How Fast Do Mobility Scooters Go? (Maximum Speed)
If you’re new to mobility scooters and you’ve never had one before, you may well want to know the answer to the question: how fast do mobility scooters go?
Well, that’s what we’re here to answer.
In reality, the top speed you can reach on a scooter can be influenced by conditions of the environment you’re in, such as the surface you’re driving on and the speed of the wind, and whether the wind is at your back or your front.
That being the case, here are the factors that impact how fast you can go on a scooter.
We’ll talk about how fast you can legally travel at, on both pavements and roads. We’ll look at how fast mobility scooters are actually capable of and how speed limiter switches affect this. And we’ll look at what aspects of the scooter affect how fast your scooter can go.
Let’s get going, then!
Introducing How Fast Do Mobility Scooters Go?
What are the main factors affecting the maximum speed of a mobility scooter?
Legal Mobility Scooter Speed Limits
In terms of what mobility scooters are actually capable of, there are plenty of scooters can reach 16mph and even as much as 18mph.
However, as you’ll go on to read, UK legal limits fall well below this.
Here are the maximum speeds a scooter can reach firstly, on the road and, secondly, on pavements.
Maximum speed of a mobility scooter on the road?
Class 3 scooters (which are 100% road legal) have a maximum speed of 8mph. That’s the legal limit if you’re driving a mobility scooter on the road.
That said, there are some scooters that have the ability to go faster than this. In Europe, mobility scooters tend to have a maximum speed of 16mph.
Mobility scooter makers don’t want to go to the expense and hassle of developing a whole new model just for the UK market, with our lower speed limit.
So they often add a speed limiter switch, and legally any manufacturer / seller that is selling in the UK is supposed to ensure this speed limiter switch is turned on and prevents the scooter from travelling above 8mph.
How fast is it compared to walking pace?
In other words, how fast is 8mph?
If you’re struggling to visualise in reality how fast 8mph is, average walking pace is around 3-4mph. So it’s a little over double the speed the average person walks at.
Why was the 8mph chosen for the speed limit? That’s because it was decided to be fast enough for the scooter to not be completely out of place on the road with cars, motorbikes and other vehicles and allows the driver to travel to their destination at a fast enough rate; but not so fast that it becomes dangerous.
If you’ve ever driven past a mobility scooter on the road, you’ll know that 8mph is faster than it sounds! Of course on a motorway or dual carriageway this would be ridiculously slow, but then mobility scooters can’t go on these kinds of roads.
You’ll tend to see mobility scooters in cities, where traffic necessitates a generally slow speed of vehicles, or in quieter streets where the mobility scooter can easily be overtaken.
How fast can a mobility scooter go on the pavement?
Class 2 scooters can only be driven on pavements, and indoors, in public spaces, like shopping centres, museums, restaurants, hospitals, cafes, and shops.
They cannot be driven on the road, as they are not road legal.
If you’re driving on the pavement, the maximum speed you can legally travel at is 4mph.
How to visualise the reality of 4mph…
Compare it to to walking pace
As we mentioned earlier, 3-4mph is walking pace. And that’s why the 4mph speed limit was chosen. So that mobility scooter drivers can move around as fast or slightly faster than an average person walking but not so fast that it causes a hazard to people walking around them.
The legal limits obviously represent the fastest speed you can legally travel at. But there are a few other aspects that influence the top speed of a mobility scooter.
And since your question was how fast do mobility scooters go, it will interest you to know the following:
Even though there’s a legal limit, it doesn’t mean that all scooters are the same. The power and acceleration of the scooter is hugely important.
If a scooter can go at 8mph but it takes forever to actually get to that top speed, then you’ll feel like it’s a slow scooter.With such poor acceleration, It’ll inevitably take much longer to get you where you’re going.
If the scooter has great power and can accelerate at a decent rate to achieve that top speed, it’ll feel much faster and will get you to your destination quicker.
The Speed Of A Class 2 vs. Class 3 Mobility Scooter
We’ve already mentioned that Class 2 scooters, exclusively for non-road usage (ie. For pavements etc.) can legally travel up to 4mph.
Class 3 scooters, on the other hand, are road-legal and can be driven on pavements, in shops and so on, can legally travel at speeds up to 8mph.
