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Everything You Need to Consider Before Buying a Wheelchair Accessible Van

Aug 11 2020

By Katherine Rundell

Purchasing a wheelchair accessible vehicle is a long-term investment in your future, so you should consider planning in advance. Having a mobility vehicle can vastly improve the day to day living of someone with a mobility impairment, but the specific equipment you need will depend on the individual needs of the user, so make sure to do your research and consider the following steps as a guideline:

Assess Your Budget

Knowing how much you have to spend when you go into this purchase is important, as well as being able to assess your price range options for vehicles. Explore local dealerships and research their current inventory to see your choices of models and manufacturing years. You are going to have to know in advance whether you want to purchase a new vehicle or a pre-owned van, and whether you need an SUV or minivan.

Of course, financially speaking, your expenses will not end after you purchase the vehicle – you will need to be aware of insurance costs, licence and registration fees, taxes and any maintenance and repairs fees you may find yourself needing in the future. 

Evaluate Your Mobility Vehicle Needs

Selecting a vehicle for wheelchair accessibility means focusing on functionality, assessing both your current needs and any potential future needs you may need regarding your mobility. Ask yourself some initial questions about your needs, like whether the wheelchair user will be driving, how many people you will regularly need space for, and what other specific accommodation needs might you have based on the weight or dimensions of your wheelchair.

What Features are Most Important to You?

Whatever features you need to accommodate for your particular requirements, research those elements in advance to know exactly what you need. Look into the various options you have for lifts, ramps and doors, making sure your prioritize things according to your specific needs. Consider your wheelchair conversion choices, whether you would prefer a lift or fold-out ramp. 

“One of the main choices is a rear or side entry, depending on your particular needs and preferences. Rear entry mobility vans are the ideal option for wheelchair users who do not intend to drive the vehicle themselves, using a lift or ramp to allow the individual to sit behind the driver’s seat,” says Richard Timson, a health blogger at Assignment Services and Essayroo. If the wheelchair user needs to have the ability to drive the van themselves, then a side entry mobility van is the best choice. Even if the wheelchair user doesn’t plan on driving the vehicle, side entry can still be a good choice as it will still accommodate for your needs.

Safety Concerns

When buying a mobility van, safety needs to be one of your top priorities. Ask about crash test ratings for all sides of the van, standards of modifications, and options for securement features and their respective testing.

Comfort, Space, and Compatibility

Obviously, safety is the most important factor when looking for a suitable mobility van, but comfort and adequate space, too. “Think about how easy getting in and out of the van will be, how much headroom you will have, how much movability you will have once inside, and whether your wheelchair is compatible with the specifications of the van,” says Hillary Adams, a blog writer at OXEssays and Essay Services.

Finding a Reliable Dealer

Ensure the dealer you choose to buy from is well-known in the mobility industry as a reliable source for buying a wheelchair accessible vehicle. One fantastic indication of a trustworthy dealer for mobility vehicles is to choose a dealer, which is a member of the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA). In any case, thoroughly research each dealer before you make a decision.

Buying a wheelchair accessible van is more expensive than a standard vehicle purchase and comes with more consequences if you don’t get it right, so the most important thing is to ask as many questions as you can and gather all the information available to ensure you find the perfect choice.

Katherine Rundell is a responsible young marketing strategist at Top Canadian writing services and Essay Help Services, where she works with companies’ marketing teams in order to create a fully-functional site to accurately portray the company. Katherine presents this information in a series of marketing proposals – you can find her work at Best Essay Writing Services.