Table of Contents
Written By: Laura Larimer
Page Reviewed / Updated – June 9, 2021

According to the CDC, 25% of all seniors in the United States experience a fall each year. Though many people may not see falls a major health risk, seniors can suffer dire injuries due to even seemingly “minor” falls. Aging seniors gradually lose some bone density and skin elasticity, and their stem cells become less effective at repairing damage and in the body. Due to these and other health factors, three million seniors are treated in emergency rooms for falls annually. In fact, falling is the most common cause of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) and hip fractures. Falls also frequently result in other bone breaks or injuries to wrists, arms, and ankles.

In cases where falls can be attributed to reduced leg strength, foot problems, or poor overall balance, using a mobility scooter can reduce seniors’ chances of falling. Mobility scooters, unlike electric wheelchairs, are not intended for all-day, uninterrupted use. They’re meant to be a mobility aid that you use intermittently to prevent excess fatigue and pain. A suitably selected mobility scooter can increase the number of tasks you can do around the house, and it can also enable you to participate in recreational activities or errands that you may otherwise have to give up. 

Mobility scooters can be an extremely practical purchase, but many seniors may not know how to tell if they really need one or how to select the right model. This guide will help you explore your options by providing extensive explanations of the costs and features of over 20 different scooter models from the industry’s top 10 companies. If you’re new to mobility scooters, then starting with “What You Should Know About Mobility Scooters” (below) is a must. You can also read “Get Help Paying for a Mobility Scooter” and the Frequently Asked Questions section for information on Medicare coverage, payment plans, scooter safety, and several other important questions.

How We Chose the Best Mobility Scooters

There are many different mobility scooter companies to choose from, and the sheer number of choices can be overwhelming. We used the three criteria below to focus on the companies that serve a broad range of customers.

  • Number of Models: We looked for companies that offered variety in their product lines. All companies we reviewed had at least three basic models. When you count up all the different upgrades and sub-types of those models, many companies had 10+ different options in practice, if not in name. 
  • Proven Reputation: Reputation is extremely important when you’re buying something that costs a few hundred or thousand dollars. All of the companies that we reviewed have at least 10 years of experience in the business and are known and respected in the industry. A few of these companies trace their roots as far back as the 1960s.
  • Widespread Availability: We thought it was important to look for scooters that can be easily purchased by a senior anywhere in the United States. We looked for companies that have a good presence in popular online dealerships, as well as in physical stores.

The 10 Best Mobility Scooter Companies of 2021

Numbers of Models* Cost Range Has Travel-Friendly Model(s)?** Retailers
EV Rider  7+ About $2,000-$6,800 Yes -Brick-and-mortar medical supply dealers -Online dealers -Amazon -Walmart.com
Drive Medical  6+ $780-$9,000+ Yes -Brick-and-mortar medical supply dealers -Online dealers -Amazon -Walmart.com -Lowes
Pride Mobility 8+ $1,200-$7,000 Yes -Brick-and-mortar medical supply dealers -Online dealers -Amazon -Walmart.com
Golden Technologies  5+ $2,100-$5,200 Somewhat -Brick-and-mortar medical supply dealers -Online dealers -Amazon -Walmart.com
Shoprider  8+  $1,500-$9,000 Yes -Brick-and-mortar medical supply dealers -Online dealers -Amazon -Walmart.com
E-Wheels Medical 6 $850-$1,680 Somewhat -Brick-and-mortar medical supply dealers -Online dealers -Amazon -Walmart.com
Amigo  3+ $2,595-$3,445 Somewhat -Brick-and-mortar medical supply dealers -Select online dealers
Zip’r Mobility  3+ $725-$1,500 Somewhat  -Direct purchase from company’s website -Brick-and-mortar medical supply dealers -Online dealers -Amazon -Walmart.com
Merits Health 5+ $1,300-$6,500 Yes -Brick-and-mortar medical supply dealers -Online dealers -Walmart.com
Afikim  4+ $4,000-$8,000 No -Brick-and-mortar medical supply dealers -Online dealers -Amazon -Walmart.com

*A + in this column indicates that some models come in multiple versions. 

**Yes indicates that a lightweight, folding model is offered. Somewhat means the company has one or more models with some travel friendly properties but that is nevertheless not fully foldable and/or is unusually heavy for a travel model.

A Note on Mobility Scooter Pricing

Customers should note that when comparing prices, we used either prices listed on the maker’s website or on an approved dealer site. We found that dealer prices tend to be similar, but can vary for the same model. Whenever both a regular price and a sale price were listed, we relied on the regular price since sales prices fluctuate unpredictably. We also generally rounded prices to the nearest $10. Seniors should note that when scooters do go on sale, they can be several hundred dollars less than their list prices.

>EV Rider Review

EV Rider is a US-based mobility company headquartered in Ft. Myers, Florida and currently led by President Juan Carlos Rivera. A top contender in the global scooter market, this company has been making scooters since its founding in 1996. EV Rider has an ambitious, international vision for its company, and it currently distributes its devices not only in the United States but also in select central and south American nations and in Israel. It has also gone forward with important deals with another popular mobility company, Afikim, and now distributes that company’s products in the U.S.

Pros Cons
“Transportables” product line boasts numerous travel options Prices not listed on company website
Phone customer service for Spanish speakers available Company website lacks an easy tool for finding approved dealers
Auto-folding models offered

Overview of EV Rider Models

EV Rider splits its large range of mobility scooters into three basic product lines: Transportables, Mid-Size, and Community Mobilizers. The community mobilizer line contains just one model, the Vita Monster, which is extremely heavy-duty and intended for all-terrain use. Most seniors will likely find the other two product lines more useful. Models in the Transportables lines include the CityCruiser, Gypsey, two versions of the MiniRider, and three versions of the Transport. Models in the Mid-size line include the CityRider, TeQno, and VitaXpress. We’ve selected one model each from the Mid-Size and Transportables lines to review in further detail below.

Number of Models 7+
Cost Range About $2,000-$6,800
Has Travel-Friendly Model(s)? Yes
Retailers

-Brick-and-mortar medical supply dealers

-Online dealers

-Amazon

-Walmart.com

Transport Plus

One of several models in EV Rider’s travel-friendly line, the Transport Plus has an impressive combination of features and specifications. Although its frame is extremely light at just 60 lbs. even with the battery, it can still accommodate fairly heavy passengers. This model has a standard battery pack, but you can upgrade to a bigger battery if you want to be able to achieve the higher end of the listed travel range. Seniors should note that this model does not have an “automatic folding option,” unlike a few other models this company offers. We featured this model due to its better affordability, but if you’re willing to pay extra you may wish to investigate the Transport AF+ which is similar in many ways but has a deluxe auto-folding feature.

Highlights: 

  • Estimated Price: $2,000
  • Travel Range: 10-15 miles
  • Weight capacity: 250 lbs.
  • Weight of Model: 60 lbs.
  • Turning Radius: 32”
  • Foldable: Yes 

VitaXpress

This heavyweight model, intended exclusively for outdoor use, is best for the very independent senior. Extra-large 13” wheels and a ground clearance of 3” means that this model can handle terrain that smaller indoor/outdoor models simply cannot. Its full suspension ensures a smooth ride. In addition to its many practical design features, this model also has an appealing, sporty look. The VitaXpress will be especially suitable for seniors who appreciate extra room due to its 20” seat and ample legroom.

Highlights: 

  • Estimated Price: $3,100
  • Travel Range: 25 miles 
  • Weight Capacity: 350 lbs.
  • Weight of Model: 258 lbs.
  • Turning Radius: 47”
  • Foldable: No

EV Rider Mobility Scooters Costs

Seniors should note that EV Rider does not list its prices on its own website, so looking at several different dealers’ prices is the best way to get an idea of an EV Rider scooter’s value. In our research, we found that list prices for this company’s scooters are between roughly $2,000-$6,800, but that they are frequently available at much lower sales prices. When on sale, the most lightweight models may go for $850. Certain upgrades, such as more powerful batteries, can add as much as $200 to the total. Accessories like cup holders and travel bags appear to start around $20.

