A-Z Guide Teaser – Imported Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles


Imported Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles are cars that have been fully designed and manufactured to allow wheelchair access. This is why they tend to be much more affordable than standard cars that have been converted.

Imported Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles usually come from Japan and are often cheaper than locally converted ones. This is because they do not include the add-on cost of a base vehicle. However, in some cases imported cars will still need further modification to meet your specific needs, so you should take these costs into consideration if you’re thinking about buying an imported car.

Imported WAV’s offer many of the same benefits as locally converted cars, including ramps, lifts or hoist options to provide wheelchair access. There are many models of imported cars available to Australian buyers, allowing you to choose the accessibility, size, aesthetic and price that is most suited for your needs.

If you are interested in buying an imported Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV), one of the most important things you need to be aware of is to make sure that both the car and its modifications are fully compliant with all Australian Standards – otherwise, you may not be able to register or drive your new car.

These Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles are imported into Australia under the Specialist and Enthusiast Vehicle Scheme. This scheme covers car clubs and sports cars as well as WAV’s. This means that you and your importer must make sure that all disability-specific safety requirements are met. For example, wheelchair restraints must be classified as safe to transport humans, not just cargo.

Another issue to be aware of is that the federal government is reviewing some of the legislation relating to imported vehicles with an intention to close a loophole used by some car dealers to “import second-hand vans from Japan under the guise of converting them into campers — with no intention of doing so”. This move is expected to stop the importation of cheap seven-seater vans which are often converted for use by people with disability.

The proposed changes are intended to penalise dealers who break the law or mislead consumers, while increasing the number of eligible new and used vehicles that can be brought into Australia, thereby giving more options for people interested in cars that have been manufactured or converted for people requiring wheelchair access.

The government is expected to make decision on this issue in 2018, and the new import rules are likely to come into effect in 2019.

As is the case when buying any mobility equipment, you should also consider consulting an Occupational Therapist (OT) when buying an imported car. OT’s can assess the transport needs of you and your family and make sure you choose the best possible car for your needs. They can also liaise with your doctors and vehicle converters, help you apply for funding and explain regulations and paperwork.

If you would like more information on Occupational Therapists visit Occupational Therapy Australia.

A-Z Guide on Disability Converted Cars

Our A-Z Guide on Disability Converted Cars is now available. Sign-up here to get your free copy.

A-Z Guide on Disability Converted Cars

Our A-Z Guide on Disability Converted Cars is now available. Sign-up here to get your free copy.


To ensure that your imported vehicle meets all Australian Standards, choose a vehicle importer that is a Registered Automotive Workshop under the Registered Automotive Workshop Scheme (RAWS).

An importer listed with RAWS will be able to ensure that your imported vehicle meets Australian Design Rules (ADR) compliance and safety procedures. They should be able to issue a certificate stating your car’s ADR compliance.

Also make sure that your importer has experience in working with Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles so they can provide you with the information and guidance you need to be confident that you are purchasing the right car to suit your  needs.


Make sure you register for our A-Z Guide on Disability Converted Vehicles. The FREE guide contains everything you need to know about buying, owning and maintaining a disability converted vehicle.  

What is in the A-Z Guide on Disability Converted Cars?

Buying a car is a big investment, but if you do your homework, you can get a vehicle that meets all of your access needs now, and in the future. To help you with this process, we have developed the Blue Badge Insurance A-Z Guide on Disability Converted Cars. This guide is designed to answer all your questions about buyomg, owning and maintaining a disability converted vehicle.

Some of the topics covered in the guide are: Accelerators, Access, Brakes, Driver Assessment, Driving Controls, Funding, Accessible Hire Cars,  Insurance, Joystick Controls, Lifting Systems, Storage Lifts, Mobility Equipment Storage, Maintenance, NDIS, Occupational Therapists, Parking, Pedal Extensions, Ramps, Restraints, Second Hand Vehicles, Spinner Knobs,  Under-insurance, Vehicle Certification and compliance and much more.

Inside this guide you’ll find an A to Z listing of everything you need to know about buying, owning and maintaining a Wheelchair Accessible or Converted Vehicle.

A-Z Guide on Disability Converted Cars

Our A-Z Guide on Disability Converted Cars is now available. Sign-up here to get your free copy.

Mobility is freedom. Protect yours with Blue Badge Insurance. Call us 1300 304 802