Researching and buying a mobility scooter or deciding on the right wheelchair can be a tough process and requires some research. The following information has been put together to ensure that you can feel secure in your purchase.
Firstly, we should note that there are no differentiating factors between self-propelled and powered wheelchairs in Irish Law.
In the UK, wheelchairs and mobility scooters are categorised into three classes. It is useful to look at these classes as they will help differentiate different products available in the Irish market.
The categories are as follows:
Class 1: Wheelchairs and mobility scooters that are propelled by the user or an attendant. They are not propelled by electricity. They are especially useful for people with short term injuries and people who don’t need to use a mobility vehicle at all times. They require good upper body strength particularly over long distances.
Class 2: Powered wheelchairs and mobility scooters which are designed for use exclusively for the footpath/pavement with a speed of up to 4mph. They are not suitable for road use but are perfect for other outdoor uses including shopping.
Class 3: Powered mobility scooter with the facility to drive up to 8mph for road use. Alternatively, it can travel at 4 mph if travelling on the footpath or pavement.
Users of mobility vehicles are not liable to pay tax or insurance in Ireland. The following is a quote from the RSA “Wheelchair or mobility scooter users are in special circumstances as regards essential personal mobility needs arising from a disability and, as already stated, the wheelchair is therefore regarded as an extension of the person rather than as a mode of transport vehicle.”
It is important to note that mobility scooters sometimes look like other powered vehicles like golf Buggies and recreational propelled scooters which are not an aid for the disabled. There is no exemption made for these vehicles and other laws such as tax, insurance and road regulations apply.
Once you have an idea of the class of mobility vehicle that suits you, take a look at look at the other resources that we offer at Beechfield Healthcare.
More information and guidance on choosing wheelchairs.