- Disabilities & the Disabled
How to Buy a Used Mobility Scooter
New Mobility Scooters
Tips For Saving Money
Mobility scooters can make life much easier for individuals with limited mobility due to accidents or injury, but insurance and Medicare often won’t pay for these helpful devices unless you’re completely unable to walk. What does that mean for people who can’t afford the big price tags? It means your best bet is to find a used scooter. Last year I bought a used Pride Victory, a model that normally sells for about $2000, for only $600 on Craigslist, and it was in nearly-new condition.
If you’re looking for a bargain online, here are some tips for getting the used mobility scooter that’s right for you.
1. Look at new mobility scooters to discover your options. Before you start searching the online ads for used scooters, search medical supply shops such as SpinLife or online stores such as Amazon to see what’s available. Mobility scooters come in three- and four-wheel versions, all with a variety of options. Look at these to determine what you need. Do you need a lightweight folding model to fit in your trunk or will you be buying a lift for your vehicle? Do you need the added stability of a four-wheel model or the maneuverability of a three-wheeler? What about lights and a mirror for driving outside? Check all the options to see what type of mobility scooter you want before starting your search for a used one.
2. Select a few models you like and then search Craigslist, eBay, Kijiji and other classified ad sites to see if those models are readily available. Some brands, such as Pride, are more popular than others, and you’re more likely to find used models. If you see several of the same type of scooter for sale in any location in the U.S., it’s likely that one will become available in your area sooner or later. But if you can’t find any of the models you like on eBay or Craigslist, go back and pick a more popular model.
3. Watch the ads on a daily basis. The number of items that get posted on Craigslist, eBay and other ad sites every day is amazing. Check back regularly to see if new items have been posted. eBay auctions continue for several days, but on Craigslist, it’s often first come, first served, and you don’t want to miss a golden opportunity by not checking the ads for a few days.
4. Be patient. Used mobility scooters are often sold by family members of loved ones who have passed away or by disabled individuals who are moving up to another type of scooter. So you may not see new listings every day, or you might not find exactly the vehicle you’re searching for right away. Be patient. Eventually you will find the type of scooter you’re seeking.
5. Get as much information about the used scooter as possible. Once you do find an available scooter, be sure to ask questions before committing to purchase. The most important questions to ask are how and how often the scooter was used, and how and how often it was charged. Batteries need to be deep charged frequently, and if the scooter has been sitting without a charge for a long time or was only charged for an hour or two at a time, it’s likely you’ll need to buy new batteries. Be sure to take this added expense into account when figuring out your total cost.
6. Inspect the scooter and take it for a test drive. When you go to look at the scooter, take the cover off the batteries and look at the condition of all the mechanical parts. Be sure to watch for any rust or corrosion that might indicate a problem. You’ll also want to test drive the scooter to be sure it works properly. Some things to notice are how well the scooter rides, whether the battery charge indicator is working, if any available lights or horn are functioning, and if the brakes hold the scooter in place when the vehicle is stopped. If all these factors look good and the price is right, buy it!
7. Enjoy! If you haven’t been able to get out and about much due to limited mobility, your “new” mobility scooter will open up a world of opportunity. Enjoy!
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