An estimated 1.2 million Brits rely on wheelchairs to get from A to B. Of course, this comes with a unique set of challenges, especially when it comes to choosing a car. To make things a little easier, we’ve put together a guide to the best cars for wheelchair users. Whether you’re a wheelchair user shopping for a new car or a driver looking to accommodate a passenger with mobility issues, we have solutions.
Understanding the unique needs of wheelchair users
Most wheelchair users know the importance of measurements when it comes to accessibility. British charity The Research Institute for Disabled Consumers (RiDC) has done a fantastic job of measuring more than 1500 vehicles and rating accessibility features. Researchers have factored in variables like seat height, door openings, headroom and boot size, using a standard wheelchair. Below, we’ve picked a few of our favourite models.
Renault Megane Sport Tourer
A generously sized boot makes it easy to store an unfolded wheelchair in the back of the Renault Megane Sport Tourer. The low loading lip is a bonus and makes it a cinch to pack wheelchairs in and out. In terms of accessibility, all doors open to an angle of 72 degrees, making it one of the best cars for wheelchair users.
Shopping for second-hand cars for wheelchair users? While the Kia Carens was discontinued in 2019, there are plenty of used models on the UK market. Compact and zippy, the Kia Carens remains one of the top cars for wheelchair users. All models boast seven seats, meaning there’s plenty of room for a wheelchair when the rear seats are folded down. Need extra storage? Don’t forget to take advantage of the ’hidden’ compartment beneath the boot. Ideal for stashing a wheelchair tyre repair kit.
The Ford Galaxy has been dazzling drivers since 2015 and remains one of our top cars for wheelchairs picks. Even with all seven seats in use, there’s still plenty of space to accommodate a folded wheelchair. As well as wheelchair-friendly features, this model treats motorists to a high-tech touchscreen media system, intelligent driver assist features and dual-zone air-conditioning. The newest models also feature Pre-Collision Assist technology designed to detect pedestrians and cars and brake accordingly.
Another stellar pick for second-hand buyers, the SEAT Alhambra is packed with wheelchair-savvy features. Sliding electric rear doors make loading and unloading a breeze, and the generously sized boot offers plenty of room for an unfolded wheelchair in five-seat mode. The loading lip is just 675mm off the ground, a feature that helps win this model a place in our cars for wheelchair users roundup. While the SEAT Alhambra has been discontinued since 2020, there are plenty of these wheelchair-friendly models on the second-hand market.
Looking for something brand new? The manufacturer named the SEAT Tarraco seven-seat crossover as the Alhambra’s successor. It boasts plenty of accessible features, though doesn’t rate quite as high as the Alhambra.
The Volkswagen Caddy
Now in its fifth generation, the Volkswagen Caddy continues to reign as one of the top cars for wheelchair users. If you’re looking to make adjustments or modifications, this is one of the best wheelchair adaptable vehicles in the UK. The newest edition is more versatile than ever, with a fully adjustable front seat, sliding rear doors and a clever interior layout to maximise storage and passenger comfort. Intelligent Driver Assist systems and a digitalised cockpit make getting behind the wheel an absolute pleasure.
If you’re on a budget, it’s hard to beat the value-for-money offered by the Dacia Duster. A firm favourite in the UK, this much-loved SUV boasts an enormous boot and plenty of room to make adjustments and modifications. This model is built for adventure and is perfect for wheelchair users who don’t want to hold back. Blast your favourite tunes using the next-gen multimedia suite and tackle tough terrain with the upgraded 4X4 monitor system. With a huge 214mm of ground clearance, venturing off the beaten track has never been more fun.
Like the Dacia Duster, the Citroen Berlingo is a great option if you’re looking to make wheelchair-friendly adjustments and add-ons. This is mostly thanks to the generous width and height of the model. The seats are supportive and comfortable, making it great for longer trips. Even better, it’s now available as a fully electric model. If you’re looking for cars for wheelchairs that will help minimise your carbon footprint, the Citroen E-Berlingo is a fantastic choice. You’ll enjoy all the space and comfort of the combustion engine predecessor, with zero petrol bills.
Tips for choosing the best cars for wheelchairs
Consider lip height carefully
If you’re a driver looking to accommodate a wheelchair user, we recommend looking for a car with a low boot lip. This makes it much easier to lift the wheelchair in and out of the boot.
Space is key for modifications
Modifications and adjustments can make the driving experience much easier for wheelchair users. If you’re planning to make changes, choosing a car with generous dimensions can make things much easier. This is why vans and SUVs are such popular options.
Every driver and passenger is unique
When shopping for the best cars for wheelchairs, a one-size-fits-all approach won’t cut it. It’s important to consider the unique needs of the wheelchair user. One thing’s for sure – you don’t want to compromise on convenience or comfort.
Finance a wheelchair-friendly vehicle
Ready to upgrade to a wheelchair-friendly vehicle? We can get you behind the wheel faster with tailored car finance solutions. Whether you’re shopping for a compact car for city driving or a spacious van with plenty of room for multiple passengers and wheelchairs, we’ll match your application with trusted lenders in the UK.
No matter what your circumstances are, we can help you to secure the best deals on cars for wheelchair users. Get a car finance quote today to find out how much you’re eligible for.
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