Powered and Electric Wheelchairs

There is a lot of choice when buying an electric wheelchair. Whether you need outdoor and travel capabilities, or just need a powered chair to get around your house, we will help you choose the best electric wheelchair for your needs. 

Buy Electric Wheelchairs in the UK

Types of Motorised Wheelchairs

There are a number of different types of powered wheelchair available to buy in the UK. Each different type has differing features, support, and capabilities, as explained below.

Indoor Electric Wheelchairs – These chairs are designed to allow the user to easily move throughout a home or indoor space. They are extremely agile,

Outdoor Electric Wheelchairs – As the name suggests, these wheelchairs are created to work great in outdoor environments. They normally have larger tyres and can sit higher than a traditional chair.

Standing Wheelchairs – Whilst similar to a normal powerchair, the user remains in a supported standing position, rather than being seated. Most standing powerchairs provide both standing and seated functionality.

Travel/Compact Electric Wheelchairs – With similar capabilities to a standard chair, travel electric wheelchairs are often lighter and can be compacted down to a much smaller size, making them easier to transport.

Power Assist Wheelchairs – These attachable accessories enable a manual wheelchair frame to have motorised capabilities. This provides the user with the option of both battery power and manual wheelchair maneuverability.

Mid Wheel Powered Wheelchair

Configuration Options

As well as the different types of wheelchairs available, there are also differences in the drive of many motorised wheelchairs. Below is an overview of how each type works.

Rear Wheel Drive Wheelchairs: Chairs that are powered through the rear wheels deliver stable power during outdoor and uneven floor use. They generally offer rugged suspension, fast speeds and many drive controls.

Mid Wheel Drive Wheelchairs: These chairs normally feature 6 wheels, and power is delivered by the middle larger wheels. They are ideal for indoor use, and provide the smallest possible turning circle, allowing for easy navigation in tight spaces.

Front Wheel Drive Wheelchairs: Powered front wheels provide greater power when climbing rougher outdoor terrain, such as climbing kerbs. They also have a smaller turning circle than rear powered chairs, and without front castors, users can move in closer to desks and objects than with other powered chairs.

Another option is a Power Assisted wheelchair. These are small electric motorised attachments that are attached to manual wheelchairs. They help drive the wheels, and make manual wheelchairs easier to propel.

Power Assisted Wheelchair

Scooters vs Electric Wheelchairs

Despite having the shared purpose of easily moving users from one location to another, there are a number of differences between scooters and electric powered wheelchairs. The main difference is the type of users each is designed to transport. Electric wheelchairs are typically used by those who would otherwise need a manual wheelchair, whilst scooters are common with users who can walk short distances, but need assistance with longer journeys.

Motorised wheelchairs are available in both indoor and outdoor varieties, however most scooters are only designed for outdoor use. Scooters are larger, and require more space to manoeuvre, which makes them unsuitable for most indoor domestic use. Power chairs are small enough to fit within narrow door frames, and typically turn on the spot.

In terms of pricing, scooters and powered chairs have similar costs depending on the functions and features. Basic models cost the least, whilst those with advanced features and extras cost more.

Scooter vs Powered Wheelchairs

Used Motorised Wheelchairs

There are a number of specialist stores that sell used and refurbished mobility equipment, such as scooters, wheelchairs, etc. These providers are a great option for anyone looking to purchase a cheap electric wheelchair.

It is always a good idea to test the equipment before committing to a purchase. Most reputable used mobility shops will provide a warranty or guarantee for their equipment, ensuring that it will remain in good working condition throughout the warranty period.

Find out more about buying an electric wheelchair second hand.

Powerchair Benefits

Electric wheelchairs enable users can retain their mobility and independence. There are a number of benefits available, such as:

  • Tight turning circle
  • Outdoor capabilities
  • Long range and fast speeds
  • Electrically adjustable seat height

  • User-friendly controls
  • Comfortable seating
  • Superior support

  • Tight turning circle
  • Outdoor capabilities
  • Long range and fast speeds
  • Electrically adjustable seat height
  • User-friendly controls
  • Comfortable seating
  • Superior support

Buy Motorised Wheelchair UK

A Few Considerations

When buying an electric wheelchair, it is important to ensure that you pick the right chair for your needs and lifestyle. Below are few considerations and questions that may be useful.

