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Mobility scooters are very helpful pieces of equipment for those who experience difficulty in walking and getting around. This type of equipment allows physically disabled people to access places that they could not before acquiring their scooters. Mobility scooters are generally easy to operate and comfortable to ride on, and one can find are many for sale on eBay. While it is simple to find mobility scooters on this auction website, the process of choosing the right one can be overwhelming due to the broad selection and diversity of features available in this product category.
Purchasing the right mobility scooter on eBay requires careful consideration, including knowledge of the basic regulations regarding mobility scooter ownership and use in the United Kingdom. An understanding of the different features available on these pieces of equipment is also essential. Buyers should also have basic familiarity with the eBay process. By understanding the product and the eBay buying process, consumers can use the website to acquire mobility scooters that can help them move around with greater ease.
Considerations When Buying a Mobility Scooter
Buying the right mobility scooter on eBay requires careful consideration of the factors that can influence the purchase of this equipment. By taking into account such things as the purpose of the mobility scooter, personal requirements, and storage capability, buyers can begin to develop a firm idea of the scooters that fit their needs.
Planned Use of a Mobility Scooter
Before visiting eBay, mobility scooter buyers should think about how they plan to use their mobility scooters. They should consider the places they intend to take their scooters, and put some thought into whether or not they plan to use the scooters on roads. This can help potential buyers determine if they need a portable mobility scooter or a heavier one that offers other features instead of portability. Factors such as runtime on a battery charge depend on how far a buyer wants to drive his or her scooter. If a buyer intends to use a scooter to move around the neighbourhood, then he or she is more likely to be better served by a heavier model with a comfortable seat and good shock absorption. If a buyer wants to carry a scooter to places by car, then portability is an important factor in the decision.
When purchasing mobility scooters, buyers must factor in the personal preferences. A mobility scooter must be able to bear the weight of its operator as well as the accessories the operator is carrying. Also, a buyer with back problems is more likely to be satisfied with a mobility scooter that has a large comfortable seat and offers good shock absorption. A mobility scooter must meet the requirements of its user so that he or she is happy with the purchase in the long term.
It is important that buyers have the necessary space to store a mobility scooter. Portable scooters are relatively small and therefore do not require much space for storage. Larger scooters do require more space, and buyers should make sure that they can bring them within close enough proximity to power outlets in order to charge the batteries. A garage is an ideal place to store a scooter. An individual without a garage can bring the scooter into the home, but this may require installing a ramp. If this is not feasible, then the buyer can purchase a separate unit for storing the mobility scooter. In such an instance, the buyer should consult an electrician about how to wire the unit for electricity.
Things to Know Before Buying a Mobility Scooter on eBay
According to the U.K.'s Department of Transport, there are three classes of invalid carriage. Class I is comprised of manual wheelchairs, Class II of electric-powered wheelchairs and scooters with a maximum speed of 6.4 km/h, and Class III of electric-powered wheelchairs and scooters with a maximum speed of 12.8 km/h. Class II mobility scooters are designed for walkway-use only, while Class III mobility scooters are capable of operation on roads and highways. Although Class
III scooters have higher maximum speeds than Class II scooters do, they are still restricted to the same speed limit of 6.4 km/h on walkways. Individuals looking to buy Class III scooters should be aware that they must register the scooters with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, though they do not have to pay extra fees or taxes for doing so.
Understanding the Features in a Mobility Scooter
When searching eBay for mobility scooters, it is important to keep in mind the different features that scooters may have. These features suit some purposes better than others, so buyers can find the right scooters for their needs with an understanding of the different options available.
Mobility scooters feature a lever, called a "wig-wag", by which the operator can put the scooter into drive. Operators can use their thumbs on the wig-wag and their fingers on the control paddles that move the scooter forward or backward. Some large luxury scooters enable operators to control the wig-wag by finger. Most scooters have the forward controls on the right paddle and the backward controls on the left, but it is possible to find mobility scooters with the forward control on the left paddle to accommodate left-handed operators.
Mobility scooter seats vary depending on the size of the scooter. Smaller scooters have smaller seats with lower backrests and a more limited range of adjustments. Larger scooters generally feature larger seats, some with headrests, and broader adjustment possibilities. The seats on larger scooters may slide forward and backward and up and down, and the users may also be able to adjust the angle of the seat. Smaller seats usually adjust only up and down. All mobility scooter seats should swivel to make it easier for users to get on and off the scooter.
Most mobility scooters have either three or four wheels. There are two wheels in the back and one or two wheels in the front. Three-wheeled scooters have a shorter turn radius than four-wheeled scooters do, making the three-wheeled option a bit more manoeuvrable. Four-wheeled scooters usually have greater stability, although some three-wheeled scooters have two smaller wheels attached to the front wheel for greater stability.
Mobility scooters are either front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive. The former is generally found on smaller scooters, and weight capacity usually does not exceed 115 kg. This is ideal for scooters intended for indoor use. The rear-wheel drive is for scooters to be used indoors and outdoors. These scooters have weight-bearing capacities up to 160 kg. Heavy-duty rear-wheel-drive mobility scooters can carry up to 225 kg.
The tiller is the front column on a mobility scooter, and operators steer by turning it with the handles. Most mobility scooters feature an adjustable tiller. The user can change the tiller angle by sliding it into different slots or fixing it into various positions with flexible teeth. The tillers on some mobility scooters do not adjust though, so buyers should try to make sure that the fixed position of these tillers is comfortable for them before purchasing the scooters.
Mobility scooters feature multiple 12-volt rechargeable batteries. The larger the batteries are, the longer and further the scooter can travel before it needs recharging. The size of the battery correlates to amp hours, noted as "Ah". Larger mobility scooters have batteries with up to 75Ah and can operate for 20 hours before needing recharge. Portable scooters usually have batteries with 12Ah.
Mobility scooter brakes stay engaged until the operator engages the wig-wag and puts the scooter into drive. The brakes then re-engage as soon as the wig-wag is turned off. Mobility scooters also feature a lever that puts the scooters into neutral so that operators can push them if need be. Larger scooters may feature an emergency brake that halts the rear wheels in case the braking system fails. This rarely happens, but the emergency brake provides peace of mind.
The table below describes the three basic size categories for mobility scooters. The size also determines the portability of the scooter.