I need some helpful car advice pronto. Our current Motability car is due to be returned by April 2020 and we have been shopping for a new car. I have only briefly looked at the numerous photos, reviews and specifications online. A family or large car is preferred but we do not mind a medium sized car either.
Which car should I buy? We want one that is wheelchair accessible. I have a appointment with a dealer on Saturday afternoon to see some more cars, and make a decision. Is it a good idea to test drive a few or not? Tell me more about your Motability car and what made it a good choice for your cared for person’s needs. I have prepared a short list ot questions to ask.
I began by looking at their website. But I could honestly not decide. So I am calling a scheme advisor tomorrow for more specialized advice on cars. Which adaptations are available on the scheme? Also tell me more about wheelchair accessible vans. How big are they?
I can’t tell you about WAV’s, but I can tell you it’s absolutely vital to test drive something. You need to wait until after the baby is born before making the final choice.
When I was disabled and trying to find a car, I knew within seconds which were comfortable and which were not. Some were so horrible I felt like abandoning them at the roadside, yet on paper they had seem like good contenders.
I used to drive a Discovery, but as I didn’t need a towcar for a caravan, wanted something lighter with lots of space. I ended up with a Skoda Yeti which had done about 20,000 miles. The footprint is almost identical to a Discovery, but it’s lower and lighter and I can still get loads of stuff in it.
As you will have two young children, make sure that you consider all the “stuff” that goes with babies and how it will all fit in, and how you will get at it. That’s the critical issue, don’t let the salesman blind you with how fast it goes, the engine size or, as one young salesman said to me, the option of FIVE DIFFERENT WHEELS. Honestly, what an idiot. My own top priorities are whether I can actually get in and out with my metal knees, whether it’s got a radio and how efficient the heater is. I love my heated seats and the heated front screen too.
With the requirement for a wav you do have a limited number of vehicles on offer. I’ve just bought one, (collecting it next week) and wanted a layout known as passenger-up-front where the wheelchair user sits where the passenger seat would normally be, this limits the options even more as probably less than one in fifty wav’s are passenger-up-front.
The alternative is that the wheelchair goes in the back somewhat like a piece of cargo, this is not so bad if there will be an able-bodied passenger along as well, but seems wrong to me when there’s just the two of us.
There are some well known companies out there, Brotherwood and Sirius are both expensive,several other independent companies make their own conversions and are cheaper.
Vans are fine, I’ve driven one for work for years, you would have to get used to having no windows in the rear, although most rear passenger wav’s that are van based will be a windowed version - see VW Caddy and VW Caddy Life for an example of the difference, (nice vans too).
Also be aware that a genuine van has lower speed limits than a car derived van, this is something of an anachronism really and I tend to ignore it most of the time as vans are no different to cars now in regard to driving aids, ABS brakes, Traction control, Disc brakes, Power steering etc., many of them now will also have Air-con and Cruise control (those are my two must haves).
I’ll post a couple of links to dealers if you want me to, but a search of google maps for “wheelchair accessible vehicles” in your area should turn up something useful, although be prepared to travel a bit.
I want heated seats too. Ideally the car will have a radio but that is not essential as we have plenty of CDs. I also want some leg room too. The car will be a family one so it will be able to accommodate two car seats.
CD players in cars are a bit old hat now, they tend to be set up with Bluetooth connectivity and I think that means that your own mp3 player can be used via the car radio. I put my CDs onto usb drives and plug them into the radio.
Thanks. After doing some more online research, I have made a list of possibilities. I will also remember to ask for a contact number. And I feel a bit more prepared now for Saturday afternoon. How do I settle the insurance stuff?
We are going to two different showrooms in town to look at cars. I plan to make some notes as well. My partner will test drive a few cars if possible. I quite like the look of the Citroen Spacetour car as it can safely be driven around with up to nine people.
if it is a Motability Vehicle the motability allowance covers the insurance as well as the servicing of the car.
I have a WAV for my daughter. I would say to choose it very carefully, to get the right one for you. we had never had a WAV before and because we were anxious to get it quickly, we rushed the process and I am not really sure its the right one for us.
Thara, if you are going to drive it, then you must be the one to test drive it. Wait until the baby is born, because managing a baby and your disabled brother together is going to be a whole new ball game. I’m very concerned that your desire to get the WAV car sorted out now is all part of the pre birth “nesting” instinct. You need to rest up and save your energy for the birth, not worry about vans this week and tire yourself out.
I had not realised that before but yes it is partly true. So I have now postponed the appointment until mid April. I’m due in less than three weeks now. And no my partner will be the one using it mainly. I do not drive.