Mobility Scooters & Powerchairs – The Rules

There is a lot of confusion about the rules and regulations that apply to owning and driving a mobility scooter or powerchair so, to help, we have outlined below the most important regulations that you should be aware of.

Driving Skills
It may surprise you to know that you don’t need a licence to drive a mobility scooter or powerchair neither is there any requirement to have tuition, pass any test or undergo any formal assessment. However this does not mean that you should use one of these vehicles without first thinking of the potential dangers involved, both for you and other users of shops, pavements, promenades or road, if you lack the skills and awareness of risk that a proper course of training can give you. We strongly recommend you find a training course. Follow this link to find a centre near you offering scooter classes. http://mobility-centres.org.uk/find_a_centre/
We offer a Scooter and Powerchair familiarisation session which has been designed to help develop the skills and confidence to drive safely and with confidence. This involves
• An assessment of you as a driver – sight, hearing, steering ability, ability to control speed.
• Familiarisation with the vehicle controls.
• A summary of the ‘highway code’ as it applies to Scooters and Powerchairs.
• An extensive ‘accompanied test drive’ around the large pavement area outside our showroom.
• A pavement and road ‘accompanied test drive’ around our local area and down into and back from the town centre.
These sessions are offered to all customers who want to buy or are interested in buying such vehicles.
To those who purchase from us these sessions are Free of Charge.
To those who are just interested we make a nominal charge of £20 which is refundable should a purchase be made.

Insurancescootersccident
It may also surprise you to know that there is no mandatory requirement for you to insure your vehicle or yourself.
However insurance is an option we strongly recommend. Should you have an accident where you damage your scooter or powerchair, injure yourself or worse still somebody else or damage private or public property you will be personally liable; there have been instances where users have been found liable for damages amounting to thousands of pounds.
Basic Insurance is not expensive – £69 per annum currently – a small additional price to pay for peace of mind!

Eyesight
There is also no legal eyesight requirement to drive mobility scooters or powerchairs, but at the very least you should be able to read a car’s registration number from a distance of 12metres (13 yards). And you must check that you can still do this regularly.

You must have a disability
If you are not disabled, you can only drive a mobility scooter or powered wheelchair when:
• Demonstrating a vehicle before it’s sold
• Training a disabled user
• Taking the vehicle to or from maintenance or repair.

Vehicle Licences
All Scooters and Powerchairs are classified as ‘Invalid Carriages’.
Some have to be registered with the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). Although no tax is payable. There are two Classes of Scooters & Powerchairs:
• ‘Class 2’– these have a maximum speed of 4mph. THEY DO NOT need to be registered as they can’t be used on the road (except where there isn’t a pavement or when crossing a road)
• ‘Class 3 ’ – these have a maximum speed of 4mph off the road, and 8mph on the road. THEY DO need to be registered as they can be driven on the road.

  • Because Class 3 vehicles can be driven on the road there are some important rules and features your scooter or powerchair must have:
    • You must be at least 14 years old to drive a Class 3 vehicle.
    • A maximum un-laden weight of 150kg.
    • A maximum width of 0.85 metres.
    • A device to limit its speed to 4mph for when you chose to or are not able to drive on the road.
    • A maximum speed of 8mph.
    • An efficient braking system .
    Front and rear lights and reflectors.
    • Direction indicators able to operate as a hazard warning signal.
    • An audible horn.
    • A rear view mirror.
    • An amber flashing light if it’s used on a dual carriageway.
    • You can’t drive on bus lanes, ‘cycle only’ lanes or motorways (You should avoid using dual carriageways with a speed limit of over 50mph).

Parking
All normal parking restrictions apply to mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs. Your vehicle shouldn’t be left on a footpath or pedestrian area where it obstructs pedestrians, including wheelchair users and people with prams or pushchairs.

Right of Way
Remember, when riding on pavements and footpaths pedestrians have right of way!

By following these simple rules you will stay safe and secure on your mobility vehicles. If you have any questions you can call us on: 01420 549481 or email: info@outandabout-uk.com

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