News & Features

Your guide to wheelchair accessible vehicles and car adaptations

Posted in General News on Thursday, September 12th, 2019

By Lenna Freeman, Commercial Manager, Sirus Automotive.

If you are looking for a converted or adapted vehicle, finding the right mobility solution can often feel quite daunting as there are so many options available for disabled drivers and passengers. Whether you require an adaptation to your current car or choose a fully converted wheelchair accessible vehicle where you can drive, transfer internally, sit in the front passenger position, or opt to travel in the rear, there will be a solution for you.

Car Adaptations

If you have a standard car and are finding it difficult with certain elements (i.e. using the driving controls, getting in and out or storing your wheelchair) there are many adaptations which can assist you. Hand controls are the most commonly used driving adaptation which enable you to drive without using the pedals. There are also many different boot hoists and rooftop boxes to stow your wheelchair easily as well as transfer plates and hoists to help you get in and out of the car. Look out for companies that have Motability Preferred Supplier status as they are specialists in providing you with adaptation solutions.

Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

Sirus specialise in drive from wheelchair, internal transfer and upfront passenger conversions.

Internal Transfer

If you are a manual or powerchair user with ability to transfer, but prefer to transfer inside the vehicle, you can opt for an internal transfer wheelchair accessible vehicle. This can be more comfortable than transferring at the roadside. To further assist your transfer, a rotating seat is fitted which allows an easier transfer from your wheelchair to the standard driver seat.

Drive From Wheelchair

If you are a powerchair user and are unable to transfer without assistance, a drive from wheelchair vehicle may be the best solution. This type of conversion eliminates the need for a strenuous transfer as you remain seated in your wheelchair and gives you true independence.  You will need a crash tested wheelchair, which will be safely and securely locked into position automatically and  bespoke driving adaptations can be fitted. Some drive from wheelchair vehicles such as the Sirus Ford Drive / Upfront are designed to enable you to drive as well as travel upfront as a passenger.

Upfront Passenger

An increasingly popular option is to travel in the front of the vehicle next to the driver from the comfort of your wheelchair, a much more sociable position to travel in. Many of our customers love this option over having to travel in the back, especially if there are just two people travelling. It will also be a much smoother ride.

Home demonstrations and test drives

It is important that you have a test drive of any vehicle that you are looking to purchase. Sirus will bring a fully converted demonstration vehicle out to you as we feel that having a test drive in an area that is familiar to you, is beneficial. One of our fully trained mobility specialists will talk through various vehicle and conversion options and any adaptations that you may require. Sirus offer free home demonstrations nationwide.

If you are considering having a demonstration of a wheelchair accessible vehicle, think about the following:

• Is there enough room to comfortably manoeuvre your wheelchair into position?

• Does the vehicle offer storage space for any equipment you need to carry?

• When you go out to work or shopping, are there height restrictions when parking?

• Is the vehicle fuel efficient and have you worked out your fuel costs?

• How is your eye level and visibility, particularly if you are a driver?

Based in the West Midlands Sirus celebrate our 15th anniversary this year and have helped over 15,000 people with their mobility needs. Our team of mobility specialists provide our customers with help and advice on conversion options, adaptations, insurance and funding and we offer no obligation home demonstrations.  We are extremely proud of our aftersales service, and we do everything we can to look after all of our customers. Our dedicated customer service team are there to help should you require assistance and will always go that extra mile to ensure our customers are happy. Our new wheelchair accessible vehicles have a three-year warranty and we have a team of engineers on the road should you ever require assistance.

All our new vehicles are available on the Motability Scheme and we also offer a range of Approved Used vehicle available for delivery in just 1-2 weeks. For more information visit www.sirusautomotive.co.uk   T: 0121 505 7777.

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