Powerchairs

Powerchairs offer the greatest freedom to get around, both indoors and outside. Our range includes basic, standard models and also prescriptive powered wheelchairs from Permobil, Quickie, Invacare and Quantum for those with advanced performance and seating requirements. As well as being available for purchase, many of our powerchairs are available for hire and on the Motability scheme. Different models of powerchairs are available, from compact indoor models through to powerful off-roaders, with plenty of versatile all-rounders in between. Whatever your seating needs, there will always be one that suits - from a basic scooter-style seat to a fully bespoke seating system with powered positioning functions.

View Our Range

Indoor Powerchairs

Compact indoor powerchairs offer a convenient, cost-effective and comfortable way of getting around your house in comfort.

Indoor & Outdoor Powerchairs

Offering the greatest versatility, these powered wheelchairs can be used both inside and out, and range from basic up to high-end prescriptive models.

Folding Powerchairs

Folding powerchairs offer a convenient way of travelling with your wheelchair, and are lightweight and easy to operate.

Standing Powerchairs

Standing provides a number of health benefits, and we offer market-leading standing powerchairs including Permobil's F5 Corpus VS.

Children's Powerchairs

Our compact paediatric powerchairs are safe for younger users, and feature custom seating that can grow with your child.

Short-Term Hire

Ideal for those whose need is short-term or who want to try out a powerchair, we offer a wide range of models to choose from.

Powerchairs and assessments at Wheelfreedom

With over 70 different models of powerchairs on offer, we provide a complete powered wheelchair service from initial assessment to supply and backup service through the lifetime of your equipment. Our experienced wheelchair specialists can assess your needs and recommend a suitable product and seating system that matches your requirements, which we can then supply either for purchase, hire or on the Motability scheme.

Our industry-leading Chessington showroom on the London - Surrey border, features a wide range of powered wheelchairs for you to try out, with ample space both indoors and outside to have a proper test drive. Our showroom also features an assessment room which can be booked for private seating assessments, as well as a car that can be used to test lifting or hoisting your chosen wheelchair into and out of.

We source powered wheelchairs from several leading manufacturers to ensure we can always provide a model to suit every need and budget. Our range includes everything from lightweight folding models to reliable cost-effective standard wheelchairs, up to high-end prescriptive powerchairs with custom seating options.

You can see and try our full range of models at our Chessington showroom, or we can arrange to come and visit you for a home demonstration. Our experienced specialists can assess your needs and recommend a suitable product and seating system that matches your medical requirements, which we can then supply either for purchase, hire or on Motability as preferred.

Wheelfreedom's powerchairs

Powerchairs: Hire, Purchase and Motability

We offer a range of solutions for getting your ideal powerchair, including:

  • Purchase - own the powerchair of your choice outright from the start - the most cost-effective solution with the widest range of options.

  • Motability - use your Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment to lease an electric wheelchair.

  • Long-term Hire - worry free mobility, working similarly to the Motability scheme - an ideal option for those not eligible for Motability, or who already have a car on the scheme.

  • Short-term Hire - flexible hire periods, for people with a temporary need or who want to try out a powered wheelchair.

Our Service

As well as the above, we offer:

  • Specialist delivery and set up. We believe it is crucial that powered wheelchairs be set up and handed over by a trained product specialist, who can assess your environment for suitability, adjust your wheelchair to fit, and train you on its use.

  • Our own qualified engineers. Our team of industry-trained engineers carry out all our servicing, maintenance and repairs, either at your address or our fully-equipped Chessington service centre. We don't believe in passing after-sales care onto a third party.

  • Free of charge loan wheelchairs. Your powerchair is crucial to maintaining your independence, and this doesn't change when it is in for repair. We therefore provide a free of charge loan powerchair if you are hiring or purchased from us, to keep you mobile.

  • Insurance included for all hires and Motability. When you hire from us, whether on a long or short-term basis, or through Motability, insurance is included as part of your hire at no additional cost.

Popular Powerchair brands and manufacturers

Amongst our suppliers are:

  • Permobil - the premium powerchair manufacturer of choice, with seating options not found elsewhere.

  • Motion Healthcare - specialists in folding powered wheelchairs, and known for the Foldalite range.

  • Quickie - the market-leaders, renowned for their modern and comprehensive Q-series prescriptive powerchair range.