Medicare coverage may be possible for some EV Rider models. The mid-size models are perhaps the most likely to be eligible for coverage, and the outdoor-only model is almost certainly not eligible. Some transportable models may qualify, depending on their exact features. 

Where to Buy EV Rider Mobility Scooters

EV Rider models are easy to find at many mobility stores, both in-person and online. Select models are also available on Amazon and Walmart.com. As with many other large mobility vehicle companies, you cannot buy directly from EV Rider. The company’s website also does not provide an easy online tool for finding dealers/retail locations, unfortunately. Calling the listed customer service number will be a good way to get in contact with a local dealer, but for many people simply searching online for the model you’d like to buy may produce more immediate results. It’s worth noting that EV Rider’s phone lines have a Spanish language option that may be very helpful for some.

>Drive Medical Review

Drive Medical, also called Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare, Inc., is a US-based company that has been providing a wide range of durable medical equipment since 2000. Headquartered in New York, this company enjoys international success. In 2015, it dramatically increased its size when it acquired its competitor, DeVilbiss Healthcare. Drive and its subsidiaries routinely partner with hospitals, government programs, and pharmacy stores to provide everything from IV poles, to CPAP machines, to bathroom benches, to mobility devices such as scooters and wheelchairs. Many seniors have likely unknowingly benefited from using some items produced by this company.

Pros Cons
Available scooters range from budget to luxury Official website somewhat difficult to navigate
Lower-cost models highly likely to be eligible for insurance or Medicare reimbursement Numerous discontinued/out of stock models are still listed on dealer sites, making shopping complicated
Multiple folding and superlight options Accessories/upgrades somewhat limited
Sales prices for these mobility scooters frequently drop below $800

Overview of Drive Medical Mobility Scooter Models

This company currently offers six models, ranging from very lightweight to heavy-duty. The names of the basic models currently available are Cobra, Ventura, Phoenix, Spitfire, Scout, and ZooMe. However, most of these models are offered in multiple versions. If you were to count up each variation of the models, you’d have around 15. Many models are offered in both 3-wheel and 4-wheel configurations. Below, we’ve provided more details on two popular Drive Medical models, the Scout 3 and the ZooMe Auto-Flex.

Number of Models 6+
Cost Range $780-$9,000+
Has Travel-Friendly Model(s)? Yes
Retailers

-Brick-and-mortar medical supply dealers

-Online dealers

-Amazon

-Walmart.com

-Lowes

Scout 3

Extremely versatile and inexpensive, the Scout 3 remains a popular and easy to find model from Drive Medical. Although not fully foldable, this model easily disassembles. The Scout 3’s size and relatively small turning radius make it ideal for indoor use. Its high weight capacity makes it a possibility for those who weigh up to 300 pounds, but seniors should be aware that at 16” the seat is not particularly wide. This model can be purchased with an optional canopy, a battery size upgrade, cane, crutch oxygen tank holders, and other accessories. This and other versions of Scout are highly likely to be eligible for Medicare coverage (for eligible seniors, when purchased through Medicare suppliers).

Highlights:

  • Estimated Price: $780
  • Travel Range: 9-15miles (depends on battery selected)
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs. 
  • Weight with batteries: 85 lbs.
  • Turning Radius: 45.5″
  • Foldable: Somewhat- the backrest folds. It does disassemble.


ZooMe Auto-Flex

The ZooMe Auto-Flex has 4 wheels, a small 16” seat, and an electric blue color. It’s offered at a somewhat higher price point, and it’s likely ineligible for Medicare reimbursement due to its design. However, this super lightweight folding scooter is airline-safe, making it an essential for jet-setting seniors. This fully electric scooter will fold itself in about 15 seconds- all you need to do is press its fob button. You can purchase an optional cup holder, armrest bag, and dust cover with this model. For seniors who need a lower price point, versions of the ZooMe that don’t fold themselves will be much less expensive,

Highlights:

  • Estimated Price: $2,500-$3,000
  • Travel Range: 13 miles
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs. 
  • Weight with batteries: 60 lbs.
  • Turning Radius: 47.2″
  • Foldable: Yes, self-folding

Drive Medical Mobility Scooter Costs

Overall, Drive Medical’s regular prices range from roughly $780-$9,010+, with Scout being the most affordable option and Cobra being the most expensive. Online, it can be difficult to tell which prices are “normal” and which are promotional. The highest-priced models such as Cobra can sometimes drop well below $5,000 online. It can be somewhat difficult to find Drive Medical accessory prices online, but some accessories appear to cost between roughly $30-$150.

On its website, Drive Medical lists insurance reimbursement codes for some of its scooters, indicating that those models are very likely to be covered by Medicare or even some private insurance for medically-eligible seniors. Models without a listed code are almost certainly ineligible for coverage due to current rules regarding cost or specific features. Seniors should keep in mind that they must follow a very particular set of steps to receive Medicare coverage for any scooter (see “Get Help Paying for a Mobility Scooter”)

Where to Buy Drive Medical Scooters 

Drive Medical is one of the biggest names in the mobility scooter business, and its models are readily available at many online and brick-and-mortar dealers, as well as at Lowes, Amazon, Walmart, and other popular websites. The company does not sell directly to its customers but has a convenient online tool for finding retailers. When browsing online, you will quickly find that few stores carry the full Drive Medical product line, so you may need to hunt for the exact model you want. It’s also fairly common to find online listings for models that are discontinued and/or out of stock, which can be frustrating and confusing.

>Pride Mobility Review

Pride Mobility, founded in 1986, currently has its headquarters in Exeter, Pennsylvania. It also operates centers throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and Oceania. Pride Mobility has the distinction of being one of eleven companies considered to be the top competitors in the mobility industry according to the Global Mobility Scooter Market Analysis produced by MarketResearch.Biz in 2020. The company is well known for its “Jazzy” line of electric wheelchairs, but its mobility scooters are an equally important contribution to the mobility market.

Pros Cons
Status of scooters as medical and non-medical clearly marked Bewildering number of variations on some models
Extremely large accessory/upgrade section Problems with incomplete information on own website
Good lightweight scooter selection Has had to recall a model (Victory 9) due to a missing component in the past
Extremely small turning radius on the “Zero Turn”

Overview of Pride Mobility Scooter Models

Pride Mobility has the greatest variety of scooter models of all the companies we reviewed. The company’s eight basic scooter model names are Zero Turn, Victory, Revo, GoGo, Maxima, Wrangler, Raptor, and iRide, but most models come in several variations. Wrangler, Raptor, and iRide all fall into recreational rather than medical device classes, but they may still be suitable for some seniors. Variations of models are distinguished by extra numbers, words, or acronyms added at the end of the model name. Since most models come in both 3-wheel and 4-wheel versions, listings will usually include a notation about wheel number as well. 

In addition to its wide range of models, this company sells an extensive selection of accessories to accommodate the storage of personal belongings, cell phones, beverages, crutches, canes, oxygen tanks, and much more. Novelty add-ons such as decorative military patches are also offered. Online information on accessory compatibility for differing models is scarce, so speaking with a dealer is a must. Below you can learn more about the Go-Go Folding Scooter and the Maximas 3. These two models are great examples of how Pride Mobility excels at making both lightweight and heavy-duty models.

Number of Models 8+
Cost Range $1,200-$7,000+
Has Travel-Friendly Model(s)? Yes
Retailers

-Amazon

-Walmart

-Online Dealers

-Brick-and-mortar dealers

Go-Go Folding Scooter

The Go-Go folding scooter, the company’s most travel-friendly option, weighs just shy of 70 lbs. Its compact profile when folded can be easily stowed in a trunk. In some cases, this scooter may be eligible for airline travel. Pride Mobility’s website indicates that you should always check with the airline prior to flying. In keeping with its small size, this scooter’s seat is a fairly narrow 16” wide. Other important features of the Go-Go Folding Scooter are the rear lights, adjustable tiller height, optional arm rests, and the anti-slip carpeting on its base. 

