We have wrote this guide for the people who are new to wheelchair accessible vehicles, i am sure there will still be questions and we will be more than willing to help, answer or demonstrate any concerns you may have.
Number of seats ?
An average size wheelchair adapted car (citroen berlingo size) would normally have 3 seats plus the wheelchair space, some may have an extra seat, but this does make it cozy and a little tight for large power chairs to fit between the seat’s, yes there is bigger cars like the kia sedona or citroen c8 these two cars have 4 large seats plus the space for the chair, but don’t forget the bigger the car, the bigger the running cost. we would not encourage anyone to spend more money than needed on a larger car or having extra seats fitted, just because uncle bob likes to come over at Easter for a long weekend, Don’t for get the most important person in this car buying exercise is the person in the wheelchair who i am sure does not want to be crammed into a car.
A lowered floor is made by cutting out the existing vehicle floor and re-fabricating a new floor at a lower level, this new lower level will make the ramp not as steep, it will also give more head height for the wheelchair user and it will give the wheelchair user a better ride.
Flat or tilted lowered floors,
It does not make any difference between a flat or tilted lowered floor, a tilted floor is not very steep and when the wheelchair is sat in place it just gives the wheelchair a reclined feel, standard wheelchairs are a bit upright and formal.
Will you need a winch?
If you are using a power wheelchair, no, Not many of the wheelchair cars have a power winch because the ramps are not very steep, and if you are able to push the chair i everyday living, ramp into the house and around town etc, then chance are you will be ok, but if you are a small elderly lady who has an 18 stone husband to push then it we would say your going to struggle, it is at times like this when we urge people for a demonstration. please remember, we can fit a winch to a car that does not have one.
Securing the wheelchair in the car,
All the vehicles we sell will come with 4 restraints / straps, two at the front and two at the rear to secure the wheelchair, 4 straps is a legal requirement. after fitting the wheelchair restraints and applying the brakes to the wheelchair, there is a seat belt for the wheelchair user, We do show every customer the correct way to load a wheelchair, This link is also a complete guide to loading a wheelchair, how to secure wheelchair in a car, MORE INFO…
Your wheelchair type and size?
The ramps on wheelchair accessible vehicles are normally rated to 300 kg safe working load, which is fine for power wheelchairs, a standard ramp is about 29″ wide but we do have wider, if you have an over sized wheelchair ring us with the sizes and we will be able to advise,
Cars for mobility scooters.
Lots of our customers have mobility scooters and yes they do fit in wheelchair cars, size of scooter does have to be taken in to consideration, we can advise on this just let it be know on the make and model of your mobility scooter if you already own one, click on this link to see a video on how to load a mobility scooter in to a wheelchair adapted car,
A Blue badge for parking,
The idea behind the blue badge is to help people with limited maneuverability to park closer to the final destination, This link gives full details for obtaining a blue badge MORE INFO….
Disabled road tax,
In simple terms disabled (free) road tax is normally given to people who have become disabled before retirement age, but there is more to consider, follow this link for full details including how and where to apply for free disabled road tax, Applying for disabled car tax
Wheelchair upfront cars,
Wheelchair upfront vehicles have the complete car cut away on the passenger side and re-fabricated to allow the wheelchair to sit next to the driver, These cars do command a premium because of the cost of the conversion,
Ramp or lift?
All the smaller car type wheelchair accessible vehicles have ramps, it is more of the mini bus sized vehicles that have ricon lifts.
Drive from wheelchair cars,
A drive from wheelchair car is a vehicle that has a remote control tailgate and ramp which will allow the disabled driver to get in and out of the car without any assistance from anyone else, on entering the car the wheelchair can then drive all the way up-to the steering wheel via the lowered floor that has been cut out all the way to the dash. the wheelchair must be fitted with a special pin, the pin will then meet a locking system on the floor, these cars are normally fitted with hand controls. one of the best drive from wheelchair cars on the market is converted by a company call sirus automotive. one of the biggest problems with drive from wheelchair cars is flat batteries, any drive from’s we take in must be as simple as possible because the more there is the more there is to go wrong.
Driver transfer to drive cars,
These cars are perfect for amputees or disabled drivers that are able to transfer in and out of there power chair, again these vehicles have a remote control tailgate and ramp which will allow the disabled driver to enter the car un-assisted, after entering the car the driver can transfer in to the drivers seat, which has been left in the position from last time you left the car, this would be slide back 2 foot, raised to wheelchair height and swiveled round to the side. we sell alot of these cars and we know them inside and out. be warned buying one of these cars off any old car dealer would be a mistake, something as simple has a remote loosing it’s memory is a 5 minute job for us or a nightmare for a normal garage.
Fuel tanks on adapted cars,
All wheelchair adapted cars have dodgy fuel tank readings, some fiat doblo’s show an empty tank when you start the engine on a hill, some kangoo will only show three quarters full on the gauge when the tank is full, some fuel gauges will fluctuate whiles driving. and some are slow fillers. the best way to tackle the problem is always keep plenty of fuel in the tank.
Part exchanging un-adapted cars,
Some wav dealers don’t take un-adapted cars in part exchange, but keep it in mind we do,