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Guide - Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles _WAVs_


									Guide to

Wheelchair Accessible
Vehicles (WAVs)
                                                                                     With Motability you get all this:
Welcome to                                                                           
                                                                                          Over 4,000 brand new cars to choose from
                                                                                          Insurance, servicing and maintenance

                                                                                          Full RAC breakdown assistance

                                                                                          Annual car tax
                                                                                          Tyre and windscreen replacement

                                                                                          60,000 mileage allowance over three years

                                                                                          Many adaptations at no additional cost
You’re now one step closer                                                                You don’t have to drive

to worry-free motoring!

Thank you for downloading the ‘Guide to Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs)’.
Motability offers over 500 different WAVs and if you currently receive the Higher Rate Mobility Component of the
Disability Living Allowance or the War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement, you can exchange all or part of your weekly
allowance for a brand new car of your choice!
So if you’d like to find out more about Motability, simply fill in this form and we’ll send you some information.
Alternatively, if you have any questions you would like us to answer, you can always call us on                    0800 694 9000
(please quote MO233) – our lines are open daily from 8am-8pm.
Note: Questions marked by * are mandatory
Title: MISS/MRS/MR/MS/DR Other:
* First Name:
* Surname:
* Address:
* Postcode:
Telephone No:
Email Address:
Do you currently receive either:
the Higher Rate Mobility Component of the Disability Living Allowance?                              YES        NO
the War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement? YES        NO
FREEPOST RRBT-SGEB-JURR, Motability, 76-80 Great Eastern Street, London EC2A 3JL
(It’s FREEPOST so you don’t need a stamp).
Please be assured that we DO NOT share your information with any third party but we would like to contact you from time to time with details of
Motability cars which may be of interest to you. If you DO NOT wish to receive this information please put an ‘X’ in the relevant box:
by post            by phone/SMS               by email
       what is a WAV?                                                                                                            3
       is a WAV for you?                                                                                                         4
       how the Motability Car Scheme works                                                                                       6
       things to think about                                                                                                     8
       WAVs that wheelchair users can drive                                                                                 11
       next steps: getting your WAV                                                                                         13
       frequently asked questions                                                                                           15
       sources of information & advice                                                                                      17
       checklist                                                                                                            18

                         Got a question?Ask Mo
                         Mo is our online virtual assistant who can answer any queries that you may have about the Car Scheme.
                         Go to our website, click on the ‘Ask Mo’ button on the right hand side of
                         your screen and type your question. Still stuck? Call our Customer Services team on: 0845 456 4566

           Steps to getting                                            We’re here to help!
           your WAV                                                    We want you to maximise your
                                                                       mobility by getting the right WAV for
           This guide has been produced in                             you, and we hope this guide helps.
           association with Ricability, the                            We’ve worked with Ricability to
           independent research charity, to help                       produce factsheets for some of the
           you through the process of choosing                         most popular conversions available
           a WAV. The main steps are:                                  through the Motability Scheme. You
                                                                       can download these from the WAV
           1. Gather information                                       pages on
           2. Draw up a shortlist                                      For more information, call our customer
                                                                       sevices team on 0845 456 4566.
           3. Test drive!
2   contents
what is a WAV?

Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles – widely known as WAVs –
are vehicles that have been converted so that you can travel
in them while remaining seated in your wheelchair either as
a passenger or driver.

As part of the huge selection of over 4,000 vehicles     models you can sit next to the driver. All WAVs have
available to lease through the Car Scheme, Motability    room for at least one other passenger as well as the
now offers a choice of over 500 different WAVs, so       wheelchair user and driver. Some models have more
there’s likely to be one that suits your needs.          seats, so if you travel with a lot of people there will
                                                         still be a WAV for you. A few even have room for
The vast majority of Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles
                                                         more than one wheelchair.
are converted so the wheelchair user travels as a
passenger, however some have been converted so
that wheelchair users can drive them – see page
11 for more information on these conversions.              did you know?                                       f
What’s more, these days WAVs look good. From the           A WAV is a standard vehicle that has been
outside you can’t tell that they have been converted.      converted by a specialist company so that
Most are so well fitted out that the trim and finish       a wheelchair user can travel in it while
match the original vehicle.                                remaining in their wheelchair. Manufacturers
                                                           such as Vauxhall, Renault, Fiat and Peugeot
Travelling as a passenger in your wheelchair, you will
                                                           produce standard vehicles suitable for conversion.
usually sit behind the front seats, although in some

                                                                                                         what is a WAV?   3
       is a WAV for you?