Highlights: 

  • Estimated Price: $1,700
  • Travel Range: 9.3-13 
  • Weight capacity: 250 Lbs. 
  • Weight of model: 69 lbs.
  • Turning Radius: 32”
  • Foldable: Yes

Maxima 3 Wheel

This heavy-duty mobility scooter’s main attraction is its extra roomy seat, which can be purchased with an optional power lift feature. Seats that can be adjusted with a power feature are rare for scooters. If there’s a significant size difference between you and your caregivers, or if your caregivers themselves have physical limitations, a moving seat can provide some additional assistance. This scooter has other convenience features, including a front basket and a built-in USB port for charging phones on the go. The Maxima’s weight limit of 500 lbs. is fairly rare in the industry, even for “bariatric” scooters. 

Highlights: 

  • Estimated Price: $2,830
  • Travel Range: 18 miles
  • Weight Capacity: 500 lbs.
  • Weight of Model: 219 Lbs.
  • Turning Radius: 50.5”
  • Foldable: No

Pride Mobility Scooter Costs

This company’s basic price range is approximately $1,200-$7,000. However, as with most companies, sale prices can be much lower. You may find that some dealers offer special packages with free accessories or relatively inexpensive warranty upgrades, but the availability and pricing for such add-ons will vary. Many but not all Pride Mobility Scooters are considered FDA class II medical devices, and they are highly likely to be eligible for Medicare coverage. 

Where to Buy Pride Mobility Scooters

You can see all of this company’s current models on its own website, but to make a purchase you’ll need to visit a local dealership or find an online seller. Pride Mobility scooters are easy to find on Amazon, on Walmart’s website, and at many different online dealers. The “Buy Online/ Find a Dealer” button on the Pride website will help you find a reputable place to shop. When using Pride’s own website to compare models, you should note that you’ll have to switch between multiple tabs to see all models/variations offered. The “All Scooters” tab is actually missing several models, despite its name.

>Golden Technologies Review

Golden Technologies is a large, family-owned business that made a name for itself primarily through its American-made lift chairs (power recliners). In 1996, 11 years after its founding, it expanded into the mobility scooter market. This company is proud of its track record of partnering with the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide scooters to veterans. It’s also one of five companies we reviewed that is large enough to have been featured in a prominent 2020 power scooter market analysis by MarketResearch.Biz.

Pros Cons
One of the largest scooter companies on the market The list of authorized internet dealers provided on the website is very small
25 years experience making mobility scooters This company does not sell its scooters directly
USA-based and continuously family owned
Sales prices on these mobility scooters tend to be excellent

Overview of Golden Technologies Mobility Scooter Models

Golden Technologies’ main models are Patriot, Avenger, Literider, Buzzaround, and Companion. The first two are labeled “offroad”, while the rest are more suitable for daily needs. Most models come in additional versions, with Buzzaround alone having 6+ variations. Most models are offered with 3-wheel or 4-wheel options. Below, we provide more information on two popular Golden Technologies models, the Companion 4-Wheel Full Size and the Buzzaround Carry On.

Number of Models 5+
Cost Range About $2,100-$5,200
Has Travel-Friendly Model(s)? Somewhat*
Retailers

-Brick-and-mortar medical supply dealers

-Online dealers

-Amazon

-Walmart.com

*There are very lightweight options, but they are made to disassemble when folding, which can be less convenient than a model that fully folds in one piece.

Companion 4-Wheel Full Size 

This heavy-duty model comes fully featured with LED lights, extra leg/foot room, a tiller that is “infinitely adjustable”, and much more. Many seniors will appreciate the optional upgrade of a power lift seat that makes getting in and out easier. This model is probably best for outdoor use or in roomy public places such as some malls. It may be suitable for some home settings as well, depending on doorway sizes and interior layout. 

Highlights: 

  • Estimated Price: $2,900
  • ravel Range: 18+ miles
  • Weight capacity: 400 lbs. 
  • Weight of model: 360+ lbs. 
  • Turning Radius: 56.5″
  • Foldable: Only the seat folds

Buzzaround Carry On 

This 4-wheel folding model is one of the company’s newest versions of the Buzzaround product line. While other Buzzaround scooters are lightweight, this one is by far the best for truly easy travel. Its one disadvantage is that it breaks down into two pieces, rather than folding into a single compact item. Nevertheless, it’s still a great option for many. Its various perks include a built-in USB port, a water bottle holder, front and rear lights, handles for easy carrying, and an optional carry case, to name just a few.

Highlights: 

  • Estimated Price: $2,600
  • Travel Range: 18 miles
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs.
  • Weight of model: About 65 lbs.
  • Turning Radius: About 48”
  • Foldable: Somewhat- must disassemble into two pieces

Golden Technologies Mobility Scooter Costs

Golden Technologies is one of the few companies that lists its own prices on its website. It’s very easy to find out what a scooter’s basic value is. We found that Golden Technologies scooters range from approximately $2,100-$5,200, though some may cost more if you add accessories or upgrades. Discounts of about 40% on some models seem to be common on authorized dealer sites. Based on the designs offered, many of these scooters are likely to be covered by Medicare coverage if you have a medical need for them. 

Where to Buy Golden Technologies Mobility Scooters

Golden Technologies does not sell its own products, but it does offer a map that will help you find a local dealer. It also lists four authorized internet dealers. Golden Technologies products do show up on a variety of internet dealer sites not on the list, as well. If you want to buy from an unlisted online dealer, you may wish to first contact Golden Technologies to clarify that dealership’s standing with the company. Golden Technologies scooters are available on Amazon and Walmart.com.

>Shoprider Review

Shoprider is a subsidiary of the Taiwan-based company Pihsiang Machinery MFG. Co., Ltd. and it has been a leader in electric wheelchairs and scooters since the late 1980s. Pihsiang Machinery itself was established in 1978 and is known to be the first company to develop a T-bar style mobility scooter. Though the subsidiary Shoprider is not as well known as some of its competitors, it stands out due to its exceptional company history of innovation and manufacturing excellence.

Pros Cons
Has unusual, fully enclosed scooter model Prices on most unique models near 5-figure territory, especially if extra accessories are purchased
The scooter product line has great something for everyone Some models are clearly not eligible for Medicare coverage
Many models are competitively priced for the market

Overview of Shoprider Models

Shoprider’s basic models are Echo, Escape, Scootie, Dasher, Sunrunner, Sprinter, Enduro, and Flagship. Overall, this company’s models come in few variations when compared to what other companies offer. However, about half of Shorprider’s models can be purchased in 3-wheel or 4-wheel configurations, and one model has a folding version. Shoprider carries everything from super lightweight travel models to the most heavy-duty options, plus a somewhat “novelty” option that is fully enclosed and looks like a miniature car. Below you can learn about two of this company’s models that represent its wide product range.

Number of Models 8+
Cost Range $1,500-$9,000
Has Travel-Friendly Model(s)? Yes
Retailers

-Brick-and-mortar medical supply dealers

-Online dealers

-Amazon

-Walmart.com

Echo Folding 

This is Shoprider’s most travel-friendly option, fully foldable and super light. You can choose to get this model in all black, but the versions with the red or yellow base may provide greater visibility when you’re using it in public. The Echo Folding model features an adjustable tiller to accommodate a variety of needs, and it can also have a cupholder added at extra cost. Seniors should note that this model does not come with a basket, unlike the regular Echo model. 

