If you use a mobility scooter, or are thinking of buying one, it is important that you understand the rules, laws and legal obligations involved. Below is a guide to what you need to know to ensure you comply with the road and pavement rules for mobility scooters.
Classes of Mobility Scooter
To understand what rules apply to you, it is important to understand what type of scooter you own. Mobility scooters come in 2 categories:
Class 2 Mobility Scooters: These can’t be used on roads (unless there is no pavement available), and have a maximum speed of 4 mph. Do not need to be registered.
Class 3 Mobility Scooters: These can be used on most roads, and have a maximum speed of 8mph on roads, or 4 mph when used on pavements or pedestrian areas. Must be registered to be used on roads. Users must be over 14 to drive a Class 3 scooter.
You can find out more about the different classes of mobility scooters here.
Registering Class 3 Mobility Scooters
If you want to drive your class 3 (5-8 mph) mobility scooter on the road, you will need to register it with the DVLA. There are no costs involved, and you do not need to pay any vehicle tax for mobility scooters. There are slightly different forms that you will need to fill in, depending on whether you purchase a new or used mobility scooter.
New Mobility Scooters: Complete form V55/4
Used Mobility Scooters: Complete form V55/5
Forms are available from the DVLA’s online ordering service.
Once complete, post to:
DVLA Swansea, SA99 1BE
If available, include evidence of your scooters age.
Mobility Scooter Insurance
You do not need insurance for a mobility scooter, even if you use it on a road. However, it is often recommended to consider insurance. You can find out more about mobility scooter insurance here.
Mobility Scooter Parking
All normal parking restrictions also apply to mobility scooters. Mobility scooters should not be left on a footpath, or other pedestrian area, if it will be in the way of other pedestrians, including prams, pushchairs and wheelchairs.
There are no legal eyesight requirements to drive a mobility scooter, but it is recommend that users can read a car registration number from 12.3m (40 feet). It is important to be aware that if you cause an accident, and poor eyesight was part of the cause, you may be liable to pay compensation.
Who can use a Mobility Scooter?
In the UK, there are rules about who can drive a mobility scooter that many people may not be aware exist. The official rules state that you can only drive a mobility scooter if you:
- have trouble walking as a result of injury, physical disability or medical condition
- are demonstrating the vehicle before it is sold
- are training a disabled user
- are taking the mobility scooter to or from maintenance of repair
With this in mind, it is important that you are cautious when allowing others to use your scooter.
Highway Code Rules for Mobility Scooter Users
There are a number of rules on the Highway Code that relate to mobility scooters (known as ‘invalid carriages’, along with powered wheelchairs). Below are the rules that you should know if you will be owning or driving a mobility scooter.
Rule 36 – There is 1 class of manual wheelchair (called a ‘Class 1 Invalid Carriage’), and two classes of powered wheelchair and mobility scooters). Manual wheelchairs and class 2 mobility scooters have an upper speed limit of 4 mph and are designed for use on pavements. Class 3 mobility scooters can have an upper speed limit of 8 mph, and can be used on the road as well as pavements.
Rule 37 – When on the road, you should obey the guidance and rules for other vehicles. When on the pavement, you should follow the guidance and rules for pedestrians.
Rule 38 – Pavements are safer for mobility scooters than roads, and should be used when available. You should give pedestrians priority and show consideration for other pavement users, particularly those with a hearing or visual impairment who may not be aware that you are there.
Rule 39 – Mobility Scooters must not travel faster than 4 mph (6 km/h) on pavements or pedestrian areas. You may need to reduce your speed to adjust to other pavement users who may not be able to move out of your way or where the pavement is too narrow.
Rule 40 – When moving off the pavement onto the road, you should take special care. Ensure that it is safe to join the traffic, before moving off. Always try to use a dropped kerb when moving off the pavement. If you have to climb or descend a kerb, always approach at right angles and don’t try to negotiate a kerb higher than the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Rule 41 – Take care when travelling on the road as your mobility scooter may be travelling slower than other vehicles, and may be less visible.
