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How to choose your perfect wheelchair accessible vehicle

When the time comes to look for a wheelchair accessible vehicle, either as a replacement for an old model or your very first WAV, there are considerations to make to ensure you find the right vehicle for you.

There are the usual considerations that come with any new car purchase:

  • Price
  • Make/ model
  • Size
  • Engine size

WAV Sizes

The size of the vehicle is an important factor when it comes to deciding which model is right for you and your needs. Parking the car, whether it be on a driveway or in a public parking space is a consideration when investing in your next wheelchair accessible vehicle. The smallest wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs) available are the Peugeot Partner and Citroen Berlingo, both with the same dimensions of 4,403mm L x 2,107mm W.

Model (standard length)

Length

Width (folded wing mirrors)

Peugeot Partner

4,403mm

2,107mm

Citroen Berlingo

4,403mm

2,107mm

Citroen Berlingo Multispace

4,753mm

2,107mm

Ford Tourneo Connect

4,425mm

1,835mm

Ford Tourneo Custom

4,972mm

2,272mm

Peugeot Rifter

4,403mm

1,848mm

Vauxhall Combo

4,322mm

1,684mm

Volkswagen Caddy

4,408mm

2,065mm

Volkswagen Caddy Maxi

4,878mm

1,793mm

Volkswagen Sharan

4,854mm

1,904mm

Volkswagen Caravelle (shortbase)

4,904mm

1,950mm

 

WAV engine size

Engine size might not be your first priority when it comes to choosing your next WAV, but it's something to consider, mainly due to your driving style or places you are likely to be driving regularly. A larger engine can produce more power meaning it can accelerate quicker, which is better for regular motorway driving. If you are primarily doing city driving, you might not need a larger engine.

Model

Engine Size

Citroen Berlingo Multispace

1.6l

Ford Tourneo Connect

1.5l

Ford Tourneo Custom

2.0l

Peugeot Partner

1.6l

Peugeot Rifter

1.5l

Renault Trafic

1.6l

Vauxhall Combo

1.2l

Volkswagen Caddy Maxi

2.0l

Volkswagen Sharan

2.0l

Volkswagen Caravelle

2.0l

How you will use the wheelchair accessible vehicle

How the vehicle will primarily be used will be the main driver for deciding which vehicle would be most suited to your requirements.

This can be from how you use the vehicle on a day-to-day basis, for example, will you be making trips only to the local shops, or will you be using the vehicle for regular staycations?

It’s also important to know how the wheelchair user specifically will be using the vehicle, as there are multiple options available.

There are generally three different ways in which a wheelchair accessible vehicle will be used by the wheelchair user:

Secured in the rear of the vehicle

If the wheelchair user will solely be using the vehicle as a passenger, the best option is to choose a WAV where the wheelchair user can be secured safely in the rear of the vehicle.

By having the wheelchair user secured in the rear of the vehicle, it means there is less distance needed to transport the wheelchair into the vehicle, making it much easier for the carer and also less stressful for the wheelchair user.

Secured in the front passenger area

Some vehicles allow you to secure the wheelchair user into the front of the car rather than the rear. These vehicles have more of a complex design and in some instances, have less passenger space for additional travellers so this should be taken into consideration.

If you are making regular short journeys, this might not be your preferred option whereas if you are doing long journeys, the wheelchair user may feel more comfortable in the front seat.

Drive from wheelchair accessible vehicles

A drive from wheelchair accessible vehicle gives much more freedom to wheelchair users, allowing them to access the vehicle in the same way as those who will be secured in the rear of the vehicle, but continue through to the driver area where the wheelchair will be secured.

There are different ways in which driving aids will be fitted, whether you would rather have hands only controls or specially adjusted pedals.

How many seats your vehicle will need

With all wheelchair accessible vehicles, there is always the need to remove certain standard seats to make room for the wheelchair to not only drive through the vehicle, but also be secured safely.

With this in mind, it’s important to consider how many seats you will need with your new wheelchair accessible vehicle.

If you are travelling with the whole family, you will need as many seats as possible, so this might affect your decision on which type of wheelchair accessible vehicle you can opt for.

Here at Wholesale Car Company, we would be happy top help you find the best solution for you and your needs. You can contact us online or give us a call on 0800 860 6709.

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