Highlights: 

  • Estimated Price: $1,800
  • Travel Range: 8-10 miles
  • Weight Capacity: 200 lbs.
  • Weight of model: 59 lbs. 
  • Turning Radius: 36”
  • Foldable: Yes

Flagship

This fully-enclosed scooter is definitely a luxury model. It looks like a miniature car, and its unusual design and unsuitability for indoor use make the Flagship unlikely to be covered by Medicare. Flagship is faster than most scooters, with a maximum speed of 7 MPH as opposed to the typical speeds of 3-5 MPH. It also has a remarkably long range, and can take you up to 25 miles on a single charge. The doors on either side of the scooter are removable, so some convertibility is available. Despite its unique looks, this scooter operates much like any other, with a standard captain’s chair and a tiller for control.

Highlights: 

  • Estimated Price: Up to $9,000
  • Travel Range: 25 miles
  • Weight capacity: 350 lbs. 
  • Weight of model: 328 lbs.
  • Turning Radius: 70”
  • Foldable: No

Shoprider Mobility Scooter Costs

If you want to know how a dealer’s scooter prices compare to the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), look no further than the “order forms” on Shoprider’s website. The website currently has MSRPs listed for all of its models except for the Flagship. MSRPs for most Shoprider models range between about $1,500-$6,000, the higher cost Flagship model appears to sell for between $7,200-$9,000. As with most other companies, it’s common to find sale prices that drop below the MSRP, especially if you’re willing to shop around online.

Accessories for Shoprider scooters appear to be reasonably priced. You may find that safety belts may cost under $40, oxygen tanks about $60, and a walker holder about $150. Prices and available accessories can vary by model. Seniors should note that many Shoprider models are likely to be eligible for Medicare coverage, but you’ll always want to coordinate with your doctor and an approved Medicare DME supplier to make sure.

Where to Buy Shoprider Mobility Scooters

Shoprider sells its scooters and other products through numerous medical supply providers across the nation. You can find a “provider locator” map on Shoprider’s own website. It’s also fairly easy to find Shoprider products at popular internet mobility dealers and on both Amazon and Walmart.com.

>E-Wheels Medical Review

E-Wheels Medical is the youngest company we have reviewed, but it has 10 years of experience in the scooter industry. With headquarters and its main assembly/distribution center in Phoenix AZ, this company tries to give back to its community through many local charity projects. It has partnered with multiple Veterans programs, a local hospice program, the Make A Wish Foundation, and the Phoenix Children’s Hospital, among other organizations. E-Wheels Medical’s sister company, which is just called E-Wheels, makes high-end scooters that are designed for recreation rather than medical use. Both divisions of the company focus on making quality, emissions-free electric vehicles at competitive prices.

Pros Cons
Prices listed directly on the company website Few variations of scooter models
Useful video library for learning about scooters Only one 3-wheel option listed
Medical and non-medical devices are clearly marked It is difficult to find information on this company’s history
Charitable Partnerships through E-Wheels Gives Back

Overview of E-Wheels Mobility Scooter Models

E-Wheels Medical has a relatively small catalog of low-cost scooter options. EW-M33, EW-M34, EW-04, EW-M50, EW-M41, EW-24 are all of the currently offered models. Differences between many of the models are minor, at least visually. That fact, combined with the nondescript names, makes differentiating between your options a bit difficult. In most cases, differences come down to overall size, speed, travel range, and the amount of incline that the scooter can handle safely. All models feature flat-free tires, electromagnetic brakes, large front-mounting baskets, front and rear lights, and seats that swivel. Prospective buyers should note that no captain’s chairs are offered. Below we have provided additional details on the indoor/outdoor model EW-M34 and the heavier-duty/outdoor model EW-M41.

Number of Models 6
Cost Range $850-$1,650
Has Travel-Friendly Model(s)? Somewhat
Retailers

-Brick-and-mortar medical supply dealers

-Online dealers

-Amazon

-Walmart.com

EW-M34

While this model is marketed as E-Wheels’ “foldable” model, it might be more accurate to simply call it the “travel” model. This scooter doesn’t fold in one piece, as some foldable models do. Instead, it is meant to be disassembled into 5 lightweight pieces, and the tiller folds down over the front end piece. Despite the fact that this model’s foldability is a bit more complex than the name suggests, it is still a great lightweight option for both indoor and outdoor use. The low price-point makes it one of the most budget-friendly travel scooters on the market. 

Highlights: 

  • Estimated Price: $850
  • Travel Range: 10 miles
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs.
  • Weight of Model: 92 lbs.
  • Turning Radius: 43”
  • Foldable: Somewhat- must disassemble

EW-M41

This model ranges more into the heavy-duty side of scooters, and boasts a maximum speed of 5 MPH (4 MPH is fairly common for other models), a seat that has extra padding, and rear suspension for greater comfort outdoors. This model is ideal for seniors of any size who want a scooter that can go far on a single charge. It will perform poorly in many indoor settings since its turning radius is larger than average. 

Highlights: 

  • Estimated Price: $1,440
  • Travel Range: 16 miles
  • Weight capacity: 350 lbs. 
  • Weight of model: 121 lbs.
  • Turning Radius: 55”
  • Foldable: Somewhat- must be disassembled

E-Wheels Medical Mobility Scooter Costs

All of this company’s scooter models have list prices that fall between $850-$1,650. This is an unusually narrow range of costs, and it reflects the fact that this company’s models have relatively few differences between each other. The price range above reflects the prices that E-Wheels Medical lists on its own website. We found that some online retailers were likely to list significantly higher costs, unfortunately. Amazon’s prices appeared to adhere most closely to the costs listed on the website. 

E-Wheels Medical states that it is careful to follow FDA standards for its scooters. This fact alone does not guarantee that these scooters will be eligible for Medicare coverage, but most probably will be for seniors who qualify. Always follow the instructions provided by your prescribing Medicare doctor and other agencies/social services. 

Where to Buy E-Wheels Medical Mobility Scooters

E-Wheels Medical Mobility scooters cannot be bought directly from the company, but are readily available at internet and in-person retailers. Amazon and Walmart.com carry these scooters as well. E-Wheel’s website does not provide a clear resource for customers to find a dealer, but most seniors will have no trouble finding a dealer on their own. When you do look at E-Wheels’ scooters online or in stores, keep in mind that the company also makes electric wheelchairs and a totally separate line of recreational scooters. You may see these other products when you are searching.

>Amigo Review

Amigo was founded by Al Thieme, who initially started developing an electric scooter in the late 1960s due to his own wife’s mobility needs. Eventually, Thieme turned his project into a business, and since that time the company has expanded to also produce grocery store mobility scooters and powered carts for industrial use. Amigo continues to stay true to its roots by offering low-cost, thoughtfully designed scooters on a global scale.

Pros Cons
Advertises made in the USA Expensive modifications
Shabbat settings The folding model is somewhat heavy at 128 lbs.
Rare power elevating seat option available Specifications for models can be difficult to find
Numerous customization and accessory options

Overview of Amigo Mobility Scooter Models

Amigo keeps its product line for mobility scooters small. Its main models are RT Express, Amigo RD, and Amigo HD. A special folding model called TravelMate may also be available in some cases, but is currently not advertised on the company’s own website.We have not covered TravelMate in detail due to its scarcity. 

The three main models currently offered have many features in common. Traits and features common to all three models include a seat that swivels 360 degrees, suitability for indoor and outdoor use, 3-wheel configuration, a front basket that can hold up to 10 lbs., and up to 5+ MPH variable speed. All models also have the option of red, blue, or black exterior, and seniors may choose to add a Shabbat system or a seat upgrade. Shabbat systems are designed to help Jewish customers observe Shabbat while still using their scooter. Individual beliefs will influence whether or not a Shabbat system is desirable. Below we provide more details on two popular Amigo models, the lightweight RT Express and the heavy-duty Amigo HD.

Number of Models 3+
Cost Range $2,595-$3,445
Has Travel-Friendly Model(s)? Somewhat*
Retailers

-Brick-and-mortar medical supply dealers

-Select online dealers

*One past model was travel-friendly, but it may be difficult or impossible to find for sale now. One current model, RT Express, is somewhat travel-friendly due to its low weight, but it is not foldable. 

