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Car transfer advice

Getting in and out of a car can be difficult. We have a selection of gadgets to help you depending on the type of car you use. Our Therapists are also full of bright ideas about adjustments and techniques that can make getting in and out of your car easier. When you visit the Independent Living Centre we can help you to try these suggestions in your own car and have a go with the gadgets too. There are a lot of these gadgets out there, online and in local mobility shops, some are definitely better than others! We aim to help you find the right solution.

  • If you are having difficulty getting in and out of your car, move the seat as far back as possible and recline the seat back to give more space when getting in and out.
  • When getting into the car, stand as close as possible to the car seat, with the backs of your legs touching the doorframe; sit on the seat taking care not to hit your head on the door frame, then lift your legs into the foot well.
  • Consider where you park, it can be difficult to get out of the car if parked next to a raised curb or parked on a slope.
  • You need to tell your insurance company if you use any specialist equipment when driving. This includes sliding or swivelling cushions, if you leave them on the seat while driving.
  • Cornwall Mobility now also have an assessment centre in Exeter. They provide driving assessments giving advice on equipment and adaptations and assessing for driver and passenger access.
Equipment to assist with getting in and out of the car Supply Options
Difficulty lifting legs and turning to get into the car when seated 

Leg Lifters are rigid canvas supports with a foot loop and handle to lift and reposition your legs into the foot well of the car.

swivelling seat pad may also help with getting into position on the car seat. Some are rigid with a padded top and some are 2 discs of padded material which turn on each other.

In most cases, people buy from local retailers or online. Please consult your Therapist for further advice.
Difficulty standing up from the seat of the car

The Handy Bar fits into the car door hatch giving you a steady support when getting in and out.

The Car Caddie Strap attaches to the internal handle above the door or door frame as a useful pull handle. Be sure that it is securely fitted and not attached to any moving parts when used.

In most cases, people buy from local retailers or online. Please consult your Therapist for further advice.
Getting from wheelchair to car seat – equipment that does not require car adaptations If already using a Transfer board, then this could be risk assessed for use between wheelchair and the car. This may help you slide sideways onto the car seat from a wheelchair. If someone is assisting, then a moving and handling plan would be needed. This could be considered if you already have a transfer board.
Car adaptations

A swivelling car seat can be installed with a manual or powered control.

There are wheelchairs which are designed to be attached onto a swivelling base in the car. The seat of the wheelchair becomes the car seat and the base of the wheelchair detaches.

Hoists can also be fitted to your car to lift you into the driver or passenger seat.

Specialist vehicle adaptation companies.
Wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAV) wheelchair accessible vehicle with manual or powered ramp or built-in hoist for access. It can be for passenger or driver. Motability scheme, specialist vehicle adaptation companies for purchase or hire options and WAV taxis.

You can contact the Therapy Team at the ILC to find out more about:

  • The range of available equipment for the car and where to buy them.
  • Specialist vehicle adaptation companies in Devon.
  • Wheelchair accessible taxis and local companies who provide this service.

Email:                      Phone: 01392-380181