       If you find transferring from your wheelchair into a standard
       car and storing your wheelchair difficult, then a WAV might
       be right for you.

       While a WAV may solve any issues you have with            Once you’ve considered the potential benefits and
       transferring from a wheelchair, this convenience may      drawbacks of a WAV compared to a standard car,
       mean compromising on the travelling experience and        and decided a WAV is for you, it’s time to draw up
       features you have been used to from a standard car.       a shortlist of suitable WAVs. To help you do this,
       The driver may find that a WAV is different to the kind   Motability have produced factsheets that contain
       of car that they may be used to, and that they need       independent measurement information for each of the
       to adapt their driving style to help make sure the        most popular conversions on the Scheme. However,
       wheelchair passenger is safe and comfortable.             each specialist company offers slightly different
                                                                 conversions, so the same vehicle may suit you when
       However, WAVs offer many of our customers the
                                                                 converted by one company but not by another. The
       chance to regain their independence and enjoy the
                                                                 golden rule is to try out a number of WAVs until you
       freedom that a new car gives. Choosing a WAV means
                                                                 find the one that suits you best.
       there is no need for hoists, and staying in your
       wheelchair may be more comfortable than using a car
       seat. And if you can’t transfer, a WAV may be the key
       to being free to travel where you like.

4   is a WAV for you?
alternatives to WAVs
                                                               who’s who?                                           f
If you find transferring easy and you have no difficulty       Converter: Specialist company that converts
stowing your wheelchair, a standard car may still be           vehicles to make them accessible for
your best and simplest choice. We offer a wide range           wheelchair users. Your converter will also be
of adaptations that can help tailor a standard car to
                                                               responsible for any service and/or maintenance
suit your specific needs. Our guide, ‘Make it Yours’,
                                                               required for conversion items.
helps to explain the basics and where you can find
out more information. You can download this from               Dealership: You will be allocated a ‘managing
our website, or call 0845 456 4566 to order your               dealer’ who will be responsible for providing the
free copy. Aids to help you transfer in and out of             routine servicing on behalf of specific manufacturers.
an ordinary car and store your wheelchair include:

                   towage                                                                                 ats
          Rooftop S                              Boot Stowag
                                                            e                                        el Se

    Rooftop Stowage                      Boot Stowage                                    Swivel Seats
    A hoist system can lift and store    Hoists to lift your wheelchair to the           Swivel seats swing out of the
    your wheelchair in a protective      level of the boot, or additionally,             car to make access easier.
    box on the roof.                     move it in or out. The type of hoist
                                         required will depend on the size and
                                         weight of your wheelchair.

With any of these alternatives, it’s important to think about the places where you normally park your car, as this
could affect the type of adaptation you will need. For example, a rooftop stowage system may mean that you
are no longer able to park in underground car parks or spaces where there might be height restrictions. With boot
stowage or a swivel seat, you will need to consider how much space you will need around the vehicle in order
to get in and out and load the vehicle safely.

   did you know?
   Motability offers a hassle-free approach to adaptations – some are even available at no extra cost. You
   can order them through your dealer at the same time as your car, so that when you collect your new
   Motability car it is perfectly tailored to your needs. You can find out more about adaptations including
   prices and where your nearest installer is located on our website,

                                                                                                            is a WAV for you?   5
       how the Motability Car Scheme works

       With a choice of more than 4,000 vehicles, including over
       500 WAVs, anybody who receives the Higher Rate Mobility
       Component of the Disability Living Allowance, or the War
       Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement can lease a car or WAV
       through the Motability Car Scheme.

       WAV agreements are usually for five years and you
       get a mileage allowance of 100,000 miles over the
       course of the agreement. We are committed to
       offering affordable solutions across our range of
                                                            did you know?                                  f
       WAVs. However, the more highly specified a WAV       Nearly all WAV converters will bring the vehicle to
       is, the higher advance payment will be. Our online   you so that you can try it out without obligation.
       Searchable Price Guide allows you to search for      You don’t need to worry where the converter
       WAVs by various different options, including make    is based; they offer a national service. Plus, all
       and model, and maximum advance payment – visit       servicing is included in the lease package, with                                nearly all the servicing carried out locally by
                                                            franchised dealers for the manufacturer.

