How Do You Buy a Used Motorized Scooter?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Sep 11, 2020 1:39:57 AM ET
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While motorized scooters can be quite useful for people with disabilities as well as older people, they can also be expensive. Luckily, as with cars, you can save money by choosing to buy a used one. Just like any other vehicle you can buy used, however, there are some things you need to know before you start shopping around.

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Identify What You Need

Before you even begin your search, it's important to understand what type of motorized scooter you need. Do you need one that's portable, or will you only be using it around your home? Do you plan to take it outside, or will it simply be something that gets you around the house? The answers to these questions will determine the weight of the scooter you should look for as well as the tires and more.

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You should also think about special features you might need, like charging options, seat width, lights and more. Even the number of wheels can be important, as that in turn can affect stability, maneuverability and portability.

Know Where to Search

As with cars, you should consider buying your motorized scooter from an authorized dealer to ensure that your scooter has been inspected and is in good shape. What’s more, established dealerships are likely to have a wide selection of scooters to choose from, and they may even offer warranties for further security.

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That said, there are also advantages to looking elsewhere. Many people sell their old scooters online, in classified ads, at garage sales or on auction websites. If you do go for one of the latter options, you could very well end up saving a decent amount of money. Just to be safe, however, don’t buy anything until you've seen it in person if possible, and avoid visiting private residences or other secluded places alone.

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See the Scooter in Person

Even if the situation is safe and the scooter is seemingly in good condition, you should always see it in person. Be sure to do a thorough visual inspection, and if you can't, bring along a trusted friend who can. Pay extra attention to the tires, the battery charging points and the battery itself. Have the owner charge it for you to make sure it works.

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Keep in mind that some parts can be replaced, like seats and batteries. Depending on the price, that might not be bad news, but be careful — for all the wear and tear you can see, there’s probably more that you can’t.

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Take a Test Drive

Always ask the owner if you can take the scooter for a test drive. Not only does this allow you to see if the scooter is comfortable and fits your body, but you can also make sure that it works properly. Test the brakes as well as any extras, like lights or horns. If it's meant to be driven on a wide range of terrain, try driving it both indoors and out.

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Find Out About Any Past Problems

Finally, ask the current owner about the scooter's history. How old is it? Has he or she had to have any parts replaced? Has it had any trouble in the past? Find out where it was purchased, if a warranty is still in place and if the paperwork that came with it is available. Most people will be forthcoming about any issues the scooter has, but unfortunately, you can't trust everyone. Generally speaking, however, if the scooter looks clean and has no major damage, that’s probably a good indicator that the previous owner maintained it.

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