Even if you are a regular wheelchair or mobility scooter user, you may not be aware of the different classes of wheelchair & mobility scooter. There are different rules that apply to each different class of wheelchair and mobility scooter, so it is important you understand what class you have, and your obligations.
In the UK, mobility scooters and wheelchairs are collectively known as ‘invalid carriages’, and each is allocated a different class between 1 to 3, depending on its capabilities. Below is a helpful guide to help you understand the differences between each of the classes, as well as any rules and obligations you need to know.
Class 1 Wheelchairs
Class 1 invalid carriages are manual wheelchairs. Manual wheelchairs are either self-propelled by the user or attendant-propelled, and are not motorised. On pavements and pedestrianised areas, users should not exceed 4 mph.
The unladen weight of a class 1 wheelchair should not exceed 113.4 kilograms.
Class 2 Wheelchairs & Mobility Scooters
Class 2 invalid carriages are powered wheelchairs and mobility scooters that are capable of reaching a maximum speed of 4 mph. They are allowed to be driven on pavements and pedestrianised areas, and are not required to be registered with the DVLA.
Class 2 invalid carriages cannot be used on roads, except where pavement isn’t available.
The unladen weight of a class 2 powered wheelchair or mobility scooter should not exceed 113.4 kilograms.
Class 3 Wheelchairs & Mobility Scooters
Class 3 invalid carriages are powered wheelchairs and mobility scooters that can exceed 4 mph. These carriages are permitted on certain roads, as long as they are registered with the DVLA. Class 3 scooters and wheelchairs can be driven on pavements and pedestrianised areas, but must not exceed 4 mph in these areas.
When driven on roads, class 3 scooters and wheelchairs have a speed limit of 8mph. They must be fitted with a speed limiter, which restricts the speed to 4mph for pavement use. They must also have an audible horn, rear view mirror, front and rear lights, reflectors. You may be stopped by police if your scooter does not have these items fitted.
Class 3 carriages can be used on most roads, but users must not use bus lanes, ‘cycle only’ lanes and motorways. Dual carriageways can only be used when a flashing amber light is fitted and working.
The unladen weight of a class 3 mobility scooter or powerchair should not exceed 150kg.
Rules that apply to All Classes of Mobility Scooter & Wheelchair
Normal parking restrictions apply to scooters and wheelchairs. They should not be left on a footpath or pedestrian area on its own if it gets in the way of other pedestrians, including other wheelchair users and people with prams or pushchairs.
There are no legal eyesight requirements, but users should be able to read a car registration plate at 12.3m (40 feet). You may need to pay compensation if you have an accident and poor eyesight was the cause.
If your carriage is fitted with a horn, you must not use it when stationary, unless in times of danger.
Invalid carriage users should have a full and unobstructed view of the path ahead, including any vehicles, traffic or pedestrians.
Use of Class 2 & Class 3 Mobility Scooters or Powerchairs?
According to UK law, you can only drive a mobility scooter or powered wheelchair if you:
– have trouble walking because of an injury, physical disability or medical condition
– are demonstrating the vehicle before it is sold
– are training a disabled user
– are taking the vehicle to or from maintenance or repair
Additional Information on the Different Classes