  • Dietz - manufacturers of the rugged and highly configurable Sango powerchair range, available with the unique catapult seat.

  • Quantum - the number 1 supplier in the US, known for their style and their bariatric ranges.

  • Pride - their Jazzy range offers good value and their i-Go series are popular folding models.

  • Invacare - including the Aviva RX range and the popular TDX series.

  • eFoldi - known for the lightest most compact folding electric wheelchair.

  • TGA - suppliers of the innovative Japanese-made WHILL.

We value ourselves in being progressive which is why we are always seeking new seating solutions and components for customers. We work with other suppliers including Karma, Meyra, Rascal, Ottobock. to ensure we are always able to supply the perfect powerchair, suited to your unique needs.

Different types of powerchairs

There are different types of powerchairs and they can be categorised by their usage or the mechanical build and wheel drive.

The first thing to consider when hiring or purchasing a powerchair is where it will be used. Most electric wheelchairs can be used both inside and outdoors, but some specialise exclusively in one.

Indoor and outdoor powerchairs

Indoors

For indoor use, the key thing to look for is manoeuvrability. Powerchairs designed solely for indoor use will often be more manoeuvrable inside than ones designed for use outdoors too. If the wheelchair may have to negotiate tight spaces or turns, then it is vital that it has a small turning circle. Mid-wheel drive powerchairs can turn on the spot, so are particularly good at this. Look also at the overall width of the powerchair if you have narrow doors, as you will need to ensure it can comfortably fit through. Bear in mind that with configurable chairs, a wider seat may increase the overall width.

Outdoors

Not all powerchairs are designed to be used outside – you will need one specifically designed for outdoor use to manage that (though many can be used both indoors and out). Think about what kind of ground you are going over - any outdoor capable powerchair can manage flat pavements, but they will have varying level of performance over rougher ground, kerbs and steeper slopes and ramps.

Important features to consider are which wheel drive the powerchair is (discussed in more detail in the next section). While dropped kerbs are usually available, kerb climbing abilities will be important on occasions when they aren’t - rear-wheel drive chairs will need a kerb climber fitted to manage this, while only more advanced mid-wheel drive chairs will be able to climb kerbs.

Performance will be affected by the power of the chair's motors, the size of its wheels, and also the level of suspension it has.

Most powered wheelchairs are Class 2 products with a top speed of 4 mph and are limited to pavement use. Higher end Class 3 powerchairs will have a top speed of 6 or 8 mph, and can be driven on roads too.

While manufacturers do advertise ranges for their products, these should always be taken with a pinch of salt, and are more useful for comparing different products by the same manufacturer than products from different manufacturers. Therefore, we recommend battery size as a key indicator of range, and this should be looked at when working out if a product will go the distance that you need.

Which Wheel Drive is best with a Powerchair?

Powerchairs have traditionally had rear-wheel drive, like most motor vehicles. However, front-wheel drive powerchairs are also available, as well as mid-wheel drive ones that come with six wheels. Each has advantages and disadvantages - while rear-wheel drive powerchairs are most common, it is often a matter of personal preference as to which you should go for.

Rear, front and mid-wheel drives

Rear-Wheel Drive Powerchairs

Rear wheel drive was once the most common drive found on wheelchairs - they are "intuitive" to drive, working the same way as cars, and are also stable - offering the best outdoors performance. However, they have the biggest footprint and are the least manoeuvrable, with a large turning circle. Additionally, a 90° knee angle can be difficult due to the spacing required for the castor wheels. Many basic powered wheelchairs are made with rear wheel drive as it is what people are most familiar with - meaning they are often a cost-effective solution. They are also a good option if only use your powered wheelchair outdoors as most of their compromises are with indoor performance.

Front-Wheel Drive Powerchairs

Front wheel drive powerchairs are less common, as they are not so intuitive to drive. However, once mastered they offer a "best of both worlds" with great indoor and outdoor performance. With a short footprint and a small turning circle they turn well in compact indoor locations, and allow you to get close to desks and objects without having castors in the way. Outdoors, they offer better traction than mid wheel drive, and smoother kerb climbing. Front-wheel drive is often used for bariatric powerchairs, and is also seen on Permobil's flagship models.

