Rent or hire a wheelchair | British Red Cross (2024)

Find out about hiring a wheelchair for short term use, near to where you live.

Need to hire a wheelchair? The British Red Cross provides wheelchair hire services in Wales, Northern Ireland, and England**.

We offer comfortable, safe, and reliable manual wheelchairs whether you’re looking for self-propelled, transit, or bariatric (wider seating, higher weight capacity) wheelchairs.

Find out more information about the types of wheelchairs we offer and how to use them.

The wheelchairs are suitable for anyone over the age of 5 and are available in a wide range of sizes, with fitted footrests as standard and free accessories such as leg elevators, cushions, and stump supports available to improve your comfort*.

*subject to availability

**In Scotland wheelchair provision is provided as a statutory service through Health and Social Care Partnerships, therefore the British Red Cross is unable to provide this service in this location.
Rent or hire a wheelchair | British Red Cross (1)

We offer:

  • Wheelchair hire for £22 a week or free of charge if you live in Northern Ireland; includes free wheelchair accessories
  • Delivery and collection of your wheelchair for an additional £25.00 charge in most areas; it will come fully assembled for your convenience
  • Flexible hire periods (minimum hire period 1 week) at locations UK wide
  • 12-week mandatory servicing and steam-cleaning to guarantee safe operation, fully crash tested
  • Replacement provided during servicing
  • Professional servicing and cleanliness standards in line with NHS Control of Infection policies, guaranteeing removal of all viruses (including C-Difficile, E-Coli, and Covid-19)

Book a wheelchair

Making your booking

To hire a wheelchair near you, you will need to know:

  • Measurements of the wheelchair user at their widest point (usually hips and thighs) and add 1” / 2.5cm for comfort
  • Weight of the wheelchair user
  • Accessories needed

Book a wheelchair

Manage your booking

Login below to retrieve your booking.

My booking

Returning your wheelchair

When your rental period has come to an end, please:

  • Contact your nearest Mobility Aids serviceto arrange a return
  • Make sure all items are returned, including any cushions, leg elevators, footplates, and seatbelts
  • Be aware any missing or damaged items may incur a fee

Contact us form

Find your nearest wheelchair service

Not all locations are available to book online. Find the location, opening times, and contact details of all our local mobility aids services in Wales, Northern Ireland, and England, below.

Wheelchairs are available for collection at sites across the three countries, including select Tesco carparks.

Find your nearest service

In Scotland wheelchair provision is provided as a statutory service through Health and Social Care Partnerships.

About our wheelchair service

The British Red Cross is the largest national provider of short-term wheelchairs in the UK, supplying over 58,000 wheelchairs every year. We’re committed to ensuring that everyone who needs a temporary wheelchair has access to one and have been providing this service for over 107 years.

Wheelchair hires allow us to support those most in need and provide wheelchairs to them at no cost. We are non-profit making, and every penny of surplus income supports people who need our help.

We are a volunteer led organisation – by hiring your wheelchair from us you will help provide experience and opportunities for people, preventing them from feeling lonely and isolated.

Rent or hire a wheelchair | British Red Cross (2)

Choosing the right wheelchair

The wheelchair you choose must be right for your needs. Find out more about the different types of wheelchairs we offer, learn how to use them, and how to fit wheelchair accessories with our guides.

> Learn to use a wheelchair

Need further assistance?

We offer assistance and support to those who may not be able to meet the financial costs.

If you need assistance, have a question about your booking, need your wheelchair for longer, or if your equipment becomes damaged, please call us on 0300 456 1914.

Rent or hire a wheelchair | British Red Cross (3)

Our partnerships

In Wales, parts of East Anglia, Northern Ireland, Hampshire, and Avon & Wiltshire, health commissioners fund our service, and local residents can borrow mobility aids equipment for short-term use at no cost.

We work in partnership with the NHS by providing wheelchairs to help people leave the hospital and recover in the comfort of their own homes.In these instances, we rely on our users to make a donation towards the cost of the service.

Terms and conditions(PDF).

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We are undefeatable

When it comes to getting active with a health condition, even small steps can help you to enjoy the little things in life.We are proud to be part of the We Are Undefeatable campaign, in partnership with 14 other healthcare charities helping people living with health conditions to be active.

