Does Size Really Matter When Buying a WAV?
Does size really matter? Well, it depends who you ask but when it comes to choosing your next wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) we think size really should matter. In fact for some people it is the most important thing on their ‘must have’ list for a family car.
When measuring up your next vehicle consider not just how many people it seats but the overall height, length and width, and crucially for rear passenger WAVs the entrance height. Remember that the number of seats doesn’t always tally with the size of the vehicle so while a Renault Master or Peugeot Boxer might be considered a large WAV it only seats up to five people in some cases.
If you need lots of seats but don’t like the idea of driving a big vehicle then the Ford Transit Custom WAV from Cartwright Mobility could be the right fit. It seats up to eight people but is categorised as a medium vehicle by the Motability Scheme. In this blog post we’ll delve into the issue of size and look closely at the vital statistics of the Ford Transit Custom.
Seating capacity and layout of the vehicle
Before you set out on your search for a new wheelchair accessible vehicle, think about how many people will be travelling with you and where in the vehicle you would like to sit. The vehicle’s seating capacity and layout needs to be suitable for your family whether that’s because you want extra space for grandparents or you take the neighbour’s kids to watch football every week.
Cartwright’s Ford Transit Custom WAV has eight seats – this includes the driver and a secure wheelchair position with four-point restraints. The vehicle is laid out with the wheelchair position towards the back with a seat to the left of it so that everyone stays sitting together. For a cool drive the independently controlled air conditioning in the rear of the vehicle is a big hit on long journeys and if you need extra room for luggage then it’s quick and easy to remove some of the seats.
Overall size of the Ford Transit Custom WAV
Manufacturers talk about their vehicles being built on a ‘long wheelbase’ or having a ‘high roof’ but what does that actually mean? In broad terms the wheelbase of a vehicle is the distance between the front and rear tyres. Cartwright’s Ford Transit Custom WAV is built on a long wheelbase with a high roof, which means that it’s slightly longer and higher than the average vehicle but has more room inside. The extra 37.2cm* of head room not only means you can stand up in the back but it also gives the interior a roomy and bright feeling for a more enjoyable ride.
When you’re considering a vehicle with a long wheelbase like the Ford Transit Custom, think about where you are going to park it and how comfortable you feel driving a medium sized WAV. If you use a driveway or park in front of your property then it’s worth checking first that the vehicle will comfortably fit. We can arrange to bring the vehicle to your home for a demonstration so that you can get a feel for the vehicle’s size and have a go at driving it yourself.
Entrance Height and Lift Dimensions
In rear passenger WAVs like the Ford Transit Custom, it is crucial to make sure your wheelchair will comfortably fit through the back of the vehicle. The height of the rear entrance is 1660mm, which suits most sized wheelchairs and power chairs. Cartwright’s Ford Transit Custom WAV has a fixed platform lift that can take up to 400kg of weight, and is 920mm wide and 1130mm long. Some wheelchairs need more than the width of a standard ramp so make sure you check these dimensions before you seal the deal on a new WAV.
Measuring up your next vehicle
When you’re choosing your next vehicle remember our top five tips for measuring up a WAV:
1. Look at the seating layout and make sure you’re happy with the wheelchair position
2. Check to make sure that the vehicle will fit on your driveway or in your usual parking space
3. Test drive the vehicle before you buy to make sure you’re comfortable with its size
4. Measure the vehicle’s entrance height and the ramp/lift to see if your wheelchair will fit
5. Ask about the flexibility of the seating layout – can you add or remove seats if needed?
By asking all these questions you stand the best chance of finding a vehicle that suits your family. But if you do make a mistake and you find that your vehicle is not measuring up then we can help put it right. We will visit you a month after you’ve taken delivery of your vehicle to make sure that you’re still happy with it so you can rest assured that you’ll have our support for the life of the vehicle.
* Standard height from load floor to roof 1382mm c/w high roof at 1754mm.Back to all blog posts