Minibus for a wheelchair

Just curious about the cost of hiring a minibus that will take a large wheelchair.
I have thought about leasing a minibus and hiring out my services to local schools and councils. I already work in that sector, but I have no knowledge of the money side of things.
If I were to buy a all seater minibus, the purchase cost and running cost are cheaper than that of a minibus with removable seats and a wheelchair ramp.
If just two able bodied people wanted to book a journey, the price would have to compete with private hire cabs, but can a operator charge more if they are transporting a wheelchair user?


A trip in to town in a taxi = £7
A trip into town for a wheelchair user = ???

Comments

  • sevenhills wrote: »
    Just curious about the cost of hiring a minibus that will take a large wheelchair.
    I have thought about leasing a minibus and hiring out my services to local schools and councils. I already work in that sector, but I have no knowledge of the money side of things.
    If I were to buy a all seater minibus, the purchase cost and running cost are cheaper than that of a minibus with removable seats and a wheelchair ramp.
    If just two able bodied people wanted to book a journey, the price would have to compete with private hire cabs, but can a operator charge more if they are transporting a wheelchair user?


    A trip in to town in a taxi = £7
    A trip into town for a wheelchair user = ???

    No they can't, that would be Disability discrimination
  • sevenhills
    sevenhills Posts: 5,871 Forumite
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    _shel wrote: »
    No they can't, that would be Disability discrimination


    Then there will be fewer wheelchair accessible private hire because it will be too costly to double the operators expenses.
    I guess they would increase their prices for every trip, but price themselves out of ordinary journies.
  • JGB1955
    JGB1955 Posts: 3,470 Forumite
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    sevenhills wrote: »
    Then there will be fewer wheelchair accessible private hire because it will be too costly to double the operators expenses.
    I guess they would increase their prices for every trip, but price themselves out of ordinary journies.


    Out of interest - why do you think the operator's expenses would be double? The only extra expense I can think of is the capital cost of an adapted/accessible vehicle. That would, presumably, be offset by the fact that it would be far more likely to attract customers.
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  • sevenhills wrote: »
    Then there will be fewer wheelchair accessible private hire because it will be too costly to double the operators expenses.
    I guess they would increase their prices for every trip, but price themselves out of ordinary journies.

    Disabled people take private hire vehicles all the time and the chair goes in the boot!
    My local private hire firm also has several accessible vehicles, cost no more than standard car. No idea why you think it would cost you more.
  • sevenhills
    sevenhills Posts: 5,871 Forumite
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    JGB1955 wrote: »
    Out of interest - why do you think the operator's expenses would be double?


    Able bodied passengers live in every house, where as there are very limit numbers of wheelchair bound passengers that need transporting. So an ordinary pickup for a private hire car will be a couple of minutes away, they are based in every small town/village. A vehicle to take a wheelchair may have to drive miles for their fares.
    Just open the door and sit inthe passenger seat, but a wheelchair user will need a ramp and then wheeled into the car, then clamped in.
    Then there is the cost of the vehicle and all the clamps and ramp.




    _shel wrote: »
    Disabled people take private hire vehicles all the time and the chair goes in the boot!
    My local private hire firm also has several accessible vehicles, cost no more than standard car. No idea why you think it would cost you more.


    My post is about a vehicle that will transport a person that is also sat in the wheelchair.
  • JGB1955
    JGB1955 Posts: 3,470 Forumite
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    sevenhills wrote: »
    A vehicle to take a wheelchair may have to drive miles for their fares.


    Private hire journeys have to be pre-booked and it would be quite legitimate (and expected) for the driver to charge the extra mileage - the journey doesn't start when the 'meter' (if one exists) starts running. It starts when the driver leaves his base and ends when he returns to his base. The charge would be based on miles travelled and total time for the complete round trip. The only 'extra' expense would be the cost of a specialist vehicle.
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  • B_G_B
    B_G_B Posts: 502 Forumite
    I use a manual wheelchair. I can only transfer if the corresponding seat is almost level with my chair. Therefore it is generally easier and safer to stay in my chair when being transported.

    After, a horrendous wait for an ambulance earlier this year, I made enquiries with two local taxi firms, to give myself options in future if required. Both of these firms had WAVs with lifts and tie down points for a chair etc. Standard prices charged the same as for anyone else. Both firms are based around 6 miles from where I live.
  • Top tip in case you do set up this venture - please don't call or refer to anyone as 'wheelchair bound'. Wheelchairs give us our freedom, otherwise many of us would be bedbound or housebound!
  • sevenhills
    sevenhills Posts: 5,871 Forumite
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    B_G_B wrote: »
    After, a horrendous wait for an ambulance earlier this year, I made enquiries with two local taxi firms, to give myself options in future if required. Both of these firms had WAVs with lifts and tie down points for a chair etc. Standard prices charged the same as for anyone else. Both firms are based around 6 miles from where I live.


    That is good to hear, my local town has 2 taxi firms within 2 miles of my home, but that wont be the case for many.
    As JGB1955 said, if the total journey took the taxi longer, they may charge more; but I am sure the more business the better.
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