How Much Does a Wheelchair Cost | Prices & Accessories

Buying a wheelchair for the first time and want to increase your knowledge? This article covers many of the topics you should consider in relation to your own requirements, the types of wheelchairs available and the range of prices on wheelchairs you can expect to pay.

When thinking about wheelchair pricing, your initial thought might be…how much does an average wheelchair cost?

  • First thing to note is there is such a thing as an average wheelchair. Your wheelchair is specific to you and your requirements.
  • For most people, the ‘average wheelchair’ is a simple, no frills transit wheelchair. Four wheels and somewhere to sit. Find them here

Your specific health needs along with where and how often you plan to use your wheelchair will influence the type of wheelchair you buy. Let’s look at the considerations you should have before buying a wheelchair, we’ll also touch on the accessories and wheelchair power add-ons that could influence the price of a wheelchair.

Jump straight to…

What to Consider When Choosing a Wheelchair

There is a lot to consider when selecting a wheelchair that meets your needs especially when buying for the first time, but also when upgrading your wheelchair. This is a very important purchase.

  • Manual or electric?
  • Indoor or outdoor use?
  • Will it only be controlled by the user or also by an attendant?
  • Do you need the wheelchair to fold down easily for travel?
  • Are lightweight wheelchair materials a requirement?
  • Is the chair to help manage a more complex health issue?
  • Is pressure injury management and repositioning a concern?

Or are you planning on being adventurous, get out into the countryside and the network of wheelchair friendly bridle paths? In which case you may need an active user wheelchair. Think through your requirements thoroughly before that all important shopping trip.

Doing your own research is a great start but, when it comes to making a purchase decision discuss your requirements with an expert such as a specialist retailer or an occupational therapist.

If a personal touch sounds like something you’d prefer, contact us or visit our showroom where our wheelchair expert can talk you through the options available…and even give you a hands on demonstration.

Prices on Wheelchairs Vary Considerably

Prices on wheelchairs can range from a few hundred pounds to several thousands.

So, what influences the price of a wheelchair? Like many significant purchases…specification, features and brands all dictate the final wheelchair pricing.

Manual wheelchairs can cost as little as a few hundred pounds whereas electric wheelchairs can cost up to £15,000.

Active user wheelchairs usually have an extensive range of optional features and to a greater extent you build your own price.

Be clear about the features you are wanting but be aware that with more features the cost will go up accordingly.

Is a Basic Manual Wheelchair a Good Choice?

A basic manual wheelchair is relatively inexpensive compared to higher specification products. When comparing basic

manual wheelchair to either lightweight or electric chairs they are less sophisticated in terms of materials, they have fewer components such as a motor, and as such they are cheaper.

But as previously mentioned it all comes back to your requirements. Below are the main wheelchair options available

What Types of Wheelchairs are Available?

Ultra-Lightweight Wheelchairs

Ultra-lightweight wheelchairs are often constructed of aluminium, but high-end models often feature titanium, or carbon fibre. Easily manoeuvred light and compact to fold away when traveling. Weight as little as 9kg depending on brand and model. Better models provide seating that provides pressure relief, reducing the chances of sliding down the seat.

Prices come in at between £500 and £900 for ultra-lightweight wheelchairs.

Lightweight Wheelchairs

Not quite as lightweight as the Ultra chairs but folds up for travelling more easily than a standard chair and will include some features.

A lightweight aluminium frame at around 10kg, while retaining its strength and durability. Flip back armrests, easy cleaning detachable upholstery and quick release wheels, along with slowing brakes are features available on lightweight chairs.

These chairs typically weigh around 10kg with a maximum user weight of approximately 110kg model dependent.

Lightweight wheelchair prices between £450 and £500.

Bariatric Wheelchairs

Bariatric wheelchairs are designed specifically to support the heavier bariatric users and as such the basic materials are substantial and reinforced. These chairs are substantial, reinforced and weight bearing and appropriately proportioned in terms of the seat depth and width compared to a regular sized manual wheelchair.

These chairs larger and less compact when stowed due to the heavy duty materials needed to support bariatric users.

Bariatric wheelchairs are priced at between £1,000 and £2,500

Electric Wheelchairs

Many if not most are customisable in terms of seating systems and features. Lighter weight versions are available. Batteries are of course rechargeable.

Indoor Electric Wheelchair

Indoor electric wheelchairs are designed to provide manoeuvrability in tight spaces. As with most electric chairs there is a range of additional features that are generally available depending on the brand and model.