Rule 42 – When on the road, class 3 mobility scooters should travel in the same direction of the traffic. Class 2 mobility scooters should always use the pavement when it is available. When there is no pavement, you should use caution when on the road. Clas 2 users should travel in the same direction as the traffic. If travelling at night, lights must be used.
Rule 43 – You must follow the same rules about using lights, indicators and horns as for other road vehicles, if you mobility scooter is fitted with them. At night, lights must be used. Be aware that other road users may not see you and you should make yourself more visible, such as wearing a reflective jacket or adding reflective strips to your mobility scooter.
Rule 44 – Take extra care at road junctions. When going straight ahead, check to make sure there are no vehicles about to cross your path from the left, the right, or overtaking you and turning left. There are several options for dealing with right turns, especially turning from a major road. If moving into the middle of the road is difficult or dangerous, you can:
– stop on the left-hand side of the road and wait for a safe gap in the traffic
– negotiate the turn as a pedestrian, i.e. travel along the pavement and cross the road between pavements where it is safe to do so. Class 3 users should switch the vehicle to the lower speed limit when on pavements.
If the junction is too hazardous, it may be worth considering an alternative route. Similarly, when negotiating major roundabouts (i.e. with two or more lanes) it may be safer for you to use the pavement or find a route which avoids the roundabout altogether.
Rule 45 – All normal parking restrictions should be observed. Your vehicle should not be left unattended if it causes an obstruction to other pedestrians – especially those in wheelchairs. Parking concessions provided under the Blue Badge scheme will apply to mobility scooters displaying a valid badge.
Rule 46 – Mobility scooters must not be used on motorways. They should not be used on unrestricted dual carriageways where the speed limit exceeds 50 mph, but if they are used on these dual carriageways, they must have a flashing amber beacon. A flashing amber beacon should be used on all other dual carriageways.
Other Rules, Laws and Obligations
As well as those mentioned above, there are a few additional rules and regulations relating to the use of a mobility scooter that you should be aware of:
- Class 3 mobility scooters should be fitted with a working speed indicator and speed limiter.
- If your mobility scooter has a horn, it must not be sounded when stationary on a road (unless in times of danger due to moving vehicles) or in motion on a restricted road between the hours of 23:30 and 07:00.
- The unladen weight cannot exceed 113.4kg for Class 2, and 150kg for Class 3 mobility scooters.
- Mobility scooters should be able to brake within a reasonable distance and with control, and also be held stationary when not in use on a gradient of 1 in 5.
- The overall width of a Class 3 mobility scooter cannot exceed 0.85m.
- Class 3 mobility scooters should be fitted with a horn that emits a continuous and uniform sound.
- Class 2 and Class 3 mobility scooter users should have a full and unobstructed view of the road and traffic ahead.
- Class 3 mobility scooters should be fitted with rear view mirrors.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions relating to rules and regulations for using and owning a mobility scooter.
You do not need a licence to drive a mobility scooter, but there are some restrictions that you should be aware of. Class 3 mobility scooters can only be driven by users older than 14, and can only be driven on roads when they have been registered with the DVLA. Class 2 mobility scooters can only be driven on pavements, unless there is no pavement available.
On pavements, all scooters must not exceed a 4mph speed limit, and Class 3 mobility scooters cannot exceed 8mph on roads.
Class 3 mobility scooters can be driven on roads, but class 2 scooters are not allowed. Mobility scooters that are permitted on the road must be registered with the DVLA, cannot exceed 8 mph and the Highway Code must be followed.
You can’t drive in bus lanes, ‘cycle only’ lanes or motorways, and users should avoid dual carriageways with a speed limit of more than 50 mph. If using a mobility scooter on a dual carriageway, you must use a flashing amber light for visibility.
Unfortunately, if a cycle path is marked a ‘cycle only’, you are not allowed to drive your mobility scooter along it.