Mid-Wheel Drive Powerchairs

Mid-wheel drive offers the best indoor performance as it allows the wheelchair to literally turn on the spot. They remain intuitive to drive, and are fairly compact with a 90° knee angle possible. However, basic mid wheel drive chairs can struggle on bumpy surfaces and ramps as the middle wheels lose traction. Top of the range mid-wheel drive wheelchairs come with advanced suspension that overcomes this limitation, giving excellent outdoor performance. We have found mid wheel drive to be the most popular wheel configuration due to its manoeuvrability.

Specialist seating and postural support

Comfort is paramount in any wheelchair, especially if you are spending an extended amount of time in a wheelchair or have advanced postural needs. At Wheelfreedom we offer a broad variety of specialist seating solutions through custom moulding and clinical assessments. Through our advanced technology and pressure mapping, we can find a tailored solution to suit your individual needs. Some of our prescriptive solutions include specialist backrests and cushions to provide pressure relief and postural support. Various powered seating positions with special controls and standing powerchairs are also available for those who may benefit from this.

More on our specialist seating and postural support can be found here.

Transportable Powered Wheelchairs

Not all powered wheelchairs are easy to transport in a car - if you need to transport yours, you will need to bear that in mind when picking which model to go for. Modern folding ones are lightweight and easy to lift, and lithium batteries and auto-folding designs are available. In contrast, standard powerchairs tend to weigh in excess of 80 kg (and often double that) meaning they cannot be lifted into a car.

Folding Powerchairs

Our range of light folding powered wheelchairs are ideal for lifting into the back of your car, and are also ideal for storage if you lack space.

The alternative is to get a wheelchair adapted vehicle that can accommodate a powered wheelchair without you having to lift it. This can either be done through a hoist, which will do all the lifting for you and allows you to use a standard car. Alternatively, a specialist wheelchair adapted vehicle with a low floor and ramps allows you to drive your chair straight in.

If you are using the wheelchair as a seat in a car, it will need to be crash-tested. Crash-tested powerchairs have been extensively tested so they are safe to use for occupied transport in a suitably adapted vehicle, and come with tie-down points.

If you wish to use your powerchair on public transport, you will need to check with your bus or train company first to see if they have any size restrictions. Compact powerchairs are at an advantage as they will better be able to manoeuvre into dedicated wheelchair spaces, while mid-wheel drive also assists with this.

Powerchair Controls

For most people, controls will not be be a concern - powerchairs come with a simple joystick that is easy to use, and similar across most models. These can be fixed to either armrest to allow control with either hand.

Attendant control or dual-control is available on some models, allowing a person walking behind the wheelchair to control it. If attendant-only control and a basic wheelchair are required, then potentially a manual wheelchair with a powerpack attached would be an ideal solution, as this allows both to be easily transported.

Special controls can be fitted on higher-end powerchairs - this includes more powerful controllers, LCD screens to display more information, environmental controls via infra-red and Bluetooth, as well as alternate input methods, such as chin and head controls.

Children's Wheelchairs and Paediatric Mobility Products

If you are looking for a wheelchair that a child can use, then safety and ease of use are vital. Our range of paediatric wheelchairs includes ones that can have the seating adjusted as the child grows, making them an ideal long-term solution.

Paediatric Powerchairs

Our children's powered wheelchairs are compact and safe for younger users, and feature adjustable seating that can grow with your child.

Powerchair FAQs

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A selection of our powered wheelchairs on display in our Chessington showroom

Try a Powerchair

Our Chessington showroom carries our full range of powered wheelchairs for you to come and try out. Our knowledgeable staff are on-hand to advise you and answer any questions you may have. This includes for prescriptive powerchairs where we can measure you up and run over the full range of options available.

We are also able to carry out in-home assessments, which allows you to try powerchairs around the environment they will be used in.

For those needing high-level pressure care and postural support, one of our partnered Occupational Therapists can also attend assessments. We have a private assessment room at our Chessington site which can be booked if you are visiting us.

For those new to powerchairs, or who are moving to a new model, we recommend trying one out in your daily life. This short term hire product will be set up to match as closely as possible the configuration you are looking to purchase, and allows you to try out a similar product to ensure it meets your needs, before committing to a purchase or long-term hire.

Top Selling Products In Powerchairs

Quickie Q500 M

From £6,350

Permobil F5 Corpus VS

From £26,300

Pride iGo Plus

From £2,290

Invacare Esprit Action

From £3,598
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