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Class and size

​Class and size of mobility scooters

When you're choosing a mobility scooter, the first thing to think about is the class and size of scooter you want. Here's how to choose.

Ask yourself:

  • Why do I want a scooter?
  • Where do I want to use it?
  • Will I need to use it on the road?
  • How far will I need to go, on an average trip?
  • Do I want to take it in the car with me or on public transport?
  • Where will I store it?

Answering these questions can help you decide whether you want a class 2 or a class 3 scooter.

Class 2 and class 3 mobility scooters

In law, mobility scooters are divided into 'class 2' and 'class 3' vehicles based on where they're intended to be used. There are some key differences between the two classes:

class 2 mobility scooterClass 2

Class 2 scooters can only be used on footpaths, pavements, and to cross roads. They have a maximum speed of 4mph (6.4kph).

Key features:

  • Can be used indoors
  • Small, lightweight and compact
  • Basic driving controls
  • Some can be dismantled/folded up to fit into a car boot
  • Shorter battery life means they travel shorter distances

class 3 mobility scooterClass 3

Class 3 scooters can be used on roads and pavements. The maximum speed limit of these vehicles is 4mph on the pavement and 8mph (12.8kph) on the road. You must be 14 years old or over to drive a class 3 vehicle.

Key features:

  • For outdoor use
  • Large and robust
  • Equipped with a rear-view mirror and reflectors, and extra controls for driving on roads: indicators, headlights, a horn and hazard lights
  • Require a ramp or lift to transport them into a vehicle
  • Longer battery life and tougher tyres means they can travel longer distances


Mobility scooters vary in length, width and height. It's important to think about:

  • How big you need your scooter to be so you can sit on it comfortably
  • Will you have space to stretch out your legs?
  • Where you will store your scooter?
  • Where you will use it?
dismantled class 2 scooter
Dismantled class 2 scooter

The scooter's 'turning radius' is related to its size. The turning radius is the amount of space the scooter needs to turn around completely. A small scooter with a small turning radius will be easier to use indoors.

Scooters with three wheels have a smaller footprint and are easier to manoeuvre, but they may be less stable.

There are often size and turning radius restrictions when travelling on public transport - see our transport section for more details.

Which mobility scooter will fit in which car?

Some scooters dismantle or fold up so they can be stored or transported more easily.

Our scooter search lets you see whether a scooter can do this, and what its size is when folded.

When you know the size of your mobility scooter, you can search by car boot measurements to find cars with enough space - use our online car search

The Research Institute for Disabled Consumers is a UK consumer research charity. We don't sell products. Search online by product name to find suppliers.
Our unbiased research with real scooter users aims to help you choose the mobility scooter that will work best for you.

Last updated: May 2018

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