MotorHome Towbars

Towbar Fitting Service in Lincoln

Phone Number: 01522 524 444

Email: Email:

Buying A Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle

  • Posted by:
  • Admin
  • Tags:
  • Posted date:
  • 02-08-2022
Buying A Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle

Find out more about buying a wheelchair accessible vehicle. We look at what you need to know before buying a new WAV or a second-hand WAV.

Whether you are looking to buy a brand new or second-hand wheelchair-accessible vehicle or WAV, you need to research what a suitable automobile is for you. 

Ask yourself: What will I use my WAV for exactly? What are the features that I need? When you answer such questions, you will have a checklist of preferences of the features and functions your WAV must include.

Do Modifications Affect Car Insurance?

Buying a New WAV

Buying a new wheelchair-accessible vehicle is an exciting prospect for wheelchair users to be more independent. For this reason alone, you should always look for the most appropriate vehicle that satisfies your specific needs. Buying the wrong WAV could lead to unnecessary expenses and render you unable to drive it properly.

You can buy new WAVs straight from a WAV converter who can adapt vehicles with the technology and assistance you may require. This process involves adaptation fittings, assessments, conversions, and demonstrations.Whoever is in charge of converting will be able to tell you what the available wheelchair accessibility features are. If you have preferences, it would be worth asking a few different converters and comparing the available options.

Before you Start Viewing WAVs

Before viewing wheelchair-accessible vehicles, write a list of the features you're looking for. Most often than not, searching for conversions of your preferred vehicle will be shortcoming or extremely difficult.

Once you know what you want from a WAV, you can narrow the search to specific functions and features.The following section covers advice on the measurements, standards, and features of WAVs to look for and is designed to help you move forward in your process of viewing WAVs with more confidence.

The dimensions of the wheelchair user when they are sitting in their normal posture is helpful to exclude certain vehicles from your search due to the internal or entry height being too short for comfort. It is equally worth knowing how the wheelchair user measures from the floor to the top of their head, as well as their width.

That said, do not exclude any vehicles that allow a higher or wider wheelchair user. Otherwise, you are also excluding vehicles that could be a perfect match. It is important to know that a different converter can work on three of the same model and produce a different result, which is why you must be aware of the modified height and width variants that you will only know through research. Further features that could be altered include the number of seats, overall style, and internal width measurements.

You can change the number of car seats in a WAV to accommodate wheelchair users. For example, a seven-seater car may have three seats removed to fit the wheelchair, leaving four other passenger seats.

Four seats may not be enough for a big family, so you must deliberate this in your calculations. The seats in an ideal WAV are comfortable for any of your passengers despite space in the middle of some of them for a wheelchair. There should also be enough space for the wheelchair user to sit comfortably in between them.

Depending on where the wheelchair user needs or wants to be in the vehicle, knowing this could stop you from looking at too many vehicles that don't accommodate your particular flexibility.

Wherever your wheelchair user wants to sit, be it at the driver's seat, the up-front passenger seat, or further back, you must accommodate them by looking, checking, and testing to see if your WAV is suitable. While knowing where in the WAV the wheelchair user will stay beforehand isn't crucial, it can help narrow down the search and save you time.

Adaptations are split into four categories because wheelchair users may require different adaptations while using the vehicle and for future use. The first category is access, which is the ability to enter and exit the vehicle carefully. Many adaptations facilitate this aspect of a WAV and its users.

A couple of examples are ramps and lifts at either the rear-end or side of the WAV in question.The entry method is the second category, which changes how effectively the WAV operates for family, friends, wheelchair users, and carers. Entry method solutions can be bespoken and expensive, but these options require an individual discussion between you and the converter or seller.

The third adaptation category is driving. There are many complex adaptation options, like hand controls depending on the driver's needs.Last but not least is storage. This category entails how the mobility scooter or wheelchair fits inside the vehicle via the rear, side, and whether it is stored or sat upon.

You should check for any finance options offered by your local dealership for WAVs and mobility cars and scooters. Once you know your budget and prepare to spend a certain amount, you can find your ideal WAV at the right price.

Your circumstances will define your purchase method, but you could be able to purchase with cash, finance, lease, or through Motability if you are eligible.

Consider how the WAV will be used, how many drivers there will be, who will be the passengers, and where you will be driving the said WAV. With another person that will also use the WAV, they can help you view them. Ensure the driver is at least there when you choose the right wheelchair-accessible vehicle because they must be able to feel comfortable in the vehicle.

After all, the passengers may end up sharing that sentiment too. The WAV's fuel consumption is another element to factor in because many makes don't offer great mileage. Consider the possible usage and the wheelchair user's needs. The first point isn't that important if you use the WAV for weekly hospital visits or lots of short journeys.

Buying a Second-hand WAV

Second-hand wheelchair-accessible vehicles are usually a lot cheaper than their brand-new alternatives.If you buy a second-hand WAV from a converter, the chances are that the vehicle is converted already with the features and functions you need. It also means that you don't need to wait for the vehicle to be converted and can use it straight after purchase.

The time saved from being able to use a WAV straight away after purchase is sometimes spent looking for a suitable one that has only the features you need.You should also be aware that anything bought second-hand could be affected by issues relating to safety and reliability. An inspection, whether carried out by yourself or the seller, should always be performed on second-hand WAVs before purchase.

What to Look For in a WAV

A great WAV will accommodate your wheelchair user to the best of its ability. For example, the buyer should factor in the headroom, which is important for easy access and comfort.If a WAV has a lowered flooring, or a lift or ramp adaptation installed, the wheelchair user can easily access it and have more independence.

It also means that they rely less on carers and family. The latter parties are then less physically demanded each time the user needs to enter or exit the WAV.  If the floor of a WAV is to be lowered, features like the wiring looms, fuel tanks, and exhaust systems need to be modified or moved. WAVs and the WAV marketplace look different to your typical car dealerships because there are so many functional and style changes necessary to accommodate wheelchair users.

Under the Mobility Scheme, these adaptations can be fitted for no extra cost. 

MotorHome Towbars provide cars, scooters, wheelchairs and more, so if you're interested, please reach out to us, and we can adapt your motor for your disability.

Are you looking for disability car adaptions in Lincoln And Lincolnshire? We have a huge range of adaptations available and would love to discuss this with you.