Under UK law, mobility scooter owners do not need insurance or a licence to use the vehicle, which is surprising considering it is legal for some types of class three mobility scooter to be used on the road and on dual carriageways.
In recent years there has been a massive growth spurt in mobility scooter use, which has been fuelled in the main by a change in attitudes towards mobility scooters and also by falling prices. To put this into some sort of perspective, a mobility scooter that would have cost £5000 five years ago, now costs as little as £1000.
As the volume of mobility scooters on our streets and pavements increases, is it time that mobility scooter insurance became compulsory? Although deaths and injuries caused by mobility scooters are mercifully rare, what about accidental damage to other vehicles?
Meanwhile the laws are somewhat confusing. Mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs fall into two categories – class two and class three. Class two invalid carriages are not permitted on roads (except where there is no pavement) and have a maximum speed of 4mph. Class three invalid carriages, however, can be used on the road and have a top speed of 8mph on the road and 4mph on pavements. Riders of both classes do not need a licence or insurance. Mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs of both classes are not allowed on paths marked as “cycle only”.
There is no legal eyesight requirement to drive the vehicles, though the Government says riders should be able to read a car’s registration number from a distance of 12.3 metres (40 ft). Frankly the laws are somewhat baffling and confusing. Although for elderly and disabled, there should be an exemption from road tax, surely the time has come for all mobility scooters to be required by law to be fully insured? Let us know your thoughts, views and opinions in the Reply Box below.