Everything you need to know before you make a purchase
Mobility scooters are meant to make your life easier and enable you to live independently. Sometimes though, traditional scooters can be a hassle to transport - especially for people who have mobility issues.
If you want to travel and continue being active in your community, a folding mobility scooter is ideal, as it is easy to transport in virtually any vehicle.
Wondering whether a folding mobility scooter is a good option for your needs? This guide will help you make your decision.
What exactly is a folding mobility scooter?
A folding mobility scooter is a battery-powered vehicle that is designed to fold up into a more compact form for easy transport and storage.
Some folding mobility scooters can be disassembled into multiple pieces for easy transport. Other models come with carrying bags or cases.
Folding mobility scooters typically have a weight capacity of 250 to 350 pounds depending on the model. Because they can be folded, these mobility scooters don’t require a lift, ramp, or a vehicle with a large volume of cargo capacity. They are meant to transform into a smaller, lighter footprint to allow users to carry or move the unit more easily.
Folding scooters typically have a fold-down handlebar, seat, and footrest, and they can be easily compacted for transport in a car trunk or, in certain circumstances, under an airplane seat.
These scooters typically have fewer features than non-folding models, but they can be a convenient option for people who need to travel frequently or who have limited storage space.
Like a traditional mobility scooter, folding scooters are ideal for people who need a little extra help getting around but don’t want to use a power wheelchair. Folding scooters give you the independence to go where you want to without having to rely on someone else for transportation.
What are the benefits of owning a folding mobility scooter?
A folding mobility scooter offers a number of benefits for those with mobility issues:
- Easier to transport and lightweight, with a compact design so it can be taken anywhere you need to go, indoors or outdoors.
- Environmentally-friendly, with electric batteries and no emissions; the rechargeable batteries charge quickly.
- Provide a means of independence and allow you to navigate your home or be active in your community without needing to rely on others.
- Airline- and FAA-approved and can be taken with you on a plane when you travel.
- Provide opportunities for interaction with others and keep you connected to your community.
- Easier to handle and operate.
- Allow you to age in place at your home vs. moving into an assisted living home.
Who are folding scooters for?
Folding scooters are a great option for anyone who wants the convenience of a scooter without the hassle of worrying about transporting a traditional mobility scooter in their vehicle.
If you’re still driving your car and get out of the house often, you’ll appreciate the ease of using a folding mobility scooter.
Folding scooters are also perfect for city-dwellers and apartment-dwellers who need to be able to get around town but don't have a lot of space to keep a scooter. Lastly, they make a good choice for people who want to be able to take their scooter with them on public transportation, cruises, or long trips.
Do I need a folding mobility scooter?
Many people find that a mobility scooter can be a great way to maintain their independence. If you have difficulty walking long distances, a scooter can help you get around without having to rely on others.
Folding scooters are designed to be easily portable, so they can be a good choice if you need to travel frequently or if you have limited storage space, as in a senior apartment or a small studio apartment. They are also easier to transport in a car if you still drive or have someone else driving you around town.
That said, folding scooters may not be as sturdy as non-folding models, so it’s important to know your current weight before making a purchase.
How to choose the right folding mobility scooter
If you're in the market for a folding mobility scooter, there are a few things you'll want to keep in mind:
1. Weight capacity
As mentioned above, you’ll need to know your weight and purchase a scooter that can accommodate it. Folding mobility scooters have a lower weight capacity than more traditional models.
As with a conventional mobility scooter, maneuverability is important. You’ll want to make sure the model you choose works for the environments where you’ll be using it. Do you need a tight turning radius? Will your scooter be able to get through the doorways in your home?
3. Battery life
Folding mobility scooters also tend to have a shorter battery life than other models; they are meant for errands, shopping, and other short trips. If you need to use a scooter longer than that, it doesn’t mean a folding mobility scooter isn’t right for you, but it does mean you may want to invest in a backup battery to carry with you on the go.
4. Driving environment
Folding mobility scooters are best used in environments with smooth, even surfaces, like within a home or other buildings. If you plan on using your scooter outdoors, you may want to find a model with larger wheels, which make it easier to operate in bumpy areas because they absorb shock better.
5. Comfortable seating
If you plan on using your scooter for long periods, a comfortable seat is important. Keep in mind, though, that pillows and other padding accessories can be added later.
6. Ease of use
Finally, you’ll want to make sure you can easily use your folding mobility scooter. If you’re going to be using it by yourself, you’ll need to make sure you can fold and carry it so you can remain independent. Keep in mind that some folding mobility scooters can weigh up to 70 pounds.
Top 3 folding mobility scooters
Below, you’ll find a quick rundown of our three best-selling scooters at My Own Wheels.
- Price: $2,250
- Length: 33.5”
- Weight: 49 lbs.
- Range: Up to 6.8 miles
- Speed: 4 mph
The EV Rider Transport AF+ scooter automatically folds and unfolds with the push of a button on a handheld remote. This model is approved for airline travel, and its light weight makes it ideal for cars, trains, and cruise ships.
Thanks to its ultra-tight turning radius, this foldable scooter offers excellent maneuverability in even the narrowest spaces. It can fit into the trunk of most cars and features a height-adjustable tiller, LED headlight, and dual hand two-way throttle control.
- Price: $2,998
- Length: 47”
- Weight: 62 lbs.
- Range: Up to 12 miles
- Speed: 4 mph
ATTO is widely considered to be the smartest high-performance mobility scooter on the market! This compact folded unit splits in two and folds into a trolley suitcase for easy portability. It boasts a built-in USB charging board, deck storage, adjustable seat height, and a range of accessories.
- Price: $2,250
- Length: 33.5”
- Weight: 52 lbs.
- Range: Up to 10 miles
- Speed: 4 mph
Like the AF+ model from EV Rider, the AF4W folds and unfolds with the push of a button. It also has a number of upgraded features, including more stability, a tighter turn radius, dual front LED lights, and a 24v 11.5 AH battery.
The Bottom Line
Folding mobility scooters offer a practical way for their owners to travel. While they’re not for everyone, if you need a scooter that can easily be transported in your vehicle or stored in a small living space without taking up a lot of room, you’ll appreciate the flexibility of a folding mobility scooter.