HomeGuide to Buying a Wheelchair

An Impartial Guide to Buying a Wheelchair

This guide is designed to help you find your way through the potentially daunting task of choosing and buying a wheelchair, helping you focus on your particular requirements.

The Wheelchair

First consider the following:

You should now be able to identify both your 'must have' and your 'nice to have' requirements and thus determine the broad specification of your wheelchair. You can now spend time considering the various makes and models available. A reputable supplier should carry out an assessment of your physical and practical needs and allow you sufficient time with the wheelchair to ensure that it suits you.

A wheelchair is a Class 1 medical device, so never buy on-line or from a catalogue without an assessment or without trying it properly.

The following checklist will help ensure that your chosen wheelchair meets your needs.


When buying a wheelchair, you need a supplier who can give you both honest and helpful pre-sales advice and information and efficient after sales service. The majority of these will belong to The British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA). This association expects their members to conform to a high level of service, so it should be a guide to reliability. It is also reassuring to know that if difficulties arise, you have recourse through the Association, who will assist in cases of dispute.

Choosing a supplier who is a member of the BHTA ensures:

When buying a wheelchair it is prudent to enquire about the availability of spare parts and check if the servicing arrangements are adequate.


It is advisable to take out insurance against third party fire and theft. Check your house contents policy. There are some Insurance Companies who specialise in wheelchair cover.

Value Added Tax

As a registered disabled person you are VAT exempt thus, as the purchaser and owner of the wheelchair, you will not pay VAT.

(With acknowledgements to Redditch and Bromsgrove PCT and Worcester Wheelchair Service)

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