Buying a used mobility scooter involves a fair amount of research and shopping around. Most people who purchase a new mobility scooter keep them for a long time, so the used market isn't very large or competitive, and that can work to your advantage.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Search on your local Craigslist website or eBay for used mobility scooters. People selling on Craigslist are often willing to make a deal to get rid of their item and are usually within driving distance of your location. Ebay sellers generally look for more of a profit so you may not be able to get the best deal; plus, you would need to pick up the item and it may be located farther than you're willing to drive (see Resources below). Check your local classifieds and bulletin boards in libraries and grocery stores for used mobility scooter listings.
Set up a time to meet with sellers so you can test drive the scooter. Ask the seller specific questions about the scooter, including the length they've owned it, if they purchased it new, what maintenance they've performed and most importantly, the quality and age of the battery. The battery is the key to the performance of a mobility scooter and they're expensive to replace.
Inspect the mobility scooter from top to bottom. Check the wheel axles, the seat and the scooter's steering ability. Examine the battery charger points to make sure they're in good condition as well. The cleanliness of the scooter can also tell you a lot of about how the owner took care of it. If they didn't bother to clean it before showing it to you, the likelihood of them keeping up the maintenance isn't good.
Compare prices on used models before making a final purchase. Check other Craigslist sites that aren't in your area and compare prices on dealer websites as well. Depending on the model, a used mobility scooter can cost you anywhere from $100 to $1,500. You're not likely to find higher-end models on the used market, as owners are usually happy with them and keep them as long as possible. You can find most quality used mobility scooters for less than $500.
Consider purchasing a used mobility scooter from a dealer instead of a private party. The dealer often ensures the scooter is in good working condition, and if you have any problems after the sale, a dealer may be willing to work with you on the cost of repairs or replacements parts. A private party seller may feel no responsibility once the sale is complete.
Tips and warnings
- Avoid purchasing a used mobility scooter with a known defect. You may get a discount, but after parts and labor costs, it may end up costing you more in the long run to repair it.