Choosing the best ride-on lawn mower in the UK

One man went to mow his meadow... on a lawn tractor.

Best ride-on lawn mower

by Natalie Knowles |
Updated on

The best ride-on lawn mower can cut lawns up to 10,000 square metres on a single tank of petrol. If you have a large grassed area, a lawn tractor could be the ideal investment for maintaining your plot. Alternatively, if your lawn is more of a patch than an acreage, but you're having trouble cutting it, opting for a battery-powered ride-on mower could be the solution. Battery-powered lawn tractors cover less area but they are effective and more environmentally friendly than their petrol counterparts.

If your plot is becoming difficult to manage, investing in a ride-on lawn mower will prove more economical in the long run, rather than hiring a grounds maintenance team to maintain it. You'll need space to store it, but these tractor-style mowers are a lot of fun and robust enough to handle the steepest Great British terrain. The best ride-on lawn mowers offer great manoeuvrability and ease of use. You'll confidently be able to negotiate your way around any obstacles while landscaping your lawn.

Best ride-on lawn mowers at a glance:

Best ride-on petrol lawn mower: Mountfield MTF 66 MQ Petrol Lawn rider 224cc - View on B&Q
Best battery ride-on lawn mower: EGO Power Plus Z6 ZT4201E-L Ride On Mower - View on Mowers Online
Best compact ride-on lawn mower: Webb 12530 Hydro Compact Lawn Rider - View on Mowers Online

So, don't lose your plot – instead ready, set, mow on a ride-on lawn mower. As we've mentioned, there are petrol or battery-powered models. If it's petrol-powered take note of the engine size and fuel tank capacity. Some of these nifty machines can reach 8mph which could put pay to any lawn croquet taking place – so be careful. With battery-powered models, much like cordless lawn mowers, be aware of the battery life and charging time. In general, you should get a solid 150 minutes of mowing done before the lawn mower needs a recharge.

Features to look for include cutting width, turning circle and the capacity of the grass collector. Some models have hybrid grass collectors that have a mulching function. We've included options with side discharge that shoots the finely mulched grass cuttings back into the lawn to enrich it. Also, note whether the engine is at the front or the rear of the mower. Front deck lawn mowers make it easy to reach difficult spots because the cutting blades are mounted at the front of the machine; you follow your nose in effect. Finally, look for models with detachable cutting decks, which make it easy to swap between cutting blades for different jobs. If, you're looking for the best lawn mower for stripes on a large lawn, then look no further.

Best ride-on lawn mower

Best ride-on petrol lawn mower

Mountfield MTF 66 MQ Petrol Lawn rider 224cc
Price: £1,899

If you have a large lawn, this ride-on mower will make cutting your grass quick, easy, and even enjoyable. The Mountfield MTF 66 MQ Petrol Lawn Rider 224cc is suitable for outdoor spaces up to two acres. It has a compact 3.9-litre fuel tank and is delivered fully assembled so you can jump straight into the driver's seat. Additionally, the seat features a safety switch that cuts out the engine if the driver dismounts whilst the blades are turning. Working in tandem with the easy steering is the machine’s impressive hydrostatic transmission for enhanced manoeuvrability and a smooth drive, helping to cut with precision even on the dullest of days.

Customer review: "I have only used the mower once so far and it was very easy to start and easy to mow a fairly large area of lawn which is not very flat and has an undulating surface. The mower coped very well. It has a very small turning circle which was great in tight areas. Emptying the grass box is very easy when seated on the mower. Overall I can recommend this mower."


  • Great for larger gardens
  • No pushing or pulling needed
  • Safety switch


  • Relatively short manufacturer's guarantee

Best for collecting grass

Honda HF 2317 HME Lawn Tractor
Price: £3,999 (RRP £4,630)

Honda HF 2317 HME Lawn Tractor has hydrostatic transmission that makes it responsive and easy to manoeuvre. It boasts an Optiflow grass collecting system which means no grass clippings get left behind. With a huge 280-litre grass collector this lawn tractor can plough through grassed areas up to 8,000 square metres. It's a petrol-powered vehicle with a meaty 5.4-litre petrol tank and a speed range of 1.2mph to a spritely 5.5mph. Additionally, it has an LED smart diagnostic dashboard that's user-friendly and tells you what fuel you have remaining.

Customer review: "Great mower, easy to use and does the job well in no time."


