What are the rules for Mobility Scooters and Powered Electric Wheelchairs?
The following information has been sourced from the government website, and is correct as of July 2022.
You do not need a licence to drive a mobility scooter or powered wheelchair, but you may have to register it. Only certain types can be driven on the road.
Mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs come in 2 categories:
- class 2: these cannot be used on the road (except where there is not a pavement) and have a maximum speed of 4mph
- class 3: these can be used on the road and have a maximum speed of 4mph off the road and 8mph on the road
You do not need to register a class 2 mobility scooter.
You must register class 3 mobility scooters.
You must be 14 or over to drive a class 3 mobility scooter.
2. Rules for class 3 mobility scooters
Class 3 are the only types of mobility scooter or powered wheelchair that can be used on the road. They must have the following features:
- a maximum unladen weight of 150kg (or a maximum unladen weight of 200kg when carrying necessary user equipment, for example, medical supplies)
- a maximum width of 0.85 metres
- a device to limit its speed to 4mph
- a maximum speed of 8mph
- an efficient braking system
- front and rear lights and reflectors
- direction indicators able to operate as a hazard warning signal
- an audible horn
- a rear view mirror
- an amber flashing light if it’s used on a dual carriageway
You could be stopped by the police if your class 3 mobility scooter or powered wheelchair does not have these features.
3. Driving on the road
You can only drive on the road in a class 3 mobility scooter. The maximum speed is 8mph.
You cannot drive on bus lanes, ‘cycle only’ lanes or motorways. Avoid using dual carriageways with a speed limit of over 50mph.
You must use an amber flashing light for visibility if you use a class 3 mobility scooter on a dual carriageway.
You must follow the Highway Code if you drive your mobility scooter on the road.
4. Driving on footpaths and parking
All mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs can legally travel at a maximum of 4mph on footpaths or in pedestrian areas.
You cannot drive any type of mobility scooter or powered wheelchair on cycle paths marked ‘cycle only’.
All normal parking restrictions apply to mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs.
Your vehicle should not be left on a footpath or pedestrian area on its own if it gets in the way of other pedestrians, including wheelchair users and people with prams or pushchairs.
5. Eyesight requirements
There is no legal eyesight requirement to drive mobility scooters or powered wheelchairs, but you should be able to read a car’s registration number from a distance of 12.3 metres (40 feet).
You must check that you can still do this regularly.
You might have to pay compensation if you have an accident and poor eyesight was part of the cause.
6. Who can use them
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’s sold
- are training a disabled user
- are taking the vehicle to or from maintenance or repair
7. Vehicle tax, registration and insurance
You do not have to pay vehicle tax for any mobility scooter or powered wheelchair if it’s registered as class 3.
Check whether it’s registered as a class 3 vehicle by asking the seller when you buy it.
Change the owner’s details when you buy a mobility scooter or powered wheelchair
When you buy a mobility scooter or powered wheelchair, the seller will make you the ‘registered keeper’. This means the vehicle will be in your name. You’ll get a new vehicle log book (V5C) in the post within 4 weeks of the sale.
If you do not get a new vehicle log book 4 weeks after the sale, fill in an ‘Application for a vehicle registration certificate’ (V62) and send it to DVLA.
Change your name or address
If you need to change your name or address, fill in section 6 of your vehicle log book and send it to DVLA.
If your mobility scooter or powered wheelchair is not a registered vehicle
Most scooters and wheelchairs will already be registered by the dealer or manufacturer before you buy them.
If your vehicle is not registered, register it by filling in:
You do not need insurance for a mobility scooter or powered wheelchair, although it’s recommended. Correct as off July 2022