When considering how to access your car as a wheelchair user, a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle is not the only option and there are a number of adaptations that can be installed on a standard car. Our adaptation installers will be happy to arrange a no-obligation demonstration and will advise which cars will be suitable.
A transfer plate is fitted to the side of the car seat and provides a smooth surface between the wheelchair and the car seat to help you with the transfer. Once you are in the vehicle and are comfortable, the transfer plate can simply be folded out of the way.
Transfer plates can either be manual or electric, however the electric version cost more.
To use a transfer plate, it is essential that you consider your upper body strength, as you'll need to be able to transfer yourself out of your wheelchair, onto the transfer plate and back again.
Electric person hoist
If you are a wheelchair user, another option for accessing the car is via an electric person hoist, which physically lifts you into the car.
The hoist includes a permanent mount fitted into the car and three sections which clip together to form the frame. A specially designed canvas sling is put in position with very little movement required from the wheelchair user. Heavy duty hooks in the sling are then slipped onto the hoist and the hoist is raised electronically. Once you are seated in the car, the frame sections of the hoist can be removed and stowed in the boot, but the sling remains in place, making it easier to reverse the process at the end of the journey.
For some people this may be an alternative solution to getting a fully converted Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle. You may find your travelling experience more comfortable as you will be seated on the original car seat alongside the driver, rather than in your wheelchair. However, you’ll need to check with an adaptation installer that the car you are interested in is suitable for this type of hoist.
Our adaptation installers will be happy to arrange a no-obligation demonstration of the adaptations and will advise on which cars are compatible.
A permanent swivel seat turns, and in some cases moves in and out of the car, then lowers or tips, to make getting in and out of the seat easier. Manual and powered versions are available. Remember, you may need help putting your wheelchair in the boot if you are not able to do it yourself.
Wheelchair swivel seats are also available. They are made up of two parts and allow your wheelchair base to connect to a specially designed car seat. Wheelchair swivel seats cannot be operated independently, as you will need someone to help put the wheelchair base into position and store it once you are in the car.
Swivel seats can only be fitted in some cars. Please speak to one of our adaptation installers that specialise in swivel seat installations, who will happily advise on vehicle choices.