We must start by saying that a wheelchair-accessible vehicle is a life-changing option that will offer you numerous advantages and conveniences, including improved quality of life and freedom.
Still, we can consider it as a long-term commitment and significant investment, meaning you should choose wisely based on your capabilities and requirements. However, the market features a wide array of different options, meaning it is challenging to choose the one that will meet your needs.
As soon as you click here, you will learn everything about WAVs. That is why you should stay with us to learn the tips that will help you find the best model that will complement you in the long run. Let us start from the beginning.
Things to Consider When Choosing a WAV
The most important factor is to determine the long-term solution that will meet your needs and requirements. We are talking about numerous aspects, including storage options, seating position, and safety features, meaning you should get a vehicle that will enhance and support your lifestyle.
Although you cannot find the one option that will meet all criteria, you should consider a few things which will help you narrow the search and ensure the best course of action. Before you continue, we recommend you answer these three questions:
- How long do you wish to use a wheelchair-accessible vehicle, and where would you go with it?
- What should be the weight and dimensions of the wheelchair, meaning you should know the equipment you will bring?
- Will you drive or someone else?
After answering these questions, you should consider the factors that will help you purchase used or new WAV:
1. New or Second-Hand
The first thing to consider is whether you should get a new or used model. Similarly, as with any other vehicle, taking advantage of a second-hand wheelchair-accessible vehicle may be a more straightforward and affordable option in the long run.
It comes with the same features you wanted in the first place. However, you should choose the one that will meet your specific requirements. That is why test driving is essential to ensure whether it works for you or not.
You should try a few common trips to places where you wish to go in the future, including the park, GP, or supermarket. That way, you can determine the features you will get with the model.
Another important consideration is the price tag and devaluation, which immediately happens when you get a new vehicle. Although you can customize it based on your specific preferences and needs, new vehicles will depreciate the moment you drive them away from the lot.
It means you cannot recoup the money you invested if you decide to resell it. However, when you get a used model, you can rest assured because it went through a significant depreciation process, meaning you can recoup the money in the future.
You should remember that each WAV comes with specific features and characteristics that will ensure overall safety and quality. Therefore, you must ensure that the converted car meets the safety standards, meaning it underwent driving and engineering tests.
Remember that customization may not be compliant with the local and federal safety requirements, which means you should learn more about different codes before making up your mind.
Although you can find a wide array of disabled parking spots, you should know that some of them are more challenging to access, especially if you have a side entry, since the columns can block the change to enjoy.
Other parked cars can block rear entry as well. That is why you should check out the common areas where you wish to park in the future, such as street, driveaway, carport, and garage, and determine the accessibility beforehand.
Everything depends on your needs, but you can choose either an electric or manual ramp. Of course, the specific vehicle you get will determine the ramp option, as well as the driver or carer who will operate it.
Wheelchair ramps can come in two essential locations: the side and rear of the vehicle. Similarly, as mentioned above, you can choose the option that will provide you with more convenience, but you should choose based on the parking and other factors you will use. Lifts are also available, especially if you are using a bulky and significant wheelchair.
For instance, if you wish to carry large equipment such as camping gear, sports equipment, and a lifting machine, and wish to have a considerable storage space in the rear area of your car, the best course of action is to get a side entry. That way, your carer does not need to remove items for you to exit the vehicle.
Of course, when you choose a rear option, you can take advantage of other storage solutions, such as roof racks, which will offer you peace of mind. Another consideration is the size of your wheelchair because when you enter from the side, you must swivel or manoeuvre your chair to face the front of the car.
When you enter straight through the back, it is much more convenient to get back into the straight position. Still, it means you should reverse out, which may be awkward at first. The modification can help you with the exit and entry. Smaller wheelchairs will find side entry more convenient, but everything depends on your preferences.
Finally, you should remember that rear-entry vehicles are less challenging to convert than side-entry, meaning you will end up with a more affordable solution. That is why you should learn more about second hand WAVs, which will offer you peace of mind.
5. Seat Position
The next step is determining whether you should sit back and relax or up front with the driver, which comes with a set of perks. Your wheelchair position depends on personal preferences, but generally, seniors and children enjoy being safe in the back, while adults choose to be upfront.
In both choices, you will be as safe as possible, while the choice depends on whether you wish to enjoy driving or hang in the back without thinking about the road.