Disability aids and equipment
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New member looking for advice on buying their first mobility scooter

SpennyladSpennylad Member Posts: 13 Connected
Hi, My name is Tommy and have just joined this group. I had Polio at  the age of 1yr 10mths. I am now 65 but have suffered from the effects of Post Polio Syndrome for the last 20 years. my legs have weakened considerably in the last 2 years so I am now looking to buy a mobility Scooter which is how I came across this group. Having never owned a scooter previously I am looking for any advice anybody can give me. I rented a scooter on my last holiday and found it of great benefit. I look forward to being part of this group.

Replies

  • Pippa_ScopePippa_Scope Member Posts: 5,856 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi again @Spennylad, welcome to the community! Just in case anybody missed your wall post and is looking for this information themselves, this Rica page may be a good starting point. Hopefully some of our other community members will be able to offer some suggestions too!
  • JennysDadJennysDad Member Posts: 2,308 Pioneering
    Just saying hello and welcome @Spennylad. Good to have you with us.
    Best
    Richard
    @JennysDad
  • SpennyladSpennylad Member Posts: 13 Connected
    Thanks Richard
  • SpennyladSpennylad Member Posts: 13 Connected
    For the record I am looking to buy a scooter from Careco. It is a Li-Tech marathon which has a lithium Battery and is one of the lightest scooters on the market.  I’m hoping somebody on this group may have the same one and let me know what it’s like. It is fairly new so there may not be many owners on here yet, Careco are the only company I can find who is selling this scooter unless anybody knows different. 
  • Jean_OTJean_OT Member Posts: 532 Pioneering

    Hi Spennylad

    I think CareCo are the UK distributor so if you decide to get one you would need to go to them.

    The Living Made Easy website is a useful resource for comparing equipment from different manufacturers:  

    http://www.livingmadeeasy.org.uk/mobility and walking/class-2-four_wheeled-scooters-p/li_tech-air-plus-lithium-scooter-0119802-2104-information.htm


    Best Wishes

    Jean

    Jean Merrilees BSc MRCOT

    You can read more of my posts at: https://community.scope.org.uk/categories/ask-an-occupational-therapist

  • mossycowmossycow Community champion Posts: 495 Pioneering
    Hi there!

    I became more mobile about 18 months ago using a powered wheelchair due to the motobility scheme. 

    We looked into scooters and chairs and it was too expensive and I have up hope... But the  I met someone at a concert who told me about motobility.... So forgive me if you already know all about it... But I didn't... Its been fab so I want to pass it on. 

    If you claim higher rate DLA or PIP you can convert a small amount of this benefit into using the motobility scheme. I had heard of people using it to help get an adapted car... What I didn't know was that it can be used for a mobility scooter or chair.

    I reapplied for my PIP as my back and pain had got worse.. Mit took a while but eventually I was awarded the upper bit of PIP.... 6 weeks later I had my chair and I've never looked back. 

    I called up motobility... And it was very easy. They helped me choose a mobility shop and a lovely chap spent as long as I needed with me to see what I needed. I tried loads of different machine sout then I got a chair which is perfect  made to measure and suits our lives very well. 

    It took about 5 weeks to be made and delivered. Meanwhile motobility sorted out all finance etc. 

    If it's available to you I'd thoroughly recommend. Not just because it's been really good value but the support has been outstanding. Costs I hadn't even thought about like insurance, breakdown cover, maintenance and emergency repairs.... All taken care of.


    If not available, have a look at local mobility centres but be aware these are for profit businesses and marking up is massive. 


    Are you needing it all the time? Is it for getting from home to shops/community centre etc? Will you be needing public transport etc? Consider using a wheelchair too if you'll be inside shops etc with it. 

    Best of luck keep us up to date

    "I'm trying to live like a random poem I read that ended 'to bloom where we are planted"

  • SpennyladSpennylad Member Posts: 13 Connected

    Hi Spennylad

    I think CareCo are the UK distributor so if you decide to get one you would need to go to them.

    The Living Made Easy website is a useful resource for comparing equipment from different manufacturers:  

    http://www.livingmadeeasy.org.uk/mobility and walking/class-2-four_wheeled-scooters-p/li_tech-air-plus-lithium-scooter-0119802-2104-information.htm


    Best Wishes

    Jean

    Thanks Jean, that website is very useful.
    Regards,
    Tommy
  • SpennyladSpennylad Member Posts: 13 Connected
    Hi mossycow

    I am 65 so couldn't claim PIP, however,  I have just been given Attendance Allowance. I will use the scooter for travel into the town and at large shopping centres. I can walk short distances but my legs get weak very quickly.  I need the scooter to be available at all times, hence I will keep it in the car and use it for anything nut short distances.  I don't use buses so have that to face yet.

