Mobility Scooters vs Electric Wheelchairs

If you’re in the market for a mobility aid, it’s not always easy to know which one would be the right fit for you – a mobility scooter, or an electric wheelchair. In this article, Stechford Mobility will delineate the pros and cons of each, so you can make an informed decision regarding which aid best suits your needs.

MOBILITY SCOOTERS

mobility scooter

What are mobility scooters?

A mobility scooter is a battery-powered device which is controlled by handlebar-mounted toggles and switches. This makes it very easy for the user to control the speed and direction of the scooter. Its design concept is derived from mopeds and regular scooters, although mobility scooters have three or four wheels, not two.

It’s worth noting that mobility scooters are split into different classes and some are actually road legal.

Pros

  1. Mobility scooters have a simple and intuitive operating system, making them easy to pick up and use
  2. They have a lot of flexibility when it comes to areas of outdoor travel
  3. They come in various shapes, sizes and styles, meaning that it will be easy to find one which best suits your lifestyle

Cons

  1. Mobility scooters require a certain level of physicality to operate; they are not particularly suitable for those who lack trunk and arm strength
  2. If they aren’t foldable, they can take up quite a lot of room in storage
  3. They have rather large turning circles, making it difficult for them to manoeuvre in tight spaces

ELECTRIC WHEELCHAIRS

electric wheelchair

What are electric wheelchairs?

An electric wheelchair is, quite simply, a battery-powered wheelchair. Also known as a powered wheelchair, this mobility aid is better suited to those with more debilitating conditions. They are usually controlled by a joystick or touch controls mounted to the armrest.

Pros

  1. The key benefit of power wheelchairs is that they are ideal for people with reduced mobility, making them a very accessible mobility aid
  2. They are very compactable, meaning it’s possible to fold them away into a car or wardrobe
  3. Electric wheelchairs have particularly small turning circles, making them very useful for negotiating tight corners

Cons

  1. Due to the sensitivity of the controls, operating an electric wheelchair can take some getting used to
  2. Over long distances, an electric wheelchair might not be the most comfortable option
  3. Despite being compactable, they are also rather heavy, so moving them isn’t always easy

THE VERDICT

Opt for a mobility scooter if…

You feel as though you have the requisite strength to operate one

You would benefit from its ability to travel in different areas/on different terrains

Opt for an electric wheelchair if…

If you have reduced mobility and strength

Would benefit from its ability to better navigate confined areas

 

Stechford Mobility are happy to provide a free assessment of your needs to find the right motorised wheelchair or mobility scooter for you. Our dedicated team apply over 40 years of industry experience to listen to your needs and meet your expectations for a mobility solution. Either stop by our Birmingham store where you can try out our scooter range, or contact us via phone to talk to one of our knowledgeable and friendly advisors.