RT Express

While all Amigo models fall within a fairly narrow price range, its RT Express model has the lowest starting price. This model, while not foldable and not necessarily a travel model, is still fairly lightweight at 128 lbs. For some, this may be a good option to transport via van using a ramp and tie-downs. This model’s turning radius is the best offered by the company, and its range is very impressive when compared to models from other companies. When making your purchase, you can choose the standard seat or you can pay extra for a more padded version or a version with a higher back. 

Highlights: 

  • Estimated Price: $2,600-$3345
  • Travel Range: 22 miles
  • Weight capacity: 250 lbs. 
  • Weight of Model: 128 lbs. 
  • Turning Radius: 33”
  • Foldable: No

Amigo HD

This heavy-duty model looks very similar to the RT Express, but it can handle a passenger/cargo that is 250 lbs. heavier. Despite this huge difference in carrying capacity, its turning radius is only an inch wider and its travel range is actually 8 miles further. In terms of capacity, travel range, cost, comfort features (like seat upgrades), and turning radius, this model has some of the best features not only from this company but also across the industry. 

Highlights: 

  • Estimated Price: $2,895+
  • Travel Range: 30 miles
  • Weight capacity: 500 lbs. 
  • Weight of Model: 186 lbs.
  • Turning Radius: 34”
  • Foldable: No

Amigo Mobility Scooter Costs

Many mobility scooter companies offer a remarkably wide range of prices, but we found Amigo’s range to be fairly narrow. On its own website, Amigo lists starting prices for its three models as $2,595, $2,695, and $2,895, for RT Express, Amigo RD, and Amigo HD, respectively. It further lists that RT Express and Amigo RD can cost up to $3,345 if you select the upgrades offered for them. Prices at other retailers may differ from suggested retail, but the price differences that we saw were minimal. Amigo models are of a type likely to be covered by medicare for those who qualify, but the company does not indicate how common such coverage is for its customers. To seek Medicare coverage, keep in mind that you’ll need to find a supplier that works with Medicare.

Where to Buy Amigo Mobility Scooters

Amigo does not sell directly to customers, but you can call Amigo or use its online contact form for help finding an authorized dealer. Unfortunately, there’s no online search tool that will automatically show you dealers in your area. If you don’t have time to wait for an answer from Amigo, you can still find its products through many popular online dealers. Unfortunately, you are not likely to find Amigo products on general marketplaces such as Amazon or Walmart.com.

>Zip’r Mobility Review

Zip’r Mobility was founded in 2004, making it one of the newest mobility companies we have reviewed. Its past 17 years of growth have made it a leader in the U.S. market, where its electric wheelchairs and scooters are popular. The company’s headquarters are in North Bend, WA, and like most other companies, it outsources its manufacturing to China and other parts of Asia. Zip’r is committed to maintaining American staffing for all customer service so that customers can feel connected and understood when getting help. Zip’r is also proud to audit its factories often to ensure that production standards align with its values.

Pros Cons
Convenient, secure ordering on the Zip’r’s own website Few models offered
Every model is registered as a Class II medical device with the FDA Prices can be higher at some dealers than they are on the Zip’r website
Low price range
Reasonable seat upgrade and replacement options

Overview of Zip’r Mobility Scooter Models

Zip’r has a medium-sized range of mobility scooters, with three basic models, 2 of which come both in 3-wheel and 4-wheel configurations. Traveler and Traveler XTRA can have 3 or 4 wheels, while Breeze 3 is strictly 3-wheel. The different Traveler models look remarkably the same, whereas Breeze 3 has a distinct look. Below you can learn more about both the deluxe Breeze 3 scooter and the more economical Traveler XTRA 4-Wheel scooter.

Number of Models 3+
Cost Range $725-$1,500
Has Travel-Friendly Model(s)? Somewhat
Retailers

-Direct purchase from the company’s website

-Brick-and-mortar medical supply dealers

-Online dealers

-Amazon

-Walmart.com

Breeze 3

The Breeze 3 is Zip’r most deluxe model. With an impressive travel range and weight limit, this 3-wheel scooter can accommodate a wide range of body types and travel needs. Its speed of 4.5 MPH is somewhat faster than average (4 MPH is common). While more costly than other Zip’r models, its price is still competitive. The use of a captain’s chair in this model makes it ideal for seniors with an above average height or weight as well as those with minor back issues who may need the most supportive seat possible. This model is not the most travel-friendly due to its weight and its inability to fold, but it can be disassembled for transportation. 

Highlights: 

  • Estimated Price: $1,500
  • Travel Range: 20 miles
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs. 
  • Weight of Model: 181 lbs. 
  • Turning Radius: 31.5”
  • Foldable: No, but it can disassemble

Traveler XTRA 4-Wheel

A much more affordable option than the Breeze 3, the Traveler XTRA may suit the senior who needs a low-cost scooter that’s not too difficult to transport. While this model does not fold, it does disassemble. Its total weight of about 100 lbs. will be manageable for many caretakers, particularly when disassembled into its separate pieces. A comfortable but basic chair and a reduced travel range and weight capacity (as compared to the Breeze 3) are what make the lower costs and lightweight design possible. 

Highlights: 

  • Estimated Price: $825
  • Travel Range: 10 miles
  • Weight Capacity: 250 lbs.
  • Weight of Model: 109 lbs. 
  • Turning Radius: 38.5”
  • Foldable: No, but it does disassemble

Zip’r Mobility Scooter Costs

This company’s pricing details are very easy to obtain since it sells directly to customers. Prices range from $647-$1,499 (note that these prices are rounded to the nearest $5 on all comparison tables). In cases where a 3-wheel and a 4-wheel option are both offered for a model, the 4-wheel option will be more expensive by about $100. On third-party sales platforms, these same scooters may be listed with higher prices which are then marked down to create the illusion of an impressive sale. If you’re noticing a pricing discrepancy, check to see if there’s a reason, such as special features or accessories being included. If not, then the better deal may frequently be found at Zip’r’s own website. Zip’r lists its accessory, upgrade, and replacement parts prices clearly on its website, too, and the costs tend to be reasonable. “Saddlebags” (travel bags that hang on armrests) cost $17, and safety flags cost $32. The most expensive upgrade is the extra-wide chair, which is $150. 

Zip’r makes no direct claims about whether or not its scooters are eligible for Medicare reimbursement. However, if you’re buying one for indoor use and you have a doctor’s prescription for it, Medicare coverage may be possible. If you’re pursuing Medicare coverage, you’ll likely have to purchase through a particular Medicare dealer rather than directly from Zip’r.

Where to Buy Zip’r Mobility Scooters

It’s extremely convenient to be able to buy with confidence directly from the Zip’r itself. That being said, this company’s models are also offered in brick-and-mortar mobility stores, as well as through online mobility dealers, Amazon, and Walmart.com. You may benefit from shopping from a dealer or online marketplace if there’s a particular sale or a loyalty program that you can take advantage of.

>Merits Health Review

Merits Health was founded in 1987, and it started out building manual wheelchairs, walkers, and similar products. By the early 1990s, this company had expanded into producing electric mobility products as well as other durable medical equipment. Although a Taiwan-based company, Merits Health has maintained its American subsidiary in various Florida locations since 1995. Merits Health manufactures its products in both Taiwanese and Chinese factories, regularly monitoring design and quality standards. With three different distribution centers across the U.S., Merits Health provides fast, high-quality service for US-based customers.

Pros Cons
Folding Yoga model is particularly convenient for travel Multiple models are unlikely to be covered by Medicare
Most models offered are available in multiple versions Regular prices on some models can be quite high compared to competitors
Company’s website makes it easy to find local dealers

Overview of Merits Health Mobility Scooter Models

Merits Health has an extensive product line. Its main models are called Roadster, Pioneer, Silverado, Yoga, and Mini-Coupe. Some of these models, especially Roaster and Pioneer, come in several different versions. However, as new versions of these models come out, production on some of the older generations has stopped. Older models that you see mentioned online may be difficult to find. Below you can learn more about two popular Merits Health scooters, the heavy-duty Roadster 3 and the travel-friendly Yoga.

