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Mobility Scooters and the Law
Tuesday 31 July, 2012
If you have a scooter which is not capable of more than 4 mph you do not need to hold any "road tax". However, if your scooter is capable of more than 4mph, you are obliged to apply for a tax disc from ther DVLA.
The disc is free of charge and it is essentially a registering process for your machine. Generally speaking mobility scooters can be driven on public pathways and pavements and the larger scooters, the ones that go at 8 miles per hour, are legally allowed on the roads. However, experience has taught us that driving your scooter on public roads should be avoided wherever possible.
Do remember though that there are some obligations and restrictions as to where you can you use your mobility scooter.
Class 2 Mobility Scooters - These scooters can legally travel up to 6.4kph (4mph) on pavements and are allowed on the road to cross from one to the other. Basically this allows you to drive anywhere you are permitted to travel on foot. The Class 2 category includes any 4 mph mobility and travel scooters.
Class 3 Mobility Scooters - Class 3 category vehicles tend to be larger, than those found in Class 2, and can be driven on the roads where they can travel up to a speed of 12.8kph (8mph). Most class 3-mobility scooters have two speed settings, usually changed by a switch so it is usually possible to drive at 6.4 kph (4mph) and switch to 12.8kph (8mph). Remember - 6.4kph (4mph) maximum speed is permitted on the pavement or footpath. 12.8kph (8mph) maximum speed is permitted only on the road. Not for use on the pavement or footpath. You do not require a driving license to use a Class 3 vehicle but you should obey the Highway Code at all times, including complying with relevant eyesight requirements and not driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs etc. Class 3 vehicles are not allowed on motorways, bicycle tracks or bus/cycle lanes. Although legally allowed on dual carriageways, with a compliant size, flashing beacon - this is not recommended. The law requires all class 3 vehicles to be fitted with: lights, indicators, horn, rear view mirror, rear reflectors and a manual handbrake. A flashing beacon can be used when driving on the road to warn other road users of their presence, and must be used if driving on a dual carriageway.
At the moment you are not legally required to have insurance for driving your scooter on the road. However, it would be a sensible precaution to take out an insurance policy to cover your mobility scooter against accidental damage, theft and third party liability, in case of damage or injury to someone else or their property.