A Lewis Reed wheelchair accessible vehicle image
A Lewis Reed wheelchair accessible vehicle

The Research Institute for Disabled Consumers (RiDC) has launched a new online car search tool, with data on over 1,700 vehicles to help disabled and older people shortlist suitable vehicles using specific accessibility measurements.

According to the charity, elderly and disabled people increasingly need specific measurements when choosing a car for their needs. For instance, older drivers, who find bending more difficult, might seek a car with higher seats. Similarly, carers often want a vehicle that has a large, flat boot to make loading a light mobility scooter or wheelchair in and out easier, RiDC adds.

Thirty internal measurements of each vehicle are recorded and verified in a laboratory, with data on over 150 vehicles added each year. Measurements include driver and passenger seat heights, door and boot sills and door opening angles and boot dimensions.

Using the advanced search, people can peruse individual makes and models and use measurements as filters to find vehicles that have no boot sill, lots of legroom, headroom or have high seats. Each vehicle has a PDF factsheet listing all the data with useful photos.

RiDC also has guidance, based on its research with its consumer panel, for older drivers, drivers with specific disabilities – including about car controls – and solutions for getting in and out and getting a wheelchair into a car.

Its latest research will look at access of electric vehicle charge points for older and disabled drivers.

RiDC is a UK charity providing independent research with disabled and older consumers:  RiDC believes that products and services should be inclusive and accessible for all. Find out more at: www.ridc.org.uk

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