Mobility Scooter

Because I couldn't get another electric wheelchair through Medicare (my previous one was more than five years old, and I lived in California where I also had Medicaid), I purchased my own mobility scooter for less than the twenty percent co-pay I would have had to pay if they did approve one for me.

I purchased a Drive Scout Spitfire from:

At the time I bought it, it was $699. As of this posting, I see it is now $1,099.

First and foremost, I learned the hard way... to purchase a scooter from a local dealer who can also service it when something goes wrong or you need new batteries installed. Or if you purchase online, make sure a local dealer can service it. None of the dealers around my area can service this brand.

When it came time to change the batteries, I needed a professional maintenance man (who works at my apartment complex). Even so, it took over an hour, and he could not get the screws back into the battery case because of the layout. The cover is on the bottom of the case. I got the idea of using a strap like the ones that hold refrigerators onto a dolly, and he had one on his cart. Once the case was strapped together, it could be flipped over to get the screws in.

The scooter has a swivel seat with a release on the left side. But I often needed two hands to hold something and would have to put it down to reach the lever under the seat, and it was difficult for me to release the swivel lever. I thought about the swivel seat cushions used in vehicles and got one. Because the seat isn't level, I folded up some rubber shelf liner to place under the swivel seat cushion. Success!

However, pressure on my sit bones (the bottom part of my pelvis) made sitting on the other cushion I had been using on top of the swivel seat uncomfortable. A friend who used to have a job sitting at a computer all day suggested a donut which her doctor had recommended. I found this one which has been working out great!

The scooter came with a basket in front which is ideal for carrying a bottle of water, a notepad, my charger (which I began carrying with me after the scooter died on me several times), my eyeglass case, tissues, and other necessities. I even put binder clips on the top of the basket to hook bags onto, as well as my keys. But I still needed something to carry my smaller objects with me (pen, pencil, marker, miniature screwdriver, hearing aid batteries, eye drops, remotes for lamps, wallet, clip-on sunglasses, hand-held mirror). I added a saddlebag to the top (back) of the handlebar that can also be used on a walker and a wheelchair.

The floor on the scooter has been a great help in transporting items like gallon jugs of water and other packages too large to fit in the basket.

Because I use my cell phone for so many tasks (timers, alarms, phone calls, emails in addition to social media connections), I added a mobility phone mount to the handle next to the control panel. A portable cell phone charger along with the cord fits nicely in the back pocket of the saddlebag.


January 2022 Update: Someone gave me an electric wheelchair that was too big for me, so I put it up for sale so I could buy a Pride Go-Go. But something amazing happened. Someone wanted that electric wheelchair but asked me if I'd be willing to trade it for her scooter... which turned out to be a Pride Go-Go with four wheels. She had also invested in the 18 amp batteries with the larger battery case. I even found out she got the batteries and the case from the same mechanic that works on my van.

I found this scooter to have a much smoother ride, the seat swivels so easy I don't need the extra swivel I used on the other one, the seat is more comfortable so I don't need the extra cushions on it, and the turn radius is much tighter making it easier to get in and out of the smaller spaces of my apartment which I thought I needed a 3-wheel one to do. Then I gave the other one to someone else I know who can't afford to buy one. (Since then, I discovered I could use a salon stool on wheels in my apartment.)


April 2024 Update: The above scooter works well on a smooth surface and fits on the lift of my van. However, I wasn't happy with the rough ride as it doesn't have any suspension. After searching for many different options, I decided to invest in a Pride Baja Bandit. It does have suspension and provides a much smoother ride outside. My only complaints are the accelerator is only on the right side, and it is too big for the lift of my van.