Ask the expert: Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

Do you have questions about leasing a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) on the Motability Scheme? This article provides expert answers to some of the most common questions that customers ask us about WAVs on the Scheme.

The Motability Scheme offers a range of solutions to help people stay mobile, whatever their needs. As well as cars, scooters and powered wheelchairs, we also offer the option to lease a WAV for five years, with the same worry-free motoring promise that is given to our car customers. 

In this article, we interviewed Graham Lloyd, our WAV and Adaptations expert, on some of the key questions that customers ask about their vehicles and their lease. Take a look at his answers below.

Why are WAVs on a five-year lease, not three like cars?

The simple answer is that WAVs are expensive to buy. As well as the cost of the original vehicle, there is also the cost of the conversion. This is carried out by trained technicians that work for our converter partners vehicle by vehicle and, as such, takes quite a number of hours to carry out.

In addition, each WAV available on the Scheme has gone through a huge amount of research and design, as well as a comprehensive testing process. Each WAV design also complies with standards specially developed here in the UK by the Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle Converters Association.

We ensure that only vehicles that meet this standard are available on the Scheme. As a result of all of this, the cost to lease a WAV is much higher than an unconverted version. To ensure that customers don’t end up with an Advance Payment so high that it would be impossible to afford, all WAVs are on a five-year lease, allowing the costs to be spread over a longer time period. The exception is for the Nearly New WAVs – under 2.5 years old – which are always on a three-year lease.

Will a car dealer know about what adaptations I need, or do they use specialist help? Who do I approach first?

Our car dealers offer a great service and often work closely with the adaptations installers. Some of our car dealers have some knowledge of adaptations, but because their main focus is car sales, they may not always have the latest information available, or be aware of the number of choices for different requirements.

Our suggestion is to always talk to a local adaptations installer before deciding upon a car. They can offer guidance not only on what adaptation is right for you, but also, in a lot of cases, can let you know which vehicles will work best alongside the adaptation.

How did you get into the job you are doing now?

In my early 20s, I saw a job at the Motability charity for a case manager position. The job description sounded really fascinating – working with customers to find a solution to their mobility requirements. I found this really interesting, rewarding and loved the difference it made to people’s lives.

graham lloyd (002).jpgAfter moving up to a supervisor position, I missed the direct interaction with customers. I joined a WAV converter, which led me to nearly 15 years of working for different converters. 

When the job I do now became available at Motability Operations, I thought it’d be really interesting to focus on how the Scheme evolves its offering for WAVs and adaptations. I now get the perfect balance of working with converters, customers and the charity. I’d never planned to work in this sector, but now I’d never choose to do anything else.


This piece was previously published in Motability’s Lifestyle magazine. If you’re not already receiving Lifestyle and would like to, please contact us to let us know.

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