A WAV can be very life enhancing and many of our customers have told us that getting one has been brilliant for them. It is important to make the right choice. Cost has to be considered but a WAV you can’t use is a waste of money. A WAV that helps you get out and about is worth every penny.
Choosing a wheelchair vehicle is much more complicated than choosing an ordinary car. Both the driver and wheelchair passenger need to be considered. The same make and model of car can be converted in more than one way – making it even more confusing.
With over 14 years’ experience supplying WAVs we’d like to give you some points to consider before you buy:
Most important to make sure your wheelchair will fit in the vehicle and go in and out easily.
Length, width and height of wheelchair user seated in the wheelchair should be checked against the cut out in the car, entrance height and interior height. Most vehicles take wheelchairs up to 29inches/74cm wide.
Most vehicles have a lowered floor and ramp arrangement. You may also need a winch to pull the wheelchair user in. Not all second hand WAVs have winches but they can be fitted.
Larger WAVs may have lifts and winches are not needed for electric wheelchairs or scooters.
Most WAVs have the wheelchair in the rear seat position. Some allow the wheelchair up front next to the driver but as these conversions cost a lot to do, the second hand up front vehicles are also more expensive. Fiat Multiplas and Peugeot Partners can have up front travel. The cheapest conversions put the wheelchair passenger behind the rear seats.
Wherever in the car you are, it is important to be able to see out of the windows and to have a low centre of gravity as this combats travel sickness. Traveling on a flat floor rather than a slope also improves the quality of the journey.
Many different makes are available as wheelchair cars so if you have a particular make you like to drive check to see if any of their models are available as conversions.
Not all wheelchair vehicles are available in automatic but the range is wider than it used to be and hand controls may already be fitted or can be fitted if required.