WAVs checklist

WAV with ramp extended at the Mobility Roadshow

Questions to ask when choosing a WAV

WAV (wheelchair accessible vehicle) owners told us some questions to ask and things to consider when choosing your vehicle. Use this checklist to help you find the right WAV for you.


  • Will it fit on your drive or in your garage? Think about the space required to use the ramp and/or lift.
  • Will it be easy to drive in traffic and on the roads you normally drive on?

Safety and security



Comfort and convenience

  • Can you get in and out easily?
  • Can you use the controls?
  • Is it quiet and smooth when you're driving?
  • Is there good visibility for everyone in the vehicle?


  • Is there room for all the people and luggage you want to carry?
  • What about times when you might want to carry a lot of luggage or equipment (like on holidays)?


Does it have everything you need? Such as air conditioning, automatic transmission, electric windows, satnav, central locking, and other features you may want?


  • Does it give you reasonable speed and acceleration?
  • What about braking, ride and handling?

Specific considerations

More specifically, when choosing your WAV, think about the following. Most of these questions can only be answered by trying out the vehicle.

Getting in and out

  • Will you choose a ramp or a lift?
  • Will you have someone to help you?
  • Can you get in and out without hitting your head or having to duck?

Travelling position

  • Where will your wheelchair sit?
  • Will you be able to see out of the windows well enough?
  • Will you be able to talk to other people easily? Is the WAV too noisy?


  • How will you secure yourself and your wheelchair?
  • How will you secure any equipment you use to get in and out?
  • How will you secure anything else (such as an unattended wheelchair, luggage, equipment)?


  • Can you rely on the equipment you use to get in and out?
  • What happens if it breaks down?
  • Are there manual overrides for any powered equipment?
  • Is there a suitable dealer nearby for servicing your WAV? 

Build quality

  • Different conversions have been built to different standards, so some will be more comfortable and less noisy inside than others.
  • Noise can really affect your travelling comfort, so be sure to check this out before buying.

Safety warning

Many adaptations involve moving the fuel tank and/or making it smaller. It may mean you can't go as far on one tank. Sometimes it also affects the reliability of the fuel gauge. Ask your WAV converter about this.

Our other information which can help you:

  • Will you be the driver or passenger?
  • Do you want to enter via a lift or a ramp?
  • Do you want entry from the side or rear of the vehicle?[LINK?]
  • Think about the size of vehicle you'll need.[LINK?]

More information

Motability scheme - getting a WAV

Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle Converters' Association (WAVCA)

BSI Publicly Available Specification (PAS) for WAVs 2012

Find your nearest Mobility Centre for advice and assessment

Disabled Motoring UK - supporting Blue Badge holders

For finance:


Disability Grants