Motorised mobility devices

The Victorian Government is committed to helping people who have difficulty walking to remain active members of our community. This includes people who use motorised scooters and powered wheelchairs (collectively known as motorised mobility devices).

Each year, over 1,000 Australians are admitted to hospital due to incidents involving mobility scooters. Almost all these injuries occur to device users, but there are also concerns about wider community safety due to the increasing use of these devices. 

Note: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, McKenna K, Tovel A and Pointer S (2019). Mobility scooter-related injuries and deaths. Injury research and statistics series no. 121. Canberra, AIHW Available from: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare website.

Information on this page is useful for current and potential users of motorised mobility devices, family members, carers and health professionals. The information will help you to:

  • Decide whether a motorised mobility device is right for you 
  • Choose a device best suited to your needs
  • Use the device effectively and safely
  • Access public transport
  • Know where to go to get more information

Guide to Choosing and Using Mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs

Motorised scooters and powered wheelchairs are therapeutic devices. They should only be used by people who are unable to walk or have difficulty walking. Device choice should be guided by health professional advice. 

Various device types, designs and sizes cater for individual needs and where you want to use the device. Also, additional accessories are available. There is a lot to think about before you purchase one.

You should seek advice from your GP and an occupational therapist. This comprehensive guide [PDF 1.8 Mb] explains why getting such advice is important - it also explains:

Rules

Who can use these devices and where they can be used. 

User/Operator requirements: 

  • Deciding if these devices are right for you, including confirming physical and mental requirements to safely operate them - a useful CHECKLIST guides you through considerations.

Choosing and using the device: 

  • Choosing the right device to meet individual needs, including a CHECKLIST to step you through important considerations and communicating needs to your health professional.
  • Operating the device safely to protect your own, and other peoples’ safety. 
  • Using the device on public transport, including another CHECKLIST.

More information:

Select the image below to download A guide for choosing and using mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs.

A Guide to choosing and using mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs

If you prefer a hard copy it can be ordered via our online bookshop, calling 1300 509 371  or by visiting a VicRoads Customer Service Centre.  

Fact Sheets:

We have created separate fact sheets, based on the full “Guide for Choosing and Using Mobility Scooters and Powered Wheelchairs” comprehensive guide. See below for full description of each fact sheet and download link. Or access via “Quick links” at the right. 

Based on the full Guide, we have created separate fact sheets to help you through the various steps in choosing and using a motorised mobility device.

Fact Sheet 1 - Is a motorised mobility device right for you? [PDF 281 Kb]

This will help you and your family and/or carers decide whether a motorised mobility device is an option for you. Not everyone is suited to using a motorised mobility device. And, importantly, if you are not fit to drive a car, you cannot assume that you are able to use a mobility scooter safely.

A checklist that you can fill in and discuss with your health professional is included.

Fact Sheet 2 - Choosing the right device [PDF 183 Kb]

This describes the many things you need to consider when choosing a device to suit your needs. It includes a checklist you can fill in and discuss with your health professional and supplier. As motorised scooters and powered wheelchairs are therapeutic devices it is important to get expert advice. 

Fact Sheet 3 - Occupational therapist assessment for use of a mobility scooter or powered wheelchair [PDF 138 Kb]

You may be referred to an occupational therapist to determine your suitability for a motorised mobility device. They will help guide selection of an appropriate device, provide training in safe operation and assist with any funding you may be eligible for. This fact sheet explains these processes and how the occupational therapist works with you, your GP and your family and/or carers. 

Fact Sheet 4 - Safe use of your motorised mobility device [PDF 370 Kb]

Before you get out and about on your motorised mobility device, there are some important things to learn to support your own comfort and safety as well as the safety of others. Most importantly, you should have proper training from an occupational therapist to make sure you can use the device safely and independently. This fact sheet supplements such training and outlines key safety considerations, including road rules that apply when using these devices. 

Fact Sheet 5 - Using your motorised mobility device on public transport in Victoria [PDF 757 Kb]

The Victorian public transport system aims to be as accessible as possible for people with disabilities, including those who use a mobility scooter or powered wheelchair. This fact sheet summarises important things to consider if you are planning to use your mobility device on public transport. More information is available on the Public Transport Victoria website.

Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria also has information about carrying mobility aids including motorised mobility devices in wheelchair accessible taxis in Victoria.  

Fact Sheet for GP practices - Motorised mobility devices [PDF 205 Kb]

GPs and other practice staff often discuss community mobility options with people who have disabilities or need to transition from driving. This fact sheet helps GP clinic staff to direct patients/carers to:

  • information about choosing and using a motorised mobility device
  • appropriate assessment and training through an occupational therapist.

Local support and facilities

Municipal Councils
Municipal Council websites can provide useful information about accessibility, including accessible transport stops, the location of charging stations and accessible community facilities. 

Council of the Ageing (Victoria)
Council of the Ageing (COTA) represents the interests and rights of people aged 50+ in Victoria. They offer programs, events and information addressing a wide range of issues relevant to older Victorians.

Health Advice

Occupational Therapy Australia
OT Australia is the peak professional body representing occupational therapists. The website provides useful information to find an occupational therapist who specialises in motorised mobility device assessment and training.

Local health services
Local health services may offer occupational therapy out-patient services to support mobility assessment and training. Ask to speak to someone in the occupational therapy department.

Suppliers

Assistive Technology Suppliers Australia is the industry body representing suppliers of mobility aids. They can help you find a supplier and have information resources and events for consumers.  

Insurance/ Breakdown assistance

Blue Badge Insurance Australia
Blue Badge specialises in comprehensive insurance for people with reduced mobility and disabilities. Products include comprehensive insurance for scooters and wheelchairs, as well as vehicle insurance for vehicles modified to accommodate people with disabilities as either drivers or passengers.

RACV
RACV Emergency Wheelchair and Scooter assistance is a breakdown service for users. Members receive up to 8 call outs per year to assist with flat tyres or batteries or minor mechanical repairs. A wheelchair accessible taxi will be arranged if required. Users must carry spare tyre tubes for tyres to be repaired. 

Public Transport websites

Public Transport Victoria (PTV)
PTV provides useful information about using public transport, including metropolitan and regional services, information to assist with journey planning, ticket information and changes to services. Mobile device apps also help you when you are out and about. You can call PTV to discuss your needs on 1800 800 007.

There are PTV Hubs where staff can assist you located at Southern Cross Station, Geelong – Westfield Shopping Centre and Bendigo – Bendigo Marketplace. Check the PTV website for opening hours.

Metropolitan buses (the main service provider is Transdev)
Transdev provides specific travel information for 49 bus routes across Melbourne to assist with journey planning and accessibility requirements. Other bus operators may also have similar information.

Metro Trains
Metro Trains provides information to assist with planning your travel on metropolitan trains. Ticketing, timetables and service changes are also provided. 

Yarra Trams 
Yarra Trams provides information to assist with travel planning, including route guides to identify accessible routes and stops. You can find accessible tram stops (by searching for the stop name) and stop information by clicking on the stop name in an electronic timetable or journey planner page. Ticketing, timetables and service changes are also provided. The tramTRACKER app also provides information about accessible routes and whether a tram is low-floored. 

V/Line
The website and app provide travel planning information including accessibility of train and coach services, ticketing and service changes. V/Line also has virtual tours of all trains used for regional services. You can use these to help plan your travel. 

Travellers Aid
Travellers Aid is a non-for-profit organisation that provides support to public transport users including those using motorised mobility devices. Services include travel information, a buggy service connecting metropolitan and regional services and mobility equipment hire. Travellers Aid Hubs are located at Flinders Street Station, Southern Cross Station and Seymour Station (regional). The Hubs also include other facilities (e.g. accessible toilets/showers and kitchen facilities) and carer assistance. You may need to book for some services.

Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria
Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria provides information about using wheelchair accessible vehicles (taxi) including conditions of use and booking requirements.

Quick links

A guide for choosing and using mobility scooters and powered wheelchairsComprehensive guide [PDF 1.8 Mb]

A guide for choosing and using mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs (Printable double page version) - Comprehensive guide [PDF 1.7 Mb]

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