    Many thanks,
    Tommy
  • exdvrexdvr Member Posts: 312 Pioneering

    Hi @spennylad…..I've just come across your original post and your situation is uncannily similar to mine.  I had polio in 1950 at the age of 2 which left one leg more badly affected than the other but thanks to the staff and surgeons of the NHS I was able to lead a fairly normal life till about age 55.  Since then it's been downhill all the way unfortunately, with my GP reluctantly conceding that it is all down to post polio syndrome. 

    I'm now 70 and fiercely held on to my independence until about 8 years ago I admitted defeat and got myself a Sterling Sapphire 2 scooter which was literally a godsend but as my weaknesses deteriorated I was unable to lift it into my car.  I then bought a second-hand Rascal Liteway which was easier to load and unload but had a much reduced range...still it was a good wee scooter and earned its keep.

    Things are still going downhill and I now have a small[ish] MPV on Motability with a hoist fitted so that my latest scooter even though it is easily dismantled means that it goes straight into the boot without dismantling.  It's a Kymco Mini Comfort which comes with a 16 mile range, full suspension, plus front and rear lights, all at a reasonable price.

    After initially being too stubborn to admit it I am now really happy to once again have full independence without dragging a carer along any time I go out.

    I hope things go well with you in your quest.....it's good to know you're not alone.

    DLTBGYD.

    Best wishes.

    DLTBGYD

  • wilkowilko Member Posts: 2,182 Disability Gamechanger
    Mobility scooters are a man best friend after the dog. I bought mine on line from a dealer in St Austal. Free delivery had it 18 months a few puntures go off road dog walking. Bought a second boot portable one as got left behind on shopping trips taken it to Hyale and St Ives twice not ideal for the cobble streets. Getting a more off road scooter secon hand off a dealer who sells ex hire mobility scooters just got wait till my colour chose comes in again free dilivery. 
  • SpennyladSpennylad Member Posts: 13 Connected
    Hi @exdvr
    Yes, our situation is very similar. I am going to Leicester tomorrow to have a look at the Li Tech scooter and if it's o.k. I will be buying one. It will be strange using a scooter but I have no choice, my legs are getting weaker and i can't walk long distances. I'll post again later to let everybody know the outcome.
    Thanks for your interest,
    Tommy
  • SpennyladSpennylad Member Posts: 13 Connected
    Just to let you know I bought the Li Tech Marathon scooter.  It is very easy to take apart and store in the boot of the car. More importantly, the battery is very light, very easy to carry in and out of the house. Have now used it for 3 weeks and am very happy with it.
  • exdvrexdvr Member Posts: 312 Pioneering
    Well done @Spennylad.  I've looked up the details of your scooter and it gets excellent reviews and it's unusual in having li-on batteries and such an excellent range.  If only I could have lost about 20 kilos weight I would have considered it too.  Have a great time with it.

    Best wishes.

    DLTBGYD

  • susielockettsusielockett Member Posts: 53 Courageous
    Hi Spennylad, welcome to the community. One of my jobs when I was working was dealing with scooters. I worked in Warrington so am aware that they can be bought at numerous places. Was your query about the type of scooter?
    Susielockett
  • KatieCKatieC Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Hi, My name is KatieC and I’ve just signed up to the site having noticed it whilst looking at Scooters to buy.

    i notice that last year the Li Tech Marathon was discussed. I’m looking at it am very interested in it, and wonder nearly a year on can anyone give me information having purchased and used one for a while.

    Any information would be very grateful. This is the first time I’ve  had a scooter and don’t really want one, but I have MS and and my mobility is becoming very limited. I have been grudgingly using a wheelchair (but would rather try to walk) but worry about the toll it is taking on my husbands back, hence reluctantly deciding it’s time to buy a scooter.

    it seems such a friendly site and I would be so grateful for any information from the experts here!!!

  • Antonia_ScopeAntonia_Scope Member Posts: 1,783 Pioneering
    Hi @KatieC welcome to the community. How are you doing today? Thank you for sharing this with us.

    Hopefully @Spennylad and our other members can reply with their experiences with the Li Tech scooter.

    There are other options on the Living Made Easy website.

    If you have any questions, please let us know. :)
  • SpennyladSpennylad Member Posts: 13 Connected
    Hi @KatieC  I bought a Li Tech Marathon in June last year. I am delighted with the scooter. It is light and compact but very stable. It is great for going round shops and supermarkets. The battery lasts for ages and is quickly charged up. I keep mine in the car and it is easy to lift in and out when dismantled. My wife can do it on her own if I can't help. I bought mine from Careco in Leicester. I don't think anybody else sells them. Please feel free to ask anything further. Hope this has been useful.
    Tommy
  • KatieCKatieC Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Thank you so much for your very quick response. I’m glad hear that you’re happy with the scooter.

