What cars are wheelchair friendly? A guide to wheelchair accessible vehicles (2023)
If you are looking for a wheelchair accessible vehicle for sale or hire, there is a whole host of options available. Options range from small WAVs which tend to be easier to manoeuvre, park and drive around in or larger WAVs which are ideal if you have more equipment or want to carry more passengers. Due to the many choices available, it can be difficult and confusing to make the right choice but at Ransome Mobility, we have over 30 years of experience and we have put together our mobility cars 2023 guide to help you make the perfect choice.
Wheelchair accessible vehicles are usually cars based on commercial vehicles or are adapted commercial vehicles. Due to having lower floors, more headroom and a square rear, commercial vehicles are ideal for converting into WAVs.
What cars are wheelchair accessible?
Peugeot: Rifter, Partner
The Peugeot Rifter offers excellent flexibility as a wheelchair accessible vehicle. There are a number of seating layouts and models to chose from.
The Rifter can accommodate driver, wheelchair passenger and up to three seated passengers or, driver and up to four seated passengers – depending on your chosen seating layout.
The Peugeot Partner is one of the best selling light commercial vehicles from Peugeot. It is one of the most common and popular choices for converting into a wheelchair accessible vehicle.
The Citroen is a great choice of wheelchair accessible vehicle for someone looking for something small but spacious. The Berlingo is tremendous value for money and comes with 3 seats and space for a wheelchair. With sliding doors and rear ramp for easy access. A reliable WAV that is also very stylish.
Ford: Galaxy, Tourneo, Custom
The Ford Galaxy is an ideal choice for someone who is looking for a wheelchair accessible vehicle car with more space. A Ford Galaxy WAV will have room for a wheelchair user along with 4 or 5 passengers.
The Ford Galaxy is available in petrol and diesel versions and is an ideal family car. As with all Fords there is a high level of equipment and the Galaxy is an excellent drive.
The Ford Tourneo WAV is an extremely compact and very car-like vehicle. With room for 4 passengers, 1 wheelchair and 56 inches of headroom, the Tourneo is small enough for easy manoeuvring but also very spacious on the inside.
The Ford Custom features an interchangeable front seat offering the benefits of being able to drive from your wheelchair and travel as an upfront passenger.
Volkswagen: Caddy, Caddy Maxi, Sharan
The VW Caddy WAV has room for 3-4 seats and can have the wheelchair positioned between the rear passenger seats. With 56 inches of internal headroom and 64.5 inches of lowered floor length makes this stylish wheelchair accessible vehicle a spacious choice for wheelchair users.
The VW Sharan WAV is a stylish transport for 4 passengers, including one wheelchair user. The longer lowered floor enables the wheelchair user to travel centrally between 2 specially adapted rear seats.
Vauxhall: Zafira, Vivaro
The Vauxhall Zafira is a great choice for wheelchair access as you can have 4 passengers plus a wheelchair user but it’s not like a van and more like a family car.
The Vauxhall Vivaro is a spacious and versatile wheelchair accessible vehicle. The Vivaro can accommodate up to two wheelchairs with additional rear passengers in a choice of different seating combinations. The Vivaro comes with sliding doors and a rear access ramp.
Renault: Kangoo, Master, Trafic
The Renault Kangoo WAV has been specifically designed to offer as much space and comfort as possible. It includes a practical back seat configuration meaning that the wheelchair user has plenty of space regardless of the size of the chair.
Due to its size, the Renault Master WAV is ideal for larger families. The standard version can accommodate the wheelchair user and up to 7 seated passengers (including the driver).
The Renault Trafic WAV has a high headroom traveling on a lowered floor with access between second row seating. The Trafic has room for up to 2 wheelchairs and a total of 9 passengers. It’s easy to drive with light steering and comes with ABS. This is the perfect wheelchair accessible vehicle for those who want to travel with a lot of passengers or more than one chair.
What types of vehicles are good for wheelchairs?
The best type of cars for wheelchairs will depend on the circumstances of the driver/wheelchair user. If you only need room for one wheelchair and a couple of passengers, then a smaller vehicle would be suitable. If you have a larger family, more than one wheelchair user or need to carry more equipment then a larger vehicle might be more suitable.
Whichever your choice of wheelchair accessible vehicle besides the size needed inside, you might want to consider the effect that the size has on the driveability of the vehicle. Though some WAV’s (especially those that derived commercial vans) are bigger than cars, you will tend to find that though they are taller and sometimes longer there isn’t much difference in size. This makes driving a WAV a lot easier than you may first think.
If you are hiring a wheelchair accessable vehicle, you will probably want to hire a larger WAV to make sure it fits the number of passengers and the equipment you need.
What is a wheelchair car called?
Generally, a car or van which has been adapted for wheelchair users is referred to as a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV).
Some of the other terms that are used can be:
Mobility Car is sometimes interchanged with Motability which is a scheme that allows you to use some of your disability allowance to purchase a wheelchair accessible vehicle.
Disabled Cars is used quite frequently and can be used to describe not only wheelchair accessible vehicles but also mobility vehicles.
DAC & DAV stand for disabled access car and disabled access vehicle and are terms less commonly used than WAV.
Ransome Mobility has been serving customers across East Anglia and beyond for over 30 years. If you are looking for a wheelchair accessible vehicle for sale or a wheelchair accessible vehicle for hire then please contact us.