Second hand mobility scooters are an affordable alternative to buying a new scooter. In some cases, you can get one for as low as £100 or even less especially if there is a sale. Second hand mobility scooters are sold by retailers, individual sellers and non-profit organisations.
If you do your research well and know what to look for, you can get a good quality mobility scooter for a bargain price. Here are some essential tips to keep in mind when shopping around for a used mobility scooter.
1. Determine what you need
Whether you are buying a new scooter or a used one, the first and most important step is to determine what your needs are. If you are not sure what you are looking for, you risk spending money on the wrong buy. Here are some of the questions you need to ask yourself.
What scooter size do you need? Do you want a scooter for use at and near your home or for long-distance travelling? Do you need a scooter that can fit inside a car boot?
Doing some research online can help you find out which features are best for you. If possible, you can also talk to a mobility scooter specialist for advice on what kind of scooter is best for you.
2. Set a budget
How much are you willing to spend on a second hand mobility scooter? With a concrete figure in mind, it is easier to compare among scooters in that price range. As you come up with a budget, don’t forget to include the cost of servicing and maintaining the scooter. You may also need to get insurance for it.
Do not be tempted by dirt cheap prices. It could be a sign that the scooter is very old or has some problems that will keep frustrating you. This is not to say that a cheap scooter cannot be good, just do your homework and make sure it is in an acceptable condition.
3. Buying from a shop vs. an individual
One of the best places to buy a mobility scooter is from shops. Mobility shops will often stock a wide variety of scooters, most of them in decent condition. Try out several scooters to get a feeling of how comfortable they are. Once you find the right one, make sure you ask for the full service history.
Additionally, the shop should furnish you with a warranty (typically a short one just covering a few months from time of purchase), new batteries and any other essential accessories.
You can also turn to individual sellers on platforms like eBay for even lower prices. But the risk of buying the wrong or a problem-ridden scooter goes up. You need to be extra cautious. Ask the seller exactly why they are parting with the scooter. In many cases, it could just be that it is not needed any more.
Ask about the scooter’s servicing history and request for available paperwork that documents its maintenance. Don’t forget to ask for the original paperwork received at the time of purchase. This will give you important information about the scooter including instruction manual and manufacturer specifications.
Finally, ask for the scooter’s serial number. Looking up the serial number will tell you exactly what scooter model it is, when it was manufactured and other pertinent details. If possible, ask to see the scooter in person before finalizing the purchase.
If the scooter looks too old and worn out, avoid it. Check every part to ensure there is no rust that could cause mechanical problems.
4. Battery replacement
The battery is a crucial component of the scooter. In a second hand scooter, it is likely that it is not in its best shape. Ask if the battery is still in a good condition: does it take too long to charge? Does it discharge too quickly? Does the mobility scooter keep cutting out?
If possible, test it yourself. Plug it in for several hours and see how long it takes to fill up. In some cases, you may need to buy a new battery.
A Note About Your Rights
The new Consumer Rights Act came covers purchases made on or after 1st October 2015. If you bought before then, you are covered by Sale of Goods Act 1979. Under the new act, you essentially have the same rights as anyone buying a new scooter. The only difference is that your expectation on quality and finish should be in line with the fact that you are buying a used scooter.