Increasingly people need specific measurements when choosing a car for their needs. Older drivers, who find bending more difficult, are looking for a car with higher seats. Carers often want a vehicle that has a large, flat boot to make loading a light mobility scooter or wheelchair in and out easier. Some drivers are looking for small cars with big boots.

Now help is here, at the touch of your keyboard, with a newly revised online car search. With data on over 1,700 vehicles, the car search helps disabled and older people to shortlist suitable vehicles using specific accessibility measurements.

The vehicle database will also be of interest to people working in the motor trade including salespeople, garage technicians, researchers and car enthusiasts.

The car search is produced by RiDC (the Research Institute for Disabled Consumers)2, a research charity that works with disabled and older consumers to improve access and inclusion.

Thirty internal measurements of each vehicle are recorded and verified in a laboratory, with data on over 150 vehicles added each year. Measurements include driver and passenger seat heights, door and boot sills and door opening angles and boot dimensions.

“I just wanted to say thanks for your research on cars.  I was about to break my brain trying to find a rental to carry two large dogs and their dog crates along with three pieces of luggage.  Your site is the only place I could find with useful interior space dimensions on cars.  I know this was not your intended use, but thanks just the same!”                                                                                          Rick

Using the advanced search people can peruse individual makes and models and use measurements as filters to find vehicles that have no boot sill, lots of legroom, headroom or have high seats. Each vehicle has a PDF factsheet listing all the data with useful photos.

RiDC also has guidance, based on its research with its consumer panel, for older drivers, drivers with specific disabilities – including about car controls – and solutions for getting in and out and getting a wheelchair into a car. Its latest research will look at access of electric vehicle charge points for older and disabled drivers.