Quality Used Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles That Are Available To The Public

By CarsFellow 10 Min Read

Purchasing a wheelchair accessible vehicle, otherwise called WAV, is considered a substantial investment. Apart from new vehicles of this kind, there’s a variety of used WAVs available on the market.

Finding a second-hand wheelchair accessible vehicle with the right adaptations will help you cut costs. These autos come with multiple features to take into consideration, such as lifts, ramps, restraint belts, lowered floors, etc. Regardless of whether you purchase a new or used auto, the advantages of such an investment are the same.

There is a vast assortment of used WAVs for sale, providing different transmission, seats, and wheelchair user positions.

If intending to invest in such an auto, you should read the tips below.

Factors to Consider

In the same way as purchasing a new WAV, used wheelchair accessible vehicles have to be sized up properly. The person purchasing the vehicle should be provided with access and enough headroom. The buyer should access the vehicle with ease and enjoy sufficient headroom and space once getting inside.

Tall users of wheelchairs often cope with difficulties when entering the auto because of low roof heights. They might also experience low visibility owing to the low windscreens and windows. Nevertheless, the solution to this issue is getting a model with a low floor, along with reduced ramp angles for easy access. High-roof models improve access as well.

Moreover, larger wheelchair accessible vehicles provide more space but also take up plenty of room. It’s no wonder if the model you choose cannot fit into your yard. Hence, when choosing a used WAV, make sure to take size into consideration. The seat number plays a major role in the size of WAVs, with the smallest models starting with just two seats plus the wheelchair user.

The norm for WAVs is to provide three seats plus the wheelchair passenger, whereas four seats are already considered an exception. Bigger models range between four and six seats, which not only increase the size but the cost as well. Ground clearance is a vital consideration if purchasing a used model with a lowered floor, particularly for individuals living on a steep hill or having an inclined driveway.

The type of auto should be factored in during the shopping journey. Different adaptations are made depending on the type of vehicle. If the person in the wheelchair is a passenger, fewer adaptations are to be made. If he/she is driving the vehicle, more adaptations have to be performed.

Buyers are provided with two types of WAVs, drive-from-wheelchair and internal transfer vehicles. The former, as the name explains, enables wheelchair users to drive the car themselves, meaning the standard driver seat is removed. The latter is suitable for individuals in wheelchairs not driving the vehicle but only using it for transport. Internal transfer vehicles allow users to transfer from the wheelchair into the driving seat.

As far as makes and models are concerned, buyers can find used WAVs from prominent manufacturers like Peugeot, Fiat, Volkswagen, Citroen, and others. They are adapted in a way for drivers and passengers to feel completely secure. WAVs are equipped with self-locking and adjustable systems, which secure the vehicle in the course of travel.

New vs Used WAVs

Buyers are provided with many options on the market for both new and used WAVs. Most of them hesitate which alternative is better and more affordable for their budgets. Both alternatives provide individuals with specific benefits. For example, the best thing about purchasing a new WAV would be getting a vehicle that’s completely adapted to your needs.

A used WAV, on the other hand, has already been tailored to the needs of the previous user, which means removing any extra adaptations and installing new ones. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t exclude the possibility of finding a used model that has everything you need. Consequently, you won’t only save money but also the time on installing the required adaptations.

In view of the cost, a second-hand WAV is definitely going to cost you less. Wheelchair accessible vehicles that come straight from a manufacturer have a higher price tag due to being brand new. While purchasing a used model is more budget-friendly, it usually takes more time, effort, and patience to come across the right model.

When you find an excellent deal on a used WAV, you might need to invest in the installation of tailored adaptations. Keep in mind that the Motability Scheme includes adaptations to nearly new WAVs. If you don’t use the perks provided by this scheme, you’ll be responsible for paying for the repairs and refurbishment.

New vs used WAVs

Another aspect to have in mind when purchasing a used WAV is the vehicle’s health. As it has already been driven by another person, you should have its condition checked. Make sure to have the WAV inspected by a mechanic to check for defects. Nevertheless, you should be prepared for an element of risk, as some factors are simply out of control when buying a second-hand vehicle.

The warranty and lease length are other factors worth considering in the event of anything breaking down. New wheelchair accessible vehicles are usually covered by the seller, which might not be the case with all second-hand WAV sellers. Therefore, buyers are expected to conduct plenty of research to receive the best service and warranty.

If deciding to make a purchase through the Motability Scheme, you will be provided with a package that includes full insurance, maintenance, repairs, and breakdown cover. Another thing to consider when buying a new or nearly new WAV is the length of the lease. The mileage allowance for the former is 60,000 in contrast to 100,000 of the latter. Nevertheless, the lease length for an NNWAV is three years, compared to the lease length of five years of new WAVs.

The resale value of new and used wheelchair accessible vehicles is naturally different. The newer a car is, the higher its resale value. It’s worth remembering that used autos with just a single owner are more valuable than those having many owners. Every owner has their own driving style and takes a different type of care of the car. Needless to say, new cars always have a better resale value than used ones.

Why invest in a WAV?

The advantages of investing in a wheelchair accessible vehicle are numerous, including greater mobility, more freedom, less pain, saving time, etc. They provide individuals with disabilities with greater mobility, as people can get more easily to the grocery store, the doctor, etc. Another obvious benefit is getting more freedom, particularly if driving the vehicle by yourself. You can finally go wherever you want, whenever you want, without completely depending on your caregiver.

Furthermore, WAVs are known to save plenty of time as the user enters the vehicle with a ramp or a lift system. This is much easier and more convenient than lifting the wheelchair and the user into a car or van. WAVs can be easily adapted to fit the needs of disabled people, which makes them highly versatile.

Wheelchair accessible vehicles are made with remarkable safety in mind, as they are specially designed for individuals whose mobility is restricted. The equipment used in these cars is of superior quality so as to reduce the risk of injuries when people get inside the auto and while travelling. For example, in-floor ramps and wheelchair ties are only some of the options used for ensuring safety.

These autos come with inbuilt controls to make the driving process safer and more convenient for people with disabilities. Gas and brake controls are located on the steering wheel. Hence, individuals who cannot use their legs are still able to drive a car.

To sum up

The model you buy should be in good condition, even though it’s second-hand!

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