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Is a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle right for you?

We know you might not have seen a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle) before, so a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle supplier will help you decide whether they’re right for you.

How you get in and out

A family helping a little girl in a wheelchair use a rear ramp on a WAV

Rear access

Most Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles have rear access, to make it simpler to get in and out with your wheelchair and give you flexibility when you’re parking.

A WAV with a side access ramp

Side access

You can access some Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles from the side, but it’s important to think about where you’ll park it, the types of journeys you’ll make, and how you want the seats to be laid out.

A WAV with a rear ramp

Ramps

You can use a manual or electric ramp to get in and out of the vehicle, with help. Think about the angle and length of the ramp, and how simple it is to get in and out. Some Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle suppliers offer a powered winch at no extra cost – just ask them.

A man in a wheelchair using a lift to get into a WAV

Lifts

Some larger Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles have a lift instead of a ramp, so you can get into the vehicle without help. Lifts do not suit every type of Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle and your Advance Payment could be higher.

Illustration of a confident woman pointing

Have you thought about a car with adaptations instead?

Find out about these

Driving and travelling

How it feels to travel in a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle

You'll sit in your wheelchair which, although safely restrained, is not fixed to the floor in the same way a car seat is. That means you’ll experience some movement, which you’ll notice most on roundabouts and sharp bends. You might have a different eyeline out of the windows than you’re used to. And with most Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles the wheelchair user is towards the back of the vehicle, which means hearing and talking to the driver can be hard. Most people get used to these, but you should check whether you’re happy with them before you decide on a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle. Make sure you check the air conditioning and heater too – especially in a larger Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle. How it feels will vary, so we recommend you try a few demonstrations of a few different Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles.

How it feels to drive a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle

Some Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles are large, which means it’s very different to driving a car and it might take some getting used to. Make sure your driver feels comfortable and confident driving the Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle. Think about what could make driving simpler, like getting an automatic instead of a manual. A Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle demonstration could help your driver understand what could help. In some Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles you’ll need to refuel more regularly and the fuel gauge might be less accurate. Ask your supplier if this applies to the Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle you’re looking at.

How high you are from the ground

Most Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles have had their floor lowered to allow enough headroom for you, in your wheelchair. It helps make getting in and out easier too, as the ramp is less steep. Make sure you have enough ground clearance in the places you usually drive, and the driver will need to be extra careful over speed bumps.

Things to think of when you’re parking

Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles can be bigger than the type of vehicle you're used to, so it's important to think about how this will affect your day-to-day travel. Think about where you normally park and if there's enough space for a ramp or lift, and room for a wheelchair to move. If you choose a large Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle, make sure it can clear any height restrictions you regularly pass through.

Inside a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle

How the seats are arranged

This depends on the size of the Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle. Usually seats have been removed to make room for a wheelchair, but some have rear seats designed to fold out of the way. You can also ask to have your wheelchair in the passenger seat instead. If you have a partner or carer, think about whether they’ll need to help you during journeys, and whether the layout suits this.

Sit in the front or back

In most Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles, you’ll sit in the back, in your wheelchair, but the actual position can vary. Some are right at the back, where the original boot would have been. Others are behind the driver. The closer forward you are, the more inclusive you might find it, but these conversions usually cost more. Some suppliers specialise in Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles that allow you to sit next to the driver. If you have a partner or carer, think about whether sitting at the front or back will be a problem for you.

Make sure there’s enough space

We know having space is key in a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle, as you’ll need to fit things like your shopping and mobility equipment. Think about the size of your family, the equipment you regularly travel with and whether any of this is likely to change during your lease.

Every Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle is tested for safety

Most Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles have four belts that attach to the wheelchair to keep it in place and minimise movement. The front restraints are adjustable and are usually self-locking. Some carers might find some easier to use than others. You can get an automatic tie-down system, but it costs extra. You’ll also have an appropriate seatbelt to keep you safe. Some Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles will be tested with a heavier wheelchair than others. It's important you tell your supplier which wheelchair you're going to use and whether it’s likely to change.

Explore Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

Passenger Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

If you want help getting around, these make it safe and easy to travel with your wheelchair. You can drive or ride in them, or store your wheelchair. A supplier will bring one to your home so you can make sure it’s right for you.

Nearly New Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

These are Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles people have given back to us after they’ve ended their lease early, so they’ll be up to three years old. They’re all in very good condition, they cost less and we can still adapt them to suit your needs.

Speak to a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle supplier

You can start applying online, from the comfort of your home. Then speak to a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle supplier and they’ll arrange a home demonstration for you.

Find a supplier

What you’ll get in our worry‑free package

Insurance cover

Insurance cover

We’ll arrange this for you. You can add up to three named drivers and can change these at any time.

Servicing

Servicing and MOT

We’ll cover your regular services and routine repairs, to keep your vehicle running perfectly.

Breakdown cover

Breakdown cover

We’ll give you RAC cover, so you can travel with peace of mind.

Support

Continued support

Call your Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle supplier and they’ll be happy to help.