    Can I ask other question please. In the write up it says it can go up an incline of 6 degrees, and converting it to what we normally see as the steepness of hills when driving it’s equivalent to 10%, or 1:10.

    How have you found it going up hills? Obviously it’s not designed to go up steep hills as it’s not a road scooter, but my main reason for wanting a scooter is to use on days out with my family where there may be gradients. Shopping in supermarkets or shopping centres will be no problem, but I’m starting to worry a lot about my husband as he has back problems and pushing me around in a wheelchair is not helping. He never ever complains but I feel so guilty and worry about him.

    i would be so grateful for your thoughts as someone that is actually using the scooter rather than just read the brochure.

    Many Thanks.


  • SpennyladSpennylad Member Posts: 13 Connected
    Hi @KatieC

    I've been up and down many inclines and some have been more than 10% and the scooter has managed them with no problems.  Also the scooter has performed well off road as long as the surface is fairly flat.

    Can I just say the main reason I got this scooter was the Lithium battery.  Before I bought it I hired a Pride Gogo scooter for 2 weeks while on holiday to test it(before this I didn't own a scooter).  That scooter was good but the main problem was the battery, it was a ton weight.  Carrying it between the car & house was a big strain on my back and my wife also struggled with it. I'm sure your husband will struggle with a normal battery.  The lithium battery is only 3 or 4 kgs and you can lift it with 2 fingers. 

    Anything else, just ask.  Hope you get sorted.
    Tommy

  • exdvrexdvr Member Posts: 312 Pioneering
    @KatieC…….I too have problems with degrees and percentages in relation to inclines but one piece of advice I was given was to zig-zag going up hills.  You will increase the distance travelled but it would very well decrease the steepness of the slope. Also puts less strain on the battery and the motor.

    Best wishes.

    DLTBGYD

  • KatieCKatieC Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Thank you all for the very useful advice. Sometimes salesmen say what they think you want to hear, so it’s lovely to get information from people who will tell you like it is, be it good or bad. 

    I’m so glad I found this site, you all seem wonderful people!!!

    Thank you all.
  • lordterrarzlordterrarz Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Hi, I'm exactly where you were Spennylad in July 2018 and seriously thinking of buying a Li-Tech Marathon scooter. Are you still happy with it and have you had any problems with it over the last year or so.
    Cheers.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,662 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @lordterrarz and a warm welcome to the community! Please do let me know if I can do anything to help! 
    Community Partner
    Scope

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  • April2018momApril2018mom Member - under moderation Posts: 2,882 Member - under moderation
    edited September 2019
    Hello @lordterrarz
    This page has information on mobility scooters worth reading https://www.wheelfreedom.com/information-centre/mobility-scooters/?gclid=CjwKCAjwnrjrBRAMEiwAXsCc4_0psHK1bmiBpNTylN2xueiYE0lhQzJHTumdbYqJZMgXBVryxJ-D-xoC9X0QAvD_BwE
    If you have any other questions feel free to ask. My advice is to visit a store and test drive scooters as well. Discuss your needs with the team and do not be afraid to ask questions either. Good luck! 
  • SpennyladSpennylad Member Posts: 13 Connected
    edited September 2019
    Hi  @lordterrarz  I have had my Li-tech Marathon for 14 months now and it has been great. It is very maneuverable, great for getting round shops etc.  It is quite light for getting in and out of the car and the battery is very light which for me was the biggest selling point. It also charges up fairly quickly. The only problems i have had has been the rear tyres . The left one started to slide off the wheel after about 3 months. I had it replaced  and it has been fine since then.   However, last month the right rear tyre did the same thing, it also slid off the wheel so I had to get that replaced. Fortunately I had just renewed the warranty so it didn't cost me anything. When using my scooter I do try to keep on good surfaces and not too steep inclines but now and again you don't have a choice in some places. Apart from that I love the scooter and would recommend it.  When I bought mine it was the only one I could find with a decent battery for long distances so I didn't have a lot of choice.  I have since bought another battery(airsafe) so that I can take it on a airplane.  The airsafe battery only does 6 miles but you can take two on a plane so I have ordered another one as 6 miles isn't enough some days.
               
    Hope this helps, please feel free to ask any further questions.
    Tommy
  • lordterrarzlordterrarz Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Tommy, thank you for the prompt reply.
    I have a Pride Go Go Traveller which I use mainly on paths and sometime visit country fairs and houses which means travelling on short grass (dry) and gravel. However the Go Go has become electronically unreliable. I have on loan a Pride Apex Rapid, with suspension, which using the small 12ah battery it's totally underpowered for my purposes. The weighty 17ah battery it comes with, is a backbreaker and is a no go for my pit mechanic wife! Hence my keen interest in the Li-Tech Marathon which seems to have everything I require in theory. Naturally I was a little disappointed to read about the wheel/tyre problem.
    Would you describe the Marathon build as delicate or robust, and do you think it will cope with a bit of rough uneven ground for time to time?
    Finally you mentioned that the tyres slipping of the rim was dealt with under warranty, was that undertaken by the Li-Tech or Careco and did they come to you or you to them?
    I look forward to hearing from you
    Regards
    Terry
  • david235david235 Member Posts: 170 Pioneering
    I have no experience with the Li-Tech Marathon, though I and other family members have bought other equipment from CareCo. CareCo are often good value for the products that they sell.


