A mobility scooter is a mobility aid similar to a wheelchair but configured like a motor-scooter. It is often referred to as a power-operated vehicle/scooter or electric scooter. The two types of mobility scooters you can choose from is the 3-wheel and 4-wheel. You may be having a predicament in choosing between 3-wheel and 4-wheel mobility scooters. This two types of scooters have their own pros and cons depending on your needs.
3-Wheel Mobility Scooters
Three-wheel power scooters provide users with the mobility and freedom they deserve. These scooters have a much tighter turning radius than the four-wheel models. Ideal for using indoors, especially in the home or in a shop, as they have a smaller turning circle than the equivalent four-wheel model, which makes them easy to maneuver.
Pros and Cons of 3-Wheel Mobility Scooter
Compared to four-wheel models, three-wheel scooters offer more legroom for users who are taller or suffer from knee or leg ailments. Also, three-wheel scooters are lighter in weight and cost less than four-wheel scooters.
- Can maneuver well in crowded areas such as the supermarket or department store
- Lightweight and most can be disassembled for transport
- More solid and durable than a compact mobility scooter, while still retaining the ability to make tight turns because of the independent motion of the front wheel.
- Low price compared to 4-wheel mobility scooters
- Greater leg room
- Good choice for indoor use, or to navigate over smooth surfaces
- Definitely less stable than the 4-wheel mobility scooters
- Not as suitable for use outdoors
4-Wheel Mobility Scooters
If you would like to have the freedom to explore the great outdoors, even on rough terrain, you can never go wrong with a 4-wheel mobility scooter. The enhanced stability of the extra wheel also makes this type of scooter safe at higher speeds. Four-wheeled scooters are less maneuverable and may not be, depending on the size of the unit, suitable for use indoors or on public transit. They are often heavier and can cost slightly more than their three-wheeled counterparts.
Pros and Cons of 4-Wheel Mobility Scooter
Just like the three-wheel, these scooters has also its own pros and cons. Four-wheel scooters offer improved stability over 3-wheel scooters. More heavy duty, durable, and stable, these scooters are excellent for use on roads and rough terrain. More power and speeds of up to 10 mph. There are a lot of new scooter users feel safer on a 4-wheeled scooter and that confidence is key to years of independent and regular use.
- Four-wheeled scooters tend to be bigger, heavier, faster, more comfortable and more durable
- Improved stability
- Most reliable when it comes to outdoor use on rough, uneven terrain
- Excellent choice if you have balance problems.
- More expensive than the 3-wheel scooters.
- Typically wider and therefore less likely to fit down narrow hallways and tight spaces
- Turning radius is not as tight as most 3-wheel power scooters and may not allow you to maneuver as well within the home or in crowded areas
Considerations in selecting your mobility scooters
When choosing a scooter, always consider comfort and quality. How comfortable is the seat? Does it have armrests and back assistance? Does it offer a soft yet robust seat to give you scope to move around without feeling slouchy? Is it easy to penetrate and maneuver? Not all scooters have the same function so it is important to research the model that you are generally eying depends on your needs, budget, and lifestyle.
Sizes of Mobility Scooters
- Portable/Small-sized Scooters. These scooters are lightweight and compact thereby, perfect for a hassle-free travel. It generally dismantles easily so they can be loaded into a vehicle.
- Mid Size Scooters. Generally sturdier and able to transport more weight than small scooters. And definitely has a greater travel range than portable scooters. Suitable for general outdoor and limited indoor use.
- Luxury/Large-sized Scooters. These are built for longer travel distances, higher top speed, and even off-road conditions. Luxury scooters typically offer deluxe, soft-riding suspension, extended legroom, and more power than standard scooters.
Plumber Allan R. Thieme invented the first power-operated scooter in 1968. Frustrated with the mobility options available to a family member with multiple sclerosis, Thieme spent nights building the small yellow scooter in his garage in Bridgeport, Michigan.
Get in touch with an expert to find the best scooter for you
With so many options now available, choosing the right scooter can be quite challenging. We have years of experience in assessing users and recommending the best product. Our mobility product specialists will work with you to find the right model for your unique needs. Using our PerfectMatch System we present you with several product options to begin narrowing down our vast selection. If you are purchasing a scooter online, a test drive is not possible. We do, however, offer comprehensive descriptions and photographs, as well as superior customer service to help you make your decision. If you are buying locally, we offer FREE, no obligation test drives at our showroom or in your home! Contact us today at 250-383-7383 or 1-866-383-7383 and we'll visit you in the comfort of your own home. We'll bring the showroom to you.