Drive Medical Scout | Best Value Portable Mobility Scooter
Amazon

The Best Portable Mobility Scooters You Can Buy

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Drive Medical Scout | Best Value Portable Mobility Scooter
Amazon

Keep on Movin'

Cheapism Choice–Best Mobility ScootersPortable and travel mobility scooters are designed for active adults who may have difficulty walking distances but don't require a wheelchair. Traditionally, they have been sold by medical-supply companies, but these days you can also buy them on Amazon (although models from established brands such as Drive, Pride Mobility, and Golden Technologies tend to be sold via third-party retailers, not Amazon itself). Unfortunately for consumers, while there is no shortage of models available, there aren't many reliable, independent reviews of portable and travel mobility scooters online, making it difficult to determine the best models. To supplement those few reviews worth consulting and make our picks, we examined consumer feedback on top-selling models on Amazon and scrutinized scooters for key safety and convenience features that experts and owners alike say are important.


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Medicare
Bill Oxford/istockphoto

Will Medicare Pay for a Travel Mobility Scooter?

Scooters aren't cheap; they range in price from as little as $600 to $2,500 or more. The good news is that Medicare will cover the majority of the cost of many portable mobility scooters, although you need a physician's written referral. Specifically, Medicare Part B will pay for 80% of the amount of an approved portable mobility scooter that qualifies as durable medical equipment. You're responsible for the remaining 20% once you've met your annual deductible. 


It's worth noting that some scooters (typically more powerful models) require the vendor to receive prior authorization from Medicare before the transaction can be fulfilled. Medicare publishes a list of mobility scooters and power wheelchairs that require such approval on its website. None of the models in this report requires Medicare preapproval.


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Electric scooter as a background
Togapix/istockphoto

Things to Consider Before Buying a Mobility Scooter

  • How much you weigh: All of the scooters in this review have a maximum capacity of at least 275 pounds, but some can carry people weighing 350 pounds or more. 

  • The seat: The largest seat among the scooters we reviewed is 19 inches wide; the narrowest, 16 inches. Consider whether you want armrests (and whether those armrests can flip up or out of your way) or a seat that can swivel to make it easier to get in and out.

  • The dimensions, both assembled and folded: Portable and travel mobility scooters are designed to fold and/or be partly disassembled. Some are compact enough to fit in a car trunk (a few can even be carried with one hand), while others may require a trunk lift or will need to be checked as luggage on an airline.

  • How you plan to use it: Most scooters have a cruising range of about 5 to 20 miles. Look for a scooter with four wheels and ground clearance of 2 inches or greater if you plan to use your scooter primarily outdoors on grass, trails, rough pavement, etc. If you plan to use your scooter only indoors or on smooth outdoor surfaces, a three-wheel model should suffice. 

  • Three wheels or four? Three-wheel models can turn corners on a dime, giving them an advantage in tight indoor spaces, but they're also not as stable as four-wheel models, especially on uneven surfaces. Regardless of the model you choose, look for a turning radius of less than 60 inches; otherwise, you may have difficulty maneuvering in doorways and elevators, according to manufacturer Pride Mobility. 

  • Accessories: As with bicycles, mobility scooters can be tricked out with any number of add-ons for convenience, such as front and rear cargo baskets and bags, cup holders, phone mounts, and front and rear LED lights.

Buzzaround CarryOn: Best Portable Mobility Scooter
Spin Life

Buzzaround CarryOn: Best Portable Mobility Scooter

$2,049 from SpinLife

Cheapism Choice–Best Mobility Scooter OverallShop Now


Cruising range: Up to 18 miles

Weight limit: 300 pounds

Maximum speed: 3.6 mph

Scooter weight: 65 pounds


You'll find this Golden Technologies model at the high end of the mobility scooter price range. With the seat removed, it can fold down to 12 inches in height for storage beneath a bed or in a closet. This four-wheel scooter has a ground clearance of 4 inches, double that of most scooters and high enough to avoid road debris or bottoming out on an incline. Another plus: The padded seat is 19 inches wide, the largest of any scooter in our review. With the seat removed and the scooter folded, it can fit into the trunk of many cars, but the deck still weighs nearly 48 pounds, requiring a fair amount of strength. Owner feedback is next to nonexistent for this model, but the few reviews we did find were uniformly positive. A cup holder is standard, as is a USB port for a phone; detachable cargo pouches for the armrest and seat back are optional.


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HandyScoot: Best Portable Mobility Scooter Runner-Up
Electric Wheelchairs USA

HandyScoot: Best Portable Mobility Scooter Runner-Up

$2,295 from Electric Wheelchairs USA

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Cruising range: Up to 12 miles

Weight limit: 350 pounds

Maximum speed: 9 mph

Scooter weight: 42 pounds


Got a need for speed? The HandyScoot can hit up to 9 mph, faster than any other mobility scooter in our roundup, and it's also relatively lightweight. At more than $2,000, the HandyScoot is one of the pricier three-wheel mobility scooters in our review. For that price, you get a very high maximum weight limit, a very tight turning radius (just 26 inches) that makes maneuvering indoors easy, and decent ground clearance (3 inches in back, 4.5 inches up front). It comes with a detachable wire cargo basket for the front, as well as a small headlight (something not all scooters offer). The stainless-steel frame doesn't fold quite as compactly as some other models, however. With the seat removed, it's about 17 inches in height, too large to slip beneath a bed.

