Factors to Bear in Mind When Choosing Between Used WAVS


vehicle adaptation east anglia

Buying a wheelchair access vehicle is a major investment and it can be difficult picking your way through all the different options, which is why you might need a helping hand from an expert.

Ransome Mobility is one of the leading suppliers of nearly new and used WAVs in East Anglia. Here is our guide to the questions to consider before choosing the right model for you.

Wheelchair Position

The first area to establish is where you are going to sit. The industry has identified three different categories: rear passenger, ride up front or drive from wheelchair WAVS. This recognises that you could sit at the back, beside the driver or take the wheel yourself.

How you get in will vary depending on which you one you opt for. Rear passenger WAVS typically use a ramp or lift at the back of the vehicle. Side entry ramps, as well as rear entry ones, can be used by wheelchair users sitting in the front.

You also need to decide if you are going to be the only driver of the vehicle. Some used WAVs have transferable front seats so the wheelchair user could still be a passenger.

Vehicle Size

You will also need to decide how many people will be using the vehicle on a regular basis. There are also three generally recognised sizes of WAV: small, medium or large. The smaller ones have space for two or three passengers as well as one wheelchair user, while the largest ones can accommodate six or seven passengers and two wheelchair users. Note that the passenger number usually includes the driver.

Storage space is another area to consider. As well as accommodating you and your wheelchair, whether as a driver or a passenger, ramps and lifts may also have to be factored in. Shopping bags and luggage might have to be fitted in as well, depending on the type of journey you will be making. If you have any specialist medical equipment that you need to carry with you, then make sure you have enough room for that too.

Another question to consider is where you are going to keep it overnight. Will your garage have enough clearance? Will your driveway be wide enough, particularly if that’s where the wheelchair user is getting in and out?

Your Budget

Nearly new and used WAVs often offer better value for money than new vehicles. The Motability scheme means a lot of vehicles which were part of the scheme are sold after they come to the end of their initial five-year lease.

Buying a WAV can still be a big investment, particularly if you have a very specific set of requirements linked to any disability. Ransome Mobility can offer a range of finance and part exchange options for people who require this facility.

Performance Type

You will have to think about the kind of trips you will be using your WAV for. If, for instance, it is a drive from wheelchair vehicle, which you are planning to use just for local shopping trips, then you can look for a lower specification vehicle than if you intend to use it as a main family car and on long-distance holiday journeys.

It is worth bearing in mind that you can buy vehicles with automatic gearboxes as well as manual ones.

Further Adaptations

This is an area where industry specialists like Ransome Mobility really come into their own, compared to dealers who simply sell on WAVs as they are. We will be happy to carry out further vehicle adaptations to fit your exact requirements. For instance, we can fit steering wheel balls and left foot accelerators to make life easier for the driver, remove a passenger seat to make room for extra equipment, or make the vehicle suitable for lift rather than ramp access.

At Ransome Mobility we have more than 30 years’ experience of supplying nearly new and used WAVs. We can offer expert advice and ongoing support to customers in Norfolk, Essex, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire and Hertfordshire. Click on the link to check out our latest selection.

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