WAVs a wheelchair user can drive
Some WAVs will allow you to drive while seated in your wheelchair (what we call Drive From WAVs or DFWs).
There are two ways in which this is possible:
- Either the WAV allows you to transfer easily to a standard or adapted seat in the driver’s position
- Or the vehicle can be driven directly from the wheelchair
The first type of conversion, which allows you to transfer from your wheelchair to a seat, is generally a cheaper and easier option if you are able to transfer from one seat to another without needing extra help.
Both types of conversion will need an automatic anchoring system to secure your wheelchair.
How do DFWs differ from a standard WAV?
WAVs that allow wheelchair users to drive differ from passenger WAVs (where you remain seated as a passenger) in the following ways:
- The ramp or lift giving access to the WAV will be operated automatically
- There will be fewer seats to allow access to the driving position
- The majority of wheelchair driver WAVs will have some form of adaptations
To ensure the vehicle meets your needs, you will need to have an assessment. This assessment will identify suitable vehicles and controls.
Custom fitted controls
The adaptations required to secure the wheelchair in position and any adaptations you may need to drive the WAV as a wheelchair user, are not included in the price of your lease. While many hand controls come at no extra cost when ordered as part of the Motability Managed Adaptations Programme, for others you will need to add this on top of the cost of your WAV.
As you might expect, converting a WAV into one that a wheelchair user can drive, can be more complicated as it needs to be tailored to suit each individual. This means the Advance Payment will be higher. If you find that this solution is the best one for you, but you cannot afford it, Motability may be able to give a grant towards the Advance Payment. The size of the grant would depend on your financial and personal circumstances, and it may not cover all of the Advance Payment – you would be expected to contribute as much as you can afford.
If you apply for financial assistance towards one of these specialist WAV conversions, Motability will provide a free assessment.