Types of access into a wheelchair accessible vehicle
Most wheelchair accessible vehicle have a rear entry for the wheelchair user, who either remains in the back part of the vehicle or passes through into the front. Some larger-sized vehicles have a side door entrance. In the range of smaller wheelchair accessible vehicles, only the InFront Doblo offers direct access through an enlarged door on the front passenger side. This has an extending ramp which gives the wheelchair user direct access into the passenger seat position.
Choosing between a rear or side access vehicle will depend largely on where you are planning on driving and parking it. Rear-entry vehicles can be difficult to park on the street. They require a large amount of space left behind them for the doors to be opened and the lift to be deployed. Side entrance vehicles, on the other hand, need space left on the side to operate.
This makes them better for on-street parking unless the pavement is very narrow, but it makes them more difficult to park in a car park. Also, depending on the camber and slope of the road and the height of the kerb, the lift or ramp may not function correctly with side-entrance vehicles.
Most rear doors open either upwards or outwards, while those of side-entry vehicles usually slide. Most vehicles have manually deployed ramps which fold up and into the vehicle. Some, however, have lifts which can be controlled from a fixed point or with a remote control. Ramps require less maintenance and have fewer things to go wrong, but some people prefer lifts, especially those with motorisedwheelchairs.
Always try out different options before making a decisionas to which type of access into a wheelchair accessible vehicle would suit you best and ensure that you can open and close the doors and deploy the ramp without problems.