Features can be as sophisticated as an active height feature, allowing you to elevate the seat to make eye contact with people and the ability to tilt forwards when elevated to reach for objects adding to your independence.

Again, features influence prices and electric indoor wheelchairs will cost between £1,500 and £5,000.

Outdoor Electric Wheelchair

Extended battery range and large tyres among other features means the restrictions are lifted when exploring the great outdoors.

Both seated and stand-up outdoor electric wheelchairs are available costing anywhere from £1,500 to a not insignificant price of £6,000.

Active User Wheelchairs

Benefiting from cutting-edge technology to provide users with the best on-the-go experience maximising your independence and mobility with a super lightweight chair. Don’t be confused between active user chairs which support active lifestyles and sport wheelchairs used for wheelchair rugby, basketball court, tracks etc.

Active user chairs use cutting-edge technology and materials to make sure that anyone who uses them are getting the best experience. Making the most of your independence and mobility is the goal of active user chairs.

With super lightweight materials such as carbon fibre, the chair is as light as 3. 5 to 4kg!

Prices…well the sky is the limit as active user wheelchairs can be bespoke to a very high degree but expect a price range of between £1500 and £7,000 as a base before customisation.

What Features Add To The Cost of a Wheelchair?

Before features…building materials are important.

What is the wheelchair made from? This contributes to the final price. The lighter the materials the higher the component cost.

Even before you add a power to the equation the aspects of a chair that dictate how manoeuvrable it is such as the wheels and the chassis will also add to the price i.e. the easier it is to handle the more sophisticated the product and the higher the price.

Moving on to electric wheelchairs. As you can imagine the fact these chairs are power assisted adds to the price. Batteries, brakes, is the wheelchair designed for outdoor use as well as indoor.

Also, how configurable the chair is to your requirements. Your wheelchair should be as unique and personal as you and your requirements.

Choosing the right chair and accessing the right advice is hugely important as your choice influences your mobility. The right choice of chair to the specification you need will make a huge difference to your mobility and independence.

It also must match your wallet.

Wheelchairs Quick-check
Ultra-Lightweight 9kg – £500 to £900
Lightweight Wheelchairs 10kg – £450 to £500
Bariatric Wheelchairs 12kg – £1,000 to £2,500
Electric Wheelchairs (indoors) 23.5kg – £1,500 to £5,000
Electric Wheelchairs (outdoors) 28kg – £1,500 to £6,000
Active User Wheelchairs 3. 5 to 4kg – £2500 to £7,000

In conclusion

When looking at wheelchair pricing, it is important that you do your own research and carefully think through your health & lifestyle requirements.

If available involve your occupational therapist. Buy from a specialist and they will be able to give you advice.

  • The Basics – Manual vs electric? Indoor vs outdoor?
  • Health needs – Will you require pressure relief or body weight redistribution (tilt-in-space)
  • Lifestyle requirements – Will you travel with this chair? In which case, it’s important to have a lightweight foldable wheelchair
  • Accessories – Headrests…the accessories available vary depending on the type of wheelchair you opt for. Of course, the more accessories you have, the higher the final wheelchair price.
  • Powered Add-Ons – Including powered add-ons to your chair will also increase the final pricing but these are separate products that aren’t to be included in the wheelchair price. It is important to decide before getting a chair as your purchased wheelchair might not be compatible with a certain powered add-on
  • Extras & Back up Parts – Rain covers, spare batteries, pressure relief cushions, carrying cases for a folding chair and more…

As you can see wheelchairs range in price enormously and the more features you add the greater the cost. But above all make your wheelchair purchase on the understanding that the chair you buy will significantly define your mobility.

Visit our showroom or contact us, our wheelchair expert will be happy to talk you through what type of wheelchair is ideal for your requirements and price range.   

Further guides to help inform your wheelchair purchase are available at:

Useful links:

If you would like to discuss your requirements get further advice, please get in touch:







    Date Published

    15/03/2022

    Reading Time

    8 minutes

    Author avatar

    Author

    Graeme Wilson

    Graeme has worked alongside the public sector for much of his working life, helping departments improve efficiencies and deliver on projects. In his role at Vivid.Care, Graeme used his experience to tackle some of the most challenging issues in the healthcare sector, from falls through to winter pressures. He was also a guest speaker and a number of different conferences, including at the Falls Prevention Summit in London.

    Man riding in a wheelchair while outdoors in a field

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