The Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle Buyer's Guide | Wilsons Group


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The Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle Buyer's Guide

​Here at Wilsons we have a selection of wheelchair accessible vehicles, each of these have differences which can impact whether it will suit your individual needs.

We understand that the ability to drive or be driven makes a huge difference to a person or families life, so have listed some key differences you may need to consider when you look at buying a WAV vehicle.


When looking at a WAV vehicle it is beneficial to measure the wheelchair with the person sitting in it from the floor to the top of their head ensuring that the posture is in a natural position. This ensures that there is enough room for the wheelchair to comfortably fit in the vehicle. Alongside this we highly recommend looking at the seat number you need in your vehicle, when changing the vehicle to wheelchair accessible the vehicle will have at least 3 seats removed allowing for the space of the wheelchair. 


Ramps for access into the vehicle come in different forms. There is automatic remote entry, manual open ramps and one or two piece ramps, all which vary in ease so it is beneficial to try a few out before purchasing.It is also beneficial to know when buying a WAV vehicle a lift can be beneficial if you will be travelling solo or if the carer needs additional help to push the wheelchair into the vehicle.

Size of vehicle

As with any cars, the WAV’s come in different sizes and designed to suit a range of needs. When you’re looking at a vehicle it is good to have a clear indication on what you will need your vehicle for. For example, if you’re making short distant journeys, commuting and shopping we would recommend a small WAV. It is beneficial to keep in mind that small WAVs have less seating for additional passengers (*). A medium WAV is usually cars and vans that have been converted they will usually seat up to four people but often have three seats plus space for a wheelchair passenger. Lastly a large WAV vehicle will generally have five to seven passenger seats and a lowered floor with a ramp.

(*subject to vehicle)

When you go to purchase a WAV vehicle it is very important to remember that if your wheelchair or passengers doesn’t fit one specific model it doesn’t mean they won’t fit any of the same models. Alongside this we want you to be sure on the vehicle you’re purchasing therefore size, style, model and width inside need to be to match your expectations.

We understand that shopping for a WAV vehicle can be overwhelming and there are lots of things to consider. It is always beneficial to bring a family member, friend or even a carer along with you to help ask those questions you may forget!