You’re probably used to seeing single mobility scooters when you’re out and about and these are great for individual users. But what if you’re part of a couple with mobility assistance requirements? Well, you might opt for a tandem mobility scooter that will allow you and your partner to travel in style.
As with anything, there are pros and cons to these types of mobility scooters and it’s worth weighing these up before you make a decision. So, while you might be asking whether a tandem mobility scooter is any good, it really comes down to your personal needs. Let’s take a closer look.
What Is A Tandem Mobility Scooter?
A tandem mobility scooter, sometimes called a two seater or two person mobility scooter is simply a larger version of the single seat scooters that we are all accustomed to seeing. Instead of one seat, there’s two but the position of these seats can vary and I’ll go into more detail on the various configurations later on.
Where a lot of single mobility scooters have four wheels, tandem mobility scooters usually only have three as this means that there is more room for the second seat.
It’s worth keeping in mind that, while these tandem mobility scooters are very similar to other models, they tend to move off a little more slowly and might not be as manoeuvrable as single types. However, on the plus side, there’s a lot more space and they’re significantly more powerful machines.
Different Types Of Tandem Mobility Scooters
As I touched upon earlier, there are different configurations in terms of the seats on tandem mobility scooters. There is the side by side scooter and the back to front model. These models may consist of either one large combined seat or two separate ones depending on the layout.
Side by side seats can have one large seat or two smaller seats next to one another whereas in a linear model, there are always two separate seats that are placed one behind the other. In any case, you’ll find that these tandem mobility scooters have a lot of legroom.
What Are The Benefits Of A Tandem Mobility Scooter?
Tandem mobility scooters are a great choice for people who want to travel with a loved one or friend. In a lot of cases, those using a mobility scooter may find that there is a degree of separation between them and the people they’re out and about with. But having that additional seat means they can take a passenger and feel closer to those they care about.
Moreover, a lot of able bodied people find that it’s something of a challenge to keep up with the pace of a scooter, especially the ones that move a lot faster. But being able to sit on the scooter with their loved one means never having to tag behind!
If you and your partner like to spend a lot of time close to one another then one or both of you using a mobility scooter can make this hard. Whether you both require a scooter or just one of you, using a tandem mobility scooter can increase the time you can spend next to one another.
One of the major benefits of tandem mobility scooters is how comfortable they are. I mean, the level of comfort and what features the scooter has will vary by model but in the main, these are spacious, luxurious and uber comfy scooters that can really up your game when it comes to travelling in style.
And it doesn’t always require two people to use the scooter. If you use a mobility scooter and have a pet then the tandem mobility scooter could be a good option for you to bring your furry friend along with you when running errands and going about your day.
For those who require a little more storage space, the additional seat on your tandem mobility scooter will give you lots of room to transport all your essential items, shopping and more. There are even some tandem mobility scooters whose rear seat transforms into a storage area making them so versatile.
Side by side tandem mobility scooters with a bench-style seat can be beneficial to larger users. Sometimes, even a bariatric mobility scooter may feel restricting to you and for your own comfort, a two seater could be the answer. What’s more, they come with higher weight limits so they’re much more stable and supportive.
What Are The Disadvantages Of A Tandem Mobility Scooter?
Tandem mobility scooters do have a lot of plus points so it’s no wonder that so many people are keen to get their hands on one. However, just like anything else, there are a few downsides that you should consider before you run out and buy one.
For starters, owing to their larger size and increased power, you will end up paying more for a tandem mobility scooter. But the alternative is to buy two separate scooters which would cost even more so I’d say it was worth the investment.
Because there will be two of you using the tandem mobility scooter, this does mean that there will be more wear and tear on the device. As a result of this, you’ll find that the scooter requires more maintenance and higher running costs.
If you’re using a tandem mobility scooter then the device just isn’t going to be as responsive or as easy to manoeuvre as a single seat scooter. It’s simple; larger scooters are more difficult to control and there’s no getting away from that fact. Also keep in mind that the turning radius of these tandem mobility scooters is much bigger so you’ll probably have issues moving them around in tight spaces.
If you and your partner invest in a tandem mobility scooter then you’re stuck with each other wherever you go. Of course, you’re going to want to spend as much time together as possible but nobody wants to live in someone else’s pocket and if you want to go out at the same time, you’re going to have to do it together. Those who have two separate scooters have the freedom of being more independent and having more privacy.
One final thing that I’d urge you to consider when looking at a tandem mobility scooter is that the battery life isn’t quite as good as a single scooter. This is because of the increased weight which requires more power.
Are Tandem Mobility Scooters Legal In The UK?
Now that I’ve discussed the pros and cons of the tandem mobility scooter, there’s one final thing to consider. While these scooters are really not that much different from other types of scooters, they’re not actually legal for use on roads or footpaths in the UK.
The Department of Transport states that these scooters are not lawfully allowed on British paths or roads because they are not classed as an invalid carriage. By definition an invalid carriage is a means of transport that has been built or adapted for one person who is suffering with a disability or physical defect.
It also seems that the DOT does not intend to amend these laws meaning that tandem mobility scooters won’t become legal in the near future. So, if you’re going to buy one then you’ll only be permitted to use it on private land.
Alternative options include a Class 2 or a Class 3 mobility scooter but it’s important to know the difference between these.
- Class 2 scooters cannot be used on a road unless there is not a footpath and will only travel at up to four miles per hour. These scooters do not need to be registered with the DVLA.
- Class 3 mobility scooters can travel on roads and up to speeds of eight miles per hour. However, they must be registered with the DVLA which is something that a lot of retailers fail to tell their clients during the purchase of such a scooter.
If you want to travel with a friend, family member or partner on your mobility scooter then you may have considered a tandem model. These come in either side by side or linear configurations and have a whole world of benefits.
However, it’s really important to keep in mind that these scooters are only suitable for use on private property as they are not permitted on public roads and paths within the UK. So, while they might be great, buying one could be a waste of money unless you have a large private estate.