An accessible vehicle can open up a world of independence for people with mobility challenges. But due to budget constraints buying a new or even used vehicle that is wheelchair accessible isn’t a possibility for everyone. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other solutions to enhance their mobility. Wheelchair carriers can be added to your existing vehicle at a fraction of the cost to buy an accessible vehicle.
Best Wheelchair Carriers
Wheelchair carriers allow wheelchairs and mobility scooters to be stored and transported easily. They are an excellent – and less expensive – way to make most vehicles more accessible. Of course, deciding on which type of carrier may seem daunting. But with a little research it is possible to simplify the process.
Before you begin to look at specific wheelchair carrier models, it is a good idea to think through what features you require. Also, the type of vehicle you drive and wheelchair you need to carry also impact which one will be the best for your situation. It is also important to consider your ability to fold and lift your wheelchair also matters, as some carriers require more effort from the user than others.
Different Kinds of Wheelchair Carriers
Wheelchair carriers come in 4 standard styles. Automatic carriers that are on top of your car, carriers mounted to your vehicle’s bumper, wheelchair carriers that mount on your trailer hitch, and carriers that operate in a pickup truck bed. Understanding those styles and how they operate will help you make an informed decision on which will work best with you and your vehicle.
Here are our top picks for wheelchair carriers and mobility scooter carriers:
Best Power Chair Lifts For Cars
Lift-N-Go Power Electric Scooter or Powerchair Auto Lift by Wheelchair Carrier 210 Model
This wheelchair carrier can accommodate most power wheelchairs and mobility scooters. It automatically folds into a retractable position when there is no weight on it. With a 350 pound carrying capacity, it is suitable for almost all power wheelchairs.
Its lift is fairly easy to set up. This comes handy if you have a heavy-duty power chair and a wheelchair ramp is not an option. It has intuitive to use hold-down straps with spring tension so that you can maneuver them easily.
Best Wheelchair Lift For Truck Hitch
Silver Spring Steel Folding Scooter and Wheelchair Carrier with Ramp
This is a fairly easy to install wheelchair carrier with ramp. It is possible for a couple of people to install it in half an hour with simple hand tools. It is fairly heavy and has a robust construction. With anti bounce bracket and locking bolts, it can be secured well in place so that it remains stable even at higher vehicle speeds.
On the downside, its weight means that it will need at least 2 people for the initial install. Also, its paint job is fairly thin for outdoor storage for some climates. But it can easily be rectified by a couple of cans of Rust-Oleum Automotive Spray Paint.
Best Hitch Mounted Mobility Scooter Carrier
Economy Hitch Mounted Mobility Scooter Carrier Rack with Ramp
This hitch mounted mobility scooter rack includes an integrated ramp which folds upright for safety, after the scooter is loaded. It has a 500 pound carrying capacity, making sure that all almost all mobility scooters can be accommodated. Because it is built from aluminium, it is quite light weight and easy to maneuver. It fits 2 inch Class III or Class IV trailer hitch receivers.
On the downside, its ramp is a little steep. With a wider gap between the slats than some other models, there is a risk of smaller wheeled power scooters getting stuck. Although, it is value for money at its price point, you may want to consider another model if your scooter has smaller wheels and you have a bigger budget :)
Best Folding Wheelchair Carrier
Goplus Wheelchair Carrier Mobility Scooter Loading Ramp
This foldable wheelchair carrier with loading ramp can help easily load and transport wheelchairs and mobility scooters. This can be installed on cars, SUVs, vans, trucks or a variety of other vehicles. It is a robust product made out of steel and has a carrying capacity of 500 pounds. The ramp can be folded into 3 position – flush with the carrier surface (held down by a spring), when not in use; upright position when the wheelchair is loaded and in the ramp position to load the wheelchair. It is fairly easy to assemble and mount.
It can tend to be a little heavy to maneuver for a few people. Also, this product can have a longer life in some climates with a couple of cans of Rust-Oleum Automotive Spray Paint sprayed on it.
Best Manual Wheelchair Carrier
SUNCOO Mobility Scooter Foldable Wheelchair Carrier
With 10 tie-down points, this wheelchair carrier offers lot of security during transport. It has steel construction and can be used on a variety of vehicles including cars, trucks, vans and SUVs. It has reflectors built in for safety while driving.
It is not the most lightweight device on the market. The availability also tends to be an issue so do check its availability on Amazon.
Best Wheelchair Carrier For The Back Of A Vehicle
Wheelchair Scooter Mobility Carrier Rack
With powder coated paint, it is more rust resistant than some of its counterparts on this list, although some users have complained that the paint chips off easily. If you do go for this model, you might want to use a can or two of Rust-Oleum Automotive Spray Paint to make sure that it has a long life.
Some users did find this product a bit clunky but it is good value for money. Do check its availability on Amazon as that has been on and off at times.
Best Mobility Scooter Lifts For Cars
Harmar Mobility Fully Automatic Power Wheelchair Lift AL500
This fully automatic power wheelchair lift can be sued with class II and III hitches. It is designed to carry a wide range of power wheelchairs. The motor cover comes with key lock, license plate holder, toggle switch and light.
For its price it is a good product and can be very convenient for power wheelchair and mobility scooter users.
Wheelchair Carrier Video
Here is a video showing the assembly of the Sky1700 Wheelchair Carrier: