Four things you need to know before you buy a hoverboard

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Hoverboards are still one of the most sought-after gadgets for children across the UK. Eye-catching and fun, the boards captured the public imagination when they were released in 2014 and their popularity has only grown since thanks to a huge array of celebrity endorsements. But if you are thinking of buying one it is important to do your research and know what you are purchasing. Here are four key things that you need to know before you buy a hoverboard.

  1. There is no ‘official’ hoverboard

Unlike some products where you can guarantee yourself a certain level of quality by choosing the original brand that is the ‘official’ version and holds the patent, the concept of the self-balancing scooter was never officially patented and so it has been created by people across the world. In one sense this is very good news as has meant the price has been kept down to the point that it is an affordable gift for many families to give to a child.

However, it also means that there isn’t necessarily a brand that has the dominant place in the market. Ultimately then, if you want to ensure that you are getting a high-quality product it is essential that you carry out research into the companies you are considering buying from.

  1. Only accept genuine certified batteries

Hoverboards made the news for all the wrong reasons in 2015 after there were reports that some models were overheating and catching fire. This understandably made people very nervous about buying them. If you still have some doubts about whether a hoverboard is safe, there is good news in that the cause of this problem has been identified and that it is now easy to buy boards that have no risk of catching fire.

Shortly after a largely number of faulty hoverboards were recalled it was revealed that the cause of the boards overheating was the use of counterfeit batteries. Unfortunately it is still the case that some companies sell hoverboards that use fake batteries or low quality wiring, so it is vital that when you come to buy you should ensure that the business is reputable and can prove with certification that the batteries that they are using are genuine.

  1. Reviews are your best friend

It is essential, then, that you need to buy from a company that sells high quality hoverboards manufactured to the correct standards (see Bluefin Trading). So how do you select the store to buy from? Ultimately you will need to do your research into businesses. And it is important that you should check reviews of the site to establish whether it is an experienced and respected hoverboard supplier.

However, you should not rely on the reviews that the company presents on their own website as these could have been cherry-picked or even made up. It is a much better idea to visit sites like Feefo or Trustpilot that will have genuine reviews. Take a look at these to establish whether the business supplies authentic hoverboards with certified batteries.

  1. Understand where you can use it

Before you buy a hoverboard either for yourself or for your child, it is worth understanding exactly where it can be used. In the UK there are relatively strict rules surrounding where you can take your hoverboard. For example you might be surprised to learn this it is not legal to ride hoverboards either on the road or the pavement.

The rules state that hoverboards can generally only be used on private property and with the permission of the property owner. In practice, this means that hoverboards can be used in your home and garden, and on the property of anyone else who consents to its use. However, public spaces such as roads and footpaths are off limits.

It may also be possible to use hoverboards in some parks, however it is important to check with your local council as to whether hoverboards are permitted. You may have seen videos of celebrities riding the boards in airports, shopping malls or other public locations, but generally members of the public will not be allowed to do this, and security will not take as kindly to the use of boards if you are not famous.

Claire Preece
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