Power Chair vs. Mobility Scooter – Exactly What Is the Difference?

A Red Mobility Scooter Against a White Background

Power chairs and mobility scooters are both powered devices that enable people with limited mobility to get around and have some independence.

But what exactly is the difference between the two?

They are both quite similar in the sense that they are battery operated and require electricity to charge those batteries and operate them, but there are also some vast differences between the two. Let’s take a look at just what these differences are.

Mobility Scooters

Mobility scooters are generally constructed for use outdoors, and for use over longer distances. They provide more independence due to the fact that you don’t need to ask for a ride or hire a taxi to head down to the shops or attend an event. If it’s not too far away, you can just head there on your scooter.

They are fairly simply designed, and are cheaper and repairs are more affordable too. They are also quite stylish in design, and can travel quite fast – up to 15 or 16 kilometres per hour.

Smaller mobility scooters are also collapsible, or foldable, which means that they can be transported via car (or trailer for larger models).

Some of the downsides to mobility scooters are that they don’t offer as much back support as a power chair, so if you require postural support one may not be ideal for you. They are also not quite as comfortable as a power chair, and it is not recommended to spend your whole day in one.

Power Chairs

A power chair is also another mobility device that can give you independence and enable you to move around. A power chair is generally used by people with more restricted mobility than those who would use a power scooter.

They are highly manoeuvrable, and can squeeze around tight areas, which is ideal for in home use – however they can also be used for the outdoors too.

They are driven using a programmable joystick, and can have up to six wheels. They are also easier to get in and out of than a power scooter, as you don’t have to step across their base like you would have to with a scooter.

Power chairs are also superior when it comes to seating, posture and support. Which, as mentioned above is ideal for those who have postural issues or who cannot sit unsupported for longer periods of time. They come with highly adjustable seats to suit a variety of different postures and sitting and reclining positions.

On the downside, power chairs tend to be heavier than scooters and are not highly portable. They need a specially designed wheelchair lift, as a regular scooter lift is often incapable of lifting their weight.

Summing Up

To wrap up, a power scooter is the ideal choice for those who may need to travel longer distances outdoors, and are cheaper and more easily transportable. However power chairs have the advantage of being utilised indoors, and have superior seating adjustability and are easier to get in and out of. Which one you need will of course depend on your unique requirements and preferences!

If you need more information, let us know, we’re happy to help!