Increased used stock and better awareness accelerates WAV market growth as comparison site celebrates £5 million milestone
WAV Compare, an online platform for the UK that promotes wheelchair accessible vehicles exclusively, has celebrated reaching £5 million pounds of sales generated through its platform, as more WAV dealers enter the market.
Having been operating for over seven years, WAV Compare consists of five websites, including a key partnership with The Accessible Planet, the platform allows users to easily find wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAV) based on their needs, such as hand controls or access for an electric wheelchair.
According to the company, the number of people visiting the platform has grown significantly over the last 18 months following investment in the website’s stock system and new websites, which it says has led to more sales generated through the site.
James Roberts, Head of Business Development at WAV Compare, commented: “This milestone is a significant achievement for us and proves the value of our network for both dealers and the buyer. We are excited to also be launching new features soon and improving the platform further.”
Working in partnership with a significant proportion of used and new WAV dealers across the UK, WAV Compare says it has over 500 vehicles available to view online.
Discussing the growth of the WAV market, James told THIIS that awareness of WAV vehicles amongst the public and the benefits relating to independence and freedom are key drivers, as well as more choice.
“The growing used market in terms of stock and dealers has also increased competition and availability, meaning a better choice and lower more affordable prices for the consumer,” he commented.
According to James, the increased demand from customers is leading to more dealers to enter the industry, beyond just the traditional WAV specialists that have operated in the sector.
“Most the dealers we work with have increased their stock levels to meet demand and we have found an increase in the number of traditional ‘ordinary’ car dealers who are looking to offer WAVs,” explained James.
“It’s important to us that the dealers are able to meet the needs of the customer, such as ramp access and accessible toilets within the showroom, and we look to have this information within their WAV Compare profiles.”
With the growth of the WAV Compare platform, the company is now considering expanding its comparison service to complementary products, in addition to continuing to grow the dealers it works with.
“Our aim is to increase our coverage – we have nearly 25 dealers across the UK but room for more to help us deal with the enquiries we receive. Sometimes people do want to visit a dealer near them, so if we can promote and pass enquiries on to these selected dealers it will be of benefit to all,” added James.
“We also have new features for the WAV Compare website, such as being able to find a vehicle based on wheelchair/scooter width, that will go live soon.
“Although we have the largest number of WAV vehicles available in one place in the UK there is certainly room to grow and improve the platform.”
Both specialist dealers and private sellers are able to advertise a wheelchair accessible vehicle on the platform confirmed James.