Wheelchair accessible kei vans

  • Wheelchair accessible kei vans

    Posted by Gill on December 7, 2023 at 10:16 am

    Hi Josh,

    I read your Japanese taxi review and also have a larger than average WC- which is tough to fit into a small car… Joy.

    Please may I have your advice?

    I’d really like to buy/ import a Japanese kei van that has enough headroom AND could actually have me sit upfront rather than in the back.

    Have you any suggestions on which cars or vans might be suitable or you’ve successfully been in?

    I’m struggling to find one, if any that could accommodate 115cm chair height and be up front.

    Grateful for your thoughts.


    Josh Grisdale replied 6 months, 2 weeks ago 2 Members · 7 Replies
  • 7 Replies
  • Josh Grisdale

    December 7, 2023 at 10:22 am

    Hi Gill

    Just to confirm, this is for while you visit Japan? (Or, since you mention buying maybe you live here?)

    And you want to sit in your wheelchair in your wheelchair (as opposed to the passenger seat and putting you wheelchair in the back, correct?


  • Gill

    December 7, 2023 at 10:31 am

    Hello, I’d love to bring it back to the UK, where I live.

    Planning on visiting again next year, though.

    Yes- I need to sit in the chair whilst in the car (as it’s an moulded seat) and I’m fed up being in the back rather than having my wheelchair tied-down in the front passenger area.

    This seems to be mega rare for Japanese cars & vans…

  • Josh Grisdale

    December 7, 2023 at 10:39 am


    Yeah, very rare to the point of wondering if they exist – I’m not sure I have ever seen one!

    Will look around (though, just a warning – I’m not a car person!)

  • Gill

    December 7, 2023 at 10:55 am

    That’s really kind of you. Thanks.

    I’m not a car person, either but amazed by how many little WAV’s there seem to be in Japan (although maybe they’re all sitting in the back, and presumably some too short for me).

    Also- what’s with the ‘Welcab Handicap’ name? Maybe it’s lost in translation?

    Anyway, would be an incredible souvenir from my trip…

  • Josh Grisdale

    December 8, 2023 at 12:46 pm

    As for the wording… who knows! Maybe “wellness cab”?

    So… not much luck.

    I found this one from Toyota (that may just be a prototype as I have never seen it in the wild) where the seat becomes a wheelchair… since you can’t just go everywhere in a car seat, I assume that this means it is designed for day trips with seniors.


    And this about a mother that had her car adapted to be next to her son… back in 2007.


    Maybe you could contact the company that did the retrofit?

    I’m sorry there isn’t more to share – I would love to be up front too. You feel separated being in the back…

    • Gill

      December 9, 2023 at 2:59 am

      Thank you so much.

      That mother-son adaptation story is beautiful. I love the step by step guide.


    • Josh Grisdale

      December 9, 2023 at 11:25 am

      I was a great story, too bad it didn’t initiate any change in the market over the past 16 years 😢

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