Class 3 scooters, then are, without question, the faster type; capable of double the speed.
Bear in mind, though that Class 3 scooters are also often considerably heavier. Some of the less powerful Class 3 scooters can be a little sluggish, depending also on the weight of the driver.
With some of the more powerful Class 2 scooters, their lighter weight means that you can feel a but more ‘zip’ when you accelerate.
When all’s said and done, though, there’s no doubt that Class 3 scooters are indeed faster than Class 2 scooters. Class 3 scooters have a lot more power, and bigger batteries.
Class 3 scooters must be registered with the DVLA, whereas there is no such requirement for Class 2 scooters.
Speed Limiter Switch
Class 2 mobility scooters will have their speed limiter set to 4mph, while Class 3 mobility scooters will have their speed limiter set to 8mph.
These speed limiters are required by law to cap the maximum speed of the scooter. If you remove the limiter, be aware that it then becomes illegal to use your mobility scooter, both on pavements (and in other public places) and on the road.
The Mobility Scooter’s Battery
Mobility scooters almost always have very powerful batteries.
Well, the reason is weight. The combined weight of the scooter and the driver can be very high.
A Class 3 scooter can weight up to 120-140kg (19-22 stones), while the maximum weight of the driver on such a scooter can be 160-180kg (25-28 stones).
That means the combined weight can be fully 320kg (or 50 stones). That’s a very significant weight to be moved around at speed, in a travelling device/vehicle which has no engine.
With no engine, the battery is doing the entirety of the work, so it has to be a powerful one.
The bigger the capacity of the batter, the greater the speed, torque and acceleration the mobility scooter has.
A powerful mobility scooter battery allows you to reach the top speed it’s capable of, even if the weight of the scooter and driver combined is high. If it’s a high quality mobility scooter, this should allow for a pleasing acceleration, so that you feel it has some ‘zip’ and doesn’t take an age to reach the top speed.
Such a battery also gives you more range, allowing you to go on longer journeys. And it ensures you can move swiftly enough even on rough, uneven ground and to comfortably get up steep hills.
The Scooter’s Motor
For a Class 3 mobility scooter, an 800-900 Watt motor is very powerful. This provides enough power to reach top speed, and with good acceleration.
Even with a heavy combined driver and scooter weight, a motor of this size with a powerful battery will allow you to travel at speed.
The Stability Provided By The Wheels, Tyres and Frame
Bigger wheels allow for faster travel, and the tyres should have enough traction and pressure to cope easily with the maximum speed reachable.
The frame must also be well made to ensure that it stays strong when moving at speed and when turning sharp corners.
These aspects are particularly important for Class 3 scooters, in which you’ll reach higher speeds and face more dangerous circumstances on the road. That’s compared with your experience of driving a Class 2 scooter, in which you’ll be driving slower and mostly on the pavement.
Which Is The Fastest Mobility Scooter?
This Veleco Faster mobility scooter review will clear that up for you.
Which mobility scooter has the best ability to go up steep inclines?
Our article on the top scooters for going up hills will clear that up for you.
Summing Up How Fast Do Mobility Scooters Go?
The maximum speed of a mobility scooter, then, has to be considered in a couple of different ways.
There’s how fast you can legally travel at in the UK, on roads and pavements, and then there’s how fast the scooter is actually physically capable.
As far as the law is concerned, you can legally travel at speeds up to 8mph on the road, and 4mph on the pavement.
The scooter manufacturer will normally have a speed limiter switch set to 8mph for a Class 3 scooter (since it’s road legal), and set to 4mph for a Class 2 scooter (since that’s the maximum legal speed for travelling on the pavement).
As a result, Class 3 scooters will almost always be capable of travelling at 8mph, since they’re road legal. And Class 2 scooters will be capable of travelling up to 4mph.
Whether the scooter can actually reach its maximum speed (and how well it accelerates to reach it) depends on:
- whether your battery is powerful enough to cope with the combined weight of the scooter and driver,
- the power and quality of the scooter’s motor
- the stability of the frame, wheel and tyres
These are the factors that decide how fast a mobility scooter can go, and they are what you should analyse when deciding on the right scooter for you.