There are so many decisions to make when you decide on a wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV). The conversions now available are as diverse as the people who use them, and it's easy to get carried away with the possibilities. But don't let your heart rule your head when it comes to making decisions about vehicle access. Here are some of the pros and cons of side access versus rear access for your WAV.
If you're going to be the driver of the vehicle, or simply prefer riding up front, a side access WAV will give you the freedom of the road. These vehicles are ideal for town use, and you can enter and exit on the kerbside, away from traffic. You'll have plenty of room in the back for passengers and luggage - essential if you like getting away from it all. But the side access WAV has its drawbacks, too. You'll need parking space with extra width to deploy the ramp, and if the road has a heavy camber or a high kerb, you may not be able to deploy the ramp at all. The same holds true for narrow pavements, where you may not be able to easily access your ramp or lift.
If driving isn't your style, a rear access WAV will happily accommodate you as a passenger with plenty of space for seats alongside your wheelchair position. Fit a folding ramp and you'll retain access to the passenger doors. If you're tall and require a longer wheelchair or leg rests, the rear access WAV will better accommodate your needs. But you'll sacrifice storage space and will need to ensure there's always adequate room behind your WAV to give you access - some users find a parking camera is invaluable.