Drive Medical Scout | Best Value Portable Mobility Scooter
Amazon

Drive Medical Scout: Best Value Portable Mobility Scooter

$799 from Amazon

Cheapism Choice–Best Value Mobility ScooterShop Now


Cruising range: Up to 15 miles

Weight limit: 300 pounds

Maximum speed4.25 mph

Scooter weight: 78 pounds


Of all the portable mobility scooters in this roundup, the Drive Medical Scout garners the most consumer reviews on Amazon, making it (somewhat) easier to determine how it performs under real-world conditions. For many, the appeal is the low price and the added stability of four wheels over like-priced three-wheel models. For others, it's the relative ease of assembly and portability for travel. As with other cheaper travel mobility scooters we examined, a minority of owners complain of insufficient legroom or handlebars that aren't well positioned for comfort. But a majority of consumer feedback is very positive, with about 1,500 reviewers returning an average score of 4.5 stars out of 5. The front cargo basket and headlight are standard.

AtomTrike | Best Portable Mobility Scooter for Distance and Speed
Electric Wheelchairs USA

AtomTrike: Best Portable Mobility Scooter for Distance and Speed

$2,499 from Electric Wheelchairs USA

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Cruising range: Up to 24 miles

Weight limit: 285 pounds

Maximum speed: 7.7 mph

Scooter weight: 34 pounds


The look of the American-made AtomTrike is unique among the portable mobility scooters we researched. The aluminum and steel frame weighs just 34 pounds, making it one of the lightest scooters in this comparison. With the seat removed, it can be folded and carried in one hand. It also has an exceptionally long cruising range, although as with all rechargeable portability scooters, real-world range will vary depending on the weight of the rider and where they're using the scooter. Unlike some scooters that can be tricked out with myriad options from canopies to baskets, the only two attachments AtomTrike offers are a wire basket for the front and a leather pouch to hold small belongings such as a phone or keys.


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TravelScoot Shopper | Best Lightweight Portable Mobility Scooter
TravelScoot

TravelScoot Shopper: Best Lightweight Portable Mobility Scooter

$2,455 from TravelScoot

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Cruising range: Up to 12 miles

Weight limit: 320 pounds

Maximum speed: 2.3 mph

Scooter weight: 26 pounds


The TravelScoot is the most lightweight mobility scooter in our roundup, yet it has a far higher rider weight limit (320 pounds) than the other lightweight model we recommend, the AtomTrike. Its portability and weight are its main appeals; unlike other scooters, the Shopper doesn't come with any attachments or accessories like cup holders, cargo baskets, or USB outlets. The company also makes a Shopper Junior model for children and adults between 55 and 65 inches in height; the seat can be adjusted to accommodate smaller people, as well.

EV Rider Transport Plus | Best
Amazon

EV Rider Transport Plus: Best Compact Folding Portable Scooter

$1,499 from Amazon

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Cruising range: Up to 15 miles

Weight limit: 250 pounds

Maximum speed: 4 mph

Scooter weight: 70 pounds


The EV Rider splits the difference between three-wheel mobility scooters and most four-wheel models, with front wheels mounted close together to improve the turning radius and a frame that folds compactly and can be toted like a large wheeled suitcase. For most owners who have left feedback, being able to fold and store the scooter in a closet or in the trunk of a car is the main selling point. As with other compact mobility scooters, the frame may be uncomfortable for taller people, according to some comments we read. Also, the EV Rider lacks convenience features like a cargo basket and cup holder.

Pride Mobility Travel Pro Premium | Best Budget Travel Mobility Scooter
Amazon

Pride Mobility Travel Pro Premium: Best Budget Travel Mobility Scooter

$649 from SpinLife

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Cruising range: Up to 6.7 miles

Weight limit: 275 pounds

Maximum speed: 4 mph

Scooter weight: 92 pounds


An inexpensive three-wheeled portable mobility scooter like this one is good for at-home use and limited outdoor jaunts, according to buyer feedback. Like other three-wheeled scooters, this model has a fairly tight turning radius (32.5 inches), but some owners say the lack of a fourth wheel makes it unstable, especially on rough pavement. Most Amazon customers say the scooter is easy to assemble and tote in the trunk of a car; it breaks down into five components, the heaviest weighing 27 pounds. The battery pack, located on the scooter platform beneath the seat, may be difficult to remove for people who have trouble bending over. A plastic cargo basket, cup holder, detachable saddle bag, and headlight are standard.