Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs) FAQs
What is a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle?
A Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) is a vehicle that has been permanently adapted to carry a wheelchair user. The main types of WAV are Assisted Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (AWAVs) for wheelchair-using passengers and Unassisted Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (UWAVs) or 'drive-from' wheelchair vehicles.
How are Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles made?
There are many different methods of converting a vehicle for wheelchair access but the most comprehensive conversion method involves removing a section of the original vehicle floor and replacing it with a lower floor section that provides enough internal space for the wheelchair user to travel in comfort. This process can also involve replacing other components such as seats, fuel and exhaust systems in order to provide more space inside the vehicle. Access is usually provided by a ramp or lift.
What makes of Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle are there?
The most popular brands of Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle currently available include Volkswagen, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and Peugeot.
How much does it cost to make a car Wheelchair Accessible?
A comprehensive low-floor WAV conversion involves months of research and development, design, and safety testing, making 'one-off' conversions extremely expensive. However if you are considering a vehicle that has an approved conversion already designed, the cost to the end user can start from around £10,000 for a fully type-approved, high-quality conversion (if you supply your own vehicle) or less than £4,000 if funded via the Motability scheme. The cost will vary depending on the make and model of vehicle, the type of conversion and what features are required as part of the build.
How do I choose the best Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle for my needs?
Speak to an experienced WAV advisor - they will be able to discuss your wants and needs, and help you to decide which adapted vehicle would best suit your requirements. Before you decide, you should always book a home demonstration, where you'll be able to test drive the vehicle, and see how easy it is to load and unload, as well as how comfortable it is, and how well it would suit your lifestyle.
How do I get a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle?
There are many ways to acquire a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle - you can buy one outright, either new or used; utilise a finance agreement to help spread the cost into manageable payments; or if you qualify you can use the Motability Contract Hire scheme to lease a WAV for a 5 year period, with an Advance Payment payable at the start of the agreement.
What is the best Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle?
The best Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle available today may vary depending on your requirements - but in terms of outright comfort, quality and luxury, the Brotherwood Klastar by Senzati is a class above the average WAV.
How do I insure a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle?
You can insure a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle through any of the major insurance companies, but we recommend firms who specialise in Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles. 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.
Do I have to pay VAT on a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle?
Vehicles which have been permanently adapted for the needs of a disabled individual qualify for VAT Relief in most circumstances. However, you can only claim for one vehicle every three years under a new HMRC ruling.
Can I hire a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle?
You can hire a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle easily and affordably with flexible rental periods. WAVs can be rented for long or short term - choose from a set period, a specific term, or keep mobile with a rolling monthly rental for as long as you require.
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