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When you buy a mobility scooter, it’s fundamental to know the UK rules for using them appropriately.
Driving a mobility scooter can be dangerous, especially if you don’t know the laws surrounding your vehicle. The laws are in place for your well-being so please inform yourself about the government’s regulations for mobility scooters to ensure you and those around you stay safe when you’re driving.
Choosing the right speed for your mobility scooter depends on what you want to use it for. If you’re planning on travelling long distances on the road, you might want a faster, heavy-duty scooter. However, if you’re planning on only going shorter distances, you might want a slower scooter.
A standard mobility scooter might be suitable for someone living at a slower pace such as a retiree or someone suffering from mobility issues, but how fast should your mobility scooter actually go?
Most scooters in the UK fall into two categories. Those in Class 2 are restricted to 4mph, whereas if you own a Class 3 scooter, you can go 8mph on the road.
You must bear in mind that these regulations have been divided into pavement and road use for good reason. It’s not safe to go 8mph on the pavement as you’ll be travelling faster than standard walking pace and twice as fast as other mobility scooters.
According to Law UICHR 1988 Regulation 4, you have to obey the same rules as all other drivers or pedestrians so when you move from the pavement onto the road you are to ensure there are no obstructions or obstacles and that it is safe to do so.
Mobility scooters are allowed on UK roads provided they are a Class 3 vehicle and meet certain requirements as set out by the DVLA.
These conditions required that mobility scooters may only be driven on the roads if they have a maximum unladen weight of 150kg, a maximum width of 0.85 metres, and are capable of travelling at 8mph (12.8kmph) on the roads.
What’s more, the DVLA require that mobility scooters suitable for road use must have a working braking system with front and rear lights and reflectors, indicators, an audible horn, a rear-view mirror, and an amber flashing light if the mobility scooter is to be used on a dual carriageway.
Mobility scooters are exempt from paying vehicle tax if the maximum speed is 8mph on the road, and they are fitted with a device that limits the speed to 4mph on footways. Gov.uk states that even if you don’t have to pay vehicle tax, you still need to apply for vehicle tax, registering for ‘nil value’ tax.
Anyone who buys a mobility scooter must be aware that any vehicle sold in the UK which has the capacity to go faster than 8mph is not legal under the Road Traffic Act 1988.