Choosing and fitting
Tips and hints about choosing and fitting equipment to help load a wheelchair into a car.
- Whatever option you go for, you need to know that you can use it every time you go out in the car, even on a bad day.
- Make sure you know exactly what you need to do to load and secure your chair, and make sure you can do it comfortably and safely. When using a hoist, you also need to secure the hoist itself. Sometimes it stays attached to the chair, which holds it securely, but some need to be detached and secured separately.
Your car and equipment
- Make sure the car you choose has enough space for all the equipment you need, and anything else you want to carry. Where will you put your shopping?
- If you have to fold or dismantle your chair, can you do it? Can you pick up the heaviest part?
- Check the weight of any equipment you use (you can find out about some powered wheelchairs and scooters on our website, or ask your supplier). If you're using a hoist, check that it can take the weight of the wheelchair (ask the supplier). Check the car can take the weight of the hoist and wheelchair together (ask the car dealer). If you are using a trailer, check the towing weight of the car (ask the car dealer).
- Some hoists and other equipment can only be fitted to a limited range of cars. Check with the supplier.
- Most suppliers will adapt equipment to suit you, your car and your wheelchair. Discuss what you need with the supplier before you start.
- Hoists, lifts and stowage systems are usually installed by vehicle adaptation companies or by their local dealers. Some will come to you to fit the hoist. Otherwise you will have to arrange for your car to be taken to them. Our Mobility address list lists adaptation companies.
- Most hoists can be fitted to the right or left hand side of the boot - check with the supplier. Some hoists come in one size. Some are cut and shaped individually for each car to give as much room as possible for swinging the wheelchair in.
- Some stowage systems require considerable modification of the car, which may not be reversible.
- Winches need to be fitted correctly. It's especially important that the winch cable is aligned with the vehicle, so it pulls the wheelchair in a straight line.
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