6   how the Motability Car Scheme works
Depending on the model, you can also choose from a         As with all cars available through Motability, WAVs
range of optional extras. You pay the converter directly   come with an all-inclusive, worry-free package
for these; separately from your Motability agreement.      including insurance, servicing and maintenance and
                                                           RAC breakdown cover.
Financial Help
                                                           Motability Standards
If you need a vehicle with a particular specification of
features and you can’t afford it, Motability may be        Companies wishing to supply WAVs through
able to help. Motability administers the Government’s      Motability have to meet rigorous standards for each
Specialised Vehicles Fund which provides financial help    of their conversions in order to be accredited.
for disabled people who need a converted or heavily
                                                           For more information about leasing a car with
adapted vehicle, including WAVs. Last year the Fund
                                                           Motability and current prices see our website
helped over 1,400 customers with the costs of large
                                                 , or call our Customer Services
or complex WAVs, including over 200 customers
                                                           team on 0845 456 4566.
driving from their wheelchairs. The amount of any
financial help will depend upon your personal and
financial circumstances. For more information on
financial assistance, call our Customer Services team
on 0845 456 4566.

   advance payments explained
   An advance payment is a one-off payment made at the start of your lease. The advance payment is the
   difference between the amount your allowance covers over the five year agreement period and the
   overall cost of the WAV. The amount of the advance payment depends on the WAV you choose
   – vehicles that are either larger or more heavily converted, generally have a higher advance payment.
   However, we are committed to offering affordable solutions to meet the specific needs of our customers
   across our range of over 500 WAVs.

                                                                                      how the Motability Car Scheme works   7
       things to think about

       When it comes to choosing a WAV, there are many features
       available that can help to improve your motoring experience.
       Some will come as part of the conversion, and some will be
       optional extras that you will need to pay for. It’s well worth
       investing the time now to see what is available and whether
       these features will make driving easier or more enjoyable.

       Here are some key features and other things to think     Ramps: These tend to be
       about when choosing the right WAV for you. If you’re     the standard entry method
       thinking of choosing a WAV that you can drive from       for most WAVs and, with
       your wheelchair, you will find more detailed             practice, are simple to
       information on page 11.                                  use. Some ramps have
                                                                counterweights or springs
       Getting in and out
                                                                to make them easier to
       WAVs are fitted with either a ramp or a lift, and        fold in and out. The angle         Folding Ramps
       access will either be from the side or the back of the   and length of the ramp is
       vehicle. Consider how and where you will be getting      important, and some ramps also allow for
       into the vehicle to ensure it fits your lifestyle.       the slope of the ramp to extend into the vehicle to

