What do you love the most about getting a new wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV)? Is it the excitement of getting the latest make and model? Having a car that is adapted for you? The way it drives or how brand spanky new it looks? In the beginning, you will be keen to keep it looking new by ensuring it’s clean and tidy at all times.
As time goes by the novelty of having your WAV soon wears off. Like most things, and you may gradually stop looking after them as well. Instead of continually buying the ‘new car’ air freshener in the hopes of making it smell like it’s new again, why not try these top tips on how to look after a wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV).
How To Look After A Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV)
The following tips will help maintain the efficiency of your wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) and benefit you in the long run. These are especially helpful when the time comes to give your Motability vehicle (unless you own your WAV) back at the end of your lease as you may qualify for the ‘good condition bonus’ payment from the Motability Scheme.
1. Basic maintenance
As for all vehicles, it’s important to ensure your WAV is serviced yearly and MOT tested on time. These must be carried out by a professional garage. Other than service and MOT tests, it’s also important to check oil, water, brakes and fluid levels.
It’s a good idea to get into a routine of checking these things on a regular basis as well as checking tyre pressures. This will ensure any problems or wear and tear are resolved as soon as possible.
Although I’m not physically able to carry out these checks on my wheelchair accessible vehicle I am responsible for ensuring my insured drivers do so.
It may sound insignificant but washing your WAV is in fact very important. By keeping the vehicle clean inside and outside will ensure it remains in great condition and protects against any damage to the paintwork.
Acid rain, road salt, snow, sun and bird droppings are just some of the main causes of damage.
3. Ramps & Lifts
Ramps are essential for a wheelchair accessible vehicle. The ramp is what makes the vehicle a WAV after all so it’s important the ramp is kept in excellent working condition. Otherwise, it will become redundant and we don’t want that.
Depending on your needs and the type of WAV you have, the ramp may be manually operated or electric. Both should be checked regularly for any damage, wear or tear, dirt build-up, faults and oiled as required.
Seatbelts are vital when travelling in any vehicle and that goes for wheelchairs too. Wheelchairs must be secured at all times once inside your wheelchair accessible vehicle. Wheelchair restraints ensure your wheelchair is safely tied down to prevent accidents.
It’s important to clean the restraints on a regular basis as dirt build-up can affect the way in which it works and lead to faults. Check for signs of wear and tear and replace the belts if they are becoming badly damaged.
Keep all paperwork for your WAV in a safe place so you know where to find it. This is especially handy when it’s time to service, MOT or renew the lease.
Emergency contact numbers for breakdowns and tyre repairs are important to always have in your WAV and phone. You just never know when the unexpected might happen so it’s best to be prepared at all times.
Please leave some of your tips on how to look after a wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) in the comments below.
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This post is in collaboration with WAV Compare but, as always, all content and opinions are my own.