If it’s your first time buying a wheelchair accessible vehicle, then knowing where to start when shopping for one can be a bit confusing. From whether you’re looking for a vehicle that you can drive yourself, or one to accommodate family member or friend who is a wheelchair user, there’s a few handy hints and tips to help make the shopping process simpler:
What Alterations do you Require?
Usually this is the first step to take and can be really helpful to steer you in the right direction when it comes to looking at different vehicles that are available. Make a list of the alterations you’d require on a vehicle if you need adaptations for you to be able to drive it or, think about what kind of things you’d need from a vehicle for a passenger who is a wheelchair user.
The key things you need to take into consideration are:
- The size and weight of your wheelchair
- Your seated height when in your wheelchair
- The type of equipment you’ll need to transport with you
Take a look at some of the different types of WAV available online to give you a good idea of what’s out there. There’s a great selection available at Allied Mobility, with all different types of WAVs available. Generally, there tend to be 3 main different sizes and these are the basic pros and cons:
When it comes to small WAV’s the pros are that they usually have a lowered floor to accommodate for more headroom inside and a ramp rather than a lift, meaning that they’re easier to park in standard parking spaces as they don’t require as much room around the vehicle than other larger wheelchair accessible vehicles. The cons are that there’s very little space for those with larger wheelchairs and only 4 seats.
Medium sized vehicles tend to be much better for those with larger wheelchairs as there’s more space inside, plus more room for any equipment that you may need to take with you too. There’s a wide range of medium sized vehicles with room for 5-7 people and the option for both a standard ramp and an electric powered ramp.
Large WAV’s are great families or travelling as a group and tend to be fitted with a lift for easier entry however, they can be difficult to park in standard sized parking spaces, so can make parking in cities or shopping centre car parks tricky.
Hopefully, you’ll be much better informed when it comes to shopping for your first WAV thanks to these tips.