A common question people may ask before purchasing a mobility scooter is, “are mobility scooters allowed in shops?” and this is a reasonable question to ask. After all, your new mobility scooter will be a way for you to improve how you get around in everyday life. This will include trips to the shops, supermarkets, and many other places.
So, can a mobility scooter be used inside a shop? The answer to this is yes and no. Most major supermarkets are equipped with wider aisles. One of the reasons for this, is to facilitate the use of mobility scooters and wheelchairs. However, some smaller shops may struggle, especially when it comes to larger mobility scooters, with large turning circles.
Are mobility scooters allowed in supermarkets?
As we have mentioned already, most supermarkets have very good access for mobility vehicles. This is due to wide aisles and adequate turning space. Below we have listed the information from various major UK supermarkets:
Back in 2017 Aldi launched a plan to modify and improve their stores. This was known as Project Fresh; it was intended to improve the layout of stores. These improvements were following a large range of customer recommendations to improve the shopping experience.
One of the changes that was rolled out across stores, was the widening of aisles. This was intended to make more room for maneuvering trolleys, wheelchairs, and mobility scooters.
Morrisons is another store that allows mobility scooters. They have many facilities that are designed to help people with disabilities. This includes the ability to hire a wheelchair or mobility scooter in store.
Most stores have at least one manual wheelchair and one motorised mobility scooter. These can be borrowed during your shop and can usually be found via the customer service desk in most stores.
For people using their own mobility scooter, you are free to use it throughout the supermarket.
If you use Asda as your supermarket of choice, you will be happy to know, they also allow wheelchairs and mobility scooters in store. Like the previous supermarkets mentioned, they have a range of facilities for disabled people. This includes wide aisles and plenty of space for turning during your shop.
You will be able to use your mobility scooter in Tesco’s. Just like Morrison’s, in most stores they have wheelchairs and scooters you can borrow. You should check your local store first as this may not be available in every single store. Alternatively, you are quite welcome to take your own mobility scooter or wheelchair in store.
Sainsbury’s claim to have at least one wheelchair which can be hired per store. They also have mobility scooters which you can borrow in selected stores.
Just like the other supermarkets mentioned here. If you want to borrow one of the in store mobility vehicles, you will need to speak with customer services. The in store wheelchairs and scooters will be available on a first come first served basis, so you are not guaranteed the ability to borrow one.
With that said, like every other supermarket in this list, you are completely free to use your own mobility scooter, or wheelchair in most Sainsbury’s stores.
Other supermarkets, including smaller local stores
Obviously, we have not mentioned every single supermarket chain here. However, the policy in most stores is similar.
Most have good facilities for disabled people and make access a priority. However, there will be some cases, where due to the stores being smaller, access could be more difficult for much larger class 3 mobility scooters.
The best thing to do if you are in doubt, is ring the local store. You should be able to find the phone number of any store or supermarket by simply searching on Google. Alternatively, use the store finder provided on most supermarket websites. You can see links to the store finders of the supermarkets mentioned so far below:
Are mobility scooters allowed in local shops?
With smaller local shops the access for mobility scooters will vary. This is simply due to the size of smaller shops. Some will have adequate room to allow mobility scooters and others unfortunately will not.
Access to shops will usually be at the decision of the owner and this will often be based on customer safety. It could also be an insurance issue.
What you will usually find with local shops is, the larger your mobility scooter, the less likely you will be able to use it. Some small mobility scooters will have small turning circles, and they will be able to navigate smaller aisles. On the other hand, if you are using a large, road legal mobility scooter the chances are you will need to leave it outside.
If you do have some mobility and are able to walk for short periods, you could consider carrying a walking stick on your scooter. This can come in handy if you need to leave your scooter outside. Walking stick holders are quite affordable and easily attach to most mobility scooters.
You can see a good example of a bag with a walking stick holder here on Amazon.
Are wheelchairs allowed in shops?
For wheelchair users the rules are the same as that of mobility scooters. You will almost always be allowed access if there is space to accommodate your chair.
The major advantage with a wheelchair, or an electric wheelchair is they have much smaller turning circles compared with mobility scooters. Some compact folding electric wheelchairs have a turning circle as small as 40cm. This means they will be able to access and turn in even the tightest of shopping aisles.
So, are mobility scooters allowed in shops? In general, you should be able to use your scooter or wheelchair in most shops and supermarkets. But, unfortunately there will be some cases where this is just not possible.
If a certain shop is not mobility scooter friendly, it is possible you may need to leave your scooter outside. In most cases this is simply an issue with space and nothing to do with a shop being discriminatory.
We hope you have found the information here useful. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below.