Transport Recommendation Assessments

WAV Recommendations & Assessments

Finding the Right Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle For Your Lifestyle

With over 30 years of experience in the design and manufacture of WAVs, Brotherwood® are recognised as the experts in providing comfortable, inclusive and safe travel for wheelchair users and their families.

We know that the process of choosing the right vehicle for your needs is often complex, and our expertise has helped hundreds of Clients, Case Managers, Occupational Therapists, Rehabilitation Professionals and Solicitors, to find the perfect mobility solution for their needs and lifestyle. Our in-depth consultation process ensures that your vehicle will suit you perfectly.

We also offer 'full-service' project management, and can co-ordinate solely with you, or with an existing Case Management service, to provide complete care for your transport needs. Our dedicated team can provide comprehensive assessment and full reporting to ensure your mobility is maintained  both now and in the future. We are also recognised by and have provided testimonial to the Court of Protection.

We can often help to establish your needs by telephone or email - however a home demonstration is vital to ensure that you find the perfect vehicle for your needs.


Our Services Include:

  • Transport Needs Assessments and Recommendations for the safe transportation of wheelchair users
  • Expert Witnesses for disabled transport including Rod J Brotherwood OBE
  • New WAVs Supplied including Mercedes-Benz V-Class and Vito Tourer
  • Short and Long-Term Hire of Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles
  • Nationwide Customer Support including at-home product demonstrations
  • Dedicated Aftersales provided by mobile Customer Support engineers
  • Consultation by friendly, impartial experienced advisors
Assessing Your Needs

How We Assess Your Transport Needs:

Brotherwood assessments and home demonstrations are carried out by experienced personnel able to make recommendations or suggest adjustments to suit individual requirements. Don't worry if you don't know what to look for - our demonstration staff are patient and friendly, and on hand to help.

   It is critical to first assess how much interior space you require to travel comfortably, with good visbility out of the windows and without feeling cramped. The most important dimensions to measure are:   

  • SEATED PASSENGER HEIGHT
  • WHEELCHAIR TRACK WIDTH
  • WHEELCHAIR ARMREST WIDTH
  • WHEELCHAIR LENGTH

By comparing these measurements to our vehicles, carefully checking for adequate ENTRY HEIGHT and INTERNAL HEADROOM, we ensure that you travel in comfort. We assess both the wheelchair's 'track' (wheel to wheel width) and the armrest width, which is important if you intend to sit between the rear seats.

It is also vital to consider the COMBINED WEIGHT of the wheelchair and passenger, as adequate restraints must be supplied to ensure passenger safety.

How to measure a wheelchair for car travel
Wheelchair Position within vehicle

   An inclusive wheelchair position is more comfortable, gives better outward visibility and enables close proximity to family or carers. We assess the travelling position of the wheelchair to ensure passenger safety and wellbeing.     

There are many options for locating the wheelchair user within the vehicle. Depending on your needs you may prefer:

  • Wheelchair user up front next to the driver
  • Wheelchair user next to the rear passengers
  • Wheelchair user behind the rear passengers 

A central wheelchair location (between the rear seats) is popular with families and groups for inclusion, conversation or attendance on the move. It also tends to offer the most space, and comfort for the wheelchair user.

Travelling behind the rear seat passengers is less ideal but might be right for you if the vehicle does not need to carry a wheelchair user very often - for example as a taxi or at a care home. A rear wheelchair location might also be adequate if you intend to transfer into the front passenger seat before loading or are using the vehicle as a scooter carrier.

   Travelling by car in a wheelchair is much more comfortable if the floor is level. Make sure the wheelchair travels with all wheels on a level surface, and that the occupant has enough headroom to sit naturally.    

When assessing the best WAV for your needs, the wheelchair user's comfort is a priority. Locating the wheelchair centrally, on a flat, level floor is a key part of our ethos.

Wheelchair users positioned on a sloping floor can experience discomfort, as the incline can disrupt the ergonomics and posture of the wheelchair. Placing the wheelchair too high within the body of the vehicle can also increase the sensation of body roll for the wheelchair user, whilst too far back in the vehicle and the wheelchair user is not only isolated but uncomfortable as bumps and undulations in the road surface are amplified.

Research by the Posture & Mobility Group for the "best practice from the transportation of people seated in wheelchairs" also states:

"A longitudinally central location in which a person is seated as close to the vehicle chassis as possible, i.e. as low in the vehicle as possible, is considered to be the most comfortable position in which to be transported in a vehicle. The field of vision and visibility of the wheelchair occupant, for communication or attendance, are also important considerations when choosing the wheelchair position within a vehicle."

Level Floor For Wheelchair
Everyday living with a wheelchair vehicle

   Like any car purchase, we consider which car best suits your lifestyle and how you will use it.   

Not only does the vehicle need to offer suitable comfort, inclusion and safety for the wheelchair user, it should also suit the entire family's lifestyle. During the assessment process we'll discuss how you use the vehicle to ensure that it fits your needs.

By taking our time to discuss your needs we'll ensure that it fits in your garage or drive, in any regular parking spaces (at the shops, or for example at school) and that it can easily be loaded and unloaded in all of these places.

