Best Motability cars for wheelchair users
Whether you're after a classic family car or a wheelchair-accessible vehicle (WAV), here are our recommendations...
The Motability Scheme is a way of allowing those with a mobility allowance to use it towards leasing a brand new car, and for a lot of drivers, that means a way of transporting both themselves and their wheelchair from A to B. With hundreds of new cars available on the scheme, there are some great options for those who need a big boot and lots of storage to carry equipment, as well as friends and family.
As part of our independent testing, the What Car? road-test team measures all the cars we group test – you can see the measurements for each boot area in the list below.*
The Scheme also offers the opportunity to lease a wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV), usually adapted with a ramp and lowered floor height, and suitable for family or carers to transport those who need that level of access.
Whether you’re looking for a small car with a surprising amount of space, or a large MPV that’s made for the job, here are our recommended models available through Motability and suitable to carry a wheelchair.
For most of this story, we’re looking at cars that can accommodate a folded wheelchair of the average dimension 107cm wide, 91cm high and 28cm deep when folded. For non-folding and electric wheelchairs, take a look at our recommended WAVs on the following page.
*measurements approximate and may include human error. Please visit your local dealer to check measurements and ensure your equipment will fit suitably.
Internal boot height - 795mm
Internal boot width - 1100mm
Internal boot length (rear seats up) - 650mm
Internal boot length (rear seats down) - 1450mm
Opening aperture width - 950mm
Despite winning our 2020 Small Car of the Year award, the Volkswagen Polo actually offers a good deal of space when the rear seats are folded, and should accept a regular-sized wheelchair when folded down. Very few boots are tall enough to stand the chair upwards (the Polo's included), but lie it down and you’ll have plenty of space on top if you want to load some light shopping as well.
The boot is also a helpful square shape with little wheel arch intrusion, while the height-adjustable boot floor that's included on pricier models near enough removes the load lip at the entrance and creates a flat floor when the seats are folded. On top of that, the Polo leads the class in lots of areas, offering a great choice of sprightly engines, plenty of equipment and the kind of ride you’d expect from a good family-sized car.
Internal boot height - 765mm
Internal boot width - 990mm
Internal boot length (rear seats up) - 715mm
Internal boot length (rear seats down) - 1500mm
Opening aperture width - 1000mm
The Ford Puma is our 2020 Car of the Year, so it goes without saying that we already rate it highly. It is the most fun car to drive in its class, and it has excellent real-world fuel economy and low CO2 emissions. In terms of boot dimensions, it’s roughly the same size as the Polo above without the rear seats in place, despite the Puma being a higher-riding SUV.
But it does have one trick up its sleeve; under the boot floor is Ford’s ‘MegaBox’, a large storage space providing an extra 80 litres of room. While it’s not quite wide enough to be able to fit a folded-up wheelchair, its presence means you can store shopping and other items under the boot floor so they won’t be damaged by a heavy wheelchair or other equipment. The height-adjustable boot floor also removes any load-lip between the boot entrance or folded rear seats.
Internal boot height - 605mm
Internal boot width - 1005mm
Internal boot length (rear seats up) - 1125mm
Internal boot length (rear seats down) - 2070mm
Opening aperture width - 1025mm
Anyone who’s ever read one of our Skoda Superb reviews will know that this car is all about space. The Skoda Superb Estate is our 2020 Estate Car of the Year, but you don’t even need to stretch to the estate for incredible boot space. Even with the rear seats in place, the regular hatchback has enough space to take a folded wheelchair lying down, and its square shape means there’s no awkward wheel arches to contend with when fitting it in.
But it’s worth noting that there isn’t a height-adjustable boot floor available, leaving a noticeable load lip to lift heavy items over. Overall, the Superb is comfortable, well equipped and great value for money; few premium rivals can match it as an all-rounder.
Internal boot height - 725mm
Internal boot width - 1000mm
Internal boot length (rear seats up) - 890mm
Internal boot length (rear seats down) - 1725mm
Opening aperture width - 1000mm
The Volvo XC40 is the only Volvo available on the Motability Scheme, but that’s no bad thing; we rate it as a five-star car thanks to its stylish interior, comfortable ride and wealth of safety tech. On top of that is the large and practical boot, whose handy square proportions make packing super easy. And, if you don't opt for a spare wheel, a large underfloor storage area is also included.
There’s no load lip at the boot’s entrance so you’ll be able to slide bulky objects along the floor with ease. Being a higher-riding SUV, the boot floor is quite high off the ground, though, at 770mm, which means you’ll need a bit of extra strength to lift heavy wheelchairs higher to get them in.
Internal boot height - 800mm
Internal boot width - 1145mm
Internal boot length (seven/five seats) - 345mm/1175mm
Internal boot length (two seats) - 1905mm
Opening aperture width - 1090mm
As our 2020 Large SUV of the Year, the Peugeot 5008 comes highly recommended. Not only does it offer nearly two metres of space with the rear seats folded, but its wide, square boot floor has no awkward nooks or crannies to get in the way when you’re loading larger items. With no load lip and rear seats that fold completely flat, there’s a huge amount of space for a bulky wheelchair and plenty of supermarket shopping.
The middle row of seats also slide back and forth, so you can move them to get more space in the boot while still fitting rear-seat passengers. It doesn’t make quite enough space to accommodate our average folded-wheelchair measurements, though.
Internal boot height - 710mm
Internal boot width - 1005mm
Internal boot length (seven/five seats) - 535mm/1140mm
Internal boot length (two seats) - 1935mm
Opening aperture width - 1125mm
The Skoda Kodiaq is available in both five and seven-seat body styles, but even the addition of two extra seats doesn’t cause a problem in the boot – its rearmost seats fold flush to the floor to help when sliding bulky items in. The five-seat, meanwhile version gets a height-adjustable boot floor to help reduce the step that’s caused when the middle bench is folded.
There’s no lip at the boot entrance, either, so you won’t find yourself having to lift heavy equipment far to get it out of the boot. The Kodiaq has a plush interior, strong engines, decent comfort and it's not too pricey.
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