Why are tandem mobility scooters illegal?

tandem mobility scooters

Tandem mobility scooters are no different from a conventional driver-only model, other than their stretched chassis and additional seat. However, they are not currently legal to use on British roads or pavements.

According to the Department for Transport:

Tandem mobility scooters cannot legally be used on pavements or roads in Britain. In law, a mobility scooter and a powered wheelchair are both considered to be an ‘invalid carriage’, defined under the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970. The specific definition is: Section 20 (2) “invalid carriage” means a vehicle, whether mechanically propelled or not, constructed or adapted for use for the carriage of one person, being a person suffering from some physical defect or disability.

Tandem mobility scooters: Invaluable lifeline for older couples

It seems obvious why tandem mobility scooters can be so useful for older couples – especially when one person is no longer able to operate a scooter on their own – and yet the Department does not have any plans to amend the legislation to make them lawful.

We’d like to help get the law changed if we can. If you would be happy to provide us with a case study – by telling your own story about how a tandem mobility scooter would help you – please get in touch by leaving a comment at the bottom of this page. No need to leave contact details as we’ll be able to see your email address without it becoming public.


mobility scooter insurance

What type of mobility scooter is legal?

There are two categories of mobility scooter. Class 2 mobility scooters can’t be used on the road (except where there isn’t a pavement) and have a maximum speed of 4 mph. This type of mobility scooter does not need to be registered. Class 3 mobility scooters can be used on the road, and have a maximum speed of 4 mph off the road, and 8 mph on the road.

A report commissioned by the Department for Transport found that many suppliers of mobility scooters fail to inform their customers of the legal requirement to register these larger class 3 scooters with the DVLA. To register a class 3 mobility scooter, complete form V55/4 for new vehicles, or V55/5 for used vehicles.

Insurance for mobility scooters

Fully comprehensive mobility scooter insurance from the ETA  represents excellent value for money. For more information please call us on 01932 828 882 or click here

The policy includes everything you need to keep you moving should your mobility scooter be stolen, vandalised or damaged accidentally. At no extra cost, you also benefit from breakdown cover to take you home if your mobility scooter suffers a flat battery, mechanical fault or puncture.

For added reassurance, every policy includes £5m third party cover to protect you against claims for injury or damage caused while using your mobility scooter or powered chair. And should you be unfortunate enough to crash your scooter, our insurance policy includes personal accident cover up to £20,000.


  1. Jehosophat


    Both parents in late 80’s, Dad physically frail and immobile, unable to drive or go out alone. Mum has been his ‘taxi’ and carer for well over a decade, but will soon give up their car as she acknowledges her driving is deteriorating. My sibling and I live some distance away. She quite rightly is afraid to leave him alone for any length of time.
    For over twenty years until it recently became too difficult they holidayed in Spain and *hired and used two seater mobility scooters* without problems. We all know this is the ideal solution for them.
    She can get a mobility scooter for her but he needs chauffeuring. Hence their joint situation means they are about to lose all real autonomy. If two seaters were permitted this would not happen. At a time cities everywhere are wanting to reduce average speeds, it is incoherent and inhumane.

  2. Anne Russell


    Both my husband and I are disabled to different extents. It would be great to use one scooter if we’re both going to the same place, rather than two, taking up the pavement and using twice the battery power. Finding places to park, and the expense of purchasing two scooters is also something to be considered.

  3. Mike


    Its a no from me I am afraid to say, the pavements do not work for any style of Tandem Mobility Scooters especially for turning corners etc. We originally imported the Gemini scooter into the UK in the late 90’s and people could see the benefits on it however with the UK infrastructure for pavements etc etc it just simply would not work and was dangerous for both the user and other pedestrians. There have been plenty of debates on this over the last 20 years , the infrastructure in reality will not allow these units to be used safely, hence only used on private grounds

  4. Lin Williams


    At the moment, I am able to drive the two of us about. A time will come when I have to give up my car. A two seater scooter would be the obvious solution, but I know they are illegal. I have thought a bariatric scooter would work, but it is far from ideal.
    I can see a problem with safely getting a tandem around a shop and I could see them not being practical from that point of view.
    Many moons ago I used to drive one of those blue invalid tricycles – we called them Noddy cars. They were unreliable death traps and tipped over very easily. However, they kept you relatively dry and had space for a folded wheelchair inside. Carrying a passenger was illegal, but possible if they were brave enough.
    So my ideal solution would be a small underpowered electric vehicle with space for a folded wheelchair and a passenger. Maybe a street legal golf buggy would suffice? As long as I don’t need a driving licence it’ll be OK for me.
    This all comes down to changing vehicle classifications. I can see this type of vehicle being popular outside the mobility community as well.

  5. David


    I have two elderly parents both living together in assisted living, my dad is 6 months away from being 100 and my mum is 96 who has vascular dementia.. my dad is still very mentally well and has very good health apart from oedema in the ankles which makes it hard for him to walk to the local shops. A twin seated scooter would be ideal for them as there is not a moment they are separated mainly due to the stress it caused my mum.

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