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Hire a commode or toileting aid

Gain more independence at home with a commode, toilet frame, raised toilet seat or other toilet aid.

Learn more about toileting aids

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Independent living products

Find a range of practical products to help manage everyday tasks, plus useful first aid supplies and manuals.

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Rent or hire a wheelchair | British Red Cross (2024)


How to get a wheelchair for free? ›

Getting an NHS wheelchair

Ask a GP, physiotherapist or hospital staff to refer you to your local wheelchair service for an assessment. You'll need to do this before you can get an NHS wheelchair. The local wheelchair service will decide if you need a wheelchair and, if so, what type. You might be able to get a voucher.

Are red cross wheelchairs foldable? ›

British Red Cross Bariatric wheelchairs feature: Reinforced frames. An anti-tip device for added safety. Easy folding.

How does a patient get a wheelchair? ›

A doctor must first assess your ability to walk and move before they provide you with a wheelchair prescription. If your doctor determines that you'll benefit from using one, they will send your prescription and supporting medical information to an insurer-approved wheelchair supplier.

Can you get a free wheelchair on the NHS? ›

Getting a wheelchair from the NHS Wheelchair Service

The NHS Wheelchair Service provides wheelchairs free of charge to: people who need one full time. some people who need one occasionally.

Who is eligible for a wheelchair? ›

The user must be functionally unable to walk and need to use a wheelchair for independent mobility.

Does Medicare provide a wheelchair? ›

Part B (Medical Insurance)

covers wheelchairs and power-operated vehicles (scooters) as durable medical equipment (DME) that your doctor prescribes for use in your home.

How can I get a free wheelchair in the US? ›

Medicaid. If your insurance doesn't cover any wheelchair costs, you should look into Medicaid. Medicaid provides free electric-powered wheelchairs if you're eligible. You can also apply for Medicaid in addition to Medicare for more cost coverage when you buy a wheelchair.

Can you push a self-propelled wheelchair? ›

Self-propelled wheelchairs can be propelled by users themselves by using push-rims fitted on rear wheels. They also come with pushing handles, which makes it easy to be pushed by another person, if need be. Their larger rear wheels are an advantage when you need to push the chair over an obstacle.

What diagnosis will cover a wheelchair? ›

Disabilities may be orthopedic (relating to the bone and muscles) or they may be neuromuscular (relating to the nerves and muscles). For example, some of the more common kinds of mobility impairments are amputations, paralysis, spinal cord injuries, Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, and more.

How do I get my first wheelchair? ›

The first is by visiting your doctor to be evaluated for a wheelchair. This will verify that your mobility limitations require a wheelchair and your doctor may provide you with a prescription, which allows your insurance to cover some of the costs. You may also need a certificate of necessity to go this route.

How do I ask my doctor for a wheelchair? ›

Discuss With Your Doctor

Before you get a wheelchair or scooter, you'll need to have a face-to-face examination with your doctor. The doctor may refer you to see an occupational or physical therapist to help review your need for a wheelchair or scooter.

How much is a good wheelchair? ›

The average cost of a new wheelchair is between $500 and $1,500, but it really depends upon what kind of wheelchair you're shopping for.

What items are available to help individuals with disabilities? ›

Other health equipment available includes:
  • wheelchairs and walking aids.
  • hearing and vision aids.
  • artificial limbs and surgical appliances.
  • communication aids.

Who is entitled to a free mobility scooter? ›

To be eligible, individuals must meet certain criteria, such as having a permanent or long-term mobility issue that significantly affects their ability to walk.

What is a qualifying diagnosis for a wheelchair? ›

Qualifying Diagnosis for Standard Wheelchairs

Arthritis. COPD. Congestive Heart Failure. Degenerative Disc Disease.

How do you ask your doctor for a wheelchair? ›

Discuss With Your Doctor

Before you get a wheelchair or scooter, you'll need to have a face-to-face examination with your doctor. The doctor may refer you to see an occupational or physical therapist to help review your need for a wheelchair or scooter.

What disability requires a wheelchair? ›

These include but are not limited to amputation, paralysis, cerebral palsy, stroke, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, arthritis and spinal cord injury.

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