Tips for Transporting a Manual Wheelchair in a Car

When you’re a manual wheelchair user, getting around can be challenging. And transporting your wheelchair can be just as difficult, especially when you have to fit it into a car. But don’t worry, with a few tips and tricks, you can make transporting your manual wheelchair in a car much easier. 

In this article, I’ll give you some helpful tips for transporting a manual wheelchair in a car

1. Measure Your Wheelchair

The first step in transporting a manual wheelchair in a car is to measure your wheelchair. Measure the height, width, and depth of your wheelchair. Also, measure the height of the footrests, the width of the armrests, and the height of the backrest. By doing so, you will know the exact size of your wheelchair and the space it will require in your car.

2. Choose the Right Vehicle

Choosing the right vehicle is crucial when transporting a manual wheelchair. Consider the size of your wheelchair and the type of vehicle you have. A larger vehicle like an SUV or a van may be more suitable for a larger wheelchair. If you have a smaller wheelchair, a sedan or a hatchback may be more appropriate. Make sure the vehicle you choose has a ramp or lift to help you load and unload the wheelchair.

3. Remove Any Detachable Parts

To make your wheelchair more compact, remove any detachable parts such as footrests, armrests, and backrests. This will reduce the size of your wheelchair and make it easier to fit in your car. You can also remove the wheels of your wheelchair to make it more compact.

4. Fold the Wheelchair

Folding the wheelchair can make it much easier to transport. Most manual wheelchairs can be folded by removing the seat cushion and folding the frame in half. This will reduce the size of your wheelchair and make it easier to fit in your car. If your wheelchair cannot be folded, you can disassemble it into smaller pieces.

5. Secure the Wheelchair

Once you’ve loaded your wheelchair into your car, make sure it’s secure. You can use straps or tie-downs to secure the wheelchair in place. Make sure the wheelchair is not moving around during the trip. This will ensure a safe and comfortable ride for both you and your wheelchair.

6. Protect the Wheelchair

During transportation, your wheelchair may get scratched or damaged. To prevent this, you can wrap your wheelchair in a blanket or a cover. This will protect your wheelchair from any scratches or damage during transportation.

7. Get Help

Transporting a manual wheelchair in a car can be difficult, especially if you have to do it alone. Getting help from a friend or a family member can make the process much easier. They can help you lift and load the wheelchair into your car.

8. Plan Ahead

Finally, plan ahead when transporting your manual wheelchair. Make sure you have enough time to load and unload your wheelchair. Also, plan your route carefully, and avoid roads with potholes or other hazards that could damage your wheelchair.

How to load a wheelchair into an SUV

Here are some steps to load a manual wheelchair into an SUV:

  1. Remove the footrests and cushions from the wheelchair.
  2. Fold the backrest of the wheelchair down as far as it will go.
  3. Place the wheelchair on its side with the wheels facing inwards.
  4. Align the wheelchair with the rear door of the SUV.
  5. Lift the wheelchair by the frame, making sure to maintain balance.
  6. Lift the wheelchair and place it into the back of the SUV, ensuring it is secure.
  7. Replace any footrests, cushions, or other accessories that were removed.
  8. Close the rear door of the SUV and secure it properly.

Remember, safety is paramount when loading and unloading a manual wheelchair. Always ensure that the wheelchair is secure and that you have help if needed.

Legal requirements for transporting wheelchairs

The legal requirements for transporting wheelchairs may vary by state or country. However, some common rules and guidelines are as follows:

1. Secure the wheelchair: The wheelchair should be securely fastened in the vehicle during transportation to prevent it from moving around or becoming a projectile in the event of an accident.

2. Use appropriate restraints: If the wheelchair user will remain seated in the chair during transportation, it is important to use appropriate restraints such as lap belts, shoulder belts, or other devices to ensure their safety.

3. Follow weight limits: Vehicles have weight limits for both passengers and cargo. It is important to make sure the weight of the wheelchair and the user does not exceed the weight limit of the vehicle.

4. Check with the airline: If you plan to transport a wheelchair on an airplane, it is important to check with the airline regarding their specific rules and requirements.

5. Use proper equipment: Make sure to use appropriate equipment to lift and load the wheelchair into the vehicle. This may include ramps, lifts, or other devices.

6. Check local laws: Different states or countries may have different laws or regulations regarding the transportation of wheelchairs, so it is important to check local laws before traveling.

7. Consider the type of wheelchair: Depending on the type of wheelchair, different transportation methods may be required. For example, a power wheelchair may require additional equipment for transportation compared to a manual wheelchair.

8. Secure loose items: Any loose items such as footrests or cushions should be removed and stored securely to prevent them from becoming a hazard during transportation.

It is important to ensure that the transportation of a wheelchair is done safely and in compliance with the law to avoid any potential accidents or legal issues.


Transporting a manual wheelchair in a car can be challenging, but with the right tips and tricks, you can make it much easier. Remember to measure your wheelchair, choose the right vehicle, remove any detachable parts, fold the wheelchair, secure it in place, protect it from scratches, and get help if needed. By following these tips, you’ll ensure a smooth and safe ride for both you and your wheelchair.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *