What is an internal transfer WAV and is one right for me?

What is an internal transfer WAV and is one right for me?

Could an internal transfer WAV be the right fit for you? Today we’re taking a look at this type of wheelchair accessible car.

If you’ve started searching for the perfect wheelchair accessible vehicle (better known as a WAV), you may find that you’re presented with a lot of choices.

One of these choices is based on how you may want to enter and exit your vehicle, and whether or not you’d like to remain in your chair.

If you’re thinking about choosing a vehicle that allows you to move into a standard seat, an internal transfer WAV is certainly worth exploring. To help you decide, we’ve put together this article, which explains exactly what an internal transfer WAV is and what its benefits are.

What is an internal transfer WAV?

An internal transfer WAV is a wheelchair accessible vehicle that allows you to safely move from your chair into a driver or front passenger seat while inside the vehicle.

Internal transfer WAVs are a little different to other wheelchair-adapted vehicles because you don’t stay in your wheelchair to travel. And unlike driving adapted cars, you don’t have to switch from your chair to a car seat while positioned outside the vehicle. This makes moving across easier, safer and more comfortable.

In general, commercial vehicles are best suited for an internal transfer WAV conversion. This is because they have plenty of room inside and it is easier to fit an automatic ramp and tailgate to either the side or the rear of the vehicle. Volkswagen Caddys, Ford Connects and Volkswagen Shuttles are therefore often used for internal transfers. Some suppliers may also give you the option of a SEAT Alhambra car.

Who are internal transfer WAVs suitable for?

An internal transfer WAV is a good choice for you if you’re happy using a bit of upper body power but don’t want to make the transfer from the street or roadside. It’s also a good choice if you want to spend some time outside of your wheelchair or don’t want to be limited to wheelchair driving. If you’ve spent a lot of time in your wheelchair during the day, it can be nice to swap into a standard car seat.

Picking an internal transfer vehicle can also mean that you’re not restricted to being a passenger in the rear of the vehicle. This may be particularly tempting if you find riding in the back uncomfortable or it makes you car sick. In an internal transfer vehicle, you can move from your wheelchair into the front passenger seat or the driver’s seat, giving you extra comfort or independence.

This type of wheelchair-adapted vehicle may also be a good fit if you find it difficult to fold up or lift your wheelchair into the rear of the car. This can be time consuming too, and if the wheels are muddy, it can be a dirty job.

Can a wheelchair user still travel in an internal transfer WAV if they are not driving?

Absolutely! If your rotating transfer seat has been fitted in the driver’s position, you can still ride in the back in your wheelchair. You can do this by locking your wheelchair into position with an automatic lock or manual straps.

If you don’t want to drive your internal transfer vehicle at all, you may want to consider having the rotating seat fitted to the front passenger seat to give you more flexibility over where you ride.

How do you enter and exit an internal transfer WAV?

When it comes to getting in and out of an internal transfer WAV, you have two options. Depending on the vehicle conversion, you can either enter the vehicle via the side or the rear. Rear entrances tend to be more typical as they give you plenty of room.

Either way, you will use a button on your key fob which will automatically open the entrance, and let down the tailgate and the ramp. You then wheel yourself inside the vehicle and close the entrance using your fob. It’s important at this point to secure your wheelchair by putting on your brakes.

When inside, you can operate the rotating chair to make your transfer. These chairs usually rotate 90 degrees to make the transfer easier for you. The chair’s movement can be adjusted up, down, forwards or backwards so that you can put it in the best position for you.

Once you’re ready, you’ll lift yourself into the waiting seat.

When you’re comfortable, lock your wheelchair into position with an automatic lock or manual straps. This will stop it moving during your drive.

Using the chair’s controls, you rotate the chair so that it is facing the front of the car. When you’re in the correct position, use the controls to move yourself into the right place for driving or being a passenger.

To get out, you do the reverse! Using the seat’s controls, you’ll move the chair backwards and then rotate it so it sits at a 90-degree angle to your wheelchair. Unbuckle your wheelchair from its straps, or remove its automatic lock, and then move across.

Once you’ve settled in, press the button on your key fob to open the door and release the tailgate and ramp. You can then reverse out.

The benefits of choosing an internal transfer WAV

Picking an internal transfer WAV has plenty of advantages, including:

It can be safer

Transferring from your wheelchair to a car seat can be dangerous if you are having to make the switch from the roadside. By making the move inside your vehicle, you are much more protected.

It’s easier

If you need to get into your car seat from a wheelchair, you will either need an assistant to move and store your chair after you get in, or you will need to stow it yourself before settling into the car.

With an internal transfer vehicle, you can move the wheelchair inside under your own steam and leave it in position for when you want to exit.

You’re not exposed to the elements

Transferring from a wheelchair to a car in wet or wintry weather can be very unpleasant. So why not make the switch from the comfort of your vehicle?

You can sit in a standard seat

Sometimes it’s nice to get out of your wheelchair and flex a few of those upper body muscles. With an internal transfer, you can sit in a standard driver seat. You could also find a vehicle that enables you to sit as a passenger in the front of the vehicle, which can be far more comfortable.

You can take control 

Being chauffeured around can be nice, but being in the driving seat puts you in control. With an internal transfer WAV, you can sit in the driver’s seat and use adapted controls that are tailored to suit you.

This type of wheelchair accessible vehicle also means that you don’t need an assistant to put away your chair for you.

Browse our WAV range today

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, a wheelchair accessible vehicle for hire, or would like to discuss whether an Internal Transfer WAV is right for you, then please contact us.

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