Consumer research for older and disabled people

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Powered wheelchair user survey 2014

People who want to get a powered wheelchair face a variety of problems, Rica's 2014 powered wheelchair user survey report shows. These difficulties include getting information and assessments, finding funding, and supply and repair services.
Download the survey report here (PDF)
If you're planning to get a powered wheelchair, read our practical guide:
Getting a powered wheelchair: a guide to help you choose

The survey

Woman in powered wheelchair - Rica user survey resultsBetween April and July 2014 Rica surveyed 341 disabled people, asking them for their views and experiences of choosing, funding and maintaining a powered wheelchair. Another 23 people who hadn't been able to secure funding for a powered wheelchair completed part of the survey.

Rica asked disabled people about:

  • getting information and advice on choosing a powered wheelchair
  • the assessment process
  • funding for a powered wheelchair
  • maintenance and after-sales service
  • any barriers they experienced


The answers show that:

  • almost all had problems in getting a powered wheelchair
  • many had problems in several areas
  • the information on powered wheelchairs is unsatisfactory
  • many users, including those getting a powered wheelchair for the first time, didn't have an assessment
  • most powered wheelchairs are paid for, partly or fully, by the user 
  • only half of the powered wheelchairs in the survey are seen as good value for money
  • users found maintaining their wheelchairs expensive, with delays in getting equipment repaired and difficulties in getting parts

Read the questionnaires:

Research report

Rica powered wheelchair user survey report (PDF)

The survey was funded by Motability, Scope and The Clothworkers' Foundation and is part of a wider research and information project to provide the information that powered wheelchair users need to make informed decisions. The project is supported by the following disability charities: Disability Rights UK, Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, Scope, Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) and Whizz-Kidz.

Last updated: June 2015

See also: Getting a powered wheelchair | Scooter and powered wheelchair search | Getting a wheelchair into a car