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Buying a WAV as a Disabled Driver or Disabled Passenger

Buying a car is always about trying to balance the needs of the whole family – the full passenger contingent, the daily commutes and leisure activities, and so much more. 

When it comes to choosing an accessible vehicle as a disabled driver, or for a passenger with a disability, making sure all these needs are accommodated can be especially difficult, with less options to choose from.

But the availability of accessible vehicles is improving, with Cartwright Mobility offering a full range of wheelchair accessible vehicles, as well as a wider array of vehicle adaptations that can improve comfort, safety and usability for drivers and passengers alike.

In this blog, we’ve listed a few tips to help you choose an accessible vehicle both as a driver and as a passenger. Take a look, and don’t forget to contact us with any questions you might have!

Tips for Buying a Car as a Disabled Driver

  • Ensure there’s enough room to store a wheelchair or scooter, if required, as well as having room for passengers and additional storage. 
  • Keep in mind how a wheelchair scooter is loaded into the vehicle – is there a lift or winch, or is it a ramp? How practical would it be to operate this and transfer to the vehicle on your own, if required?
  • Are there any considerations made for supporting you in transferring to the vehicle? From a simple adjustable seat or low floor, to tip-up plates, rotating seat, or even a car seat that transfers directly onto a wheelchair base, there are lots of options and vehicle access adaptations that can be made – even to the tighter fit of the driver’s seat – so you don’t need settle for anything less than what you need.
  • Are there any adaptations that could assist with your driving? There are many grips, controls and accessible pedal modifications that can be made to a vehicle to assist with comfortable and safe driving.
  • Are you sharing your vehicle with another driver? Many adaptations are detachable, adjustable, or unlikely to impact on a driver who doesn’t need them – but others may be less practical for a driver for whom these modifications are not configured. Make sure that you book a demo to inspect and test out a vehicle together, to ensure it’s the right fit for everyone.

Tips for Buying a Car for a Disabled Passenger

  • Make sure your passenger-to-be is as involved in the process as can be – be sure to book a demo of any vehicles you are interested in so you can both get a feel for the experience of both driving it, and of using all of the various accessibility features.
  • How many fellow passengers are likely to be joining you for the average journey? Wheelchair accessible vehicles typically accommodate between five and eight people, and may be able to accommodate less or more depending on whether a wheelchair is present.
  • On the other hand, if it’s likely to just be the two of you, consider the layout – many accessible vehicles that allow passengers to stay in their wheelchair often have a lot of distance between driver and passenger – which isn’t very social.
  • How is your own health and mobility? Consider carefully whether you’ll be able to safely and comfortably assist your passenger up and down a lift, or whether a powered storage adaptation would be beneficial for you.

Not Sure What You Need? We Can Help!

There’s always a lot to think about when buying a car – so at Cartwright Mobility, we want to reduce the headaches and difficult decisions as much as we possibly can!

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team if you have any questions, or would like to arrange a vehicle demonstration.

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