Wheelchair accessible car

Woman sitting outside a van with a lift lowered from the rear door

If you want to get inside your car while seated in your wheelchair you have two options, a ramp or a wheelchair lift. What solution that will work best depends of course on your car and your abilities. 


Wheelchair lifts

Getting inside a larger or high built car while seated in a wheelchair is best done via a wheelchair lift. These are typically installed in the side door or the rear door of the vehicle. The functionality is simple. A platform is lowered to ground level. You roll on and the platform lifts you up to the vehicle's floor level where you can continue into the car.

There are a lot of different wheelchair lift models. Some are hydraulic and some are electric. There are those with one lifting arm and those with two arms. Generally speaking, one-armed lifts are smaller but not as sturdy and riding one can be quite intimidating. Two armed lifts, on the other hand, take up more space but can be very sturdy and comfortable to ride.

Car with a lowered lift on the rear door
Car with a lowered lift on the rear door

Fixed ramps

If you want to get inside a lower built car while seated in a wheelchair a fixed ramp is a good option. These ramps are typically installed in the vehicle's rear and are usually referred to as tailboard ramps. Even though it's possible to install a tailboard ramp in the side door of a vehicle it's not very practical as the ramp requires a lot of free space to be properly deployed and used.

To compensate for the weight of the ramp, some of them come with gas springs that act as helping hands when deploying and stowing.

Fixed ramps can also be deployed automatically via a remote. These ramps are however usually much smaller and more common as the entry to a lowered floor vehicle.

Car with a ramp on the back door
Car with a ramp on the back door and a swivel seat on the middle seat

Portable ramps

A portable ramp isn't just a solution for getting in and out of your vehicle. They can be used to increase accessibility pretty much everywhere. While not capable of dealing with every accessibility issue in today's society, they can come in handy for a lot of them.

There are a couple of versions of portable ramps. First, there's the pair, which basically is one track for each wheel. These are light and easy to handle and can even be carried in your wheelchair. They won't, however, work for something with three wheels. Then there's the folding version ramp. These are bigger and can be used regardless of how many wheels you have.

Man on a wheelchair rolling up a ramp
Woman in a wheelchair in a ramp rolling into a boat

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