The automatic folding mobility scooter is a great mobility aid for grandparents and the elderly, many who experience decreasing mobility with age. They want to continue living an active lifestyle but find other mobility aids clumsy or cumbersome to use.
Folding mobility scooters, also called portable or travel scooters are the natural option to help them maintain an active, comfortable lifestyle. The 4 wheel automatic and manual folding ones ones are the safest ones for seniors because of the enhanced stability.
There are several different models on the market to cater for specific needs, but as always, it is necessary to consider your personal situation and needs before deciding which model to buy.
Table of Contents
What is The Purpose of a Portable Mobility Scooter?
The sole purpose of a mobility device is to provide a means of getting around for those who have limited mobility by removing their body weight off their legs and feet.
Too many people think that a portable mobility scooter should be used round that clock. While some people may need to use them more frequently than others, more often, they should be used where a more active mobility is required.
The Uniqueness of Portable Mobility Scooters
A folding mobility scooter is just like a regular mobility scooter except that it folds up into a compact shape. This design allows for easy storage by whatever means of travel – car, train, or airplane.
Another unique feature about these scooters is that they are all lightweight, making them easier to transport than traditional models.
Some portable mobility scooters fold up, while some can be broken down into pieces which can be quickly re-assembled later for use.
Review These Criteria Before Deciding to Buy
While all folding scooters operate the same way, they do have variable features which should be considered before the decision to buy should be made.
Average Planned Time Usage:
How long will you be using your folding mobility scooter for at a time?
Environment of Operation:
Will you be needing to operate your scooter in narrow hallways or around tight corners?
Length, Width & Height:
These dimensions (folded and unfolded) are important to ensure that your scooter will fit into the area you plan on storing or transporting your scooter in.
Weight of the Scooter:
Ensure that the scooter is light enough to carry for the person who will be using it or for the person that will assist them in transporting it.
Battery Capacity and Travel Range:
Some models come with small batteries to compensate on weight, while others with bigger batteries that are designed to last longer on a full charge.
The battery capacity determines how long the scooter can travel on a full charge.
Top Speed of the Scooter:
Knowing the maximum or top speed of the unit is important as folding mobility scooters have a speed adjustment knob that allows control of their speed.
To avoid damage to the scooter or injury to the user, the weight capacity of the scooter must never be exceeded. In fact, some distributors recommend that you get a unit with at least 50 lbs of wiggle room between the user’s weight and the weight capacity of the unit.
Width of the Seat:
Ensure that the user can sit comfortably in the scooter chair. Again, some distributors recommend measuring the width of a comfy chair used by the user at home to compare seat dimensions.
Know what the armrest options are to determine your preference. There are 3 options. Some of the lighter folding scooters do not have armrests to save on weight while others have armrests that either fold up or that are fixed.
Other Features to Check:
Motor output, Braking System and Turn Radius
Two Main Types of Folding Scooters
There are two main types of foldable scooters. One type is the manual folding mobility scooter which requires the user to manually fold the scooter.
The other type is an automatic folding mobility scooter which will automatically fold with the push of a button.
Automatically folding mobility scooters come with a key fob to fold the scooter automatically. You are probably thinking, “How do I get my scooter to operate if I lose the fob or if the battery dies?”
Fortunately, the manufacturer has incorporated a manual override option for such scenarios.
Manual folding scooters are usually more affordable because they do not have a lot of electrical parts. Because of this, long-term electrical problems rarely occur.
Automatic folding mobility scooters on the other hand tend to have more premium features than their manual folding counterparts. They are beneficial for seniors who do not have the strength to fold a scooter manually.
Benefits of The Automatic Folding Mobility Scooter
Folding mobility scooters are designed for convenience and portability. They come in a variety of models.
Many models can fit the trunk of a car, so they let you enjoy your mobility wherever you go, without the need for a vehicle lift. The automatic ones provide added ease of operation. These scooters make great gifts too!
General Features of Folding Mobility Scooters
- Easy to assemble and disassemble
- Aluminum solid body
- Easily folds and locks for transport
- Travel ranges are variable (Based on Battery Capacity) – MUST CHECK
- Weight Capacity – MUST CHECK
- Comes with a Lithium Battery
- Motor output is variable – MUST CHECK
- Dynamic braking (not hand brakes) / Electromagnetic brake
- Armrest option available
- Comfortable seating position
- 4 Pneumatic tires (for softer ride)
- Turn Radius – MUST CHECK
Always Check the Warranty Provision
The folding mobility scooter is fully guaranteed against faults arising due to defects in manufacture or materials although warranties for products vary by manufacturer.
Check provisions by searching for models of the automatic folding mobility scooter near me. Also ensure that you make inquiries about warranty from sellers of automatic folding mobility scooter used models if you decide to buy a used items.
Manufacturer warranties tend to have some similarities such as extending the longest amount of coverage on structural parts like the frame. They are also known for providing limited coverage for items that are prone to wear and tear like the tires.
In most cases, the electronics are covered for up to a year and some manufacturers also include a service contract in addition to the warranty.
A service contract involves a period where the customer is eligible for labor and repairs at no cost to the customer.
Frame: 1 – 2 years; All other parts: 1 year
Subject to the availability of parts, any such defects will be rectified, either by repair or by unit replacement, at the discretion of the distributor.
Warranty Does Not Cover
- Any damage due to improper use or the replacement of parts arising from normal wear and tear, such as tires, armrests, and upholstery.
- Claims due to a normal increase in operational sound level
- Labor or service calls
- Gradual deterioration of batteries due to being left in a discharged state or being left in cold conditions for long periods of time.
Conclusion – Automatic Folding Mobility Scooter
The automatic folding mobility scooter, just like its manual counterpart, is designed for convenience and portability, and help seniors and the elderly maintain active lifestyles.