A Mobility Scooter Buyer’s Journey From Buying to Traveling

Here is a story from a reader:

“I live in Richmond, BC, Canada, and decided to buy a mobility scooter a year ago. As with most things, the price of scooters in Canada seems to be much more than the US, and buying over the internet seem more troublesome. I belong to the old school anyways, and prefer to visit a shop rather than buying online. Moreover, for such a large investment I’d like to try various models first, and be able to ask many questions one-on-one.

At that time, I could only find one store that operated locally. I was surprised when I visited it, as it was just one person renting a small back office from another company, and had two scooters on site. He explained they are a small family company, and as they do mostly mobile services (as clients often can’t visit them), there was no need for a store.

The owner was very nice and professional, but I prefer a company which has been in the business for a longer time, and which is of a larger scale. Again – this is strictly personal preference.

As I don’t know anyone with a mobility scooter, I went to the Muscular Dystrophy Canada online chat group, and asked for recommendations and advice. I finally ended up going to a company that is highly recommended, and has been around for many years. The salesperson I spoke to is very knowledgeable, and based on my requirements that I need a compact scooter and a Bruno lift that fits in my RAV4 – plus obviously what models they carry – he recommended the Invacare Lynx L3X.

I like this scooter as I need the ability to manoeuvre small spaces like elevators and a one-bedroom apartment. Plus it is collapsible and can even be taken apart. The L3X can also go further on a fully charged battery than a L3.

One thing I like about the purchase experience was that the salesperson took time to listen, and gave me some brochures to take home to think about. He didn’t rush me into making a quick decision.

I am fortunate enough to have coverage from the employer’s extended benefits to cover for the scooter, and only need to pay for the Bronco lift. Although my doctor has completed the form to state I really need this equipment, it still took a few months to obtain the pre-approval from the insurance company. I had to consistently call them about the approval status.

It took me a long time to get experienced with using the lift to get the scooter in and out of the car, but I must say the lift is a wonderful invention.

I enjoy using the scooter – suddenly I can “walk” as fast as others! When I go to the park and when it’s safe, I’d turn on a faster speed and feel the wind and enjoy the sense of “running” which is something I can never do. My young niece and nephew think I am really cool in it.

Usually I drive at a very low speed, as sometimes there are people who dash out from nowhere, and others who think I can stop the scooter immediately, and then others who don’t seem to see there is scooter near them. It’s pretty scary at times so I just go snail pace to be safe.

As for accessories, I feel the most important one is the reflective alert flag. Users really need it as we can’t assume all car drivers can see us when we’re in a seated position. I also have the cane holder which is useful.

One day I may get the special rain poncho but it’s a bit expensive at C$60. Then there is the tilley cover to protect the controls – although I’ve read on the internet that people improvise using those transparent shower caps!

As I like going on cruise vacations, it’s really great that most cruise ships are scooter friendly. And while I can’t use a scooter in some ports of call (eg. Those that need to use a tender boat to get ashore), there are many places that I can visit at my leisure on a scooter. Renting a scooter to use on cruise ships or theme parks is not cheap, but there are many US companies that offer the service.”

Name withheld

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