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Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles: The Basics

Published: 2014-03-05 - Updated: 2022-06-22
Author: Disabled World | Contact: Disabled World (

Synopsis: Information regarding purchasing or leasing a wheelchair-accessible vehicle in the U.K.. 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. A WAV will include a built-in ramp or lift, tie-downs for the wheelchair, and conversions to allow comfortable headroom and access from the vehicle's side or back.


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Wheelchair Accessible Vans
Wheelchair-accessible vans have been modified by increasing the internal size of the vehicle and equipping it with a means of wheelchair entry, such as a wheelchair ramp or powered lift. There are two types of entry configurations: side-entry and rear-entry. The entry location impacts wheelchair seating positions, parking options, the ability to accommodate other passengers, and storage availability. Modifications fall into two categories; the first is where the individual in a wheelchair is the driver, and the second is where the individual in a wheelchair is a passenger.

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 an accessible 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 eligibility information is available online.

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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:

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Disabled World is an independent disability community established in 2004 to provide disability news and information to people with disabilities, seniors, their family and/or carers. See our homepage for informative news, reviews, sports, stories and how-tos. You can also connect with us on Twitter and Facebook or learn more about Disabled World on our about us page.


Disabled World provides general information only. The materials presented are never meant to substitute for professional medical care by a qualified practitioner, nor should they be construed as such. Financial support is derived from advertisements or referral programs, where indicated. Any 3rd party offering or advertising does not constitute an endorsement.

Cite This Page (APA): Disabled World. (2014, March 5). Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles: The Basics. Disabled World. Retrieved June 30, 2022 from

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