Buying and Travelling in a WAV with a Disabled Child

Choosing a new car is an important decision for any family, but particularly so if you have a disabled child. Ransome Mobility have been supplying used WAVs to customers in Norfolk, Suffolk and throughout East Anglia for more than three decades. Here are our key factors to consider when buying or hiring a car if you have a disabled child in the family.

Comfort and Safety

Your child’s comfort and safety are likely to be the key to your choice of wheelchair access vehicle, and there are a number of features to consider depending on the exact nature of their condition. If your child is susceptible to heat, then a good air conditioning system is essential. If they react badly to bright light, then you may wish to consider buying one with tinted windows.

Remember that the current rules say that all children must normally use a child car seat until they are 12 years old or 4ft 5ins (135cms) tall, whichever comes first. Children with disabilities or who have certain medical conditions can use special seat belts or child restraints.

It is sometimes more appropriate for children to travel in a car in a wheelchair owing to their size and their medical needs – and because it reduces the need for complicated transfers from wheelchair to seat and back again.

Are they Still Growing?

Children grow quite quickly up until the ages of 13 or 14, so what may seem to be the ideal purchase now might not be in a few years’ time. Consider whether any vehicle you buy has enough space to accommodate their future growth, and whether you will be able to help them in and out of the vehicle in the same way. Will you require a bigger wheelchair and an accompanying hoist?

In addition, is their condition likely to stay the same, worsen or improve? And you may also need to factor in space for any new additions to the family, and other relatives and friends.

Be Well Prepared

It’s not just the specifications of the car which you need to consider when planning journeys. If your child becomes bored and misbehaves as a result, it can very distracting and dangerous for the driver. Making sure they have easy access to a favourite toy or game can often help to put them at ease.

For longer journeys, think about packing some food or drink, as well as any medication which the child needs to take. All of this means your WAV will need a good amount of storage space, and you should also allow plenty of time to reach your destination.

And if you need to keep an eye on a child sitting in the back, then you may want to consider having an additional mirror fitted either to the windscreen or a wing mirror.

The Motability Scheme

You may also be eligible for financial help when purchasing your WAV. If your child is aged three or over and is entitled to the enhanced mobility component of the Personal Independence Payment or the higher rate of the mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance, then the Motability Scheme may be able to provide financial assistance.

Staff at Ransome Mobility will be able to advise you on this, as we are an accredited Motability installer, and are premier partners with Motability Operations.

Vehicle Adaptations from Ransome Mobility

Ransome Mobility provide high-quality car adaptions which will make life much easier both for you and for your disabled child. These include a range of wheelchair hoists and swivel seats to make it easier for them to get in and out of the vehicle.

You can find out what used WAVs we currently have for sale for customers in Norfolk, Suffolk and the rest of East Anglia by following this link. We also have a selection of vehicles available for hire. If you can’t find exactly what you want, call us on 01473 727263 or email us at and we should be able to meet your exact requirements.

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