We'll also discuss whether you require manual or automatic transmission, ensure that it can it be driven by all necessary family members or carers, and that it has enough space or storage solutions for any additional equipment you need to travel with.

Our helpful staff can even suggest bespoke storage solutions for anything you may travel with; from bags of shopping to dogs we can find a suitable solution.

   We offer multiple affordable and flexible funding options, and can discuss with you which way works best for your budget. We offer full quotations and can provide full life-cost estimates.    

New
Vehicle Purchase

We offer a range of brand new, fully converted Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles for sale, which can be purchased outright. Buying a Brotherwood WAV is an investment in quality.


 

Used
Vehicle Purchase

We also hold a range of used WAVs, which are fully refurbished to a high standard. All of our used WAVs are original Brotherwood conversions, which are checked and approved before sale.


 

Motability
Leasing

The Motability scheme allows you to exchange your Mobility allowance for a new Brotherwood WAV for a 5 year term. Maintenance and insurance is included, an advance payment is required, depending on the vehicle.


 

Hire
Short Term

If you only require a Wheelchair Car for a short term, we offer weekly or monthly hire. This might be ideal for holidays, special occasions or if you require a bigger WAV for a shorter time.


 

Contract Hire
Personal

If you do not qualify for Motability, or would prefer to pay a monthly rental than buy outright, we offer Personal Contract Hire in partnership with LVC Mobility. Full maintenance can be included in one simple monthly payment.


 

Contract Hire
Business

Reduce your capital outlay and make budgeting easy with our Business Contract Hire for Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles. At the end of the agreement, simply hand the WAV back, with no disposal or part exchange worries.


 

   A WAV is no different to insure than a standard vehicle, however you will need to inform your insurer that it has been converted to transport a wheelchair user, as you will need to cover the vehicle for the full replacement value (car and conversion).    

You can insure a converted vehicle through any of the major insurance companies, but we recommend firms who specialise in Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles. Specialist companies include :

Fish Insurance – 0800 0469860
Thomas & Co – 01202 620691
Prestige Insurance – 0800 330857

We always recommend you contact at least a couple of insurance companies, as you will find the premium can differ; in some cases quite significantly.

   Many of our clients benefit from exemption from both VAT and Road Fund License (Road Tax). We can guide you through the process of applying for tax exemption.   

Road Tax Exemption

Clients in receipt of the higher rate of the Mobility Component or Disability Living Allowance (DLA), or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) will be entitled to apply for a free road fund licence. You will need to contact the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) at Blackpool 08457 123 456 and request an application for a DLA 404. Please note you have to be declared and registered disabled before the age of 65 to be entitled to this exemption.

VAT

At Brotherwood we are familiar with the rules regarding VAT and converted vehicles. A detailed information booklet regarding this can be obtained from HM Customs and Excise, however some of the more common issues are:

Q : What are the conditions for zero rating?

A: Within the H.M. Customs & Excise VAT relief notice VAT1616, exemption from VAT for individuals or charities can be made with a signed declaration "VAT1615A", providing the vehicle has been permanently converted to carry a person in a wheelchair. This may also include vehicles that are used by the wheelchair user in their work capacity provided this is incidental to the vehicles main use as a private vehicle. You could not obtain the vehicle zero rated and then use it as a Taxi or for business use.

Q : Do second hand converted vehicles qualify for VAT exemption?

A: There is no VAT payable on second hand converted vehicles provided the criterion for the vehicle being exempt in the first instance is adhered to.

Q : Can I have the vehicle serviced exempt of VAT?

A: Converted vehicles purchased exempt of VAT are also exempt of VAT for servicing, repair or maintenance. The garage providing the service will require an eligibility declaration to be completed and signed. Brotherwood provide these to all purchasers of their converted vehicles both new and used.

Q : Are the prices on the Brotherwood printed ‘Price List’ and Website inclusive of VAT?

A: All Brotherwood price lists exclude VAT because a disabled individual or registered charity are exempt and they represent the majority of our clients. The exception would be a converted vehicle purchased for business use in which case the client is advised that VAT is to be applied to the price shown.

Q : Can I claim VAT back on a vehicle if I buy the vehicle first and then have it converted?

A: You cannot claim VAT back on a new unconverted vehicle once it has been paid - even if it is converted at a later date. The cost of the conversion however would be zero rated.

   Your needs may change in the future. For example you may need more seats, or to carry different equipment with you. Also consider:    

Before deciding if a vehicle is right for you we will help to assess your future needs, to ensure that the vehicle suits your needs for the next 5 years or more.

  • Is there a local dealer nearby for servicing?
  • Do you need to hire a larger vehicle for holidays?
  • Will the wheelchair user's height increase in the next few years?
  • Are you planning on getting a new wheelchair - will it fit comfortably and within the approved weight of the restraint system? 

Our expert staff are on hand to guide you through all of these considerations and more. Get in touch today to discuss your needs.

 Contact Us Today 

Future Needs

Talk to a Specialist
For more information, or to book a FREE no-obligation home demonstration call today on
0844 288 9366 
(FREEPHONE)
  No Pressure or Obligation    Friendly, Experienced Advisors    Comprehensive Needs Assessment