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How Much Does a Permobil Powerchair Cost?

Permobil chairs are highly advanced powerchairs, extremely versatile in their build and can be adapted to meet almost any situational need. As any Permobil user will experience, they break down accessibility barriers and maximise independence in all aspects of daily living.

So how much does a Permobil powerchair typically cost?

Sorry to break it to you, but there is no straightforward answer, so we have written a blogpost about it!

If you could condense the pricing methodology of a Permobil wheelchair into a simple formula, it would look something like this:

Base Price + Powered Functions + Add-Ons + Customisations = Final Purchase Price

The final price could sit anywhere £10k and £35k, potentially even more if the individual has very high needs, or below £10k if you are just going for the basic model with no extra specifications.

Jump straight to…

 

Base Price

Mid or Front Wheel Drive?

The Permobil range is mainly divided into the F range (front-wheel drive) and the M range (mid-wheel drive). The choice of drivetrain impacts considerably on the ride, turning radius and overall feel of the chair, so ensure you or your client has a test drive of both types to decide which is best.

Mid-Wheel Drive (MWD)

The mid-wheel drive models have the main drive wheels positioned in the middle of the chair, directly under the seat. The directional castors are positioned front and back, this provides excellent stability and with the weight centred in the middle of the chair gives an excellent centre of gravity. The other advantage of MWD is the smaller turning circle, allowing the driver to perform tighter turns in confined spaces. However, with more wheels in contact with the ground the user may feel the bumps more.

Power Wheelchairs & Permobil Electric Powerchairs Category Image

Permobil M3

Front-Wheel Drive (FWD)

Front wheel drive chairs give a smoother ride and are great for climbing over obstacles and kerbs, with the larger drive wheels at the front of the chair. The turning radius is larger than a MWD model, so less suitable for indoor spaces or narrow corridors.

Permobil F5

Permobil F5

Off-Road or On-Road?

The higher-grade models, F5 and M5 are more geared for off-road capability, with stronger motors, suspension and higher ground clearance.

The table below shows the base prices for the main Permobil models:

Powered Functions

Adding powered seat functions to the Permobil chairs adds on significant cost due to the extra motors, components and mechanical parts that need to be built into the chair.

 

Powered Stand

The powered stand function is a unique feature of Permobil chairs that can transform the lives of powerchair users by giving them greater accessibility, social benefits and enhanced mobility.

This feature is available with the Permobil F5 Corpus VS and M Corpus VS, and has significant health benefits, across the following areas:

Pressure relief – the stand function offloads pressure built up in the sitting position, helping the user to move, improve circulation and reposition themselves.

Improved bowel and digestive function – staying in a sitting position for a long time can put pressure on the digestive system, so alternating between sitting and standing can improve digestive function and prevent issues like constipation.

Daily activities – daily activities around the home like dressing and personal care can all be performed easier from a standing position, which this chair facilitates.

Functional reach – the standing function improves the user’s reach and vision, helping them with activities like cooking and cleaning where they need to reach higher objects.

Communication – from a social standpoint, the standing function makes a world of difference in social settings, not only being able to interact with others at eye level, but making access to bar and reception counters easier.

The Corpus VS models (Vertical Stand) are considerably more expensive than the Corpus models, adding at least £15000 to the final price.

Permobil F5 Corpus VS Electric Wheelchair

Vertical Stand

Powered Seat Functions

Powered seat functions are the different positions a powerchair can achieve through movement of electric motors. These consist of powered seat tilt, backrest recline, legrest and vertical rise. The powered seat on the Permobil can be tilted forward (anterior) or backwards (posterior), without changing the angle of the backrest or leg support.

The power recline function alters the angle of the backrest in relation to the seat, so can recline the patient back in the chair.

Here are some of the clinical benefits of powered seat functions:

Anterior Seat Tilt

anterior tilt

Clinical benefits:

  • Assists with managing muscle tone and abnormal reflexes associated with high/low muscle tone disorders
  • Assists with functional reach when using the powered stand function, tilting the patient forward to help them reach objects

Posterior Seat Tilt

posterior

Clinical benefits:

  • A minimum of 45 degree posterior tilt redistributes pressure away from the seat to the back and head support
  • Help centralise posture for those with poor trunk control
  • Seat to back angle stays the same, keeping the person’s orientation with postural supports and controls the same, whilst using tilt-in-space to move the centre of gravity and redistribute pressure.

Building seat tilt into the specification can add circa £2k to the price tag.

 

Powered Seat Elevation

vertical rise

Otherwise known as vertical rise, the seat raises and lowers vertically without changing the angle of the seat.

Clinical benefits:

  • Ability to reach higher surfaces
  • Improve safety and independence with transfers, making it easier for caregiver to access as well
  • Allow eye contact at a higher level for example reception desks, bank counters without putting strain on the back

The vertical rise function would typically add between £800 and £1000 to the price tag of the chair.

 

Backrest Recline

backrest recline

The backrest recline functions allows the seat to pivot from the base, altering the angle of the seat with the back support. This allows the back to open out and the patient to reposition themselves.

Clinical benefits:

  • Increasing the angle of the back support helps stabilise those with trunk weakness
  • Using the recline function helps manage spasticity and high/low muscle tone
  • When combined with seat tilt, it provides an effective pressure relief

The backrest recline function can add up to an extra £1200 to the purchase price.

footrest

Powered Footrest

A powered footplate allows you to raise either the left or right-hand footplate, or both together, controlled by the joystick buttons.

Clinical benefits:

  • Elevating the legrest helps reduce swelling and oedema in the lower limbs
  • Legs can be positioned to achieve the best pressure distribution

This can add between £1000 and £2500 to the purchase price, depending on the model of the chair.

 

Add-Ons

Various accessories can be added on to the Permobil chair to tailor it to the postural needs of the user. These are particularly useful for clients with spasticity who may have difficulty maintaining their posture due to high/low muscle tone, as explored here. Postural controls such as lateral supports, belts and harnesses can be added to correct postural abnormalities.

A list of some of the common postural supports available are provided below, and are priced within the region of £100-300 each.

Postural Supports
Corpus Armrest Gel Pad
 Headrest
Bodylink headrest
Lateral support
Thigh support
Calf support 
Seat belt
Armrest 

Customisations

In addition to the range of accessories provided by Permobil, the chair can be customised by building in aids and supports from other manufacturers. These could be head or chin controls, customised designs and graphics, pressure cushions or joystick controls. As these would need to be sourced separately and fitted to the chair we can’t provide a cost indication in this article, but is something our assessors would be happy to assist you with when assessing your needs.

F3 Corpus chair

Conclusion

This is only a guide to Permobil pricing and not a definitive pricing manual.

There are endless possibilities for Permobil chairs which is what makes them so popular, they can be built completely around the needs of the individual to make the chair unique to them.

For a detailed quotation based on your specifications, contact our powerchair specialists for more information or to book an assessment.

Free & No Obligation Assessment

Date Published

4 July 2024

Reading Time

6 minutes

Author avatar

Author

Ralph Hulbert

Ralph has many years' experience in the healthcare sector. In a previous life he worked in finance, and his spreadsheet skills come in handy for all the analysis and research he does as he investigates topics and solutions for some of the world's most complex healthcare conditions and challenges. Aside from writing in-depth articles and organising webinars and interviews with top healthcare professionals, Ralph also administrates Vivid's "Healthcare Pioneers Board", a large group of healthcare specialists with multiple disciplines, who are working together to improve care for years to come.

M5 Corpus

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