Your ultimate guide to transporting a mobility scooter

Author: Nicholas Sutedja   Date Posted:19 August 2021 

Your ultimate guide to transporting a mobility scooter main image Your ultimate guide to transporting a mobility scooter image

Mobility scooters are a popular mode of transport for seniors and people living with disabilities. For many, a mobility scooter isn’t just for convenience — it’s essential to get from point A to B and maintain both independence and mobility on a daily basis.

But what happens when you need to transport your mobility scooter? Perhaps your scooter has broken down or can’t make it to your destination in one battery charge. Maybe you’re planning a trip and will be travelling via plane or public transport. 

Mobility scooters are very bulky, so transporting a mobility scooter might sound like a real challenge. However, there are many ways to transport a scooter if you can fold or disassemble it. 

In this article, we share our guide to transporting mobility scooters so you can get where you need to go with ease.

Portable mobility scooter recommendations

Pride Mobility scooter Revo 2.0

To make transporting your mobility scooter easier, you might consider opting for what we call a “compact scooter”. Compact scooters are a lightweight alternative to traditional mobility scooters and are able to be disassembled or folded down. Thanks to this valuable benefit, you can fold down your scooter and tuck it safely into the boot of your car.

At Active Mobility Systems, we stock an extensive range of compact scooters both online and in-store at our showroom in Silverwater, Sydney. Here are some of our top recommendations for those who like to travel near and far with their scooter: 

  • The Pride Mobility Scooter Revo 2.0 (pictured above): this scooter features the dependability and comfort of a luxury mobility scooter, but it also allows you to fold it down with feather-light touch.
  • The Shoprider GK9 Little Ripper: this scooter is designed to be fully portable and can be easily disassembled. Plus, it’s made for both indoor and outdoor use with puncture-proof tyres and a great turning circle.
  • The Invacare Colibri Compact 4 Wheel: as one of our best selling scooters, this four-wheel scooter can be disassembled in one minute! With the unique LiteLock system, the scooter can easily be taken apart without the need for tools and fits neatly into any car boot.
  • The Pride Scooter Go-Go LX with CTS Suspensions: ideal for those who like to travel day and night, this scooter has one-hand feather-touch disassembly and long-lasting, high intensity LED headlights, tail lights and indicators. 

Shop our range of compact scooters online or in-store today! We offer tours of our showroom via appointment so you can sample your new scooter in person, or we can deliver your new mobility scooter to your location. 

Transporting mobility scooters via car

woman stacking mobility scooter into car

Transporting mobility scooters via car can actually be very easy, especially if you have some kind of van, 4WD or SUV. There are four options depending on the type of vehicle you have. After folding down or disassembling your scooter, you can either:

  1. Place it into the boot of your car
  2. Slide it into the backseat of your car
  3. Attach it to the back of your vehicle using a hitch-mounted carrier
  4. Use a mobility ramp to roll your scooter into the body of a van (if applicable).

Your vehicle is the main variable when it comes to how you will transport your scooter. For example, if you have a sedan or hatchback, you might have trouble fitting the scooter on the backseat. Instead, you will need to fold the scooter down to fit inside the boot.

Before placing your scooter in the backseat or boot, be sure to clear everything out of the space so you have as much room as possible for your scooter. You might also be able to disassemble the scooter fully and store the detachable parts in the backseat and boot separately. 

With this in mind, spacious 4WD, SUVs and vans are simpler for transporting mobility scooters as you have much more space and flexibility to store your scooter.

Transporting mobility scooters via public transport

Brisbane train

If you don’t have a car or van and want to travel further than your scooter’s battery life can take you, you might consider taking public transport instead. Understandably, travelling with a mobility scooter via public transport can be daunting — a ramp is required to get onto a bus or train, and it can be a little hard to manoeuvre. 

It’s important to understand that there are certain rules about taking mobility scooters and other mobility aids on public transport. These rules are designed to make transporting your scooter easier for you, the driver of the vehicle and other passengers alike. 

When using mobility aids on public transport in New South Wales, for example, you must comply with certain dimensions, manoeuvrability and stability specifications. These rules apply to manual and motorised wheelchairs, mobility scooters, walking frames and prams using accessible services.

Here’s what you need to know.

 

Standards to follow

Dimensions (most transport)

To safely use boarding ramps and fit into wheelchair spaces on metro trains, coaches, buses, the Manly ferries and light rail services, your mobility aid must not exceed: 

 
  • Length: 1300mm
  • Width: 800mm
  • Weight: 300kg including the user, personal items and anyone required to assist on the boarding ramp.
 