  • Easy to manoeuvre
  • Collects grass clippings
  • Large capacity


  • It might be too high-tech for some

Best compact ride on lawn mower

The Webb 12530 Hydro Compact Lawn Rider is our featherweight contender with a narrower cutting width of 76cm and weighing just 168g. It has a teeny 60cm turning circle and can collect 176-litres of grass cuttings. The five forward gears and one reverse make it super manoeuvrable if you have tight borders you need to squeeze up to. Additionally, hydrostatic transmission means it's simple and responsive to drive and it has a durable OHV engine. It's delivered fully assembled so you'll be ready to mow.


  • Great for complex lawns with tight corners
  • Mow right up to fences and borders


  • Not for larger lawns; lacks power and capacity

Best premium lawn tractor

AL-KO Solo T16-103.7 HD-V2 Rear Collect Lawn Tractor
Price: £3,399 (was £3,599)

This is a beast with a cutting width that's over one metre wide. The AL-KO Solo T16-103.7 HD-V2 Rear Collect Lawn Tractor is a step up in specs, boasting a whopping 300-litre grass collector box. It's a heavyweight vehicle at 205kg and goes toe-to-toe with lawn sizes up to 6,000 square metres. You get superior engine power with this Briggs and Stratton Intek Series 7160 V-Twin 656cc. Also, it has a raised chassis and seating position for better ground clearance and visibility. Driving it is a joy, with twin pedals and a larger steering wheel.


  • Very comfortable to drive
  • Extra legroom
  • Wide cutting width


  • No customer reviews

Best for power

Stihl RT4082 Garden Rider
Price: £2,878.80 (was £3,225)

The Stihl RT4082 Garden Rider makes short work of lawns up to 4,000 square metres. It features turf tyres to protect the lawn whilst packing a powerful Stihl EVC4000 OHV engine so you can glide around the corners of flower beds with ease. Switch from forward to reverse with a simple gear stick and turn on a dime with a tight turning circle. Hydrostatic transmission makes this model nippy and responsive. A 250-litre “dumper” grass catcher box is operated from the driving seat with a simple curved handle. Additionally, it can be converted into a mulching mower. This robust garden rider is a good medium size ride-on mower option.


  • Robust
  • Easy to drive
  • Responsive
  • Powerful engine


  • Not for larger lawns

Best ride-on lawn mower with side discharge

Mountfield MTF 98M-SD Side-Discharge Lawn Tractor
Price: £1,799 (was £2,099)

This Mountfield MTF 98M-SD Side-Discharge Lawn Tractor is designed for cutting longer grass and dispersing it back into the garden rather than collecting it. It is an optional mulching function, but a good shout as side discharge is a fast and effective way of returning goodness back to the soil. This ride-on lawn mower is fast too, with a top speed of 9.7kph. With a cutting width that's just shy of one metre, this garden tractor can cover lawns up to 8000 square metres. Mountfield is a trusted brand and this model comes with a quality Stiga ST350 352cc engine.

Customer review: "Great sit on mower, efficient and easy to use, cuts very well and a fabulous product all round."


  • Easy to manoeuvre
  • Compact so you can get close to borders
  • Versatile


  • Limited reviews available

Best ride-on lawn mower for tough terrain

The Snapper ZTX105 Zero Turn Ride On Mower may have the largest fuel tank capacity (11-litres) in our line-up but that doesn't mean it's cumbersome; this mower can get to places that other mowers can't reach. It has powerful zero-turn manoeuvrability and can cover lawns over 10,000 square metres. A 91cm mower deck gives it the smallest width in its class, making it lean enough to negotiate obstacles or tight corners. Its steel frame means it will stand the test of time as well as weathering all elements. Even if the ground is bumpy, you'll be comfortable in an ergonomically designed and adjustable seat.


  • Zero-turn diameter
  • Covers vast grassed areas
  • Versatile - robust enough to carry tools in the rear cargo bed


  • No customer reviews

Best mulching ride on mower

Our first battery-powered option, the Weibang Intrepid iON 81 RC Battery Ride On Lawn Mower breaks new ground as an eco-friendly ride-on lawn mower. Because it's battery-powered as opposed to petrol, it's more environmentally friendly. It has an impressive working time of up to 150 minutes depending on cutting conditions. The 190-litre grass collector has easy-to-operate lever tipping. We were super surprised at how fast this vehicle can go: the variable e-drive allows for speeds up to 6.5 km/h and a nippy 5 km/h in reverse.


