Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle with a wheelchair lift ramp deployed for a man to enter in his wheelchair

Preparation tips for your WAV demonstration

Choosing the right Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) is a big decision that can impact your daily life and mobility. To make sure that your WAV meets your unique needs and preferences, it is important to consider some key things before you place an order. Graham Lloyd, Accessible Vehicle Partnership Manager for the Motability Scheme, shares how you can prepare to decide with confidence.
All Motability Scheme WAV suppliers are available to support you in choosing the right WAV for you. When choosing your next WAV, they will arrange a home demonstration and test drive with you to make sure the vehicle is right for you. 
The list of questions below should help you prepare for your demonstration. The questions include; where you will be parking the vehicle, the layout of the vehicle, the base vehicle, and typical travel destinations. By thinking about these questions before your demonstration, this should help you get the most out of your experience. Remember to take notes and bookmark this guide for when you might need it.

Things to think about before your WAV demonstration

Whether it’s your first time trying out a WAV or not, it’s important to plan ahead for what you want to learn during the demonstration. This will help you feel ready to ask questions that will guide your decision later.

Top tip

Try to get the person who normally drives your WAV to come to the demonstration. Then they can test-drive the vehicle to make sure they’re comfortable using it. They’ll also see how they can help you get in and out of the vehicle, and how to use the wheelchair and occupant restraint systems


Thinking about where you’ll park your WAV at home is key, as it can influence which WAV will be right for you. Here are some questions to consider:

  • Will you park on your driveway?

If you’re parking in a driveway, make sure there’s enough space around the vehicle to open the back door and deploy the ramp. If your driveway slopes, think about how hard it might be to use a ramp to get in and out of your WAV.

  • Will you park on the road?

If you’ll be parking on the road, you will need to consider if there is usually enough space available to open the rear of the vehicle and deploy the ramp so you can get in and out of it safely.


When you’re trying out any vehicle, it’s important to think about how much space you really need every day. Here are some questions to consider when thinking about the layout of your WAV: 

  • Is there enough space for you and everyone you travel with?

Since not everyone you usually travel with will be at your WAV demonstration, think about this beforehand. Consider if there are enough seats in the layout for the people you usually travel with.

  • If you have any equipment, will this fit?

Make sure the WAV you choose can hold all your equipment. Bring along both your everyday and occasional equipment for the demonstration day to check it fits.

Base vehicle:

Thinking about the base vehicle used in the conversion is crucial, as certain features or details may be important to you. Some questions to ask yourself on this would be:

  • Is the fuel type of the vehicle important to you?

Ask the demonstration driver what options are available and think about what your preference would be. Some WAV models are available in petrol or diesel, but there are also more electric options available too. 

  • Which gearbox works best for your driver?

Most WAVs are available in both manual and automatic options, so it will be important to consider what the preference is when making this decision.

  • Are there any limiting features to consider?

Some WAVs with lowered floors may have slightly less ground clearance. This could impact how you use the vehicle, especially if you live in a rural area.


Your WAV should help give you freedom to stay mobile and to take the journeys you need or want to make. When choosing your WAV, there are some important questions to consider, such as:

  • Do your regular journeys involve limited height access? 

Some WAVs are larger than standard cars. This means they cannot fit into some car parks or drive through certain destinations. If possible, ask your demonstration driver if you can try your usual journeys so you can test this out.

  • Are the parking spaces compatible with the WAV you’re thinking of choosing?

Check there is enough space to move around the WAV to avoid problems when parking or using public car parks.

About the Scheme

The Motability Scheme makes leasing a car an easy, hassle-free experience. With the Scheme, you can exchange part or all of your qualifying mobility allowance to lease a brand-new vehicle of your choice. Insurance, breakdown assistance, servicing and maintenance are already arranged and included in the price you pay, so you can enjoy the freedom that comes with a worry-free lease.

Related articles:

Getting my new Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV)

Looking after your Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV)

Everything you need to know about your drivers on the Motability Scheme

From the Motability Scheme


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