If you have impaired mobility, you might be considering buying a mobility scooter to get around. But do you need a licence to drive a mobility scooter?
Or can anyone drive one?
We’re here to help answer common questions around driving a mobility scooter on the roads, footpaths, etc, as well as licences and laws.
So, is a licence necessary to drive a mobility scooter?
The short answer is that you don’t need a licence to drive a mobility scooter.
Here’s what the legislation says.
What restrictions are there?
As you can imagine, there are restrictions on the usage of mobility scooters on the road. Because you don’t need a licence to drive a mobility scooter, the usual road rules don’t apply. Why is this? Largely, because users of mobility scooters are considered pedestrians. Mobility scooters are not vehicles.
The same way that you don’t need a licence to walk on a footpath or ride a bicycle, you don’t need one for a motorised mobility scooter. However, rules do apply.
In Victoria, for instance, mobility scooters must have a maximum speed of 10km/h on level ground and weigh no more than 110kg without the user or luggage on board. Over in Tasmania, the maximum speed is also 10km/h, and additionally, a mobility scooter cannot exceed a maximum power output of 200 watts.
In New South Wales, mobility scooter users must not exceed 10km/h and the mobility scooter must not exceed 110kg unladen. You also mustn’t be affected by alcohol or drugs when driving your mobility scooter on a road or footpath.
And so on. The rules do vary to some degree depending on state and territory, but are fairly consistent. Still, you should check detailed laws for your area in this PDF. That way you’ll know for sure you aren’t breaking any laws driving your mobility scooter.
Remember you can always contact local government if you’re unsure of something.
Who can drive one?
You should only be driving a mobility scooter if you need it. If you just can’t be bothered to start up the car for a short journey, you actually could be breaking the law. Australian Road Rules state the driver must have a reasonable need to use the scooter.
What’s a reasonable need to use a mobility scooter? Basically, you need to have mobility issues that require you to use this special kind of equipment to get yourself from A to B. Otherwise, anyone who wanted a mobility scooter could drive one even if they weren’t in need of one.
Can you drive mobility scooters on the road?
No, you may not drive your mobility scooter on the road as if it was a car. Especially when you consider there’s no need for a licence to drive a mobility scooter. Not only is it dangerous for you, it’s dangerous for other road users too. Not to mention illegal.
In some states/territories you may drive on the road for a short amount of time if there’s no appropriate footpath available. That’s why it’s always important to plan your journey ahead of time – ensure you’re aware of how safe your route is for you, other footpath users, and road users.
So I should use my mobility scooter on pavements?
Yep! When on your mobility scooter, consider yourself a pedestrian and always use footpaths and pedestrian crossings to make your way to your destination.
Although you might not need a licence, you should still be safety conscious and aware of your surroundings. Here are some of our top tips for keeping safe on your mobility scooter.
Insurance for your mobility scooter
It might not be a car requiring compulsory third party insurance, but insuring your mobility scooter is a smart move. Blue Badge Insurance understands how important being able to drive your mobility scooter is to you. Because we value your independence, we offer disability-specific insurance to fit your needs.
Find out more about our comprehensive mobility scooter insurance here.