Top Tips When Looking For A Wheelchair Accessible Car
When it comes to getting yourself a new set of wheels, it can be a long but exciting process. Having your own car can bring a new level of independence. There is no more need to ask for a lift here or wait for someone to be able to bring you somewhere.
Should you wish, you can just hop into the car and head for a coffee, go shopping or pop over to a friend’s how for a cuppa.
Recently, I was on the market for a new car (it’s not my first) and still I wanted to look for a snazzy-looking car in a fun colour. I don’t need to tell you that this isn’t the best idea and should be on the checklist when car shopping. I needed to do my research. This included having to decide on whether I wanted:
- Petrol, diesel or electric
- Manual or automatic
- Size of the car – what would I be most comfortable in driving
When it comes to shopping around for a wheelchair accessible car, the research and questions you need to ask yourself are same.
Top Tips When Looking for a Wheelchair Accessible Car
There are a number of questions yo ask yourself and features to look out for when looking for a wheelchair accessible car. Use the list below to help you create your checklist.
Manual V’s Automatic?
This is something we all have our own preference on. Personally I would choose a manual car but I know many that love an automatic. You can always go for a test drive or ask those who are WAV (Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle) suppliers what they would recommend.
What About Seats?
The more seats you need/want normally means a bigger car which can increase the cost quote a bit.
All car brands have their range of models with different seat options. When it comes to choosing the number you prefer, keep these this in mind: The height of the seats.
Cars with low seats can potentially cause issues for you or a loved one in accessing the car. Cars with a higher seat can give you ease in motion when getting into and out of the car.
How Are The Doors?
When it comes to viewing potential cars, make sure to test the doors. You want to see if they will work well for you. What I mean here is to check if:
- The doors open wide enough for you
- The door frame is high enough to allow easy access
- The Handle is east to reach open and close from the outside
What’s Storage Like?
When picking out your car, the storage of your wheelchair and other potential equipment needs to be taken into account. The storage needs to meet these 2 crucial requirements:
- Is it easily accessible?
- Is there room for your wheelchair?
Accessing The Handbrake:
These days there is a mix of the traditional handbrake that you pull up and its between the passenger and driver seats and now there is automatic handbrake.
When shopping around for your car, you will need to decide which you would prefer and should it be the more traditional, is it easily accessible?
The Shape Of Your Seat:
There are various seating styles these days. Flat, curved or bucket seats. You will need to make sure that whatever style chair the car you choose has, will it give you full support?
Some, not all cars allow you to be able to adjust the height of the seatbelt. This is something to look out for, depending on your seat height, controls and shape.
Seating controls are important. You can an accessible and comfortable car. When researching, make sure to check that it is easy enough to move your car seat forward and back as well as up and down for optimal access and comfort.