Mobility scooters: the rules you need to know

Written by
Isabella Williams

Road safety is an integral part of our society and rules help to keep us safe. Mobility scooters can travel up to 8mph and if driven without the required due diligence, could potentially cause serious injury.

Middletons has laid out the rules for users of powered wheelchairs and mobility scooters, and for those thinking about buying one. The information is sourced from the government's official site so you can trust this source to help you know exactly what you need to do to keep you, other road users and pedestrians, safe.

Introduction to your scooter

You may not be aware that only certain kinds of scooters are allowed to go on the road and that they may need registering. 

There are two categories:

Class 2 invalid carriages

These scooters cannot be used on the road (except when there is no pavement), this is because their maximum speed is 4mph. Middletons has a fantastic range of class 2 scooters for you to explore.

Class 3 invalid carriages

These mobility scooters can be used on the road. This is because they can go up to 8mph. However, when you use them on the pavement you must not exceed 4mph. Middletons has a collection of road scooters, specially designed for your comfort and convenience. 

You do not need to register a class 2 invalid carriage. However, you must register a class 3 invalid carriage. Additionally, you must be 14+ to drive a class 3 invalid carriage.

When you visit your local Middletons store, we will guide you to ensure that you have the correct information and register your new mobility scooter. 

lady crossing the road on a mobility scooter

Class 3 mobility scooter rules

There are many advantages to owning a road scooter. You can go about your daily business, run errands and see friends with more independence. You can go quickly on a flat road which goes even further than most pavement scooters. These are the scooters for the efficient and people who like to get out and about.

However, with the privilege of using the public highway, there comes great responsibility to follow the rules of the road. The class 3 mobility scooter rules state that your road scooter must have: 

  • Maximum weight of no more than 150kg unladen. Unladen weight means the weight of the vehicle without any passengers, goods or other items. It doesn’t include the batteries for our electric scooters.
  • It must be a maximum width of 0.85 meters.
  • It must be able to limit its speed to 4mph. This is essential if you wish to take your road scooter onto the pavement.
  • Your scooter cannot exceed 8mph.
  • Make sure that the braking system is all in working order.
  • Make sure you have front and rear lights and reflectors. This is essential for night driving.
  • You will also need directional indicators that are also able to work as hazard warning lights
  • An audible horn.
  • Rearview mirrors.
  • Finally, you will also need an amber flashing light if you intend to use your scooter on a dual carriageway.

Be aware that if you don’t have these features you could be stopped by the police. If you purchase a mobility scooter with Middletons, you won’t have to worry as our scooters come equipped with these road-safety features. 

Road rules for mobility scooters

When you drive on the road with your Class 3 invalid carriage keep in mind that you are not allowed in bus lanes, cycle only lanes or on motorways. For your safety try and avoid dual carriageways and roads with speeds of 50mph and over.

If you do need to go on dual carriageways or roads with 50mph limits, you must use your amber flashing lights for visibility and follow the Highway Code.

Driving on footpaths and parking with mobility scooters

For Mobility scooter rules in the UK, it is essential that when driving on the pavement or pedestrian areas you do not exceed 4mph.

If you wish to park your mobility scooter, all normal parking restrictions apply. Your scooter cannot be left on a footpath or in a pedestrian area as it could get in the way of other pedestrians, wheelchair users and people with prams and pushchairs.

Eyesight requirements

In order to drive a mobility scooter, you will need to be able to read a car registration number from a distance of 12.3 meters (40 feet). Furthermore, if you have an accident because of poor eyesight, you may have to pay compensation as well as run the risk of causing significant injury to yourself or others.

With Middletons, when you visit us in store, we’ll make sure that you’re physically able to drive a scooter. We have more information on the Middletons blog about our free of charge in-store assessment. Our policy ensures your safety by stating that if you’re not physically able to operate a scooter we reserve the right to refuse sale for your benefit and the safety of all other road and pavement users.

Elderly people enjoying their mobility scooters

Who can use a mobility scooter?

The simple answer is that anyone can use a mobility scooter. However, it is our recommendation that you would likely only need a mobility scooter if you have trouble walking. This could be because of an injury, physical disability, medical condition or limited range of mobility.

    Should I tax, register or insure my Scooter?


    You do not have to pay tax for any mobility scooters if it is registered as a class 3 invalid carriage.


    When you buy a scooter from Middletons we will make you the ‘registered keeper’. This means the scooter will be in your name. You’ll get a new vehicle log book (V5C) in the post within 4 weeks of the sale.

    Changing your name and address

    If you need to change your name or address after you’ve purchased a mobility scooter, you need to fill in section 6 of your vehicle logbook and send it to the DVLA.


    This is not essential but we recommend that you purchase insurance with your mobility scooter. Read about our insurance policies here.

    So there you are! You now know all the rules are regulations that you need to follow when buying and owning a mobility scooter. Now that you know the rules, it’s time for the fun part - selecting and test driving your scooter! Middletons has you covered with a scooter for every occasion, discover our collection now. 

    Always remember that you can't get these added services if you buy mobility scooters online. This can be dangerous if you're not physically fit to drive one. Here at Middletons, we make sure that all the necessary checks are completed and that you won't be a danger to yourself and others around you. So come and visit your nearest showroom today, use the store finder to find your nearest store.

    For more information about any of our scooters or rules of the road call us free on 0800 999 2831.

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