A Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle, or WAV, is specially converted to allow you to drive or travel as a passenger without getting out of your wheelchair. Various Ford models are suitable for conversion into a WAV, including large and practical vehicles such as the Tourneo Connect.
WAVs grant independence to people who are unable to transfer out of their wheelchair. If you would prefer to operate the car yourself, this is referred to as a Drive From Wheelchair Vehicle (DFW). These highly specialised vehicles are usually a more expensive option and can take longer to be converted.
Whether you drive the WAV yourself or someone else drives it for you, it is easy to get in and out of the WAV via a ramp at the back of the vehicle. WAVs offer seating for between four and seven people, including the wheelchair user. Particularly large WAVs may be fitted with a lift, making it easy to load a larger wheelchair or lots of equipment. Once you are inside the vehicle, there are tie-downs that keep the wheelchair safely in place while you’re on the road.
A WAV is a practical option for many people who are unable to get out of their wheelchair. If you have a carer or someone else who regularly travels with you, they may find a WAV easier to handle. The lift or ramp fitted to your WAV is also practical if you need to transport lots of bulky or heavy equipment with you.
There are other Motability vehicles which may also be suitable, such as a large and comfortable vehicle equipped with adaptations such as an electric person hoist or transfer plates.
If you are eligible for the Motability Scheme, you can lease a WAV using your mobility allowance to pay the weekly rental. WAVs are more expensive than standard Motability vehicles, so they require you to pay an advance payment upfront. This also covers the additional servicing and maintenance costs associated with a WAV. If you need a WAV but are not able to afford the advance payment, you may be eligible for financial help from Motability.
The Motability lease of your WAV includes all running costs apart from fuel. This means that insurance, aftersales servicing, RAC breakdown assistance, car tax, replacement tyres from Kwik Fit, and windscreen and window repair or replacement are all covered.
You can talk to one of the Motability specialists at Birchwood to work out what the best option is for your individual needs. To find out more about WAVs and the Motability Scheme generally, please enquire online or by phone with our teams across Sussex.