To safely board a ferry (excluding Manly ferries), your mobility aid must not exceed: 

 
  • Length: 1300mm
  • Width: 740mm
  • Weight: 300kg (applies to wharves)
 

To safely board a regional train, your mobility aid must not exceed: 

 
  • Length: 1300mm
  • Width: 700mm
  • Weight: 300kg

Stability

Your mobility aid must have an effective brake system and be able to withstand acceleration, braking and cornering on metro, train, coach, bus and light rail services. 

 

It must also be able to withstand deceleration and pitching on ferries.

 

On regional coaches, your mobility aid must be anchored and secured with approved tie-downs fitted on the coach.

Manoeuvrability 

In order to safely use public transport services, your mobility aid must be able to turn 180 degrees within an area of 2070mm by 1540mm.

 

On a bus, you must be able to safely board and manoeuvre into the required travel position (usually facing towards the back). You must also be able to: 

 
  • Cross a horizontal gap up to 40mm wide
  • Mount a bump up to 12mm
  • Cross grating gaps up to 13mm wide and 15mm long
  • Negotiate a 1 in 14 ramp unassisted (or 1 in 8 when the ramp is less than 1520mm)

Other

Mobility scooters are considered a small type of vehicle. You can use public transport if your scooter meets the specifications listed above.

 

However, petrol scooters are not allowed on public transport due to safety reasons.

 

Other notes:

 
  • Three-wheeled scooters are not allowed on buses and ferries.
  • Electric scooters are allowed on all modes of transport.

 

Finally, it is also important to plan ahead before taking public transport because not all stops are accessible (especially on railways). This varies from state to state, but you can find accessible stops via the links below: 

When you arrive at the bus or tram stop, train station or wharf, make sure to stay visible to personnel so that they know you’re there and can prepare ramps and assistance accordingly.

Transporting mobility scooters via plane

Many Australians are sceptical about travelling with a mobility scooter via plane. The main cause of concern is the batteries. Mobility scooters can run on gel batteries, lead-acid batteries and lithium batteries but most portable or compact scooters and power wheelchairs are powered by lithium batteries. 

Airlines like Qantas normally specify that batteries are not allowed on planes but they can make exemptions for electric wheelchairs, power wheelchairs and mobility scooters. However, you must know how to properly pack your mobility aids, adhere to dangerous goods regulations and request airline approval first. 

Here’s a quick guide according to Qantas.

Battery Type

Standard

Easy to remove lithium-ion batteries

  • Battery-powered mobility aids must be declared during check-in.
  • The battery(s) must be removed from the mobility aid.
  • All the terminals must be individually protected to prevent short-circuiting.
  • The battery(s) must be protected from damage e.g. protective bag/pouch.
  • Airline approval is required.
  • Can be taken on board as a carry-on.

Easy to remove non-spillable/dry cell batteries like AGM, Deep Cycle, SLA, NiMH, NiCad

  • The battery(s) must be removed from the mobility aid
  • The removed battery(s) must be packed in a strong rigid container with terminals protected
 
  • Airline approval is required.
  • Cannot be taken on board as a carry-on.

Not easy to remove lithium-ion batteries and non-spillable/dry cell batteries like AGM, Deep Cycle, SLA, NiMH, NiCad

  • The battery must remain securely attached to the mobility aid with the terminals protected.
  • If available, the aid's free-wheel mode must be activated prior to loading.
  • The aid must be switched off.
  • Airline approval is required.
  • Must be declared during check-in.
  • Cannot be taken on board as a carry-on.

 

Generally speaking, mobility scooters are allowed on Airbus 380 and Boeing 787 flights with airline approval. You can give your scooter to airline personnel at the gate and other assistance will be provided to help you board the aircraft.

The body of your mobility scooter (and potentially the battery) will be stored in the hold. Upon arrival at your destination, your scooter will be delivered to you at the gate or you can choose to pick it up at the baggage collection area. 

Transporting mobility scooters can be complicated sometimes — but it’s simpler with a compact mobility scooter!

We know it’s a lot of information to take in but understanding the requirements for your mobility scooter on public transport is essential for local, national or international travel. There are lots of resources available online and support teams you can speak to over the phone if you have any tricky questions about your chosen mode of transport.

Alternatively, folding down a scooter and transporting it via car is always a simple solution for local travel!

Transporting mobility scooters can be a real challenge at times, but a compact scooter can make things much simpler. With the touch of a button, you can fold down or disassemble your scooter in a matter of minutes, making it easier for you to get your mobility scooter from point A to B.

Browse through our collection of compact mobility scooters online today! We have a huge range of high quality mobility scooters to choose from, each and every option perfect for all kinds of travel. 

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