Number of Models 5+
Cost Range $1,300-$6,500
Has Travel-Friendly Model(s)? Yes
Retailers

-Direct purchase from the company’s website

-Brick-and-mortar medical supply dealers

-Online dealers

-Walmart.com

Roadster 3

This version of the popular Roadster model combines maneuverability with durability. It has a high weight capacity, yet is remarkably less than 100 lbs. While it’s disappointing that this model cannot fold, it does disassemble into five pieces to make it easier to put in a trunk. It’s worth noting that this model is nearly identical to the Roadster 4 in every way except for its number of wheels. The 4-wheel version of this is a better option for those with the most serious stability concerns, but this model provides better specifications for those who want to be able to travel more or who want to be able to move around easily in indoor settings. 

Highlights: 

  • Estimated Price: $1,300
  • Travel Range: 6 miles
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs. 
  • Weight of model: 99 lbs. 
  • Turning Radius: 35.4”
  • Foldable: No

Yoga

No doubt named Yoga in reference to its flexible design, this mobility scooter can fully fold without disassembly. While great for indoor and outdoor use in many situations, Yoga is especially suited to trips that include some air travel due to its weight and optional hard shell carry case. An aluminium alloy frame keeps the scooter light but strong, and its four regular wheels, two caster wheels, suspension, and high ground clearance of 3.7” make it capable of handling some challenging surfaces. However, it is not an all terrain vehicle. Features like adjustable height and angle of the tiller make compatibility with this model easier. 

Highlights: 

  • Estimated Price: $4,000
  • Travel Range: 11.25 miles
  • Weight Capacity: 250 lbs.
  • Weight of Model: 57+ lbs.* 
  • Turning Radius: 37.8″
  • Foldable: Yes

*Note: Weight here is listed as a plus because the company has specified that this “total weight” does not include the arm rests. Armrests are unlikely to add significantly to the total.

Merits Health Mobility Scooter Costs

Merits Health does not sell its own scooters directly to customers, nor does it publicly list its suggested retail prices. The full retail costs of these scooters appears to range between $1,300-$6,500. However, since sales on most models are common, you may see prices that are 30%+ lower than that range in many cases. The majority of models offered by Merits Health include listings of Medicare billing codes. Such codes do not guarantee that you personally will be eligible for coverage, but they are an indication that at least some seniors do get coverage. A few models, including the lightweight Yoga and the heavy-duty Silverdo, do not list any Medicare codes. As with all companies, you cannot get Medicare coverage unless you have a prescription and carefully follow all steps required by Medicare.

Where to Buy Merits Health Mobility Scooters

You can easily find a local Merits Health dealer by clicking “Service and Support” at the top of the webpage and then selecting “Dealer Locator”. If planning to use Medicare coverage for a scooter, you’ll need to verify that any dealer you select has a Medicare contract and models that are covered for your situation. Some but not all Merits Health models are likely eligible for reimbursement. If you’re paying out of pocket and would like to buy online, you can find these scooters at many popular online dealers. You can also find them easily on the Walmart.com marketplace, but not on Amazon’s marketplace.

>Afikim Review

Owned collectively by Kibbutz Afikim in the Jordan Valley of Israel, Afikim exports its high-end “Afiscooters” to the U.S. and many other nations. This company has been a respected mobility innovator since 1978. Afikim initially created its scooter prototypes in response to local need on the kibbutz, but it later saw an opportunity and transitioned to making scooters commercially. In the past, Afikim developed designs for foldable and lightweight scooters, but today is best known for its midsize and heavy-duty designs.

Pros Cons
Retro “motorcycle” lookalike scooter combines safety and visual appeal Has only one model suitable for indoor use
Excellent suspension in all scooters means a smooth ride Larger-than-average bases reduce maneuverability
Special website offers browsing options for shoppers with limited vision No models offered in the under $1,000 price range

Overview of Afikim Products

Afikim offers a selection of midsize to large “Afiscooters”, all of which come standard with a headlight and a tall captain’s chair. Afiscooter models tend to look more like recreational rather than medical mobility scooters, but the line between the two categories can be fuzzy. This company’s basic models are called Afiscooter M, SE, S, and C. Model M may sometimes be labeled “bariatric” or “heavy-duty”, and model C may be listed as “C4/C3 Breeze.” There’s a small chance that you’ll come across the “Caddy” or SuperLight/SL while shopping, but in general, these older models are no longer offered.

Seniors should note that most models offered by Afikim can be purchased in both 3-wheel and 4-wheel configurations, and many also can be made with a double-wide seat for carrying two people. Another upgrade, called the Shabbat system, is designed especially for Jewish seniors who want to honor Shabbat but remain as mobile as possible. Below, we highlight C3, Afiscooter’s most versatile scooter, and SE, its most distinctive-looking outdoor scooter.

Number of Models 4+
Cost Range About $4,000-$8,000+
Has Travel-Friendly Model(s)? Yes
Retailers

-Direct purchase from the company’s website

-Brick-and-mortar medical supply dealers

-Online dealers

-Amazon

-Walmart.com

Afiscooter C3

The Afiscooter C3/C3 Breeze is a great midsize model. It’s similar in many respects to the C4, but slightly smaller due to having fewer wheels. The C3 is heavy-duty for an indoor scooter, so seniors will want to make sure that its size and turning radius will be practical in their home layouts. This model will not be particularly easy to transport in a vehicle, though transportation may be made easier with a ramp or other accommodations. While not right for every setting, this scooter is versatile and definitely sturdy. A wire basket, rear-view mirrors, and LCD digital display are included, and a hard canopy/windshield, rear lockbox, and crutch holder can all be added at additional cost.

Highlights: 

  • Estimated Price: $2,950
  • Travel Range: 25-28 miles
  • Weight capacity: 297
  • Weight of model: About 225
  • Turning Radius: 50”
  • Foldable: No

Afiscooter SE

Afiscooter has designed its SE model to look like a classic motorcycle. Its distinctive large headlight, handlebars, and chrome details make it one of the most stylish mobility scooters currently on the market. It brings a sense of retro fun to the very practical need for independence that many seniors face. Designed for outdoor use, the SE is large and comfortable. Although not available in a 4-wheel configuration, it can be upgraded to include a two-person seat. Specifications for the dual seat option will differ from those listed below.

Highlights:

  • Estimated Price: $5,500
  • Travel Range: 28 miles
  • Weight Capacity: 550 lbs. 
  • Weight with batteries: 322 lbs.
  • Turning Radius: 45”
  • Foldable: No

Afikim Mobility Scooter Costs

Afiscooter costs tend to be high, with list prices ranging between roughly $4,000-$8,000+. However, more often than not we observed that scooters were selling at “reduced” or “sale” prices, which varied widely but dipped as low as $2,500. Opting for any modification or accessory to your scooter order can easily add several hundred dollars to your total, if not more. Afiscooters come with a 1-year limited warranty, but if you’re willing to spend more, you may be able to purchase additional warranty coverage from individual dealerships. Due to their high costs and to the fact that they are mainly designed for outdoor use, it’s unlikely that Medicare will pay for any mobility scooter models that Afikim currently offers. 

Where to Buy Afikim Mobility Scooters

Afiscooter does not sell its scooters directly to consumers. However, you can use the “Find Your Dealer” button on the Afiscooter website to compare local shopping options. Afiscooters are also very easy to find through large online mobility dealers as well as general online marketplaces like Amazon and Walmart. As a specialty model, the SE can sometimes be hard to find for sale online.

