This depends on which class your electric wheelchair sits in; class 2 or class 3. Class 2 vehicles are limited to 4mph and class 3 8mph. Most electric wheelchairs are considered class 2.
Mobility vehicles have a section in the Highway Code that states:
Class 2 users should always use the pavement when it is available. When there is no pavement, you should use caution when on the road. Class 2 users should, where possible, travel in the direction of the traffic. If you are travelling at night when lights MUST be used, you should travel in the direction of the traffic to avoid confusing other road users. Law UICHR reg 9
It is important to note that although class 2 vehicles are technically allowed on the road, they to comply with the requirements specified in the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1984 as if it was a motor vehicle within the meaning of the Road Traffic Act 1972.
Yes. Most buses will either be level access to the pavement or will operate an automatic or manual folding ramp. Once aboard the bus you will need to navigate to the wheelchair area. This area is often occupied by those with buggies or trolleys. The Disability Discrimination act gives wheelchairs priority over these people in this area. The bus driver is allowed to ask passengers to move from this area but is not compelled to do so.
Once in the area, the electric wheelchair should have the brakes on (not in free wheel mode) and be turned off. Typically, there is a pad that should be reversed up to, to prevent the chair from tipping over in the event of an accident or harsh braking. There should also be an accessible bell and handles.
Note: you must check that the bus and route are wheelchair accessible before leaving home as some older or rural buses may not have the functionality to board a power chair.
Yes, assuming they adhere to the legislation. The Civil Aviation Authority have a dedication section of their website to check specific details, found here. https://www.caa.co.uk/passengers/prm/passengers-with-disabilities-and-reduced-mobility/
In our experience, the biggest concern when taking electric wheelchairs on an aircraft is to do with batteries. Plus, most ‘travel’ electric wheelchairs are powered by lithium batteries.
Electric wheelchairs powered by lithium batteries
The battery must not exceed 300Wh The battery must be removed as per manufacturer’s instruction and carried in the cabin The battery terminals must be protected from short circuit. The battery must be protected from damage
What if I have more than one battery?
This bit is very important and is often misunderstood by passengers and airlines. The CAA states “A maximum of one spare battery not exceeding 300 Wh or two spare batteries not exceeding 160 Wh each may also be carried. Spare batteries must be carried in the cabin.”
This means in total you can take 2 lithium batteries that do not exceed 300Wh each, or 3 batteries that do not exceed 160Wh each.
Airlines will likely want to see a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) certificate. All of our powerchairs can be supplied with this where required.
Note: it is important you check each airline’s own policy as we have heard of at least 2 airlines that have interpreted these guidelines differently.
Information correct of 17/02/2020
The short answer is yes, but, whether your electric wheelchair is allowed is dependent on the company you have booked your cruise with.
We have many customers that buy electric wheelchairs specifically for the purpose of a cruise. It means you can effortlessly drive from cabin, to deck, to dinner!
Each cruise liner operates differently; some will allow you to take yours on board, and others will want you to hire on of theirs from their preferred supplier.
Most companies want you to book an accessible cabin in order to take mobility equipment on board. Failure to do so may result in your mobility equipment being refused.
Call your booking agent to get exact details.
Yes. All electric wheelchairs have a lever on each motor that engages and disengages the motors and brakes. This means that when you’re driving your powerchair, when you let go of the joystick, the brakes automatically apply – meaning you don’t roll away! If however you need to be pushed, because you have a flat battery, are stuck or have a mechanical fault, then your attendant can simply flip the levers to ‘free wheel’ and push you onwards.
Almost all electric wheelchairs are not waterproof and should not be allowed to get wet. With that said, some electric wheelchairs go to greater lengths to prevent water ingress. The Freedom chair range for example have O-rings on electric cable connections.
We recommend buying a poncho and joystick cover to attach in the event of a shower. All available online at our shop.
Electric wheelchairs are built for different people, in different locations, with different transport requirements. As such, some electric wheelchairs will perform much better on more challenging terrain.
To get optimum performance on grass, you should look for larger rear wheels, around 30cm (12”), with knobbly tyres. Plus, you’ll also need reasonably robust front castor wheels to ensure you can navigate the terrain. Pneumatic tyres may also provide greater grip over the muddy grass.
Be careful of steep hills when on grass, and if the grass is wet take extra care not to damage your electric wheelchair.
Most electric wheelchairs are class 2 vehicles and limited to 4mph. You can legally only drive an electric wheelchair at 4mph on pavements in the UK.
There are some electric wheelchairs that can go faster, but legally these should only be used at the higher speeds on private land or on the road – assuming they conform with the requirements specified in the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1984.
Yes. We partner with one of the leading Mobility insurers, Mark Bates Ltd, who insure all types of mobility equipment.
There are 2 different policies, for 2 different needs and our knowledgeable customer service team can explain these to you in great detail.
There is a common misconception that home insurance will cover your product. However, mobility specific insurance will cover two key areas: public liability (if you injure someone or damage someone’s property) and breakdown recovery, so if you’re out and about and need collecting you can rest assured.
Mobility specific insurance also covers the cost of puncture repair, accidental damage, baggage handling and inflight cover, and more!
Spring Chicken can rent you an electric wheelchair, depending on your needs and what you want to use it for e.g. UK travel, abroad travel or more. Simply call us to find out more information and speak to our rental team.
Electric wheelchairs have an enormous weight range. From the lightest at under 20kg (3st1) to the heaviest at over 150kg (23st 6)!
Of course, different weight wheelchairs are used for different people and activities.
Lightweight electric wheelchairs
Lightweight electric wheelchairs are typically foldable as their lightweight structure makes them ideal for lifting. You may need to lift into the boot of a car, into a cupboard for storage or to lift on to an aeroplane when going away. One of the key components of a lightweight electric wheelchair is lithium batteries that are powerful, charge quickly and very lightweight.
Spring Chicken are specialists in lightweight, folding electric wheelchairs for a wide variety of needs.
Call us to book a demonstration and check it fits in your car boot!
Most electric wheelchairs have been designed to fit through a standard door. Of course, older properties have smaller doors so this isn’t always the case. One of the many advantages of a home demonstration is the ability to check for a good fit through doors. Whilst it is possible to measure, you want to be sure it’s a straightforward fit so you don’t scuff your door frames or your knuckles!
Equally, if you are a larger person and need a larger seat, you will need a wider chair.