8   things to think about
make the angle less steep, allowing for easier entry.      with a raised roof, think about where you usually park
You should always check that your carer is confident       and make sure that the height of the vehicle will not
in using the ramp and is able to get you up and            become a problem for you.
down it safely, especially when the WAV is parked
                                                           Where are you likely to park?
on a slope. Never choose
a manual ramp unless the                                   You have to allow space for the ramp or lift. Would
person who is likely to                                    a smaller vehicle make this easier? If you will get in
have to use it has tried it                                and out of your WAV in areas where there are no
out. If they have trouble                                  pavements, a ramp or lift at the rear is likely to suit
pushing your wheelchair up                                 you better. In towns where parking is very limited
the ramp, an electric                                      would a lift or ramp at the side be better? Consider
winch may be a help.                                       the height of the WAV and where you regularly park,
                                                           especially if you often park on the street or use
Lifts: Some larger WAVs
                                                           multi-storey car parks with space restrictions.
can be fitted with a lift to
help you in and out of the vehicle. A lift can be useful   Inside the WAV
if your partner or carer has trouble pushing you up a      Your seated position: In
ramp into your WAV. However, lifts are usually more        most WAVs, the wheelchair
expensive, so your advance payment may be higher.          passenger will sit behind the
Basic conversion features                                  front seats or towards the
                                                           back of the vehicle. However,
Lowered floor: Many WAVs have a lowered floor,
                                                           there are a few conversions
giving you more head room and reducing the angle
                                                           that allow you to sit beside
and length of the ramp. However, this means that the                                               Safety
                                                           the driver. If this is important
ground clearance will be
                                                           to you, then check the
less, so if you regularly
                                                           seating layout of the WAV you are considering on our
travel over roads with speed
                                                           online factsheets or check with your converter.
humps you will need to
                                                           Consider whether your partner or carer will need to
make sure that this does
                                                           access you during journeys and check that the seating
not pose a problem for
                                                           layout is suitable.
you. A lowered floor usually
means that the fuel tank                                   Once your wheelchair is
                                      Lowered Floor        in place, all WAVs have a
needs to be replaced, often
reducing its size or                                       system to secure it and a
changing its shape. This can mean your WAV will            specially designed seat belt
need to be filled up with fuel more regularly and may      to keep you secure.
affect the functioning of the fuel gauge. Ask your         Travelling in your wheelchair
converter for a likely indication of running costs.        in a WAV may mean that you
                                                           do not have the same
Some vehicles have a lowering rear suspension
                                                           support that you are used to             Folding Seats
that can be used to reduce the angle of a ramp and
                                                           from a standard car seat. You
allow for easier access. This can be operated from a
                                                           will get used to this in time,
button based at the rear of
                                                           but some people may find this puts them off. As the
the vehicle or by
                                                           wheelchair user remains in their wheelchair, it is likely
remote control.
                                                           that they could be at a different height to other
Raised roofs: Instead of                                   passengers, so both visibility and conversation will be
lowering the floor, some                                   different from when seated in a standard car seat
vehicles have raised roofs to                              position, especially if the wheelchair passenger is
give you more head room.                                   seated towards the back of the WAV.
If you opt for a conversion
                                      Raised Roofs

                                                                                                      things to think about   9
        It is also important to think about the temperature           How many passengers? All WAVs have room for at
        and climate control within your WAV. Air conditioning         least one passenger as well as the wheelchair user
        comes as standard on many WAVs, but if you are                and driver. Some vehicles have rear seats designed to
        sensitive to temperature you may find that the heating        fold up out of the way to make room for the wheelchair
        and/or ventilation in larger WAVs is not sufficient for
                                                                      These can be easily folded back again – an advantage
        your needs. Some converters offer the option of
                                                                      if the vehicle is used by several people. On most WAVs
        additional heating and air conditioning focused on
                                                                      you can have a third seat fitted in the rear. On some
        the rear of the vehicle – this will generally be at an
                                                                      models this seat will be quite narrow – suitable for
        additional cost, however if it affects your comfort it
                                                                      children or for adults on a short journey. Test their size
        is worth considering
                                                                      and comfort when you try out the vehicle. If you need
        Where you sit also makes a difference to who you              to fit child seats in your WAV, you should take them
        are able to talk to easily. If you are too far back or        with you during any test drives and check that the
        at a different level from other passengers, it might          seats are suitable for this purpose.
        be difficult to talk, particularly if there’s a lot of
                                                                      Room for luggage? Consider the equipment that
        background noise. Check this out on your test drive.
                                                                      you need to take with you when you travel, and
        Room for your wheelchair? Your carer or partner               think about any extra luggage you may want to carry.
        will need to be able to get the wheelchair into the           Some vehicles have useful lockers and shelves for
        vehicle without any tight manoeuvres that may be              small things. Otherwise bear in mind that loose
        difficult to do or might cause significant damage             luggage can be dangerous if the vehicle brakes
        to the vehicle’s fittings or your wheelchair. You             suddenly. Car accessory shops sell tie down systems
        should have no problem with a small or medium size            and, if you need to carry a lot of luggage, think
        wheelchair. Larger wheelchairs or scooters may be             about a roof top box.
        difficult in smaller vehicles. To be sure, check the
        width of the wheelchair channel in your WAV at the
        narrowest point against the width of your wheelchair
        at its widest point. If you have a long chair, or sit in it
        with the leg rest elevated, check that there is enough
        space when the wheelchair is secured in place. If you
        think that you may need to change your wheelchair
        during your lease, consider how this might affect your
        choice of WAV. Our online WAV factsheets, available
        at, can tell you how much
        room there actually is in some of the most popular
        WAVs available through Motability.

