When you are in the market for a mobility scooter, whether it be for the first time or for an upgrade, one of the many questions that you may ask yourself is how fast does it go?
We’ve done some research and found most average mobility scooters have a top speed anywhere from 4 mph up to around 18 mph. However there are some models which are a little slower than this, and top speeds can be impacted by everything from the terrain you’re driving on, to rider weight, battery life, and wind conditions.
Read on to find out how fast different models are, how they compare to each other, and how they fare in context to speeds that you may need.
How Fast Are Mobility Scooters?
With the differing speeds that are available, it is imperative that you find the right one for you. The average speed for a mobility scooter sits at around 4mph which is comfortable without feeling overwhelming for the operator. However speeds can vary from 4mph up to a range of 18mph. That is a huge difference.
The fastest model we’ve found is the E-Wheels EW36 which we reviewed in our Best Outdoor Mobility Scooters article.
Why is top speed important? If a mobility scooter is your main mode of transport, you certainly will not want a slower model. If the terrain you are traveling daily needs speed and power in order to negotiate it, you may require a faster model. The other issue that needs consideration with this question is where you live. Some countries and states have differing laws surrounding mobility scooters. These are all things that need careful thought as the answers may impact on the model that you purchase.
When speed is being considered, we must also seriously look at who is operating the scooter and reaction times. If you imagine a scooter that can travel at 18mph being driven by an elderly person against the same scooter operated by a younger person, it is obvious that reaction times will differ. It is for this reason that some companies have a standard speed set.
Comparison to walking pace
Average walking pace is deemed to be around 2-3 miles per hour so even some of the lowest speed scooters will instantly put the rider at an advantage but with minimal risk. However, with that thought in mind, is it a safe speed?
Comparison to a slow moving car
In New York, June 2019, the speed of a slow moving vehicle was increased. New York vehicle and traffic law previously stated that a slow moving vehicle cannot exceed 25mph. That has now been increased to 39mph.
Compare a mobility scooter to this. Even at the previous lower range of 25mph, the slow moving vehicle still is superior to the highest speed of mobility scooter.
Popular Mobility Scooter Speeds Compared
Mobility Scooter – Infographic
Which is the fastest mobility scooter?
Most of the scooters in our table sit at a comfortable 4 – 10 mph, but there is one that is quite a bit faster. The EW36 will add another four miles per hour and take you to just over 18 mph. However we must remember, just because a scooter can go a certain speed does not necessarily mean it is safe to do so.
What’s a safe speed for a mobility scooter?
What is a safe speed could be determined as a very open ended question seeing as there are many factors at play in that decision. It depends on many factors such as:
- Capability of the scooter
- Operator of the scooter
- Reaction times
In Australia in 2017, Senator John Williams pushed for a reduction in the speed limit of the mobility scooter following serious injury to his wife in a collision on a footpath with a mobility scooter. The accident had resulted in his wife needing surgery for a fractured hip. While it was unsuccessful at the time, “safe speed” will always remain a concern.
A safe speed for a mobility scooter appears to be different wherever you are. Australia permits you a top speed of 25mph. Germany allows you 20kph, but with other rules to manage this safely. The USA allows 15mph in certain states alongside the mandatory wearing of a helmet.
With that information, we can understand why there is no “standard” mobility scooter that is legal in every country.
How fast are the free mobility scooters at Walmart?
Walmart’s website tells us that they are capable of a top speed of 15mph and will do 21mph on a single charge. The speed has been reduced in store to aid in the prevention of injury.
Mobility scooters are a complex piece of machinery. With all of the questions that you ask yourself on purchase, having to consider speed on top of that, can be overwhelming. Take your time. Do your research about what you may need your scooter to do. The most important thing to remember…speed is not always good!