Mobility Scooters: The Law, Insurance & Road Rules
Mobility scooters are a lifeline for people who find their mobility compromised, either through illness, injury or age. Before you take to the road, however, you need to know the different rules regarding licensing, taxation, road rules and insurance.
Mobility scooters on the road
The first thing you need to know is that not all mobility scooters can be driven on the road. Scooters can be divided into 2 categories:
- Class 2: Only for use indoors and on the pavement (and crossing the road). They have a maximum speed of 4mph.
- Class 3: Can be used indoors, on pavements and on the road. They have a maximum speed of 8mph and speed limiter so they can stick to 4mph on pavements. As they can be driven on public roads, they need efficient braking systems, front and rear lights and indicators, rear view mirrors and an audible horn
Anyone with a mobility impairing disability can drive class 2 scooters, but you have to be 14 or more years old to drive a class 3 scooter. Non-disabled people are not allowed to drive mobility scooters in public, unless:
- They are demonstrating a model for sale
- Training a disabled driver
- Taking the scooter to and from repair centres
When driving on the pavement, pedestrians have right of way. You can't drive on cycle-only paths.
When driving on the road, you must adhere to the Highway Code, especially regarding indicator use, horns and lights. You are not allowed on motorways or dual carriageways where the speed limit exceeds 50mph. If you do find yourself on a dual carriageway, your mobility scooter must have a functioning amber flashing light to increase visibility.
You are not allowed to carry passengers on any mobility scooter; so no young children or pets.
Licensing mobility scooters
Class 2 mobility scooters don't need to licensed or registered. Class 3 scooters have to be registered with the DLVA. You can register your class 3 scooter by completing a V55/4 form for new scooters or a V55/5 form for second-hand scooters. Forms must be sent to the DVLA in Swansea.
Failure to register your class 3 scooter can result in a fine.
Mobility scooters and public transport
While some mobility scooters are lightweight and portable enough to fit on public transport, not all methods of public transport allow them. Your best bet is to contact the relevant transport authority or company and find out about their policy.
In general, you can take your scooter on buses and trains that have ‘reference wheelchair' spaces.
Insurance for mobility scooters
Insurance isn't compulsory for mobility scooters, but it is highly recommended, especially third party liability insurance. Third party liability insurance covers damage and injury caused by you and mobility scooter to an innocent third party. For example, you're covered against claims if you break someone's foot by accidentally driving over it. You're also covered in case you drive into a parked car.
Insurance is available for class 2 and class 3 mobility scooters, as well as new and used scooters. For more information or to get a quote please try www.surewise.com/mobility-scooter-insurance.