Choosing a WAV - where to start
If you don’t know where to start, or if this is your first Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) it might be a good idea to jot down a list of what’s important to you or what your driving habits are. You could use this when you’re talking to WAV suppliers and comparing WAVs that might be right for you.
Your driving habits and lifestyle
Where will you regularly travel to in your WAV? Are there lots of speed bumps or areas with height restrictions?
How often will you need to use the WAV?
Does your driver need automatic transmission to make motoring easier?
Are you sensitive to temperature? Would you benefit from additional heating and air conditioning?
What sort of activities would it be used for, e.g. days out, popping to the shops, the school run? Will there be sufficient space to get in and out of the WAV easily?
Where do you normally park? Are there height restrictions? Will there be enough room behind the WAV to access the vehicle by a ramp or a lift? Will there be enough room for the ramp to fully extend?
Have you budgeted for the cost of handing over your allowance for five years and ordinary running costs such as fuel?
Do you mainly make local journeys, or will you be taking your WAV on longer trips? Diesel is not always the most economical or best option if you just tend to make short journeys.
Do you regularly travel with just the driver? Would sitting behind the driver be a problem for you?
Size and space considerations
How big is your wheelchair? Are you likely to need a new one within the next five years? If the wheelchair user is growing or their condition is likely to change will they need a larger chair?
What’s your height when you’re seated in your wheelchair?
How many people regularly need to travel with you? Is this number likely to increase over the course of your lease?
What equipment will you need to regularly transport in the WAV? Is it especially large or heavy? Is there sufficient head clearance at the point of entry to the vehicle as well as in the wheelchair seating position?