Buying any car or vehicle is a big investment and even more so if you are disabled or otherwise restricted in your mobility. After all, your vehicle is a lifeline that helps you keep your independence. This article looks at the various types of wheelchair vehicles for sale UK wide and describes the differences between them.
Firstly, what are wheelchair accessible vehicles? Simply put, they are cars, people carriers or similar vehicles which have been specially adapted at design stage or later to permit wheelchair users to access them and travel in comfort. The individual with restricted mobility is able to stay in their wheelchair from start to finish, and therefore they are a good option if you are not able to transfer, or be transferred by your carer, from your chair to a car seat. There are three main types of WAV vehicles and it’s important to be aware of the differences between them before making your decision. The first is where the user travels as a passenger and does not intend to drive the wheelchair car at any point. The second is called an internal transfer vehicle – here, the car is accessed by a power wheelchair user from the rear. The tailgate is opened by remote control and a ramp extends down, allowing you to enter in your chair. The driver’s seat is fully adjustable to turn, lower and lift so that you can slide directly across from your chair to the seat, then restore it to the driving position, again retracting the ramp and closing the tailgate by remote control.
The third type of wheelchair vehicles for sale UK wide have a space where the driver’s seat should be, allowing you to position your chair directly into the driving position without leaving it. However, if you’re able to transfer from wheelchair to vehicle with relative ease, then you may not need to look at wheelchair accessible vehicles. The other option is a standard car which then receives adaptations tailored to your own personal requirements. These could include a swivel seat, a transfer plate or a hoist to allow you to safely and easily put your scooter or wheelchair into the car’s boot. What else should you consider before making your final decision? There’s no doubt that generally, you will pay more for mobility vehicles that have been especially adapted for your use. Whether you are buying privately or benefitting from a lease under the Motability Scheme, for instance, you need to be sure your investment will be a sound one. It’s therefore very important to consider your needs over the expected life of the car – not just how mobile you are now, but whether that may change over the coming years.
The key factor is not to rush your decision when looking at wheelchair vehicles for sale UK wide. While it’s exciting to think you can get back on the road again and maintain your independence, there’s a lot to consider to ensure you get the right vehicle for your needs. But experienced dealers are always happy to offer advice and support.