Scooter rental choices

Discussion in 'disABILITIES!' started by meredetrois2, May 16, 2018.

  1. meredetrois2

    meredetrois2 Doesn't like eating around a bone

    Jun 1, 2006
    We will be at DW next week and I will need to rent an ECV to get around. I have rented off site once before but can't remember who we rented from. I checked the list of Disney recommendations but would like some customer reviews. I'm looking for something portable as we will be going to Sea World.
  2. mamabunny

    mamabunny DIS Veteran

    Oct 11, 2012
    Most, if not all, of the rental vendors should have something that is "portable" (meaning you can take it apart, and put it in the trunk or cargo area of a automobile).

    As far as *who* to rent from, that's really subjective. I would look at the most commonly mentioned vendors here (currently seems to be Buena Vista, Walker, Apple and Yellow) and I always reached out via phone to any company I was considering renting from. I would ask them questions to see how they treated their customers, and what their policies were, for example, if the rental unit had a problem after the office was closed for the night. They will try to sell you "insurance" - ask each vendor specifically what it covers (and ask to see the policy beforehand so that you have time to review it thoroughly - and then ask your insurance agent that supplies your Homeowner's and/or Auto insurance policy(s) if you would be duplicating any coverage prior to signing up) Ask them any questions you might have *now* on the phone. You can typically tell a lot about a company by the way they answer (or don't!) these kind of questions. And remember that price and quality are not always equal; when I was a purchasing agent, I learned very quickly that the highest priced vendor and the lowest priced vendor were often not the best choice; the former is often overpriced and ripping you off, and the latter is usually cutting corners and offering an inferior product or service. You might pay a bit more for the quote that falls in the middle, but it's also more likely to be a realistic quote and a solid offering.

    Although it's been a few years since I rented from an external vendor (like some other folks around here, I have my own ECV that I travel with), here's a few tips that might help - regardless of the vendor!

    First of all - and I can't stress this enough - charge the battery overnight, every night. A rental ECV should be able to go all day at WDW if it is properly and fully charged overnight. The exception to this is if a customer needs a larger size (bariatric) unit, and tries to "get by" with an undersized unit, the battery will drain faster because it is under a greater strain than it is designed for. Make sure the ECV you rent is the right size for you! :)

    It's important to have the office hours & availability of your mobility vendor at hand. (Prior to owning my own ECV, I would make an address book or contacts entry in my phone for any mobility vendor I would rent from, so that I could access the number easily. In the "Notes" area, I would include information like office hours, and ask them about emergency after hours information.)

    Do take the time to ask the vendor what their current after-hours policy is regarding an emergency - like if the unit stops working altogether (but the battery was charged) or if the battery won't hold a charge at all. Most of the time you will know if there is a problem well before they close the office for the day, but rarely, an ECV will fail later in the evening. If it should happen, find a Cast Member, tell them you need assistance (you may have to ask for a Manager to come help) and then leave a message for the vendor, and follow any emergency instructions they have given you.

    Some people will confuse the *cosmetic condition* of the scooter with it's ability to perform. Rental scooters do receive a lot of abuse at the hands of either new users, or careless users ("It's not mine, so I don't care!") and often this shows in the cosmetic condition of the scooter - scuffs, scrapes, broken plastic covers, ripped seats, etc. As long as the unit *performs* - meaning it runs all day on a full charge, and gets you around safely - don't worry about how it looks.

    Buy a cheap, colorful bandana, or a roll of brightly colored/patterned grosgrain ribbon from either Walmart or Hobby Lobby (they both sell ribbon and bandanas - pick something you like!) and tie it somewhere on the ECV that is visible. It will help distinguish your rental from a sea of identical rental units outside of rides, attractions, dining, etc. The more you decorate your rental, the easier it will be to spot quickly!

    Last, but not least, snap a couple of photos of the ECV when it is dropped off (both sides of the unit) and keep your paperwork safe somewhere besides the scooter. Just like when you rent a car, you want to be able to prove the condition the unit was in when it was delivered to you. Make sure that the battery is fully charged when it is dropped off (it should be) and that the charger is with the unit.

    And go have fun! :)
    Selket, Bete and meredetrois2 like this.
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  4. Bete

    Bete DIS Veteran

    Sep 14, 1999
    I like Lake Buena Vista for scooter rentals. They have Disney resort privileges. This means the scooter will be waiting for you at the Disney resort and you can drop off there, too when you are done. You do not have to have a person to person meeting. They don't include insurance and we always get the waiver.

    If the scooter gets lost then you will have a problem. Insurance doesn't cover a lost scooter. I heard of this not too long ago and it was a nightmare for the person.

    Keep in mind the portable travel scooters will still have to be taken apart for transport in a vehicle. Most of them breakdown into 4 to 5 pieces.
    Selket, mamabunny and Hopefully like this.
  5. ess

    ess Mouseketeer

    Aug 31, 2007
    I rented from Buena Vista last week. I had the travel scooter but ended up not using the car and just the buses. I had battery problems from the start, kept having to charge it. I called them up while in Epcot and said bring me the Victory model this one wasn't working out for me. They brought it right into Epcot. Told me they'd be there within the hour...they were there in 15 mins. Switched scooters, no questions asked. The second scooter I got held a charge all day into the night. I was very pleased with their service and the fact they could bring the scooter to me right into the park was a major plus. Also liked the fact the charger is now attached to the back of the seat. They told me too many chargers were being stolen so they changed the system. In order to steal it now they'd have to take the whole seat to do it.

    I tied a red polka dot ribbon around the back of the seat. I was able to pick out my scooter right away even if they put the seat down when they moved it.
    Selket, mamabunny and Starwind like this.
  6. Selket

    Selket Been there - done that

    Feb 28, 2000
    I've rented the travel scooter model from Buena Vista in the past and didn't have trouble with it but it's been a few years. My husband and son took it apart and put it together again when we drove over to Universal - it didn't seem that difficult but some pieces are heavy (heavy is relative I know!). I think I could have done it alone but it helps if you have someone to help. The portable one also doesn't hold as much charge as the regular scooter and has a lower suggested weight of the user. I can't remember the details but if you're under 180lbs - then probably better luck going longer or all day with the portable. I sometimes had to charge it in the late afternoon. Of course sometimes you get a bad battery regardless. Just suggesting you discuss that with the scooter company if weight could be a factor. It also makes a difference if you're able to park it for awhile and stand in short ques, walk in stores, etc. and are generally using it for the longer distances.
    mamabunny likes this.
  7. Simba's Mom

    Simba's Mom <font color=green>everything went to "H*** in a ha

    Aug 26, 1999
    I rented from Buena Vista scooters last week and also had excellent service-from them. When I went to retrieve my scooter at the resort, the resort had lost the key, and had to hunt around for a key "that would work". As an FYI I called BV just to let them know (and also to CYA-I didn't want them to come back to me and say "YOU lost the key"). I noticed in the parks that BV was by far the most used scooter company. There were a few scooter bugs, and a couple Walkers, but after in-park rentals BV was overwhelmingly the most popular.
    mamabunny likes this.

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