Everything You Need To Know About Mobility Scooter Laws

Everything You Need To Know About Mobility Scooter Laws

Mobility scooters is ideal for disabled people / those with limited mobility who still want independence as they provide a convenient way to travel short distances and complete daily tasks. However, there are laws and legal requirements that govern the use of mobility scooters.

In this blog, you’ll find out everything you need to know about the laws and regulations affecting different types of mobility scooters to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you.

How are mobility scooters legally classified?

In law, mobility scooters, electric wheelchairs and powerchairs are considered ‘invalid carriages’, which are broken into two main categories; class 2 and class 3, with the latter being road-legal. 

What is a Class 2 Mobility Scooter? 

Class 2 mobility scooters have a maximum speed limit of 4mph, and can only be used on the pavement (unless it has been blocked or you are crossing the road). 

Class 2 mobility scooters tend to be lightweight, portable, and often foldable, designed with short journeys in mind such as a food shop or family outings. You do not need a license to use it, nor does it require registering.

What is a Class 3 Mobility Scooter?

Class 3 mobility scooters have a maximum speed of 8mph and are suitable for pavement (at 4mph) and road use, including dual carriageways (with amber hazards on). Whilst they do not require a license, it's a good idea to familiarise yourself with the highway code so you know proper road safety including street signs and how to spot potential hazards. 

They cannot be used on cycle lanes, bus lanes or motorways, and while they can be used on dual carriageways, it’s best to avoid ones with a limit greater than 50mph as it is dangerous to both you and other road users. It’s also a good idea to avoid driving on winding country roads as you will be hard to spot for both oncoming drivers and those behind you.

Class 3 mobility scooters require registering with the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency); by filling out a V55/4 for new vehicles or V55/5 for used vehicles. 

The UK government has set out rules you are required to follow when using a class 3 scooter, which include: 

  • Maximum unladen weight of 150kg (or 200kg when carrying necessary user equipment such as medical supplies). Unladen weight is also known as tare weight and is how much the scooter weighs when empty. 
  • Maximum width of 0.85 metres
  • Be able to limit its speed to 4mph for pavements
  • Travel at a maximum speed of 8mph on the road
  • Efficient braking system
  • Front and rear lights and reflectors
  • Direction indicators able to operate as a hazard warning signal
  • An audible horn
  • A rear view mirror
  • An amber flashing light for use on a dual carriageway

Who can use a mobility scooter?

While you do not need a driver's license or mobility scooter insurance, you must be at least 14 years to use them. You must also fall into one of the following categories: 

  • Have difficulty walking due to injury, medical condition or physical disability
  • Be demonstrating the vehicle to someone who is purchasing or deciding to purchase it
  • Training a disabled user
  • Transporting the vehicle to, during or from maintenance or repair

Using a mobility scooter on public transport 

Mobility scooters tend to be fine on public transportation, often having priority sections towards the front allowing space for mobility aids. However, they should be class 2 scooters which are lightweight and small with dimensions of no more than 600mm width and 1000mm length. 

There are some instances where a permit or proof of disability is required, such as a blue badge. For example, when using Manchester's Metrolink tram service, you are required to have proof of disability and a valid permit showing it is within the size limit. This can vary between different cities and towns, so it’s best to visit your area’s local transportation website for further information.

When it comes to private hire services, such as Uber, they are usually happy to help load and unload your mobility aid, but it's important to keep in mind they are under no legal obligation to assist and can refuse to drive you. It's best to let your driver know as soon as possible, that way, they will cancel straight away or be happy to help out. 

Where Can I Park My Mobility Scooter?

There aren't any specific parking requirements when it comes to mobility scooters, however, rather you should use common sense. Don't park it anywhere where it where causes an obstruction to others (whether walking bystanders or other wheelchair users. This includes both footpaths and the road. Anywhere which may be considered to be a busy area is best to avoid as it can not only get in the way of others but also risk damage to your own scooter. 

In the modern day, you can expect most busy places, like amusement parks, to have dedicated areas where you can safely park your scooter, but it’s always best to check beforehand.



Can I get a speeding fine on a mobility scooter?

You can, in fact, there have been many instances where people receive fines for speeding on their mobility scooters. This includes going above 8mph on the road and 4mph on a pavement or indoor space such as a supermarket. It's best to avoid speeding on a mobility scooter as it's not only dangerous to you but also to others around you. 

What happens if I drink and drive on a mobility scooter?

Just like drinking and driving in a car, doing it on a mobility scooter risks the chances of causing serious injury to yourself and others. Whilst the punishment will not restrict your future use of a mobility scooter (as it's classified as a medical device and not a luxury), you can receive serious fines if you do it. 

What is considered a class 1 vehicle?

‘Class 1’ mobility vehicles are manual wheelchairs, which can only be used on the street unless the pathway has been blocked.

Can I use my mobility scooter in shops?

There is no law against using a mobility scooter in a shop; in fact, it's often advised if you have difficulties walking around for a long period of time. When doing so, it's best to have a small & compact scooter with a small turning radius that allows you to move around aisles with ease. 

It's important to note that whilst there is no law against it, there is also no law that requires entry, meaning the shop can deny you entry if they wish. This can often be the case in small shops with a small entrance, narrow aisle or tight corners that would otherwise make it difficult to move around freely and safely. 

How Fast Do Mobility Scooters Go? 

Mobility scooters are designed to go 8mph on the road and 4mph on the pavement. If you travel above these speeds, it can result in a fine. Some mobility scooters are restricted to 8mph, however, if you modify it to go above, you will often make your manufacturer warranty void in the process. 

Do I have to pay road tax or insurance for a mobility scooter?

You do not have to pay any tax or insurance for either class 2 or class 3 mobility scooters. 

Does my mobility scooter require an MOT?

Whilst yearly MOTs and services are not required for mobility scooters, the following required features can change break over time:

  • Be able to limit its speed to 4mph for pavements
  • Travel at a maximum speed of 8mph on the road
  • Efficient braking system
  • Front and rear lights and reflectors
  • Direction indicators able to operate as a hazard warning signal
  • An audible horn
  • A rear-view mirror
  • An amber flashing light 

If any of these features break, and you plan still plan on using it on the road, you should get it repaired by a technician as soon as possible.


Back to blog