Arranging manual or electric wheelchair hire in a pinch can be daunting. After all, your wheelchair is essential equipment that allows you to live more independently. You can’t afford a big gap in time where you don’t have the right chair at your fingertips. Need a temporary wheelchair rental while yours is being repaired? Wheelchair hire for a specialised sport or activity? A lighter-weight chair for travelling? Read on…
There are plenty of places that can help and several aspects you need to keep in mind before you commit. Here’s a guide to wheelchair hire; including what questions to ask, and where to find wheelchairs for hire.
In this article
Things to consider when booking a wheelchair rental
So, you need to hire a wheelchair, for whatever reason. Before you start phoning providers, ask yourself questions that include the following:
- When do you need the chair by?
- How long will you require it?
- How will you pick it up/get it picked up or does it need to be delivered?
- What will you primarily use it for?
- Will it fit your wheelchair accessible vehicle or converted car, if needed?
- Do you need to hire an electric or self-propelled wheelchair?
- What accessories do you need along with it?
- What’s your budget?
Right, those are the questions for yourself. Remember to also ask the appropriate wheelchair hire questions when you contact each provider you’re researching. Yes, make sure you shop around for the right chair at the best value!
Questions to ask wheelchair rental providers
With the above questions top of mind, also check the following with each business:
- Can you exchange the wheelchair for another one if it turns out to be unsuitable?
- Is there a deposit and, if so, is it refundable?
- Can you extend or shorten the hire period if necessary?
- Do they offer delivery and pickup?
- What happens if the wheelchair is stolen or damaged?
- Will this hire wheelchair be covered by insurance?
Be sure to read the fine print before you book. This will tell you about any added fees, penalties, or “hidden” terms and conditions you might’ve missed.
Wheelchair hire by purpose
The beach… If you’re looking to go to the beach, you might need to hire a beach wheelchair. These have tyres which are suitable for sand, and some of them even float.
Of course, not all beaches have wheelchairs available for hire. However, the accessible beaches website is a great resource that lets you know which beaches in your area do offer wheelchair hire.
Sports… If you’re interested in wheelchair sports, you’ll probably need an adapted chair. But obviously you don’t want to splurge on a sports wheelchair while you’re still testing the waters, so to speak. Most disability sports clubs can help point you in the right direction as to where you can hire a suitable wheelchair.
This way you can get an idea of what type of chair suits you best, as well as whether you like the sport itself. A great starting point is the disability sports Australia website: www.sports.org.au/. Have a wheelchair-using child who’s interested? Read our article: Getting Kids Into Adaptive Sports – What’s Out There?
Wheelchair hire by area
Obviously, manual and electric wheelchair hire is only useful if it’s close by. With that in mind we’ve put together a list of resources which might help you find a rental supplier in your area. You’ll also find a lot of chemists have basic wheelchairs for hire.
New South Wales:
You can also book wheelchair hire nationwide at ILS and across four states at Mobility Equipment Hire Direct. Read our tips on booking wheelchair accessible car hire too, just in case you’re planning a road trip with your chair in tow.
Note that this isn’t an exhaustive list and you may well know of smaller, local suppliers.
Overseas wheelchair hire
It’s generally recommended to take your own wheelchair with you when travelling overseas. Why? Because it can be complex to organise wheelchair rental o/s for a number of reasons, including:
- Language barriers
- Lack of accessibility in some destinations
- Itineraries which don’t include major airports or hubs where you can hire wheelchairs
- Restrictions on what you can do and where you can go with your hired chair
Consider that you’ll probably be spending a lot of time in this hypothetical hired wheelchair, especially if you want to cram in lots of sightseeing.
It’ll be no fun if the wheelchair you’ve hired isn’t the best fit for you, e.g., it doesn’t have all the conversions or accessories you need. You could find yourself frustrated, in pain, or unable to get around like you’re used to.
Where can I hire a wheelchair for the day?
Just need a chair for a day or two? Consider these options:
- Local medical supply stores: Many local medical supply stores and pharmacies offer wheelchair rentals. These are often convenient, and you can inquire about availability and rates over the phone or in person. Just search for “medical supply store” or “pharmacy” in your area and give them a call to check if they provide wheelchair rentals.
- Mobility equipment rental companies: There are specialised companies across Australia that focus solely on renting out mobility equipment like wheelchairs, electric wheelchairs, scooters, and more. These companies typically have a wider range of options and might offer delivery and pickup services. A quick online search with keywords like “wheelchair rental Australia” or “mobility equipment hire” along with your city or region should get some relevant results.
Longer term wheelchair rental availability
In addition to the above, check out these types of wheelchair hire places:
- Hospitals and rehabilitation centres: Some hospitals and rehabilitation centres might offer manual and electric wheelchair hire as part of their patient services. It’s worth contacting them to inquire if they have this service available to the public.
- Online wheelchair rental platforms: There are online platforms where individuals or businesses list items for hire, including manual and electric wheelchairs. Basically, websites like Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace, or local classified ads could potentially have listings for wheelchair rentals.
- Tourist attractions and airports: In popular tourist areas or at major airports, you might find manual and electric wheelchair hire services to cater to visitors. These are often convenient for travellers.
Remember that wheelchair rental availability and options might vary based on your location in Australia. So it’s always a good practice to call or contact the rental providers directly to get accurate and up-to-date information.
More wheelchair resources
For an understanding of all aspects related to wheelchairs, we recommend exploring our Blue Badge Insurance blog. Here are just some of the articles we offer about wheelchairs:
- Powering Your Manual Wheelchair and Reducing Upper Body Stress
- 8 Tips to Make Your Wheelchair More Comfortable
- Choosing the Right Power Drive for Your Electric Wheelchair
- What is a Bariatric Wheelchair?
- When Was the First Wheelchair Invented?
Did you know our wheelchair insurance automatically covers you for intrastate, interstate and overseas travel? So, you can take your wheelchair along without fear of it getting damaged, lost or stolen.
Plus, you can also get as much as 25% off insurance for wheelchair accessible vehicles and disability converted cars or disability car insurance with Blue Badge Insurance. Basically, these disability inclusive plans help pay for repairs or replacement. Also find out about our mobility scooter insurance.
Click below to get a quote.