Car shopping is a daunting task that often feels like it’s not worth the time or effort. Beyond the initial sticker price, there are so many factors to consider when you spend thousands on a vehicle: performance, fuel economy, looks, and warranty coverage. The list goes on! All these considerations can make buying a car feel overwhelming and confusing. One easy thing you can do is list what purchase criteria are essential to you.
This becomes more complicated for wheelchair users. Use the following tips when considering a new vehicle purchase.
1) Ease of Access
A wheelchair-accessible vehicle (WAV) is essential for anyone who uses a wheelchair. If you are buying a new car, think about purchasing a WAV. Some models allow side entry access, making accessing the vehicle from the curb or blue badge parking spaces easier. Information is available on WAV options at alliedmobility.com.
If you’re interested in an older car on the used market, try to find out if it has been modified to be more accessible. Some used vehicles can convert from non-conversion to conversion with the addition of lift kits and other parts.
2) Choose a spacious vehicle
You may need to move a large amount of equipment. Therefore, a car with ample storage space or a large boot is an essential feature. Consider the number of passengers, equipment, and wheelchairs you will transport.
3) Fuel Economy
This is important for energy conservation, cost savings, and safety. Fuel prices continue to rise, and it’s essential to consider this when purchasing a new or used vehicle. Look at the sticker or ask your salesperson how much gas mileage you can expect before deciding which car to buy.
4) Specialist equipment
You may need a ramp to help you access your WAV. It is possible to use a small ramp measuring just 70 cm. This will allow you to easily enter or leave the car where space is limited.
If you’ve got a van or truck, you may need additional equipment to help transfer passengers and equipment inside the vehicle. Chair lifts and wheelchair lifts are important when moving larger amounts of equipment in and out of your car.
Safety is essential when using a wheelchair and requires careful consideration of space, equipment, and height. Make sure the vehicle has enough side space to safely access it. Look at how safe the parking area is regarding the size or type of doorway, entryway clearance, or obstruction. Ensure that pathways are accessible for wheelchair traffic and car users. Consider height requirements for rear headrests, seat height adjustment systems, vanity mirrors, sun visors, side mirrors, and more.
6) Seating configuration
In many vehicles, you will be able to choose between a bench space for your equipment and rear seating for additional passengers. If you can, it is recommended that you opt for seating that can be configured as required.
This article should have given you a better understanding of what to look for when you buy a new vehicle. Try to purchase a vehicle that will make your life easier and more comfortable. Think about the features that will come in handy when using your wheelchair. These tips can help you make the right decision when purchasing a new car.