Choosing An Upfront Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle
If you are looking for a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) but prefer to drive or travel upfront as opposed to sitting the rear, there are a number of innovative vehicle conversions available.
Suitability will depend on:
- The size of vehicle you require (e.g. number of seats, storage space, interior head room).
- Your wheelchair (manual chair / powerchair / width, size).
- Entry and exit (rear/side entry options, manual/automated ramp options).
Upfront Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle: Seating Options Explained
Drive From Wheelchair
This option enables you to drive whilst remaining in your wheelchair. Your wheelchair is secured safely using an automated wheelchair locking system and bespoke driving adaptations are fitted. The tailgate and ramp are fully automated, so it is the perfect solution for independence.
Internal Transfer WAV
Expertly designed to enable a wheelchair user to drive from a standard driver seat, also with a fully automated tailgate and ramp. Transfer is assisted by a powered rotating a six-way seat base fitted to the OEM driver’s seat and the wheelchair is safely secured behind the passenger seat.
Upfront Passenger WAV
An increasingly popular choice for wheelchair passengers, this conversion enables you to sit up front next to the driver and remain in your wheelchair, so you can enjoy travelling next to your companion. Choose from a manual or automated tailgate and ramp and wheelchair locking system.
Combined Drive and Travel Upfront WAV
Drive from your wheelchair with the option to switch to upfront passenger. The removable front seats allow you to swap places with your companion. Learn more about Sirus’ latest conversion.
Free Home Demonstrations
Your vehicle conversion company should come to your home in a demonstration vehicle (unless the vehicle you are interested is second-hand, then there may be a different process). Make sure you do not feel pressured during your demonstration, take your time and consider your options before you go ahead and order.
Before you book a demonstration, consider the following to help you decide which is the right Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle for you:
- Is there space to park the vehicle at home?
- Is there enough room for the vehicle to operate? (e.g. for the ramp to lower)
- Is there enough room to comfortably manoeuvre your wheelchair into position?
- Is there enough storage space for any equipment you need to carry?
- Are there enough seats for the people you usually travel with?
- When you go out to work or shopping, are there size or height restrictions?
- Is the vehicle fuel efficient? Have you worked out your fuel costs?
During your demonstration test drive, consider the following:
- Is there sufficient head clearance at the point of entry?
- How is your eye level and visibility, particularly if you are a driver?
- Do your feel comfortable when positioned in the vehicle?
- Can you partner / carer comfortably operate the ramp and drive the vehicle?
- Is the vehicle floor lowered, which should give you substantially more head room?
- Are you happy with the ground clearance?
- Make sure your test drive includes a route you would usually take.
Motability Customer Amy Travels Upfront In Her WAV
Motability customer Amy travels in her second Sirus Volkswagen Upfront Passenger vehicle.
“My car has given me so much freedom. It's so much better sitting in the front because I want to chat with the driver, or maybe even have a sing-along! It's much better than being stuck in the back of a vehicle. My Sirus car has also given me the confidence to travel without worrying about having enough room as it's compact but spacious inside. I often holiday in the UK and travel to wheelchair football tournaments where it’s essential that I take lots of equipment, including my sports chair, everyday chair, hoist, shower chair plus my luggage which all fits easily into my car. I have two fold-down seats in the back so I have space for up to five people”.
A Few Other Things To Remember…
To ensure peace of mind, ask your converter about the following:
Warranty And Service
Enquire about the conversion company’s aftersales service. They should carry out an annual service on all conversions and include a 3-year warranty on all new vehicles. A Mobile Engineer should come to your home to fix any problems.
All Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles should be PAS Approved and meet all of the requirements of the PAS Accreditation for M1 Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles.
Motability And Charitable Grants