Power Chair or Mobility Scooter. Which will suit me?

Powerchair Vs Mobility Scooter – “Which will best suit me?”

For those with mobility impairment, electric powerchairs and mobility scooters can be a great solution to regaining both your independence and freedom. However, selecting the right piece of equipment that best suits your needs is paramount and we are here to help you make an informed decision. The following article discusses the pros and cons of both powerchairs and electric scooters and provides a general guide to their differences. 

Four Major Benefits of Electric Powerchairs – Getting around the home and travel made easy again!

An electric powerchair is a high-tech piece of mobility equipment that is designed to dramatically improve mobility. Usually equipped with four to six wheels and steered by a programmable joystick, electric powerchairs are highly maneuverable and versatile enough to be used both indoors and on outdoor terrain.

Given their exceptional maneuverability and ability to turn on the spot, the first main benefit of an electric powerchair is that they are ideal for indoor use. The ease in getting around tight corners and areas of restricted space is one of the key benefits. For example, the Jazzy Passport Folding Travel Powerchair by Pride, capable of being comfortably seated at a table, taking up minimal leg room. Therefore, if your primary area of concern is indoor mobility and performing daily tasks around the home, then a powerchair will be an effective mobility aid for you.

Secondly, if you need one that you can travel with, the Jazzy Passport Folding Travel compact powerchair folds in just a few steps and offers convenient storage and ample foot room. You can even take this one on a plane, although you should check with your airline before flying.

Thirdly, some electric powerchair models offer the widest array of seat movement options of any mobility vehicle. Models, such as the Shoprider Puma 14HD electric powerchair which has the flexibility of an adjustable Captains Seat. Additionally it caters for the user who requires extra weight capacity (205kg) in a powerchair. The Shoprider Puma 14HD has been ergonomically engineered to provide the robust combination of style and comfort that you deserve. Another example of a different kind of seat movement is the Pride Jazzy Air2 that features a seat that moves vertically and elevates the user up to 30cm in just 11 seconds. 

Fourthly, an electric powerchair provides independence for many people who suffer from debilitating conditions, such as loss of muscle strength, as they are able to control the powerchair with a toggle switch.

Benefits of Mobility Scooters – Regain Your Independence

If you primarily need mobility assistance outside the home, for example to do the shopping or visit friends, then a motorised mobility scooter may be the best solution for you. Given a range of benefits and features such as:

  • handle-bar steering
  • safety features such as headlights and indicators
  • longer battery life and
  • better suspension

Electric mobility scooters are a safer alternative if you're looking to increase your mobility outdoors. However, these days many mobility scooters have a fantastic turning circle and astute maneuverability, making them ideal for indoor use also.

Mobility Scooters are commonly grouped under three general categories – portable, medium and heavy duty and the scooter you select needs to be most suited to your lifestyle. People have very different travel needs, from a simple daily trip to the shops to extended trips along the coastline or across hilly terrain. The most important consideration therefore, is deciding which mobility scooter will meet your needs and requirements - and, where you will park it! 

If you have any questions or need assistance, please call the Liberty Healthcare team on 1300 688 388 (Brisbane) or 1300 885 853 (Gold Coast).

Portable Electric Scooters

A compact mobility scooter, such as the GK10 Crossover by Shoprider is where power meets portability. The GK10 is the largest portable scooter in the Shoprider range. Perfect for those looking for more grunt in their portable scooter, the GK10 Crossover unites many of the features found in the more powerful Shoprider models with the added benefit of easy dismantling. Also a larger model, which combines the advantage of portability as well as features such as pneumatic tyres, lights and a more comfortable seat.

Also perfect for travel, portable scooters, with their tight turning circle, like the GK9 Little Ripperare ideal for those trips to the shopping centre. These portable options are also perfect for navigation within the home or other tight areas, such as supermarket aisles. These compact portable mobility scooters are great choices if you have limited storage space, as they can be easily kept in an out-of-the-way corner or closet.

Long Distance Electric Scooters

For those looking to regain the ability to head outdoors on hilly and rugged terrain, navigate footpaths and side roads in order to do the shopping, or visit family and friends, medium range and heavy duty scooters, such as the Shoprider Rocky 4, and Allrounder or the Pride Zero Turn 10 are ideal. With enhanced features including longer battery life, greater suspension, pneumatic tyres and a more powerful motor, a heavy duty electric scooter is ideal for those of you wanting to regain your independence and enjoy the great outdoors.

"So, Which One is Right For Me?"

If you are primarily in need of mobility assistance inside your home for your everyday needs and routine, then a powerchair or three wheel compact scooter may be the best option. On the flipside, if your primary need for mobility assistance is outside of the home, then an electric mobility scooter, be it portable, sturdy or heavy duty, may be the best solution for you.

Below is a table that outlines the features and benefits of powerchairs, in comparison to mobility scooters. Although we recommend consulting with your physician in regards to your most suitable mobility vehicle, this article and chart will also assist you to make an informed decision. If you would like to speak to a trained professional, call the Liberty Healthcare team on 1300 688 388 (Brisbane) 1300 885 853 (Gold Coast).

Feature/Benefit Electric Powerchair Mobility Scooter
Designed primarily for indoor use, but can also be used outdoors Yes

Portable and 3 Wheel

Designed primarily for outdoor use, but can also be used indoors


Portable and Medium
Easily navigates tight spaces and corners in the house Yes Tight wheel turn models only
Able to operate on a wide variety of outdoor surfaces No Yes
Joystick controller for steering may be installed on either arm of the chair Yes Not Applicable
Adjustable tiller and handle bar steering for easy control No Yes
Various seating options available based on changing medical condition Yes


Available with a large variety of accessories such as bags, holders and baskets for even more convenience Yes Yes
Mobility scooters

Leave a comment