Used Scooters – Some timely Advice

August 1, 2012 No Comments by admin

Over time we have met some people have purchased second hand Mobility Scooters from the side of the street, online or simply from someone they know.

Invariably they come into the workshop with problems of one sort or another.

The problems are invariably Battery failure, not running properly, Tyres and other problems. We find that these scooters have not been used for some period of time before purchase. Therefore the batteries have not been maintained properly along with other symptoms of a lack of maintenance.

As an example, client purchased a mobility scooter for $1,000 from the side of the road, they were told that the Batteries were recently replaced and the scooter was ready for use. Additionally they were under the impression that the scooter was around 3 years old and supposedly a good quality scooter.

The scooter was brought into the workshop for servicing after the new owner had used it for a month or so and noted a few problems in operating this scooter.

During the course of the service we uncovered the following problems.

The age of the scooter was in excess of 10 years old, was a model that is no longer sold, parts were no longer available, the front of the chassis was damaged from a substantial impact, the batteries, after being checked were in need of replacement as they were over 4 years old and not of the correct capacity. The Tyres had cracks and were well worn. The body work had many scratches and rust had started to attack the frame components.

After assessing the cost to rectify the problems we had to advise the client that in reality this Mobility Scooter was really beyond economic repair.

As an example, the battery life for most scooters that are looked after can extend from 2 to 4 years before the need for replacement. The replacement cost of batteries for this Mobility Scooter was just under $500. A standard service is usually less than $100, plus pick up and delivery. Replacement of the Tyres was nearly $200, and the repair of the damage to the front end around $300. This brought the total cost to repair the scooter to a roadworthy condition to in excess of the original purchase price. Purchase price was $1000, repair costs were $1100 total expenditure equated to $2100.

A new scooter of similar capacity with warranty, from a reputable supplier could be purchased for less than $3,000. Of course this lady was not happy with what she had committed herself to but as she said it was my decision so “that’s the way it is”.

 As this example is not the first we have experienced we make the following recommendation to anyone thinking of  buying a used scooter not from an authorized dealer. Most dealers will have done a service, checked all components, rectified any problems and if the batteries have been replaced at point of sale you will have a warranty on them for at least 6 months. Most dealers will give a short term warranty of around one month on their scooters and if it is still within its manufacturers warranty period will transfer the balance of that warranty to the new owner.

Note second hand scooters do not come with a statutory warranty it is purely the dealer who will stand behind their second hand scooters.

Have the scooter inspected, Batteries checked not just for state of charge but also for state of health. A special battery tester is required to do this job. A battery can show that it has say 13volts which is fine but may show a State of Health of 80%. In most cases this means that the Batteries are in need of replacement. Cracks in the Tyres either around the sides or between the treads indicates that the Tyres are in need of replacement.

 We at Scooters & Mobility-RunawayBay, offer a service to inspect a second hand scooter for you and provide a written report on its condition for only $100.

This inspection could save you many hundreds of dollars on rectification work not to mention the stress incurred if you make an uninformed decision to purchase a Mobility Scooter that may not be all it seems.

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