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How much is an active user wheelchair?

When looking to buy an active user wheelchair, it’s important to remember they are different from other manual wheelchairs. Their unique frame and larger wheels make them great for users with an active lifestyle! But these differences can make it difficult to know how much to budget if you’ve only used traditional manual wheelchairs before.

Active user wheelchairs come in a wide range of makes and models. That means there is a wide range of price options too. Prices can start from around £1,695 and go up to £5,000+.

For most people, the cost will be somewhere in the middle. We’ve found the average cost for an active user wheelchair is around £3,100. But bear in mind this is only an average. They can cost more or less.

In this guide, we give some recommendations for active user wheelchairs at different price points. Then, we’ll go into detail on the key factors that affect total costs.

Jump straight to…

Active user wheelchairs for any budget

There are three active user wheelchairs we recommend most often. Between them, there’s an option to suit pretty much everyone’s budget!

Name Starting Price Material
Quickie The Life £1695+ Carbon Fibre
Kuschall K-Series £2540+ Aluminium
Quickie Krypton £4250+ Carbon Fibre

Remember: The price can quickly rise with add-ons. You’ll need to think about everything the wheelchair needs to offer before setting your final budget.

Kuschall K-Series Active User Wheelchair

Kuschall Krypton Active User Wheelchair

Factors affecting the price of active user wheelchairs

There are five key factors that impact price:

1)      The Make

You might not think too much about make when choosing an active user wheelchair. However, it is a key factor that affects the price.

As with most things in life, you pay for quality! High-quality active user wheelchairs are durable and often offer more accessories and customisation options. So, it’s easier to make changes to suit the user perfectly.

We supply a lot of Quickie and Kuschall chairs.  As you can see above, models are available at different price points. But we find that they offer our clients the best performance, quality and safety, whilst still working with their budget.

When we supply an active user wheelchair, we can provide service contracts too.  Investing in a quality wheelchair definitely cuts down on maintenance and repairs. So, you can save money long-term over the years.

2)      The Materials

Weight is a critical factor for active user wheelchairs. This is because the user will be self-propelling. A wheelchair that’s too heavy makes this difficult!

So, choosing the right frame material is key when choosing a wheelchair.

Carbon fibre and aluminium are the two most commonly used materials. Both have different pros, cons, and prices.

Carbon fibre vs. aluminium active user wheelchairs

Carbon fibre

So, generally, an aluminium wheelchair is more affordable than a carbon fibre one. However, that’s not always the case and it’s best to make a choice based on your personal preference.

Aluminium is also strong and resistant to corrosion. It’s probably the most common wheelchair frame material. That’s because it is cost-effective many people find it lightweight enough to meet their needs.

So, generally, an aluminium wheelchair is more affordable than a carbon fibre one. However, that’s not always the case and it’s best to make a choice based on your personal preference.

3)      The Accessories

An active user wheelchair specification includes more than just a wheelchair! You will need to think about any accessories you want to personalise your chair and fit your lifestyle.

Don’t worry: Our job as assessors is to talk through the different accessories with you and explain the pros, cons and reasons why you would go for certain options.

Example accessories:

Spinergy wheels

Spinergy wheels are very light and extremely strong. Every spoke is made up with incredible strength giving them unparalleled impact strength.

The wheel can be made to your specification with any colour for the spokes, tyre, and handrails.

Mountain bike wheels

If you have an outdoorsy lifestyle and want to get the most out of your chair, mountain bike wheels are what you need.

Be sure to purchase mountain bike wheels specifically designed for wheelchairs. Off-road mountain bike tyres are much wider and would catch the side guard.


The FreeWheel is a lightweight, aluminium accessory which clamps onto the one-piece footrest. It gives the user the ability to push over surfaces that would normally be difficult to conquer.

The FreeWheel lifts the front castors of the ground turning the wheelchair into a sturdy 3-wheeler.

Hand rims

Hand rims are not always included when customising the wheels, so bear this extra cost in mind.

The hand rims are designed to fit the hand ergonomically, ensuring optimal power transition from the hand to the wheel.  They also provide more control and energy efficiency, allowing longer distances to be covered.

Push handles

Sometimes, active user wheelchairs still need attendant-control options.

Fold-down and height-adjustable handles can be added to ensure the wheelchair is easily manoeuverable for a friend or family member.  The handles provide extra surety and support for the user.

4)      The Powered Add-ons

Powered add-ons are a cost-friendly way to adapt the active user wheelchair into an electric wheelchair.

If the user has a progressive condition, a powered add-on is essential as self-propelling may become more difficult. The add-on also increases independence, allowing the user to travel further and longer without the risk of tiring.

Powered add-on options

We offer a whole range of powered add-ons! Our advisors will help you choose an option best suited to your needs:

Smoov – £4663

The SMOOV One is a compact wheelchair add-on that can go up to 10 km/h. This easy-to-use wheelchair powerpack is great for long distances and will help you make the most of your day with minimal effort.

Smart Drive – £4795

The SmartDrive is an electric wheelchair converter design to afford the driver with extra freedom and mobility. This electric-assist attaches to the back of the chair to give extra power when going uphill and over thick carpets. The SmartDrive makes it easier to stay mobile and can go all day without charging.

E-Fix – £4571*

The E-Fix in an electric wheel converter that motorises manual wheelchairs so that the user can cover distances quickly and easily. The motors are easily concealed within the wheel hubs, simply swap the drive wheels and install the battery pack and control unit to get going!

E-Motion – £5316*

With an incredibly low noise level, this wheelchair add-on uses electric motors integrated into the wheel hubs to support and enhance the driver’s pushing force. The braking pulse, when going downhill, ensures the user does not have to exert themselves to remain safe.

E-Pilot – £4370*

The electric E-Pilot hand bike can transform a typical manual wheelchair into a powered trike system in just a few quick steps. This smart, easy device gives the user an extra layer of independence in their own mobility. Available in 11 colours.

*this is only a base price, other options are available.

5)      The Design

You can personalise any active user wheelchair to your specifications. There are all sorts of colours and options.

Some companies will charge for configuring designs. However, with our Kuschall wheelchairs it’s free!

You can use a configurator to build and design your own chair to get a real view of what it will actually look like.

Check it out here!

Kuschall Configurator Preview

We’ve also got a bonus point for you to consider…

6)      Look out for assessment costs

Some companies will charge for assessments and reviews, but not at Vivid Care!

We offer free, no-obligation assessments at our showroom or at your home — no surprises here!

Showroom Assessments Quote DJ


We hope you’re feeling more confident about the costs involved with buying an active user wheelchair! We’ve covered six key features relating to pricing — the make, materials, accessories, add-ons, design, and possible assessment costs.

Useful links:

How much does a wheelchair cost?
Are there outdoor activities for disabled people in Yorkshire?
Guide to Wheelchair Sizing

Book a free assessment to find your perfect active user wheelchair and get a custom quote:

    Date Published

    2 November 2020

    Reading Time

    7 minutes

    Author avatar


    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.

    Product shot of an active user wheelchair

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