Consumer research for older and disabled people

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Mobility scooter research

More people are buying mobility scooters, and many users are under 65, research by Rica has discovered. But buyers - and the government - need more accurate information.
Rica has carried out three research projects looking at mobility scooters for older and disabled people. Download the research reports here:
Mobility scooters: a market study, 2014 (PDF)
Usability of mobility scooter controls, 2013 (PDF)
Scooters on public transport, 2013 (PDF)

Mobility scooter controls close-up

Mobility scooters: a market study, 2014

This research, commissioned by the Department for Transport, aims to inform future transport policies so that they will address the needs of disabled and older people with mobility impairments.

The study reports on mobility scooter market trends and the profile of mobility scooter users. It includes a consultation on class 3 mobility scooters.

Download the research report here (PDF)

Mobility scooter speed settingUsability of mobility scooters controls, 2013

This research, funded by Motability, focused on the design and usability of mobility scooter controls. It asked how easy they are for people to understand and use, given that most users are older and disabled.

Rica highlighted the following issues:

  • the mental model users have as drivers or cyclists
  • inconsistent design and function across class and make of mobility scooter
  • lack of training
  • people buying scooters with controls that are inappropriate for them

Download the research report here (PDF)

Mobility scooter controls close-upScooters on public transport, 2013

This research, commissioned by the Department for Transport, investigated policies, practices and concerns about mobility scooters on public transport.

The report makes recommendations for actions to mitigate a number of current issues and assist both consumers and industry by enabling easier and safer access to the public transport network for mobility scooter users.

Download the research report here (PDF)

The research on this page was funded by the Department for Transport and Motability.

We were assisted in the research by: British Healthcare Trades Association, Clearwell Mobility, Disabled Ramblers, DVLA, Forum of Mobility Centres, Institute of Advanced Motoring, Kent Mobility, London Borough of Bromley, London Mobility, Motability Operations – Powered wheelchair & Scooter Scheme team, Norfolk Constabulary, Queen Elizabeth Foundation, RSA Insurance Group, TGA Mobility, TPG DisableAids and Which?

Thank you to the many scooter users who also contributed to the projects above, including: 16 individuals who attended the user trial sessions to assess a selection of mobility scooters; the 10 members of the focus group, who contributed their knowledge, experience and time; the 480 respondents to our user survey; and all those who we asked for advice and information during the research process and who made recommendations.

Last updated: June 2015

See also: How to choose a mobility scooter or powered wheelchair | Mobility scooter online search | Car hoists for scooters