What You Should Know About Mobility Scooters

The prospect of choosing a mobility scooter out of the hundreds available can be daunting. Many seniors will have used or at least seen mobility scooters in grocery stores, but such limited exposure doesn’t prepare you for the purchasing process. If you’re unsure how these small electric vehicles work or how they differ from electric wheelchairs and other Durable Medical Equipment (DME), you can learn more below.

The Basic Parts of a Mobility Scooter

At its most basic, a mobility scooter consists of a padded seat that can swivel to either side, a tiller, and a base that has three or four wheels. An additional two casters (miniature wheels) may be added to some scooters for better stability, but these are barely visible. A scooter’s base houses electrical and mechanical components, including a rechargeable battery (type/size varies). The base’s topside is where your feet rest, and it is carpeted or texturized to prevent you from slipping. Speed and brake controls are located on the tiller, and turning the tiller enables direction changes. Most mobility scooters also include lights, reflectors, and a plastic or wire basket for small belongings. Some can conveniently fold and/or be disassembled into lighter pieces. 

How Mobility Scooters Model Specifications Can Vary

Specifications are important to look at when considering a model. Overall dimension, seat comfort/size, the model’s weight, the weight the model can carry (capacity) are all paramount. Also of concern is ground clearances which is the height of a threshold that the scooter can travel over without getting stuck. For outdoor scooters, MPH and travel range (miles per battery charge) are also crucial. Some scooters even come with technologically advanced upgrades such as automatic folding, which you may wish to consider. Seniors should know that heavy-duty scooters typically havesomething referred to as a captain’s chair, which is simply anextra-large seat that has a headrest.

A Word on Mobility Scooter Safety 

Mobility scooters are intended to make moving around in the world safer, but they are only safe if used as directed. Safety starts with reading the user manual closely to learn which maneuvers, terrains, weather conditions, and driver sizes or abilities are unsafe for the particular model. Different mobility scooter models can have very different capabilities from one another. As with larger vehicles like cars, tipping, crashing, turning sharply at high speeds, or stopping abruptly all have the potential to cause serious property damage, injury, or death. User manuals provide detailed information on what could cause a model to tip or malfunction, and all provided instructions should be taken seriously. You can always look at a model’s user manual online prior to making a purchase.

Who Can Benefit from Using a Mobility Scooter?

Mobility scooters generally must be operated with two hands by people who have the ability to turn and control the movements of their torsos, limbs, necks, and heads. You don’t need to have especially strong arms, but you do need to be capable of steady, reliable movements. You also need to be able to go from standing to sitting with relatively minor assistance, or else you need to have someone who can help you with all transfers to and from the scooter. 

Unlike most electric wheelchairs, mobility scooters are not designed to be sat in the majority of the day without interruption. A senior who uses an indoor mobility scooter may begin the day on his feet, exercising and performing some household activities with a walker. Later, he will switch to the scooter to prevent the debilitating joint pain that will otherwise set in if he tries to maintain the same level of activity all day. If wanting to read, watch television, or nap, he will transfer to a regular chair, as the scooter chair is not intended for such uses. Some seniors will have no need for a mobility scooter within their own home, but they may still benefit greatly from an outdoor model. For example, an outdoor scooter could enable a senior to accompany her more active friend on long walks, to visit the zoo with her grandkids, or to travel to a grocery store that’s a mile or so down the street. 

You may not be able to use a mobility scooter if:

  • You have poor vision or a neurological condition that could cause a scooter accident
  • You need a power tilt feature to be able to get in and out of chairs 
  • You are looking for a mobility vehicle that you can sit in for an entire day at a time
  • You do not have the upper body strength to sit upright and manipulate a tiller
  • You have very limited neck/head movement
  • Your doctor thinks a mobility scooter is unnecessary or unsafe for you

Mobility Scooters vs. Electric Wheelchairs

Electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters look remarkably similar, especially if made by the same company. The defining difference between the two is that electric wheelchairs do not have a tiller. Instead, electric wheelchair controls are always located on one of the two armrests. These controls can often be operated with one or two fingers even if the patient has significant upper body paralysis. Electric wheelchairs are designed for people who do not walk much (or at all), so they may have seat cushions engineered to prevent pressure sores. Their seatbacks also tend to be higher and more supportive, on average. Due to these differences, many seniors with significant disabilities cannot use a mobility scooter but are still good candidates for an electric wheelchair. Your doctor can help you decide which type of electric vehicle is right for you. Seniors should note that while prices vary, mobility scooters tend to be more affordable than electric wheelchairs.

Get Help Paying for a Mobility Scooter

With prices ranging from several hundred dollars to nearly $10,000, mobility scooters can be tough to afford for many seniors. Thankfully, there are a few different options for getting help with the costs. Below you can learn about assistance options from a few different government-run and private programs.

Medicare Coverage of Mobility Scooters

Medicare Part B can provide coverage for mobility scooters, but only under the specific conditions laid out for Medicare’s Wheelchair & Scooter Benefit. If you are wondering about your coverage options, the most important question to ask yourself is “does my doctor say that I need a mobility scooter for indoor use?” If you don’t know the answer to that question, it’s time to set an appointment with your regular Medicare doctor. You can get up to 80% coverage (after your Part B deductible is met) if your doctor writes you a scooter prescription. In some cases, Medicare will decide that it will only cover rental costs, not a full purchase. This is likely to occur if your mobility needs are related to a temporary condition. Durable Medical Equipment (DME) coverage rules apply to scooters. You may wish to review information on DME coverage here if you are unfamiliar with the process involved. 

Your visit with your doctor to determine whether or not you need a mobility scooter may not go as planned, and it’s important to be prepared for that possibility. For example, your doctor may agree that your mobility challenges are severe, but she or he may believe that a different piece of DME, like a cane, walker, wheelchair (manual or power) is more appropriate. Your doctor may also be of the opinion that you need to pursue physical therapy or other means of improving your mobility, rather than getting a device to accommodate you. 

Tips for seeking mobility scooter coverage through Medicare: 

  • See a Covered Doctor: When setting up your appointment, make sure your doctor is still accepting Medicare payments. Seeing a Medicare-approved doctor is essential for this process.
  • Be Specific: Provide multiple examples of which daily tasks you struggle with at home, and be very specific. If applicable, inform your doctor of issues you’ve had using canes, walkers, or wheelchairs. It’s best to bring written documentation of your needs.
  • Mind the Time: Many doctor’svisits last only 15 minutes. If you have trouble with being assertive, consider bringing a loved one along to help you effectively communicate. Some seniors may benefit from requesting translation services in advance of the appointment. 
  • Be Open-Minded: If denied a scooter prescription, try to be receptive to your doctor’s medical reasoning. If you truly think your needs are being misunderstood or ignored, consider seeking a second opinion from a different Medicare doctor or making an appeal if the situation qualifies for such an action.
  • Use an Approved Dealer: If you get a mobility scooter prescription, make sure you follow Medicare rules for filling the prescription. You can find potential DME suppliers using Medicare’s search tool. You may also receive literature from your doctor that specifies the timeframe in which you need to make the purchase. If you don’t receive quality information on the next steps you need to take, then ask for clarification. You will most likely need to select a device that is considered an FDA Class II medical device.

VA Coverage of Mobility Scooters

The Department of Veterans Affairs does sometimes provide mobility scooters to veterans, but the rules of coverage can be unclear. In the past, the VA was most likely to approve coverage for a mobility scooter if the Veteran needed it for outdoor use. This rule, which is the exact opposite of how Medicare operates, was in place due to the large turning radius associated with many power scooters. The VA appears to favor power wheelchairs over scooters for many patients. Recently, rules regarding mobility aids have been updated. You may find that the best way to get up-to-date information on your eligibility for a scooter is to simply contact your nearest VA. It’s worth noting that getting a scooter from the VA may easily take between 3-6 months.

Helpful Resources for Veterans Seeking Mobility Scooter Coverage

Resource Purpose

Eligibility for VA health care

Provides general information on Veterans’ eligibility for VA healthcare. A great place to start if you’re not signed up but you think you may be eligible. 

