Throughout the UK, mobility scooters are becoming an increasingly popular way for less mobile people to travel around. With the increase in mobility scooter sales and users, there has also been an increase in the number of mobility scooter thefts.
Why would thieves steal a mobility scooter?
The average value of a new mobility scooter is over £1,000, with top models fetching as much as £5,000. Even second hand, many scooters often sell for lucrative sums.
Compared to other vehicles, such as a car or motorbike, mobility scooters are relatively light and portable. Even larger class 3 scooters must legally weigh less than 150kg. The lighter weights enable thieves to quickly and easily load them into vans or trailers, and simply drive away.
Whilst security features are growing in popularity, many current mobility scooter models do not include built-in security features. There are a number of alarms and devices that can be added to a mobility scooter, but this increases costs, and they often aren’t as reliable as built-in security systems.
Unlike a motor vehicle, which has a unique vehicle identification number (VIN), mobility scooters do not have the same legislation and registration requirements. Whilst this makes it easier and faster to buy, sell and use a scooter, it does also reduce the traceability of a scooter that is stolen and resold. Your scooter will most likely include a unique serial number, that is used for registering your warranty or taking out an insurance policy.
The high sale values, portability and lack of security make mobility scooters a target for thieves, but with a few theft prevention practices, you can reduce the risk of your scooter being targeted.
Due to an increase in the number of mobility scooter thefts, police around the nation are asking users to be vigilante, and take precautions to help keep your scooter safe. Below are a few theft prevention ideas.
Do not leave your scooter on show. Mobility scooters are great for getting around town, to and from your favourite shops and restaurants, but there will be times when you are unable to take your scooter inside, and will have to leave it unattended. Whenever possible, try to leave the scooter somewhere safe, where it is less likely to become a target for thieves. When at home, to park it away from the road, so it is not visible to passing cars and pedestrians.
Remove the key. Most mobility scooters will come with a key. Remember to remove the key every time you step away from your scooter, even if you will only be gone for a few moments. If you leave the key in, and your mobility scooter is stolen, some insurers may not pay for a replacement, so it is important that you always remove the key.
Consider an alarm. Alarms are becoming more common on newer mobility scooters, but if your scooter does not have one, they can be easily added for extra security. Most mobility scooter alarms are relatively cheap, starting at around £30, and can help deter a potential thief from stealing your scooter.
Secure your scooter. If you are going to be leaving your scooter unattended for period of time (such as overnight), try to leave it in your garage, shed or indoors. Another alternative is a mobility scooter garage, which helps protect your scooter from thieves and the weather. Scooter garages are available in a range of different styles and sizes, to suit most locations, mobility scooters and requirements.
Insuring & Protecting your Mobility Scooter
All mobility scooter owners should take precautions and remain vigilant. However, if you are the victim of theft, below are few ideas to ensure your scooter is replaced, and your finances are protected.
There are a number of specialist mobility scooter insurance providers in the UK. These policies are designed to protect your scooter from theft, as well as providing public liability in case you have an accident and damage a person or property. There are many add on services that you can include, such as breakdown cover, lost key replacement and puncture repair.
Most mobility scooter thefts occur at home. A great way to ensure your valuable mobility scooter is quickly replaced if you fall victim to theft, is to ensure it is included in your home and contents insurance. Most home insurance providers cover mobility aids and equipment, such as mobility scooters, but it is always a great idea to check with your insurer to make sure it is covered.
Has your mobility scooter been stolen?
If your mobility scooter has been stolen, call the police on 101. They will be able to assist you, and hopefully track down its whereabouts and have it returned. If you have insurance, contact your insurer as soon as possible and provide as much information as you can to ensure you can have a replacement scooter supplied as quickly as possible.
Do you have any more suggestions, insights or information about mobility scooter theft? Please get in touch and share your knowledge!