                                                                        did you know?                                    f
                                                                        Our customer research could help you avoid
                                                                        some of the problems our current WAV
                                                                        customers have experienced. 43% chose the first
                                                                        WAV they saw, and yet 47% suggest problems
                                                                        could have been avoided if they had taken more
                                                                        time at selection. 29% of customers also say that
                                                                        they will do more research to get the right WAV
                                                                        next time. Only you can tell whether a specific
                                                                        WAV is right for your needs. Taking the time to
                                                                        research and consider all of your options will
                                                                        help to ensure that you have five years of
                                                                        happy motoring.

10   things to think about
WAVs that wheelchair users can drive

WAVs that you drive from your wheelchair give you an even
greater level of independence. All have the automatic features
needed to be able to get in and drive completely independently.

There are two main conversion types: either the WAV          conversions. If you are awarded a grant from Motability,
will facilitate easy transfer to a standard/adapted seat;    this assessment will be provided free of charge.
or the vehicle can be driven directly from the wheelchair.
                                                             With most WAVs converted for wheelchair drivers,
Transfer conversions are generally a cheaper and easier
                                                             you press a button on a remote control to gain access,
option if you are capable of transferring unaided, or if
                                                             either through lowering the suspension and unfolding
the vehicle is often driven by other people. Both types
                                                             the ramp, or through the operation of a lift.
of conversion will need an automatic anchoring
systems to secure your wheelchair. These will be             WAVs that have been converted for wheelchair users
designed around you and your wheelchair as part of           to drive them, will have fewer rear seats than passenger
your assessment.                                             WAVs because they need a clear wheelchair route from
                                                             the point of entry to the driving position.
Because these conversions have the features you need
to drive independently, they are more expensive and          Custom fitted controls
you may wish to consider applying to Motability for
                                                             Most, but not all, wheelchair drivers need some form
financial assistance.
                                                             of driving adaptations – at a minimum this usually
To ensure the vehicle is tailored to your individual         includes hand controls. These, and the system used to
needs, you will need to have an assessment, particularly     secure your wheelchair in the driving position, will be
if this is the first time you have driven one of these       tailored for your individual needs.

                                                                                          WAVs that wheelchair users can drive   11
        Adaptations are not included in the price of your          If you apply for financial assistance towards one
        WAV, and while many hand controls come at no extra         of these specialist WAV conversions, Motability will
        cost when ordered as part of the Motability Managed        provide a free assessment. This assessment will
        Adaptations Programme, for others you will need to         identify suitable vehicles and controls.
        add this into the cost of your WAV.
                                                                   An advisor will discuss options with you, find out
        Many simple adaptations can make a significant             what controls you may need and what other
        difference in the comfort and ease of your driving         requirements you have. With the help of the advisor
        experience, and you’re very likely to find something       you should be able to identify the most appropriate
        to suit you. Your assessment will tell you which driving   solution for you. At this initial assessment the advisor
        adaptations you need. Motability may be able to offer      may well bring a demonstration vehicle for you to try
        financial help towards the cost of adaptations. For        getting in and out and get a feel for whether it may
        more information, call our Customer Services               suit you. If the controls and wheelchair anchoring
        team on 0845 456 4566.                                     system are suitable you may be able to give it a
                                                                   test drive.
        Room for Passengers
                                                                   An adaptation specialist will fit the WAV with the
        All WAVs come in a range of sizes and layouts – you
                                                                   controls and wheelchair securing system you need.
        need to make sure it has the passenger capacity to
                                                                   You will need to go to one or two ‘fittings’ to fine
        suit your needs. Some WAVs converted for wheelchair
                                                                   tune these settings. These are usually carried out
        users to drive come with the option of interchangeable
                                                                   at the supplier’s workshop where all necessary
        seats to allow a carer or partner the option of also
                                                                   equipment is on hand. Motability may be able to
        being able to drive it.
                                                                   help with transport.
        Tailored to your needs
                                                                   The Forum of Mobility Centres has details of driving
        As you might expect, these conversions are more            instructors who are trained in teaching people to drive
        complicated and have to be tailored to suit each           with adaptations, or who are returning to driving after
        individual. This means the advance payment will be         a long gap.
        higher. If you cannot afford this, and it is the best
                                                                   You’ll find a list of all Motability approved WAV
        solution for you, Motability may be able to arrange
                                                                   converters on our website,
        a grant towards this payment. The size of the grant
                                                                   For information on how to apply for these types of
        would depend on your financial and personal
                                                                   WAV conversions contact the Motability Customer
        circumstances, and it may not cover all of the
                                                                   Services team on 0845 456 4566.
        advance payment – you would be expected to
        contribute as much as you can afford.