Prosthetic & Sensory Aids Service (PSAS)

The Prosthetic & Sensory Aids Services (PSAS) is a division of the VA that handles many needs related to medical equipment. Some or all of the process of getting a scooter from the VA is likely to be processed through PSAS.

Power Mobility: Is it Time for Wheels?

This article will help you understand how the VA handles coverage of mobility scooters and other devices. Although specifically written for those with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), much of what’s contained will apply to other situations as well. 

Private Insurance Coverage of Mobility Scooters

It’s hard to make generalizations about private insurance coverage. Each health insurance company offers multiple coverage options and has its own rules regarding deductibles, co-payments, and excluded items and services. It’s possible that your private insurance will reimburse some or all of your scooter costs, but it may require some time and patience to find out for sure. You may wish to start by looking at any documents regarding coverage that your insurance provided when you originally signed up. If you have an online portal for your insurance, you may also find key plan documents there. Beyond taking such steps to look at your coverage level, it’s probably best to contact your plan directly through its customer service line. Note that if you happen to have a Medicare Advantage plan, you technically have private insurance, but its coverage level should be very similar to that provided through Original Medicare.

Financing Options for Mobility Scooters

If you’re ineligible for coverage through one of the above sources but you still want to invest your own money in a mobility scooter, you do have some options. Many dealerships, including online dealerships, provide payment plans. Some companies that sell directly to consumers on their own websites also provide financing. Of course, buying on credit can have significant downsides.Some financing companies’ sales tactics verge on predatory. Before any commitment, realistically consider your ability to keep up with monthly payments and ask yourself how starting a payment plan might affect your credit score. You should also compare the interest rate to rates for other types of purchases. Read absolutely all fine print, enlisting the help of a loved one if necessary. Avoiding a payment plan is usually the cheaper way to go in the long run, but financing can still be beneficial if your situation dictates that waiting to pay in cash would be too detrimental to your health. 

Common financing services available for mobility scooters include:

  • Affirm
  • CareCredit
  • Klarna 
  • Paypal Credit
  • Amazon Rewards (a Visa card)

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much does the ground clearance of my scooter matter?

    Ground clearance on your scooter will determine whether or not it will work within your preferred environment. Without enough ground clearance, your scooter could get stuck on the thresholds in doorways. Many scooters have around 2” of clearance, but some have closer to 4”+. High ground clearance isn’t necessary for most people, as many public buildings are already optimized to accommodate small electric vehicles. However, if you’re getting a mobility scooter for use in your home, you should look carefully at the features of your home that could be a problem. If you have a problem threshold in your home, you may be able to modify it fairly inexpensively so that a typical scooter will still work.

  • Can those with limited upper-body mobility use mobility scooters?

    Quadriplegics and others with limited movement or strength in their arms, neck, or other parts of the upper body may not be good candidates for mobility scooter use. Each situation differs, but in general, those driving mobility scooters need to be able to steer using a tiller, which requires some strength and smooth movements. In many cases, those unable to safely operate a power scooter can use a power wheelchair, which has small and sensitive controls that can be operated with just a few fingers. Discuss your abilities with a doctor prior to making any purchases.

  • I have been advised not to drive my car anymore; can I drive a mobility scooter instead?

    It depends. You don’t need a license to drive a mobility scooter, but you should seriously consider the risks involved in driving a scooter before getting one, particularly if your driver’s license is revoked or ineligible for renewal. Many of the same things that make driving a car dangerous for some seniors can also apply to a motorized scooter. Mobility scooters often weigh 100-300+ lbs., can reach speeds between 4-7 MPH, and can cause serious damage to property and injury or death to pets and people, including the driver. Moreover, many scooters can travel outdoors for over 10 miles without a recharge, so someone with memory problems could quickly find themselves far from home, unsure how to return, and unsure how to contact a loved one for help. Anyone with vision impairments, uncontrolled narcolepsy, seizures, fainting spells, or various severe cognitive impairments may not be able to safely drive scooters.

  • I weigh almost as much as the maximum capacity of the scooter I want to buy. Should I “size up”?

    Yes, if you are near or slightly exceeding a scooter’s weight capacity, you most likely should opt for a more heavy-duty scooter. Exceeding a scooter’s stated weight capacity could dangerously interfere with the scooters’ balance, turning, and braking. Over time, excess weight might also lead to accelerated wear and tear on the motor or other parts and could invalidate a warranty. When considering weight capacity, keep in mind that you’ll sometimes wish to carry personal belongings in a basket or bag, which may add weight, and you also could gain weight in the future. “Sizing up” to a slightly more heavy-duty model can provide greater safety and peace of mind.

  • How many wheels on a scooter is best?

    The number of wheels that you should opt for on your scooter depends on your situation. A 4-wheel scooter often provides the best stability, but a 3-wheel one usually has a better turning radius and thus may be more practical for indoor use. Many companies create all of their models in both 3-wheel and 4-wheel configurations, and if you visit a warehouse you may be able to test out both styles. You should note that many models contain additional “casters”, very small wheels that provide additional stability and are not counted in the official wheel count. In general, a 4-wheel model will cost slightly more than a 3-wheel one, but the price difference may be as small as $100 or so.

  • How important is it to adding safety and visibility items to my scooter?

    If you’re going to be traveling outdoors on your scooter, it’s very important to consider adding a number of safety and visibility items. A lap belt may or may not come with your scooter, but if not you should request to have one added at additional cost if necessary. Other items to consider adding for outdoor use include reflectors and/or LED headlights/backlights and a flag for visibility to vehicles if you know you will need to be using crosswalks. Many scooters will come equipped with lights, but flags are always an add-on. A basket is another crucial safety addition, though it may not seem like one. Having a basket, bag, and/or cupholder enables you to carry a water bottle, a mobile phone, wallet/ID, and any emergency medications and supplies you may need in order to stay safe while you are out and about.

Works Cited

  1. “Older Adult Fall Prevention: Facts About Falls.” CDC, 10 February 2017, cdc.gov/falls/facts.html. Accessed 21 May 2021. 
  2. Ahmed, Abu Shufian Ishtiaq et al. “Effect of aging on stem cells.” World J Exp Med, 20 Feb 2017, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5316899/. Accessed 21 May 2021.
  3. “Global Mobility Scooter Market Analysis: List of Companies.” MarketResearch.Biz, 2020, https://marketresearch.biz/report/mobility-scooter-market/. Accessed 21 May 2021. 
  4. “Medicare’s Wheelchair & Scooter Benefit.” Medicare, October 2019, https://www.medicare.gov/Pubs/pdf/11046-Medicare-Wheelchair-Scooter.pdf. Accessed 21 May 2021. 
  5. “Part B Cost.” Medicare, https://www.medicare.gov/your-medicare-costs/part-b-costs. Accessed 21 May 2021. 
  6.  “Durable medical equipment (DME) coverage.” Medicare, medicare.gov/coverage/durable-medical-equipment-dme-coverage. Accessed 21 May 2021. 
  7. “How do I file an appeal?” Medicare, https://www.medicare.gov/claims-appeals/how-do-i-file-an-appeal. Accessed 21 May 2021. 
  8. Eligibility for VA health care.” VA, 17 September, 2020. https://www.va.gov/health-care/eligibility/. Accessed 21 May 2021. 
  9. “Rehabilitation and Prosthetic Services.” VA, 28 December 2020, https://www.prosthetics.va.gov/PROSTHETICS/psas/index.asp. Accessed 21 May 2021.
  10. Hall, Jacqueline A., MS, OTR/L, ATP. “Power Mobility: Is it Time for Wheels?” VA, 11 March 2021. https://www.va.gov/MS/Veterans/symptoms_of_MS/Power_Mobility_Is_it_Time_for_Wheels.asp. Accessed 21 May 2021.