A (WAV) Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle is a vehicle that has been modified to enable a wheelchair user to travel as a passenger or a driver without having to transfer out of the wheelchair. They can also be referred to as; Mobility Vehicles, Adapted Vehicles or Disabled Cars.
The main features of a WAV
- A built in ramp.
- Possibly a lowered floor, allowing extra headroom and shallow ramp angle for ease of access.
- Wheelchair fixing points.
Choosing a WAV (Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle) that will meet your criteria needs careful consideration. The most commonly used modification has a rear access ramp and a lowered floor to allow for more head room and a shallower ramp angle for ease of access. Having a lowered floor is an important modification if the wheelchair user is tall.
There are a number of seating configurations available, depending on the size of the Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV), the most popular being with the wheelchair user situated towards the rear, either in the centre or side, allowing an additional 3, 4, 5 or 6 passengers. WAVs with an upfront layout, allowing a wheelchair user to sit at the front next to the driver, limit the seating at the back of the vehicle and are less popular and more expensive.
Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles can also be modified to allow the wheelchair user to drive the vehicle with specialist adaptations; these are rarer and more expensive.