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Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAV) – If you are searching for a car with wheelchair access then we can
help you find the perfect WAV to meet your needs.
Purchasing a wheelchair accessible vehicle is a big decision – WAVs, as they are frequently called, come in many different styles, sizes, and prices. Deciding which one would be best for you can seem complicated. However, we can provide you with all the information you need to make the right choice. Keep reading to discover how WAV Compare can assist you to find your perfect wheelchair accessible vehicle at the best price.
A WAV is a vehicle that has been built or modified to allow access by a person in a wheelchair. For many wheelchair users, the act of transferring from their chair and into a normal car can be uncomfortable, and sometimes even painful, or dangerous. With a WAV, you can enter into the vehicle seated safely and comfortably in your own chair.
There are three main types of WAVs.
Passenger WAVs. In this type of vehicle, the wheelchair user is only a passenger. They enter the vehicle in their wheelchair either through a rear or side door, using either a ramp or a lift. They then move the wheelchair into position and lock it securely in place. In most vehicles the wheelchair will be located in the rear of the vehicle. However, in some versions the wheelchair can pass through the vehicle and into the front passenger seat position.
Driver WAVs. In this kind of vehicle, the wheelchair user can also be the driver. In most vehicles, the controls will need to be modified to meet the capabilities of the driver. This often means that only the wheelchair user can drive. Sometimes, however, the modifications can allow the wheelchair user to both drive or be a passenger.
Ride Up Front. Increasingly popular this type of conversion is where the wheelchair user is ‘up front’ next to the driver in the traditional position of a front passenger. Generally it is a more comfortable place to sit and if there is usually only the driver and wheelchair passenger preferred to be up front. However the conversion is more complex and the price of a ride up front WAV is comparably more more.
That will depend on what you want to do with your wheelchair accessible vehicle. A small WAV has room for the driver, the wheelchair user, and sometimes one other passenger. These are ideal for running around town as they are economical and easy to park. If, however you want to carry more passengers, or lots of luggage, you will need to look for a larger vehicle. Remember to take into account where you will park it and make sure that it will fit in your garage or driveway.
Whether you are going to buy a vehicle that is already converted or have a custom
conversion done there are several basic things to consider.
Ramps can operate manually or electrically. Manual ramps are the least expensive option, but you will probably need assistance to lower and raise them. Also, you must be able to propel yourself up the slope or rely on assistance. You can install a winch to help pull you up. Both electric ramps and lifts are more expensive and require more maintenance, but they can be more convenient.
Rear entrance WAVs are more common than side entrance ones. They have the disadvantage that you need to have space behind the vehicle to deploy the ramp or lift for access. Also, that the person in the wheelchair enters and exits from the road rather than from the pavement.
Inside the vehicle the wheelchair must be securely tied down for safety. Manual lock downs are the most common and are easy to use and efficient. However, for some people, electric lock downs may be preferable.
Frequently the floor of the vehicle is lowered to make the ramp access easier. This means that sometimes the size of the fuel tank is reduced. If you live a long way from a petrol station this could be a problem.
Even with the lowered floor if you are very tall you may find there is not enough head room so that you can not bump your head when travelling over rough ground.
Internal transfer WAVS are modified to allow the wheelchair user to pass easily from the wheelchair into the driving seat. They then stow the chair in the vehicle.
Drive from wheelchair WAVs allow the user to control the vehicle directly from their wheelchair which enters into the driving position through either a side or rear door and locks down behind the steering wheel.