           Because conversions to allow wheelchair
           users to drive require individual tailoring,
           it is very unlikely that you will be able to
           test drive them. You will, however, be
           able to see if the size of the WAV suits
           you during a demonstration.

12   WAVs that wheelchair users can drive
next steps: getting your WAV

The most important advice in this guide is to try out any WAV
you are seriously thinking about.
This guide can begin to explain the options, highlight things
to consider and provide a framework for your checklist.
However, the only way to tell if a particular WAV will suit
your needs is to try it out.

Gather information                                        someone who can help. Alternatively, the Forum of
                                                          Mobility Centres offers expert, unbiased advice.
With over 500 WAVs available to lease from
Motability, there are more WAVs to choose from than       Talking to other WAV owners is likely to be a real
you might think. There’s lots of information around to    help – Mobilise, an organisation of disabled drivers
help you find the right one. Use this guide as a          should be able to put you in touch with someone in
starting point to decide what you really want from        your area, you can find their contact details on page 17.
your WAV.                                                 WAV converters will be happy to provide details of
As you get to the stage where you need more               the vehicles they convert, and nearly all have details
information, or if you have very particular needs or      on their websites too. Converters are a valuable
unusual questions, contact the Motability Customer        source of information as they are likely to know
Services team who will be able to put you in touch with   from experience how most problems can be solved.

                                                                                                          getting a WAV   13
        Draw up a shortlist                                        Converters expect you to do this and will bring a
                                                                   demonstration vehicle to your home for you to try.
        This guide should help you make a list of your
                                                                   There is no obligation, and you should not feel under
        requirements and using the sources of information
                                                                   any pressure. Try more than one vehicle so you can
        you should be able to draw up a shortlist of suitable
                                                                   compare them before you make a decision.
        WAVs. The factsheets on each of our most popular
        WAV conversions should enable you to narrow down           It is also very important to involve your partner, carer
        your choice. You can use our Searchable Price Guide        or whoever will be driving the WAV. They need to be
        at to search for WAVs by              happy driving the vehicle and confident that they will
        advance payment as well as by vehicle details.             be able to operate features such as the ramp. Take
                                                                   along any equipment, mobility aids or child seats that
        Nearly all converters that supply Motability have a
                                                                   you need the WAV to accommodate to ensure it fits
        nationwide service, so aim to find the most suitable
                                                                   all your needs.
        vehicle rather than confine your search to the
        converters who are nearest to where you live.              Make sure you try out each vehicle for long enough.
                                                                   Try it over the type of routes you are likely to use,
        Contact a converter and arrange a test drive
                                                                   with anyone who is likely to travel with you. Park
        Having thought about what you need, and identified         and get in and out of the vehicle several times.
        some vehicles that may be suitable, the next stage is to   Don’t worry about how long this might take – the
        test drive any WAV that you are seriously considering.     converter understands that the test drive needs to
        Test drives are the only way to check if a WAV will        be long enough to tell whether the vehicle will meet
        meet your individual requirements and customer             your requirements.
        experience tells us that there’s no substitute for
        having a test drive to see how one WAV compares
        to another.

           things to consider                                        What are the next steps?
                                                                     This guide aims to help you understand a little
           during your test drive                                    more about what to look for when choosing your
                                                                     WAV. With around 20 specialist companies
           Can the wheelchair passenger get in and out               converting more than 20 standard vehicles, there’s
           with ease?                                                likely to be a WAV to suit you. To assist you in your
           Is your partner/carer able to use features, such as       choice, it will help to:
           a ramp, with ease? Are they able to secure your           • Contact converters and visit their websites
           wheelchair within the vehicle?                              for information on their WAV conversions
           What is the driving/riding experience like?               • Use our online Searchable Price Guide at
           Are you and your passengers comfortable?           to see which WAVs
                                                                       fit your budget
           Is there enough room for you and your family?
                                                                     • Arrange for several test drives to help you
           Is there enough space for luggage?
                                                                       compare WAVs.
           Can you see out clearly? Is there enough headroom?
           Can you have a conversation with ease?
           What features and aspects of the conversion
           will improve your travelling experience?

