Purchase Tips for Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles for Sale

Purchase Tips for Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles for Sale

If you are a wheelchair user and want to drive a car, the good thing is that there are many models on the market adapted to your needs. In most cases, these are vans with specialized ramps and modified space since they offer the most room for practical modifications.

On the following page, find all the advantages of owning a vehicle like this one:

The correct judgment of you as a vehicle user is the most important item in your search since that can save you a lot of money and time. Of course, your diagnosis also matters because the type of modification in a van will depend on it.

No wheelchair-accessible vehicle (WAV) will universally meet all drivers’ needs, so you have to dig in and research your options. Whether you buy a new or used van, you must pay attention to its functionality and safety.

Set Your Budget

As with all four-wheelers, these vehicles are big-ticket items. So, this purchase can cost you quite a bit, and you should make an extra effort to find the best bang for your buck. For starters, you should know that health insurance does not cover the cost of buying WAVs. So, the money comes exclusively from your pocket or can be partially reimbursed if you have private insurance.

There are three ways to get to the desired vehicle. The first is to buy a new van on which the manufacturer will perform the desired modifications. If budget is not a problem for you, getting a brand-new van is always a smart move because you get a safe WAV under warranty.

The second is to buy a used WAV in good condition with accessibility modifications. Here you can save money, although you might pay for extra conversions. And before doing that, consulting a mobility expert is necessary.

The third and cheapest option is the purchase of a used van adapted fully to your needs. It’ll probably take a long time to find a van that needs no upgrades and changes, but it’s worth it. A used vehicle in good condition can serve you for many years with regular maintenance.

WAV Size

Vehicle size impacts driving comfort, and you should have wheelchair dimensions in mind, too. Whether the disability aid user is the driver or seat passenger, there should always be enough headroom and space for the disability aid.

The WAV should be roomy and long enough to accommodate a wheelchair user, regardless of their seating position. Also, the door must be tall and wide for smooth entry. There should be a stable platform that can handle the wheelchair user’s weight. The van interior should feature enough space and headroom so that a person can sit comfortably and fasten safety belts on the driver’s or passenger’s seat.

Drivers with disabilities appreciate ample storage space in WAVs. They usually need a lot of stuff, especially during long trips, so a spacious boot is highly desirable. And it certainly comes in handy for everyday needs like grocery shopping.

Ease of Entry

Entry into vehicles adapted for people in wheelchairs requires specialized ramps. They can be electronically or manually handled, and this feature affects the WAV’s price a lot. Also, these ramps can be mounted on the side or rear door of the van. The latter are generally wider and will suit you if your stroller is larger.

Both entry points have their pros and cons. Side entry point suits wheelchair users who are drivers and provides access to the mid-cabin. On the other hand, those who don’t drive and leave it to others will find the ramp deployed on the van’s back door suitable. It allows them to access the third or second row and ride safely behind the driver’s seat.

Different Seating Options

This choice also depends on whether you are a driver or not, as well as on your budget. In some vehicles, seating options are limited to one or two positions. Those vehicles are generally cheaper because they require fewer accessibility modifications.

But if you plan to change your driving position because you want to enjoy your ride both as a driver and passenger, look for vans with switchable seating positions. That way, you can change seats between driver and passenger, which is good for younger people who want to actively participate in driving.

Children and seniors generally want to enjoy a relaxed ride in the back. This seating position is also necessary for people with a higher degree of disability because it’s unsafe for them to ride in the front seat.

Buy from Reputable Dealers

Choosing where to buy WAV can make or break your purchase. Before spending money, find reputable dealers that will allow you to have a detailed vehicle inspection, title and history check, and a test drive.

You can ask others for recommendations, and you can also search for the nearest sales point on your own. The Internet is a valuable source of information, as you can check the dealerships’ reviews and BBB ratings. You can check Southern Mobility Vehicles – wheelchair accessible vehicles they sell are tested and under warranty.

If you are buying from an individual seller, you must check the vehicle. In the agreement with the seller, you can take a car to a certified mechanic before the purchase to perform essential checks. They have to ensure that disability add-ons are functional and that the vehicle is safe and fully operative (tires, fluids, steering, braking system, suspensions).

Finally, test item is the vehicle’s safety. You must ensure the chosen WAV has passed all safety and crash tests and that all features work. It refers to the ramp, safety belts, and all other modifications made to the vehicle for the needs of people in wheelchairs. Click here for the safety wheelchair transportation checklist.

An excellent choice of wheelchair-accessible vehicle can boost the quality of your life. Take your time to find the WAV that suits your need and budget, and if you do not know what to look for, you can always reach out to disability experts and ask for advice.

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