Types of WAV
Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs) come in all different shapes and sizes so you should be able to find one that’s right for you. To find out more information about sizes of WAVs and layouts click through the headings. To see images of typical WAV seating layouts then click through the tabs below.
Standard WAV features include:
- A built-in ramp, or lifts on larger vehicles
- Access from the side or the back of the vehicle
- A lowered floor or raised roof to allow enough headroom
- Wheelchair tie-downs to keep the wheelchair in position inside the vehicle
We classify our WAVs as small, medium or large. When thinking about what size WAV would work best for you keep in mind:
- The size and weight of your wheelchair
- Your seated height in your wheelchair
- The number of people you regularly travel with
- The amount of equipment that you need to take with you on journeys
There are lots of different seating layouts available and these depend on the size of WAV that you choose. We recommend talking to your WAV supplier to decide what option would work best for you and your needs. WAVs tend to position the wheelchair user towards the back of the vehicle but there are some that allow for the wheelchair user to sit beside the driver. However, an upfront layout will limit the seating you could have in the back of the WAV. They are also a more expensive option.
Things to think about
When deciding on what seating layout will work best for your needs there a few key things you should take into consideration:
- With some seating arrangements, the wheelchair passenger may find it difficult to see out of the windows or hear other passengers. If you have a preference then speak to your WAV supplier who could advise you.
- Will a partner or carer need to get to the wheelchair user during journeys – does the seating allow for this?
- WAV suppliers will normally remove some standard seats from a WAV to make it accessible. You may be able to have rear seats that fold out of the way or you might be able to request a seat as an optional extra. Sometimes these extra seats can be smaller than the standard option and might not be suitable for adults on long journeys or child seats.
- If the wheelchair user is sensitive to temperature, you may benefit from additional heating or air conditioning in the back of your WAV – but this is normally at an additional cost.
- Most small WAVs accommodate up to four people including the wheelchair user.
- These WAVs normally have a ramp rather than a lift to allow access.
- They usually have a lowered floor to give more headroom inside the vehicle and reduce the angle of the ramp making it easier to get in and out.
- Below you'll find an image of a typical small WAV seating layout. There are other options available so speak to your WAV supplier to find out what might be right for you.
- A medium WAV is more suitable for a larger wheelchair or if you have a lot of equipment.
- They seat between five and seven people including the wheelchair user.
- Most will have a ramp but some are available with a lift instead.
- Below you'll find two images of a typical medium WAV seating layout. There are other options available so speak to your WAV supplier to find out what might be right for you.
- Large WAVs are a good option if you travel with lots of passengers.
- They are suitable for large or heavy wheelchairs or if you carry lots of equipment.
- They are normally fitted with a lift to make entry easier.
- Below you'll find two images of a typical large WAV seating layout. There are other options available so speak to your WAV supplier to find out what might be right for you.