Before You Buy
Now that you’ve made the decision to purchase a power-operated vehicle (POV), it’s very important that you are a well-informed consumer. Seek to learn as much as you can. We encourage you to consult this simplified version of the Medicare algorithm when choosing mobility equipment. Become your own mobility expert and determine which type of mobility POV is a perfect match for you.
Here are some important questions to consider before purchasing a mobility power-operated vehicle (POV):
1. Where will you use a mobility POV?
A good mobility representative will ask if you are going to primarily use a mobility POV in your home or outdoors. A range of sizes allows you to select the mobility POV that best fits your needs.
2. Does the seat swivel & lock in any position?
Most seats automatically lock every 90 degrees. Amigo has specially designed the seat to lock at the precise angle that makes transferring easy and safe. You can also leave the seat unlocked which encourages you to swivel the seat at any time and that promotes movement in the lower extremities.
3. Do the controls on the handle provide comfortable and safe driving?
Some drive controls require you to use your thumbs, which can be uncomfortable after extended periods of driving. The Amigo has an oval handle, which protects the throttle from being accidentally hit, encourages use of either the thumb or the fingers and allows the user to rest their hands on the handle while driving.
4. Do I need an automatic brake release?
This is a great feature to have when you want to roll closer to a table. Just release the brake and you or your attendant can gently roll you forward or backwards.
5. Should I get a power chair or a mobility POV?
Depending on your mobility limitations, we recommend a mobility POV if you maintain at least some upper body strength and can sit with minimal support. A mobility POV encourages you to lift your arms/hands to driving position, which can help with breathing and posture. Our swivel seat encourages you to move your legs and feet, which helps circulation. Consider transportation...do you have a van or do you need a mobility POV that fits in your trunk? Amigo recommends power chairs for people with severe disabilities who have very limited upper body strength and movement.
6. Some products are advertised as “FREE” through Medicare/insurance…is this too good to be true?
Medicare beneficiaries may have reimbursement for power chairs or mobility POVs. Before making your decision, you should choose the best equipment for your needs and get quotes on the cost of service replacement of key components. Many consumers are trying to sell the equipment they received for free after finding out it does not suit their needs because they can’t use it or transport it. Use your Medicare dollars wisely to buy equipment that fits you, your home and your lifestyle.
7. What difference is there in pricing of mobility POVs?
Lower price doesn’t always mean “bargain.” You need to estimate the life cycle costs of the product. Be sure you ask the service replacement cost of key components. Sometimes you can’t just purchase a “wire," but have to purchase the entire handle.
8. How important is seating?
Especially if you will be sitting in a mobility POV for more than four hours each day, seating is very important. A bigger seat isn’t always the answer, nor is it always better. When in the seat, make sure you are not “bottoming out." Does the bottom cushion support your legs? Are your upper legs at a 90-degree angle with your hips? Will you be able to get specialized seating if needed? Click here to watch our videos on the importance of seating.
9. What should the floor-to-seat height be?
Floor to seat height and platform width (including rear wheels) are measurements you should know. Amigo’s compact platform widths are great features for functionality -- plus both inside and outside the home. We encourage you to contact your local Amigo dealer to review seat to ground heights (which, by the way, are the lowest in the industry), as well as platform widths. Both sets of measurements will fluctuate due to the selection of tires and seats on each Amigo.
10. Why bigger isn’t always better...
Many power-operated vehicles feature larger handles, bigger wheels and longer platforms. For maximum use, Amigo recommends that the mobility POV you choose be not much larger than your body. Have the dealer bring a mobility POV to your home so you can try it and make sure it fits in your vehicle. Sometimes a smaller handle may make the difference in closing your trunk.
11. Can I order different seats, colors or options?
Many companies offer one basic color and charge you to make changes to it. Decide how important color is and ask the cost of having choices.
12. Should I select tires with or without tread on my POV/mobility scooter?
Today, the majority of mobility POVs, industry-wide, have treaded rear tires. Current mobility POV owners with non-tread tires are selecting treaded tires on their new mobility POV purchases. Not surprisingly, then, many are requesting replacement wheels because of the dirt and stones picked up in the treads and carried indoors.
Review this simple comparison before making your tire selections: