Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs)

What Is A Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV)?

A Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) refers to a vehicle which has been converted by a mobility expert to accommodate a wheelchair, either for the user to stay seated in their wheelchair or to transfer into another seat inside the vehicle. Sometimes they are also referred to by people as wheelchair cars or wheelchair accessible cars.

The exact conversion will vary based on the exact dimensions and facilities of the vehicle you have chosen but the primary aim is to enable a wheelchair passenger or wheelchair driver to access the vehicle whilst still providing useful storage space and passenger seating for others.

The result provides plenty of accessibility and flexibility whilst still retaining the typical look and feel of the vehicle you’re driving.

Why Choose a WAV?

You might be undecided if choosing a wheelchair accessible vehicle or wheelchair adapted vehicles will be better suited to your needs. The biggest question to ask that pulls you towards a wheelchair vehicle or WAV over an adapted vehicle is: Does it cause the wheelchair user discomfort to get in and out of a vehicle?

If the answer is yes then a wheelchair accessible vehicle is likely a better option for you and your needs. The safety and ability to access your vehicle easily is one of the most important things you'll have to consider, especially if you intend to drive by yourself.

The benefits of wheelchair accessible vehicles include greater mobility for the wheelchair users, less pain as there's no transferring between seats, more freedom, time saving by moving the person and their wheelchair together, and they are versatile and can be adapted to your specific mobility needs.

Drive From Wheelchair Vehicles

Drive from Wheelchair Vehicles, shortened to DFWs, is a specific wheelchair accessible vehicle or car that allows you to drive it from your wheelchair. The ramp or lift that allows access is usually able to be operated automatically and the vehicle itself will usually have less passenger seats in order to accommodate the space needed for the wheelchair to sit in the driver position.

These will often also have other adaptations in order to make driving suitable for your needs. This could be steering controls or hand controls but will also be able to be tailored to make sure that you can drive the vehicle safely and comfortably.

The Drive From Wheelchair option tends to be more expensive that the WAV simply because more modifications and adjustments are required in order to safely incorporate a wheelchair into the driving position.

A Volkswagen steering wheel with hand control adaptations mounted to it
A side view of a driver using a steering wheel accelerator ring.

What is the Alternative to a WAV?

Not everyone is suited to a Wheelchair Access Vehicle and if you are capable of getting into and out of a vehicle without much in the way of discomfort then some of our Motability adaptations to mobility vehicles may be more appropriate for you, which include hoists and swivel chairs to make it easier to transfer in and out.

The extensive range of adaptations for sale also includes innovative solutions for storing your wheelchair or other mobility equipment, such as boot hoists and rooftop stowage which may also be a more helpful solution.

For more information about Motability adaptations, click here.

Contact Us Today

John Clark Motor Group is an expert in the Motability Scheme, with specialists available to guide you and offer free advice at many of our sites which makes getting you into a mobility vehicle even easier. If you have specific questions, would like to know more about the best wheelchair accessible vehicle for your needs, or would like to discuss ordering a car through the Motability Scheme, please contact your preferred site today.