5 Things to Consider With Your Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle

Whether you’re getting your first wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) or thinking of making some modifications to your existing vehicle, this list will provide you with some important aspects to consider.

1. Ramps

When deciding on wheelchair accessible modifications for your vehicle it’s up to you whether you prefer to stay in your wheelchair for the journey, or transfer to a seat within the vehicle. At Auto Extras we offer conversions for either option. If you prefer to travel in your wheelchair or scooter, a wheelchair loader will make your transition from van to ground (and back again) as easy as possible. Another option is a lowered floor, to allow you to drive straight into the vehicle. For simpler conversions, and those who prefer to travel in one of the vehicle’s existing seats, transfer aids are offered. The Milford person lift and tip up plates can both be installed into even the smallest two and three door vehicles. For larger vehicles another option is turny seats, that swivel and extend past the vehicle door frame.

2. Parking

Whether you’re parking at home or out, you’ll need extra space to park your wheelchair accessible vehicle. The amount of space will depend on your modifications and whether you choose to travel in your chair or transfer. Generally speaking though, you’ll need to allow at least three metres of space at the point you enter and exit the vehicle.

3. Insurance

When your car has been converted for a driver or passenger with a disability, it can often be hard to find insurance coverage. This is due to insurance companies not understanding disabilities, and instead considering WAV owners to be high-risk drivers. Often though, drivers of wheelchair accessible vehicles are safer drivers and present a lower risk. Finding the right insurance company that understands this is key. Check out Blue Badge Insurance and Allianz Insurance for tailored insurance packages for your wheelchair accessible vehicle.

4. Maintenance

As with any vehicle, it’s important not to skip out on any maintenance. Many customers are proactive with initial modifications to their vehicle, but are often lacking when it comes to regular maintenance. A thorough service for a modified vehicle will check wheelchair docking services, mobility driving aids, ramps, steps and handrails, as well as all the standard vehicle components like suspension, wheel alignment and fuel lines. Wheelchair restraints generally have four mounting points, and automatic or manual retractors. It’s important to service these regularly, along with the tracks or discs the retractors are mounted on.

For more information check out our blog on service and repairs on your modified vehicle here.

5. Carers

If you rely on a carer or support worker to transfer or drive your car you’ll need to make sure they know how to use all the modifications. At Auto Extras you’ll receive a full rundown on how to use all your modifications. Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns you might have with any of your modifications.

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If you’d like more information on the types of modifications we offer, please enquire below.

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