- Friday, 27 July 2012
Choosing the right mobility scooter for you and your specific needs can be seen as a daunting task.
Will the scooter suit my needs? Will the scooter be reliable? Which company can I trust?
What happens if it breaks down? Can I cancel the order without any hassle?
All of these questions and many more worries can be commonplace when considering the ownership of a scooter unless you follow these ten simple tips and buy from a reputable, established specialist such as TGA Electric Leisure.
1. Check the scooter will meet your needs
A scooter will definitely improve your lifestyle if you are living with restricted mobility. It will help you regain independence so you are no longer confined to your home, reliant on others or unable to fully control your own life. However it is essential before buying that you ask advice from a specialist to ensure you drive away the ideal model for your needs.
When sitting on various models, check you are really comfortable and watch for things like seat and handle positions. It is important that you feel secure and in full control of your vehicle. Choosing between either a three or four wheeler can depend on many factors such as your weight, ability, size, height and even the quality of local roads – a trained professional will be able to advise.
Qualified advisors will ask you questions like –
- Where do you want to use it – indoors or out?
- How far do you intend to go and for how long?
- How accessible is your home?
- Do you need to get it into a car?
- Would you prefer a scooter that dismantles regularly for storage in a cupboard or car boot?
- Where will you store and charge the vehicle?
- Do you have any special medical conditions that require bespoke adaptations?
It’s a good thing to have thought about your answers before you talk to a supplier! Also consider whether you are fit and able enough to competently drive a scooter that may include manoeuvres such as mounting kerbs, crossing busy roads or reversing. It is possible to seek advice and assessment of your abilities through local Social Services or an OT.
2. Confirm your chosen supplier is reputable and its products reliable
It is essential when deciding on a mobility scooter that you make sure the supplier is not a dodgy dealer. There are several leading names in the field who are reputable, care about their customers, supply quality, reliable products and who you can trust. TGA is one such family owned specialist who has been in the business for over 25 years with an established reputation for supplying quality scooters combined with impeccable after sales support.
Numerous customers say they bought from TGA because of its ‘complete package’ that combines, a comfortable product with warranties, insurance, servicing and dedicated after sales support. TGA is also BHTA (British Healthcare Trades Association) accredited which ensures that it is professional and adheres to Office of Fair Trading regulations. Don’t forget, peace of mind is priceless.
3. Check you can have a no quibble 7-day refund
Many non-reputable dealers just want your money and don’t care whether you are happy with the scooter or not. Well-respected specialists such as TGA comply with legislation by offering a complete refund within 7 days following a home demo. If a scooter supplier provides this refund policy, you know it is professional and is not a rip-off merchant.
4. Enquire about the scooter demo and training you will receive
As you may be completely dependent on your new scooter for most everyday tasks, it is imperative that you find controlling the vehicle easy and stress free. Always ask for a free home demo or training from a qualified advisor so you can rest assured that come the day of delivery, you have the confidence to drive away in complete control of your scooter.
There is a vast array of scooters available today with an equally wide-ranging selection of controls and features – there will be the ideal one for you, it’s just a question of trying them. Ask your dealer to accompany you in and around your home, out at the local shops or anywhere that will be a common place you will visit. If you still feel nervous after purchase, you can contact TGA and it will dispatch an advisor to come and visit you to help build up your confidence.
Don’t forget, scooter driving tests may be available soon across the UK, which are designed to build confidence on the streets.
5. Check how your scooter is delivered
To make sure there are no problems on delivery, enquire about the process of collecting your scooter – do you have to pick it up from a showroom? Does it come packaged in a box? Can you have it delivered to the front door? However you prefer to take delivery, ensure this is agreed before you sign on the dotted line. TGA would not dream of sending your scooter in the post and ensure your scooter is fully checked before delivery.
It is personally delivered in a van and you are given a full demonstration. You may save a small amount of money by purchasing a scooter that you need to collect or that comes by courier, however when it arrives you will need guidance on how to use the scooter safety and to set it up correctly for your needs. Buying direct from a reputable specialist such as TGA eliminates this problem.
6. Check who will service your scooter and provide after sales support
Most quality scooters need to be serviced every 12 months to ensure performance and reliability is maintained. Before buying, check with the supplier such factors as whether they have an in-house service department, if your scooter is collected from home, the cost and how long will it take?
TGA are leaders in the UK when it comes to servicing and its seven strong team really know what they are talking about. They will quickly identify and resolve issues either with guidance over the phone, by sending a spare part or organising an engineer call out. Whether you are living or holidaying in Suffolk or Scotland, TGA aims to get an engineer to you within 1-3 working days.
7. Ensure the scooter comes with a warranty
TGA is rare in the industry as it offers an inclusive 2 year parts and labour warranty on all of its scooters, 3 years on its top end models. This gives you peace of mind that in the unlikely event of a fault or breakdown you will not incur additional costs. Also with a reputable specialist such as TGA, you are provided with a free loan scooter during your warranty if your own needs to be taken away for repair.
There are unfortunately many people out there who have bought scooters, maybe from cut-price merchants or internet dealers who did not receive a comprehensive warranty. This has resulted in hefty repair bills, problems with spare parts and ultimately damaged their independence and freedom.
8. Ask about insurance
Many modern mobility scooters these days are seen as desirable vehicles hence it is essential to take out an insurance policy. Reputable mobility scooter insurance, such as the policies from TGA, provides financial protection against your vehicle being stolen, damaged or vandalised. They also can quickly arrange a replacement scooter, provide assistance getting home in the event of a breakdown and offer you personal liability insurance up to £2,000,000.
This personal liability insurance is the most important factor for you as it covers all costs if you accidentally damage someone’s property or injure a person. A recent case in the press highlighted the importance of taking out insurance as a disabled pensioner from Wales who has no insurance, is facing legal compensation costs of over £13,000 resulting from a incident with a supermarket employee.
9. Be prepared to maintain you scooter and save a little for ongoing costs
Looking after your scooter properly will help ensure trouble free mobility. Like a car it is important to clean and maintain it so its performance does not diminish over time. On delivery, read the owners manual carefully and under it guidance regularly charge the battery.
This will increase its reliability and reduce running costs. Battery charging commonly uses about the same power as a 100 watt light bulb, so it won’t result in your electricity bill rocketing up. However you should expect to incur some additional running expenses for servicing and new batteries. So it is recommended that you save a small amount of money each week to cover maintenance costs.
10. Don’t always believe the ads, visit an exhibition
‘You get what you pay for’ is an old saying but still rings true today, especially for mobility scooters. You may see offers in the press and on the internet that promise massive discounts, buy one get one free or even Government scooter scrappage schemes which simply do not exist. Most of these offers are not what they seem and invariably they are based on initial inflated costs, whereas with a reputable supplier or dealer you will only ever see transparent offers and realistic upfront prices.
A visit to one of the industries leading exhibitions such as The Mobility Roadshow (27-29 June 2013, Telford International Centre) will give you the ideal opportunity to see and evaluate the major players who provide the highest quality scooters. With all the leading suppliers in attendance, you can browse at your leisure and discuss your specific needs and questions with sales representatives on hand.
The Mobility Roadshow is the only mobility event in the UK, which provides the opportunity to test drive scooters in a safe environment before purchasing.