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Choosing a WAV

Once you’ve decided that a WAV is right for your needs, it’s time to get started on choosing a suitable vehicle. There are a number of things you need to consider. Around half of Motability WAV customers tell us they could have avoided problems if they’d spent more time researching when selecting their WAV. Here are a list of things that you would need to bear in mind:


How much room do I need?

Being able to easily access the WAV and position your wheelchair within the vehicle is essential. Our WAV Search provides measurements for some of our most popular WAVs. However, the best way to see if a WAV is right you is to test drive vehicles you are interested in and practice entering and exiting the WAV. Consider if you will need to change your wheelchair during the course of your lease, especially of the wheelchair user is a child, as this may affect your choice of WAV.

How many people will I be travelling with?

Most WAVs are based around a single wheelchair passenger, usually situated at the back of the vehicle. There are also WAVs that allow wheelchair users to drive. On most you can have one or more additional seats fitted in the rear, but this may be at an additional cost. On some models the additional seats can be quite narrow – suitable only for children or adults on a short journey. Be sure to test the size and comfort of the seating when viewing a vehicle, and if you need to secure a child seat to the extra seat, then test this too.

How much room will I have for luggage?

Consider the equipment you will regularly need to travel with, as well as any extra luggage that you may want to carry. We recommend that you practice loading and storing such items when viewing a WAV.

How will I get in and out?

WAVs come fitted with either a ramp or a lift for larger vehicles, and access will either be from the side or the back of the vehicle. Consider how and where you will regularly be getting into the vehicle to ensure you can easily access the WAV. If you are unsure about which option is right for you, talk to one of our WAV converters .

Where do I normally park?

Think about where you regularly park – is there enough space to operate a ramp or lift? Would side or rear access be more suitable? You also need to consider the height of your potential WAV and whether space and height restrictions in multi-storey car parks may present a problem.

What about seating positions?

Seating layouts vary across WAVs and different converters, so you need to think about which position would be best for you. Wherever you sit, being able to see out clearly is very important. The size of the windows, the slope of the floor and whether the vehicle has been lowered or not will all make a difference. You also need to check that there is enough headroom, allowing for variations in the WAV’s roof. Our online WAV Search will help you compare between our most popular WAVs, however, the best way to find out which position you would be most comfortable travelling in is to try out a WAV!

What other features could I need?

A few WAVs have automatic transmission and all have power-assisted steering. With some converters you can choose a more highly specified model, but this will mean that your Advance Payment will be higher. You can also order optional extras through the WAV converter, such as parking sensors, but please note that payment for these will be separate from the Motability Advance Payment.

Depending on the seating plan in your WAV, as well as how many passengers will be travelling in it, you may find that heating or air conditioning is essential to ensure your journey is a comfortable one. Many converters offer the option of additional heating and air conditioning focused on the rear of the vehicle – this will generally be at an additional cost. Discuss the options available with your WAV converter .

To help making the process of choosing a WAV easier, our search tool enables you to compare the features and prices of WAVs available to lease through Motability. Once you’ve found a couple of WAVs that you think may suit your needs, then talk to a converter and book a test drive.

Download our WAV guide from the Useful Downloads page
Find a WAV converter
Getting a WAV