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A Comprehensive Comparison of Owning vs. Renting a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle

In the UK, the decision between owning and renting a wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) is critical for many individuals with mobility impairments and their families. Here, we explore the benefits of each option, helping you make an informed choice.

By Stephen

4 min read
Volkswagen Caddy Maxi

In the UK, the decision between owning and renting a wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) is critical for many individuals with mobility impairments and their families. Here, we explore the benefits of each option, helping you make an informed choice.

Owning a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle.

  • Initially, purchasing a WAV seems more expensive than renting. However, in the long run, owning a vehicle can be more cost-effective, especially if the vehicle is used frequently. The cost per use decreases over time, making it a sound investment. The Motability Scheme in the UK, for instance, offers an affordable way to own a WAV, including insurance, maintenance, and breakdown cover in the lease.
  • When you own a WAV, you have the freedom to customise it to meet specific needs. This could include specialised seating, ramp systems, or specific driving aids. Personalisation enhances comfort and accessibility, which is particularly beneficial for those with unique mobility needs.
  • Owning a WAV means it’s available 24/7. This provides peace of mind and eliminates the hassle of arranging rentals every time the vehicle is needed. This constant availability is crucial for spontaneous trips or emergencies.
  • WAVs tend to maintain a reasonable resale value, especially if well-maintained and fitted with quality accessibility features. This can make the initial investment more palatable, knowing that the vehicle can be sold if circumstances change.

Renting a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle.

  • Renting is ideal for those who need a WAV for a short period or on an occasional basis. It’s a flexible option without the long-term commitment of ownership. This is particularly beneficial for those who are unsure about their long-term mobility needs.
  • Renting requires a lower initial financial outlay compared to purchasing a WAV. This can be advantageous for individuals or families who might not have the funds for a large upfront purchase or who prefer to avoid long-term financial commitments.
  • Typically, rental companies cover maintenance and insurance costs. This removes the burden of additional expenses and the hassle of arranging these services independently.
  • Renting allows you to try out different WAV models before committing to a purchase. This can be invaluable in understanding what features are most beneficial for your specific needs.

The decision between owning and renting a WAV depends on individual circumstances, including frequency of use, financial situation, and personal mobility needs. Owning a WAV is more suitable for those who require regular, customised transport solutions and are prepared for a long-term investment. In contrast, renting offers flexibility and is cost-effective for short-term or occasional use.

When making this decision, it’s important to consider both the immediate and long-term implications, including financial, practical, and personal comfort aspects. Consulting with mobility experts and exploring various options through test drives or short-term rentals can also provide valuable insights into making the best choice for your situation.

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