    Your statutory rights of satisfactory quality, fitness for purpose etc. under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 are with the retailer. Any warranty cover from the manufacturer is in addition to these rights. As such, I would get back to CareCo with any quality issues that arise. If they refer you to the manufacturer that does not absolve CareCo of the responsibility to deal with any unhandled issues.

    If you have a credit card, it is best to buy your scooter on the credit card. That way, the credit card company is jointly and severally liable for any legal claims you have against the retailer in respect of the scooter (under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974), as it is an item with a cash price of between £100 and £30,000.

    CareCo do not have 'in house' service engineers - they recommend a partner company who I guess they instruct to handle any warranty repairs (you would have to ask). You are free to use other companies to service products bought from CareCo - even parts for CareCo exclusive products are usually readily available to the trade. My partner got a better deal and faster service from a different service company to that which CareCo recommend.


    One thing to watch with Lithium Ion batteries is that they deteriorate based primarily on the number of cycles (the deeper you discharge them, the more they deteriorate - it is always best to recharge a Lithium Ion battery before using it again if possible) but also on time since manufacture. With Lithium Ion powered laptops you often reckon on three years being the point where the battery is significantly aged. The Lithium Ion powered scooter from CareCo that my partner had lasted 3.5 years on its original battery before that battery failed completely, presumably because one of the cells failed. It cost around £300 for a new battery.

    My recommendation is that you plan on replacing any Lithium Ion mobility batteries at least every three years and try to budget accordingly.


    When it comes to selecting products, think carefully about any product that you have to dismantle to get in your car because this can be a lengthy and tiring process, also it can leave you with several large items that are difficult to secure. CareCo and their competitors do sell some folding scooters, some of which have suitcases for air travel (airlines are not exactly known for handling mobility equipment gently!). The disadvantage of folding scooters is that you have to lift the entire weight in one go.

    Having the ability to remove the battery for charging can be very useful.


    Be aware that several products are available under different brands at sometimes quite different prices, especially products manufactured in the far east. For example, the Li-Tech Marathon and the Lithilite Pro appear to be the same scooter other than colour and perhaps a few cosmetic details. There might be differences in specification - for example one might have a faster battery charger than the other - I could not say. Just be aware when you are looking that there might actually be fewer options than the lengthy list of products suggests.
  • lordterrarzlordterrarz Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Thank you David for such  thorough and enlightening comments concerning Care-co's operation and your experience of lithium batteries and of course, Sec 75 implications. I really appreciate the effort and time and food for thought you have given me.
    Best regards
    Terry 
  • SpennyladSpennylad Member Posts: 13 Connected
    Hi Terry,  
    The scooter is fine for occasional off road use. I would describe it as a delicate scooter and i normally stick to good surfaces whenever possible. It is fine for grass, i often go to our local park and it has no problems.  On gravel it works o.k. and the suspension helps on that occasion. The only issue on gravel is if you attempt an incline the wheels sometimes skid. The smaller wheels on this scooter are mainly meant for good surfaces, however, I have always got where I needed to go. 

    The warranty was supplied by Careco and they send an engineer to you.  When I had the first wheel problem they arranged for an engineer to come to my house, however, this took a few days to arrange and when he arrived he thought the wheel had been delivered to me but in fact he should have brought it.  Subsequently I asked for the wheel to be delivered overnight and I fit it myself, i didn't want to wait another few days.   When I had the second wheel problem I just asked Careco to send the wheel to me but unfortunately they sent the wrong one so it took a few days before I finally got the right one and fitted it myself.  

    Careco stores and the sales staff are very good and helpful, but unfortunately I can't say the same for customer service.  They are not very responsive and if you have a problem they are not quick to respond.  I do not use my scooter all the time, only for longer distances, so I can manage without it for a day or two but my concern now is if I have a more serious problem e.g. with the motor, it may take quite a while to resolve.  As they use third party engineers sometimes they are not available in my area for at least a week. 

    Having said all that I do love the scooter.  It is easy to assemble/disassemble and my wife can lift the pieces in and out of the car on her own if I can't help at the time.  The battery is very light so is easy to take in and out of the house for charging. The airsafe battery you can literally lift with one finger, it is that light.

     Regards,
    Tommy
  • SpennyladSpennylad Member Posts: 13 Connected
    David, 
    Thanks for your informative post especially the bit about the battery.

    Regards,
    Tommy

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