A mobility scooter can provide independence and freedom for many people with mobility issues or disabilities, whether you’re using your scooter for a trip to the local shops or taking it further afield to enjoy a ramble around the countryside.
For most people using mobility scooters, travelling further distances to friends, family, and to other attractions requires the ability to fit your mobility scooter in your car boot.
While there are some car models with large enough boots to be adapted to suit a mobility scooter user (for example, this post highlights a few cars designed with high roofs and flat boots in which a hoist can be installed, or a scooter simply folded and stored if you have someone to lift it in for you), for most people, a wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) is going to be the most accessible and convenient option for getting in and out of your car with your scooter or wheelchair.
Where to start?
Before investing in a WAV, you should start by thinking about what you’ll use your car for and the key features you need.
Things to consider could include:
- How often you will be using the car - frequent use versus occasional
- The size of your scooter
- What type of access you will need - ramp vs hoist
- If you want to remain seated on the mobility scooter when travelling (and the extra headroom that you will require to do so)
- If you will need extra space for getting in and out of the vehicle
For more information on finding the right WAV for you, Motability has a helpful guide to get you started, and also includes advice about the next steps to take if you are looking at finding a vehicle via the Motability scheme.
What are the most popular ways to get a mobility scooter in and out of a car?
If you have trouble lifting your mobility scooter into your car, getting a ramp to push your scooter or wheelchair into the boot can be extremely helpful.
It’s important to remember that not all vehicles designed to be wheelchair accessible with built-in ramps are built to accommodate larger mobility scooters, so measuring the dimensions of your scooter is a good idea before shopping for a ramp-assist vehicle.
Measure your mobility scooter in the following ways:
- The height (include the height of the scooter plus passenger if you want to remain on the scooter while you are travelling from the wheels to the top of the user's head)
- Length of the scooter
- Width - be sure to include any points that protrude plus leaving enough room for the passenger to sit comfortably if they will remain seated while travelling
Some wheelchair accessible vehicles come with hoists or winches instead of ramps, which can be ideal for people unable to drive their scooter up ramps or load it into the car manually.
Battery-operated mobility scooters tend to be bulkier and heavier than wheelchairs, so bear this in mind when you are shopping for a suitable vehicle - you will need to make sure the hoist has the correct load capacity to lift your scooter.
Mobility Scooters Ideal For Frequent Car Use
If you are using your vehicle to transport your mobility scooter or powered wheelchair on a regular basis, having a scooter that is more lightweight and designed for travel can make getting out and about much more convenient.
Foldable scooters are more lightweight and compact than other models, eliminating the need for awkward dismantling of your mobility scooter before you put it in your car or need to store it on public transport.
The key benefit of foldable scooters is that they can be easily folded and loaded into your car within minutes, leaving space for any other luggage you have when travelling. These types of scooters tend to be best suited for travel and people who are frequently travelling by car, but they also have the benefit of being easier to manoeuvre in tighter spaces due to their more compact size.