“We’ve had a Sirus VW Upfront Passenger wheelchair accessible car for about a month and I wish I had considered it years ago. It is so great to be back on the road sitting upfront, it’s so much more comfortable being upfront rather than a passenger in the boot. In my first wheelchair accessible car I hadn’t considered the importance of travelling upfront, before I used a powerchair I would never have chosen to travel in the back of a car – you are on your own, you are at a different height to everybody else in the car but most importantly I couldn’t share my invaluable driving tips with my wife, Valerie!
Life Before Sirus
Before we had a Sirus vehicle we had a Peugeot Partner wheelchair accessible car where I sat in the back. I just went for the least expensive accessible vehicle and at the time I wasn’t really aware of the other options available, such as the Sirus range of Upfront Passenger conversions. I just wanted to get back on the road and didn’t really investigate fully.
Sitting in the back was so uncomfortable as I was over the rear wheels. Going over speed bumps was actually painful and my head felt like it was going to hit the roof. I had to remind whoever was driving that speed bumps needed to be taken even more slowly than usual.
Now I feel like a ‘normal’ passenger
With my Sirus VW Upfront I feel just like a ‘normal’ passenger. It is comfortable, I can see out of the windscreen and to sit next to my wife again is amazing.
The additional cost to sit upfront
It is of course more expensive to sit upfront as opposed to the rear, and before I tried it, it would have been difficult to justify the added expense. But after six years of sitting in the back & experiencing uncomfortable journeys, I realised that it is worth it. Unfortunately, the first WAV that someone gets, they may not realise how important this is either.
Sirus test drive
The home demonstration provided by Sirus was excellent. Two guys came down with two vehicles for us to see and demonstrated both of them to us. As well as the VW Upfront we also got to see the latest Upfront from Sirus, the side entry Ford Grand Touneo Connect. I can totally see the advantages of entering from the side, but for us, the rear entry design gives more favourable options. We decided on the VW and it was delivered to us within six weeks.
We had a flip-down seat fitted in the rear so the vehicle seats up to four. We also opted for an automated tailgate and ramp. My wife strained her back when she had to manually lift the ramp on the previous wheelchair accessible vehicle, so with this wheelchair accessible vehicle she no longer needs to bend or lift. The tailgate and ramp open and close using the key fob. Rear privacy glass was also ordered and although not a necessity it provides a welcome break from the ever-present paparazzi!
Parking my wheelchair accessible car
With rear entry we don’t need a disabled bay, we can drive straight into a space and I can get in and out so easily. Valerie liked the size of the VW Caddy as it’s so easy to park. If we do park on the street, we just ensure there is room at the front for my wife to move forwards in case someone has parked behind us.
We used the Motability Scheme to fund the vehicle. I surrender my monthly PIP Mobility Allowance/DLA and we covered the cost of the Motability Advance Payment. For the money, it is totally worth it. I cannot begin to explain how important it is to us as a family that I can sit in the front and have some level of normality.
Thank you Sirus! The service so far has also been excellent”.
Mr and Mrs Beard.