14   getting a WAV
frequently asked questions

Where can I get a WAV from?                               What if I need to change my wheelchair?
You can go direct to any converter approved by            Planning for change is never easy, however if you
Motability – visit for details.      think you may need to change your wheelchair during
                                                          your five year lease try to anticipate how this may
How much does a Motability WAV cost?
                                                          alter your requirements – will you need a larger entry
While we are committed to affordable solutions across     space or more room in the vehicle for instance? This is
our range of over 500 WAVs, advance payments will         particularly important if the wheelchair user is a child.
vary depending on the vehicle you choose and how
                                                          How do I know which conversion companies
it is converted to meet your specific needs. If you
                                                          are closest to me?
have opted for any optional extras, you pay the
supplier for these directly. Servicing and maintenance    It’s more important to find the right vehicle than the
costs, as well as breakdown cover and insurance are       closest supplier, and nearly all converters who supply
all included as part of your Motability lease package.    Motability WAVs operate nationwide. You can find
                                                          out where our converters are by using our ‘Find a
How do I know which WAV will suit me?
                                                          Dealer’ tool at
This guide should help to highlight the areas that will
                                                          Once I have contacted the conversion
affect your decision. However there are many sources
                                                          company, should I stay with them?
of independent information – why not contact a
Mobility centre? Converters approved by Motability        To ensure you make the right choice of WAV for your
will help identify the right vehicle for you, (see page   needs, we recommend trying out more than one
17). But most important of all – try out any vehicle      vehicle. Motability accredited conversion companies
you are considering. All converters will arrange a test   will not put you under any pressure to buy, and all
drive for you.                                            will bring you a vehicle to try without obligation.

                                                                                                frequently asked questions   15
        Can I get help towards the cost?                         Will the adaptation firm come out to me or
                                                                 will I need to go to them?
        If you need a WAV with an advance payment that
        you cannot afford, Motability may be able to help.       In most cases you will have to go to them for fitting
        Using the Government’s Specialised Vehicles Fund,        and fine tuning. Motability may be able to help
        Motability was able to help 1,400 customers to get       with transport.
        a WAV last year. Call Motability’s Customer Services
                                                                 What if my WAV needs servicing?
        team on 0845 456 4566 for more information.
                                                                 You should book your service in plenty of time and
        I am part way through my current
                                                                 ask your managing dealer if they are able to arrange
        Motability vehicle contract but need a WAV
                                                                 a collect and deliver service. If you need your vehicle
        now, how do I resolve this?
                                                                 back by a specific time, make sure your dealer is
        Call Motability’s Customer Services team on              aware, and let them know if there are any specific
        0845 456 4566 for information on how to do this.         requirements.
        There may be a fee if you do end the contract early.
                                                                 What if my WAV is off the road for
        When will I get my new WAV?                              any reason?
        Delivery can take between 12 and 16 weeks after the      Due to the specialist nature of WAV conversions,
        application. However this will vary, ask the converter   we are unlikely to be able to provide a replacement.
        for details of delivery time on the specific model you   However, we will work with you to identify a solution
        are interested in.                                       to try to keep you mobile for the period you are
                                                                 without your vehicle, for example, help with taxi
        How do I get adaptations for my WAV?
                                                                 fares may be provided.
        If you’ve chosen a WAV converted to be driven by
        a wheelchair user, your driving assessment will
        recommend what adaptations you will need. Your
        converter may be able to fit these, or alternatively
        will be able to recommend an adaptations specialist.
        If you qualify for financial assistance these
        arrangements will be taken care of by Motability.
        If you do not have an assessment, but think
        adaptations may help, contact the Forum of
        Mobility Centres for more information and advice.