Before starting your search, it is a good idea to consider how much you would like to spend. Some powerchairs can cost thousands, so if you have a limited budget, it may be a good idea to consider a second hand or ex-display electric wheelchair.

As well as buying a new chair, you may also want to extend the warranty, take out insurance or buy some accessories. These can all increase the total cost of buying your powered wheelchair, so should be considered when determining your budget.

Electric wheelchairs are available with a range of different features, making them suitable for different requirements. It is important to determine what you will need your chair to do, as an indoor powered wheelchair may not be well suited to rougher outdoor surfaces.

Consider where you will be using your chair most. You may need a chair capable of getting through the tight areas of your house, or perhaps an outdoor chair that can easily tackle outdoor terrain.

Chairs are available in a range of different styles and designs. If you can, why not try the chair before buying? Some retailers allow you to take your chair for a test drive to ensure that it is comfortable and suitable for your needs.

If you will be travelling longer distances, you may require a chair that has a longer range and will allow you to travel at a faster cruising speed.

Electric Wheelchair Accessories

Once you have chosen the right chair for your needs, there are a number of accessories available. Whether you are looking to improve comfort, or increase functionality, you can find the perfect addition for your chair. Some chairs come with these features as standard, but if not, simply add them yourself.

You can add extra comfort to your chair with specially designed cushions, headrests and leg supports. You can also help secure yourself in place with a safety lap belt, and ensure you are seen at night with added headlights.

The functionality of your chair can also be improved, with the addition of storage bags and cases. Ramps can be used to access areas that would otherwise be inaccessible. With a weatherproof cover, you can keep the important electrics dry if you get caught out in the rain.

 

Electric Wheelchairs UK

“Buying an electric wheelchair was not only a scary decision, but also a big expense, but thanks to the great information provided on Mobility UK, I was able to find the perfect chair for my needs. You have put together a great resource, and I am sure that many have appreciated the detailed guides and information you have compiled.”
Matt Lowings

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are a selection of the most frequently asked questions about powered and electric wheelchairs.

Prices for powered wheelchairs vary greatly, often starting at £700 and increasing to more than £3,000. There are a number of factors that influence the costs of electric wheelchairs, such as the capabilities, drive type, range and functions.

Low Cost Motorised Wheelchairs

The most basic motorised chairs offer the best prices. They generally have limited functions, and are best suited to indoor use. The speed and total range of lower cost models is often more limited than higher end chairs.

If you only have a limited budget, you may want to consider a used powered chair. There are many reputable suppliers of refurbished and second hand chairs, with some even offering a warranty for your peace of mind.

Premium Powerchairs

If you have a larger budget to spend on a motorised chair, there are many great features on offer. These chairs offer superior range and speed capabilities, but are also designed to provide the user with greater comfort, thanks to added support and upgraded suspension.

There are also more functions available, such as the ability to adjust height and incline of the chair, as well as other safety inclusions, such as seatbelts and headlights.

Power Assisted Chairs

If you are simply looking to add power assist to your current wheelchair, the prices are often far cheaper. Attachable power assist systems can cost as little as a few hundred pounds. Whilst this type of powered chair is cheaper, they also have limited controls and capabilities compared to a purpose made chair.

Almost all powered wheelchairs sold in the UK will come with a warranty. Generally, the warranty will be at least 12 months from the purchase date. We strongly recommend you check the warranty for your chair before proceeding with a purchase.

If you are considering buying a second hand chair from a reseller, check with them what warranty they offer. Many second hand mobility providers sell their equipment with a warranty.

If you suffer from a long-term illness or are disabled, you may be eligible. If you meet any of the following criteria, you can claim VAT relief:

  • you have a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial adverse effect upon your ability to carry out everyday activities
  • you have a condition that the medical profession treats as a chronic illness, such as rheumatoid arthritis
  • you are terminally ill

If you meet the above criteria, you will be able to purchase an electric wheelchair with VAT relief.