The maximum driving range is 13 miles per full battery charge, with the travel scooter reaching up to 4mph.
How to choose the best mobility scooter for you
In order to properly research the best mobility scooters for a range of mobility requirements, we evaluated each product’s design, features and specs, and where possible we used the owner’s manual to give us greater insight.
More importantly, we analyzed existing user reviews, especially from people who have been using each scooter for some time now. We find that verified user reviews are the best indication of a product’s pitfalls and benefits, but they must be taken into consideration along with many other factors.
Let’s now take a look at some of the top considerations you could make to help you find your ideal mobility scooter…
The weight capacities of the scooters we reviewed range between 250-400lbs. These weight capacities include any baggage you take with you, such as groceries. So, even if your weight is far below the maximum limit for the scooter, you need to consider what else you're taking with you. Exceeding the weight limit can cause the scooter to become unbalanced while turning and can dramatically reduce the range and speed.
The fastest scooter we included maxes out at 7 miles per hour. This is good because if the scooters went any faster, they'd risk throwing you off or tipping over while turning. While most scooters max out between 4-7 miles per hour, the slowest scooters max out at about 3 miles per hour.
Each scooter’s operating range varies widely. Some of the scooters maintain speed and battery for less than 10 miles. After that, you must recharge the battery, which generally takes between six and 12 hours. This information is particularly important if you plan to use your scooter for extended periods, such as for a day at the amusement park.
The operating ranges of the scooters we evaluated are between 6.3 and 24 miles, with most averaging between 10-15 miles. If you plan on only using your scooter for short trips or inside, you can choose one with a smaller operating range. Otherwise, you should look for a model that operates for at least 10 miles.
A mobility scooter’s advertised maneuverability is generally based on a rider of average weight and height. It is important to note that maneuverability is also affected by your body weight. When used by heavier riders, power scooters don’t perform as well and can’t maneuver as well as the specifications might suggest.
The scooters we evaluated sit low to the ground, with ground clearances between one and four inches. Since they sit low to the ground, they are more stable than their taller counterparts; however, low-clearance scooters incur more damage when driven on uneven terrain, so they are best used indoors and on flat or paved surfaces.
No matter where you use your scooter, you need one with a small enough turning radius to get you around tight corners. The scooters we reviewed have turning radiuses between 31 and 56 inches. Not surprisingly, scooters with only three wheels are generally more maneuverable and turn tighter. That said, three-wheel scooters have a higher risk of tipping over.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires commercial ramps to have a 1:12 ratio slope or five-degree incline, and residential ramps require a 2:12 slope or 9.5-degree incline. All the scooters we reviewed can climb an incline of six degrees, and two of the scooters can climb inclines anywhere from eight to 12 degrees.