16   frequently asked questions
sources of information & advice

Motability                                                Mobilise
You’ll find all the latest information, including         A member organisation that promotes the welfare
factsheets giving specific information on WAV             and personal mobility of disabled people, drivers and
conversions and prices, on our website                    non-drivers. Visit, or call Our Customer Services team          01508 489 449.
may also be able to help, you can contact them on
0845 456 4566, Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm.
(Calls may be recorded and monitored to improve           Independent research charity that produces practical
customer service).                                        printed and online guides for disabled people. Visit
                                                 or call 020 7427 2460.
Forum of Mobility Centres
The Forum of Mobility Centres is a charitable
network of centres providing driving assessments
and useful information. There are Mobility Centres
across the UK, visit
or call 0800 559 3636 for more information.
A list of contact details for all Motability accredited
converters can be found on our website. There is also
a list of all drive from WAV converters that you can
view and download. Use the ‘Find a Dealer’ search on
our website for more information and to pinpoint the
converter you want.

                                                                                          sources of information & advice   17
        Getting in and out                                           Travelling
                 Is the ramp or lift easy enough to use by the           Do you have good all round visibility?
                 person most likely to operate it?                       Are you in the right position to talk to other
                 Is there enough room for you to get in and out          people in the vehicle with ease?
                 without tight manoeuvring?                              Is the ride comfortable, particularly over bumps
                 Is it easy to attach the wheelchair anchoring           and going round corners?
                 devices and tighten them?                               Is the ventilation, heating or air conditioning
                 Does the seat belt fit comfortably around the           adequate for you? Some vehicles have a separate
                 wheelchair occupant?                                    control for the area around the wheelchair.
                 Can the person most likely to push your manual          Can you hear the radio or sound system from
                 wheelchair cope with the angle of the ramp and          your seated position?
                 any slope in the floor? Would this still be OK if
                 the vehicle was parked on a slope?                  Flexibility
                 Is there enough headroom on entry for the               Are there enough passenger seats?
                 person most likely to be pushing your chair?            Are they large enough?
                                                                         Are they comfortable?
        The vehicle
                                                                         Can any seats be folded out of the way to
        Does it have all the features you need?
                                                                         increase the flexibility of the vehicle?
                 Air conditioning
                                                                         Can any seats be removed and easily put back
                 Automatic transmission                                  to increase the flexibility of the vehicle?
                 Electric windows                                        Can child seats be fitted if necessary?
                 Electrically adjusted wing mirrors
                                                                     Luggage and storage
                 Push button hand brake
                                                                         Is there enough storage space? Think about
                 Radio / CD
                                                                         travelling with other people and everyday luggage
                 Remote central locking
                                                                         How would you get luggage in and out of the
                 Are driving controls easy to use?                       vehicle with the wheelchair in place?
                 Does the vehicle have a well finished robust            Could a luggage rack or luggage container, or
                 interior to stop the wheelchair damaging the            securing devices be fitted?
                 interior fittings?
                 Is there a convenient place to stow anchoring
                 and other fittings in the vehicle?
                 Are there any optional extras, such as tinted
                 windows for privacy, that are important to you?       Do involve the person who will most
                                                                       regularly be travelling with you in any
                                                                       test drives.

18   checklist
Motability at a glance...
You can apply to join the Motability Scheme if you receive
the Higher Rate Mobility Component of the Disability Living
Allowance or the War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement.

Our worry free package includes:

 insurance                                             servicing and maintenance
 road tax                                              free tyres and windscreen repair
 breakdown cover                                       mileage allowance of 100,000 miles
                                                         over the five year agreement

Make your choice from over 4,000 vehicles, including 500 WAVs, from
the major manufacturers and order at your local dealership.

You choose the car, we do the rest...
Call 0845 456 4566 to find out more
(Calls may be recorded and monitored to improve customer service)

If you would like this guide in large print or an
alternative format, please call 0845 456 4566
Motability Operations

                                                                                                                                                  designed by orbital:
City Gate House
22 Southwark Bridge Road
London SE1 9HB
Customer Helpline: 0845 456 4566
                                                                                                                              Issue date: 04/09

Minicom (textphone for the deaf or hard of hearing): 0845 675 0009

Motability Operations Limited is the Principle Service Provider to Motability and the Motability Scheme. Registered office:
City Gate House, 22 Southwark Bridge Road, London SE1 9HB. Registered in England and Wales. Company No. 1373876

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