Choosing the right wheelchair accessible vehicle for your family
For families with a child or children in a wheelchair, choosing the right wheelchair accessible vehicles can be complex. If your child is entitled to Motability, you will have your vehicle for five years under the leasing scheme and therefore you need a vehicle that will adapt as your children grow. If you are buying a car outright, you will want to make a lasting and worthwhile investment.
A child can grow a lot in five years. This will undoubtedly mean that your child's wheelchair will have to change as they do and the seat or the chassis may increase in size a number of times over the years. You need to consider if the car is big enough to accommodate these changes. It is far easier to change floor pins for anchoring a chair than it is to change your vehicle.
For this reason, it is essential that you organise a demonstration with your child present. Get other family members to clamber on board too to see if there is enough leg room when the car is full. If your child has to travel with another passenger for medical reasons, make sure the wheelchair position makes it easy for the passenger to reach your child without having to twist and turn. You may want to think about a vehicle which offers you the most flexible and adaptable seating positions to help with looking after your child on journeys.
Disabled children with neurological conditions can sometimes struggle to regulate their temperature so make sure that the interior heating and air con in the vehicle offer your child the best comfort whilst they are in their chair. And as we know, all children need entertaining so consider the options of the in-car entertainment system - unless, by now, you have heard the Frozen soundtrack a few too many times!