We were looking for a suitable vehicle for my wheelchair-using wife who has several conditions. I looked at a few before settling on a Peugeot Rifter supplied by SMV. I went to them after I had viewed a comparable Berlingo in our local dealer and also travelled some distance to another supplier who did not impress me. We are both in our late 70's. We are self-funding and we had a maximum budget. We had a VW Transporter that I had converted to a motor caravan with wheelchair and 'stretcher' facilities, continually modifying them to improve her travel comfort.
So, firstly, my experience of dealing with SMV. What I am about to tell you took place at the most difficult days of the COVID lockdown. SMV's attention to hygiene was impeccable. Jim, Bill and Patrick were extremely patient in dealing with us, showing us a range of small and medium sized vehicles in different price ranges and with different configurations and adaptations. Their experience enabled them to suggest what might work and what was unlikely to, allowing for my wife's disability. They also suggested ways that we might make her wheelchair more comfortable to travel in. Equally important, they really listened to us and were able to answer all our questions.
They gave me the chance to test drive several vehicles and then brought the Peugeot to our home so my wife could experience travelling in it. Although we did not take them up on it, they offered us a fair trade-in value on our VW. SMV take pride in only selling vehicles that satisfy their standards, and all the ones I examined showed the high standards they expect. Also, because they are specialists, they understand the VAT regulations and other legalities: this can be very important when making such a large purchase. And their warranty and breakdown package is one of the most generous I know. In the vehicle documentation they include a list of local companies with whom they work. I suggested them to a friend who has since bought a WAV from them. I also had a problem with my VW and when I phoned, they were able to recommend an automotive electrician to me.”
We settled on a 2020 Peugeot Rifter Automatic that had been used as a demonstration vehicle by the conversion company. I was surprised how refined it is considering that it uses the same bodyshell as the van. It is very quiet and comfortably lively. But what really sold it to us is the ride. It soaks up bumps and potholes better that any of the other vehicles that I tried; in fact my wife finds it more comfortable than our VW - DB - East Preston