Wheelchair accessible cars

My son will soon be getting an electric wheelchair so we need to look into changing our car. We have been told that the wheelchair will be too heavy to lift and will not fold. Has anyone any advise on which cars would be worth looking at and which to avoid at all cost? Also what features we should be looking out for. Not sure whether to look at motobility scheme or to go down the second hand route. I would be grateful for any guidance - an expensive mistake looks all too easy to make!

11 Replies

  • 🙂 I don’t yet use one myself but I can imagine a lot of thought needs to be put into action before embarking on this. People are bound to give advice. 🙂xBeryl

  • Castle, I have an electric wheelchair and the car suitable, which I have is a CITROEN Berlingo Multispace, it is a five seater diesel 1.6......you will need a hoist in the boot to lift chair into boot...... hope this helps. 😀

    Don 😀

  • Play safe Castle, definately go with Motability if you can, with motability you can have the wheelchair or the car, but you can’t have both, so get the car and buy the wheelchair.

    Don 😀

  • Thanks for that.

  • Hi, when my son first had an electric wheelchair we bought ramps so that it could be 'driven' up into the boot of our Motability Zafira, this was a nightmare as the weight of the chair could move the ramps while in use. So the next car we got was a Ford Galaxy and we had a hoist fitted in the boot to lift the chair in. I have seen these work well for others but for us I think the chair was so heavy it was still hard to manoeuvre and unless you have plenty of boot space it's a bit tricky to get in just right. My son now needs to travel in a wheelchair and we have a Wheelchair accessible VW Caddy Maxi with a low floor and a pull down ramp that works really well. If you can go to one of the Motobility road shows you can see all the cars, hoists and ramps in action. Also advice from one of the wheelchair vehicle adaption garages could help, you really need to see and try out different things to make sure you get what's best for your family, chair and car, good luck

  • I have recently been looking at Air Wheel H3 which is very lightweight and folds on its own at the press of a button. Try googling it and you should get all the info rmation you will need They offer a home. demo but make it very clear at the beginning that you are trying other makes and models and will not be buying straight away Unfortunately there are high pressure salesmen out there but there are also some good genuine ones too. This should then help you with the choice of cars. Once again 'try before you buy'. Good luck and best wishes. Ted

  • Thanks for that. Some really helpful information on what to look out for.

  • Get hold of a subscription or copy of the recent Able Magazines that come with a copy of DRIVE able too. They are crammed full of adverts and features on vehicles suitable to various needs. The webiste is ablemagazine.co.uk for the Drivaeable magazine it is ablemagazine.co.uk/motoring.

  • We bought a second hand adapted Kia Sedona from a mobility specialust retailer.

    3rd row of seats were taken out and the middle seat of the middle row. The back has been lowered and a pull out ramp for you to mamouvore the chair into the middle row gap. Allows you to travel in the chair alongside other passengers. From the outside, the car just looks like any other and privacy glass helps with that too. A comfortable ride for everyone, the Kia Sedona is one of the best cars for adapting but unfortunately they don't make them anymore, a new adapted one would be far to expensive anyway. The price of the car was high because the adaption part is around an extra £8,000, and seems to keep its price. Try some of the second hand car mobility dealers, ours was fabulous and had a wealth of knowledge especially around getting the kia dealer to any servicing and work VAT free, but we still have some time remaining on th 7year warranty that KIA provide. Happy choosing 😀

  • On the Motability website is a link to a site which filters cars by access.

    On Motability lease car salesmen are not incentivised as their commission is not given. Motability will adapt a car for you.

    If you are tall, a sunken floor might be useful. Try before you lease?

    Often there is space in the back of a vehicle to park the motorised wheelchair. This means you stay in the chair during the journey, which is tied down. The ramps can be deployed electically.

  • Also!!! Motability have a Grant Scheme to help with down payment/adaptions so look into that too. Only heard about it by accident 😁. The system goes wheelchair delivered; put in for Grant; once decision is made, order vehicle. Hubby been waiting a year for wheelchair, delivery before Christmas, hopefully. Then try for Grant. Bet it will take us another 6 months!!!! Keep smiling!!💕💕

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