News, Tips & Bargains : Van Services for Wheelchair Users

Two new van services are available for wheelchair-bound travelers in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Wheelchair Travel, which is located in Surrey, about 20 miles outside of London, rents right-hand drive vans equipped with power lifts, wheel chair tie-down equipment and safety harnesses. They also offer hand-controlled cars.

The company, which will meet travelers at Heathrow or Gatwick airports, also rents wheelchairs, scooters, ramps and other devices and has information on accessible accommodations and sightseeing.

Van rental rates start at $600 per week; car rentals at $290 per week. For a brochure, contact Wheelchair Travel at Johnston Green, Guildford, Surrey, England GU2 6XS; tel. 011-44-483-233640; fax 011-44-483-237772.

In the U.S., Avis has implemented a customized minivan rental program at 47 locations in 29 states through a cooperative agreement with Wheelers Accessible Van Rentals in Glendale, Ariz. Rates are $89 a day or $495-$560 a week. For information, call (800) 331-1212.

Full-size vans are available for rent at 80 locations in 19 states and Puerto Rico through Wheelchair Getaways, a national network that is based in Versailles, Ky. Rates range from $75 to $95 per day depending on the length of rental. For information, call (800) 642-2042.

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