  • Eco-friendly
  • Mulch plug included
  • Can fit through narrow areas


  • 12-hour charging time

Best battery ride-on lawn mower

EGO Power Plus Z6 ZT4201E-L Battery Powered 56V Zero Turn Ride-On Mower
Price: £4,799 (RRP £4,999)

This ride-on mower looks a little different to the other models. The EGO Power Plus Z6 ZT4201E-L Ride On Mower spins on a zero-turn radius so you can mow with precision. It was the first battery-powered ride-on mower of its kind and uses any combination of the EGO ARC Lithium™ batteries. Use the handy Z6 Mower Battery Calculator (follow the link and scroll down) to input the size of your lawn and it tells what combination of batteries to use. It has three driving modes: control, standard and sport and variable speed between 3-8mph. Additionally, you can be back to full charge in just three hours - comparatively, that's a fast charging time. With 230-litre collecting capacity, mulching and side discharge - this has all the functionality of the best ride-on lawn mowers whilst looking like a Martian buggy and running on next-gen power.


  • Fast charging
  • Eco-friendly
  • Zero-turn


  • This technology is so new we’re all getting to grips with the potential of rechargeable batteries

How we chose the best ride-on lawn mowers

All of these ride-on lawn mowers have been hand-selected by our team of Modern Gardens shopping experts. We carefully considered lawn size, features and your garden needs in our selection of the best. Our team has spent hours investigating and researching ride-on lawn mowers to make it easier for you to find the very best, and we'd never recommend a product we don't believe in.

Where possible, we also test and share the latest and best products you should know about. And, with help from Modern Gardens Magazine, Garden News and Garden Answers, we share expert gardening knowledge to help you get the most from your product.


Are ride-on mowers worth it?

Ride-on mowers can be worth it for those with large lawns, that are more than 2000 square metres or roughly half an acre. A ride-on mower offers convenience and saves time compared to push mowers, especially for extensive grounds maintenance tasks.

What are the disadvantages of ride-on mowers?

Disadvantages of ride-on mowers include their higher initial cost, maintenance expenses and the need for storage space. They may not be suitable for small or irregularly shaped lawns or navigating obstacles such as trees and flowerbeds.

Why is a zero-turn mower better than a traditional riding mower?

Zero-turn mowers are known for their ability to make tighter turns, maneuveuring more efficiently around obstacles. Traditional riding mowers have a larger turning radius compared to zero-turn mowers.

What do I need to know about battery lawn mowers?

With battery power, you need to consider: the battery voltage (V) and amp hours (Ah).

Voltage - Higher voltage generally means greater power and performance, but the size and weight of the mower will impact this, too. Mowers with a higher voltage are better equipped to tackle long, wet grass.

Amp Hour - This is analogous to the size of a car’s fuel tank; the larger the amp hours, the longer the battery will last between charges. Higher Ah batteries can tackle larger lawns before becoming flat. For instance, a 2.5Ah battery should cut up to 400sq m (480sq yd) on a single charge. However, more amp hours do not equate to greater power output.

Lithium-ion batteries charge relatively quickly – in as little as 30-40 minutes. Depending on Ah size, they’ll run long enough on one charge to complete mowing. They can be recharged before they’re flat and don’t need to be fully charged before use. Plus, they won’t lose charge in the shed over winter. It's a good idea to buy a second battery so you can complete mowing a larger lawn in one session.

Some mowers come with two, while others offer super-fast chargers. Mowers with the latest sensory technology can sense the load on the motor and operate at the optimum level for each task, boosting power for long/damp grass and extending battery run time during lighter cutting tasks.

What is cutting width?

Broader mowers tend to offer greater cutting width. A larger mower, with wider cutting width, reduces the number of passes needed to mow the lawn but may be heavier to carry and more awkward to manoeuvre.

As a guide:

• Small lawn (up to 250sq m/300sq yd): 30-35cm (12-14in) cut width.

• Medium lawn (250-580sq m/300-700sq yd): 35-43cm (14-17in) cut width.

• Large lawn (more than 580sq m/700sq yd): 43-55cm (17-22in) cut width.

What to read next:

Robot lawn mowers worth investing in to make grass cutting easy

Lawn care tips to give your grass a lush facelift

Best electric lawn mower to make cutting grass straightforward

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Natalie Knowles is a Homes & Garden Product Writer for Modern Gardens, specialising in garden trends. When she's not flexing her mow-how, Natalie is a successful artist and illustrator.

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