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Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles: The Basics

  • Synopsis: Published: 2014-03-05 (Revised/Updated 2015-03-18) - Information regarding purchasing or leasing a wheelchair accessible vehicle in the U.K.. For further information pertaining to this article contact: Pete at Allied Mobility.

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Quote: "A WAV or Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle is a standard car that has been specially converted to accommodate a wheelchair, in a passenger capacity or as a driver."

If you or someone you love has a disability, it's important to be informed of all the mobility options available.

The Motability Scheme is a government funded program that allows those with disabilities to exchange part of their benefit for a free vehicle. You will be eligible to join the Motability Scheme if you receive the Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance, the Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment, the War Pensioners' Mobility Supplement or the Armed Forces Independence Payment. More information on eligibility is available online.

What is a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle

A WAV or Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle is a standard car that has been specially converted to accommodate a wheelchair, in a passenger capacity or as a driver. These vehicles vary in size and design but they have all been modified to give the greatest comfort and ease of access to wheelchair users. A WAV will include a built in ramp or lift, tie downs for the wheelchair, conversions to allow comfortable headroom and access from the side or the back of the vehicle.

Leasing a WAV Through the Motability Scheme

You can lease a brand new Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle through the Motability Scheme and this includes a five year agreement and a mileage allowance of 100,000 miles. The Motability Scheme means that you don't need to worry about insurance, servicing or maintenance as these are all taken care of as part of the package. You can nominate two named drivers; get free RAC breakdown assistance and tire and windscreen replacements at no additional cost.

Choosing Your Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle

There are hundreds of dealerships in the UK that operate as part of the Motability scheme, so choose one that offers a comprehensive range of vehicles that best suit your individual requirements. When deciding on the best kind of WAV for you, it's important to:

  • Consider the size of your wheelchair and how much space you think you will need. It's also advised that you take into account the number of passengers that regularly travel with you and the amount of luggage you will take on long and short journeys.
  • Consider the kind of journeys you will be making and how often you will use your vehicle, because this will determine the kind of WAV you should choose.
  • It's also a good idea to test drive the WAVs you're interested in before committing to a make and model.

To find out more about Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles, contact a specialist retailer like Allied Mobility.

Related Information:

  1. The Vehicle Production Group LLC (Jun 28, 2010). First Factory-Built Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle
  2. Disabled Motoring UK (May 15, 2012). Campaign Calls for Safer Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles
  3. VCI Mobility (Jun 20, 2010). Rear-Entry and Side-Entry Wheelchair Conversion Options for Minivans

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