If you or your loved one uses a wheelchair since their stroke, you may be considering getting a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV). These are cars or vans that are specially adapted so a wheelchair user can drive or travel as a passenger.
Purchasing a WAV can be daunting, especially the first time you come to look for one. So how do you make sure you get a vehicle that’s right for you? Our partners, WAVMob, a specialist WAV dealership, share some questions to help you think about what you need before you start looking:
What size vehicle do you need?
You can get WAVs that range from compact two-seaters to nine-seaters with room for all the family and the dog, so there are plenty of options.
But it’s also important to make sure you choose a car that’s comfortable to drive and park. Think carefully about what you’ll mainly be using your vehicle for, how much time you’ll spend in the car and who else is likely to be a regular passenger, so you can get the best vehicle for your needs.
Automatic or manual?
All WAVs come with automatic and manual transmission options, so this is largely down to driver preference. However, automatic gearboxes are easier to adapt to enable wheelchair users to drive.
Ramp or lift?
You can get ramps that operate electrically or manually. Lifts and electric ramps are more convenient but they’re more expensive and need extra maintenance.
Manual ramps are a cheaper option, but you may need help to lower and raise them. You also need to be able to propel yourself up the slope, or rely on someone to push you. If this isn’t possible or practical, you may need a winch system to help pull you up instead.
Get more guidance
WavMob offer advice and support to help you find your perfect vehicle. Find out more and get a free consultation here.
Stroke News magazine
This article is featured in the summer 2022 edition of our magazine, Stroke News. Subscribe to our future editions available in print, on audio CD, or via email.