A Buyer’s Guide for a Wheelchair Accessible Van

When buying a wheelchair accessible van, there are many things to consider. You want to make sure the investment you are making is in a vehicle that won’t disappoint you later on. Use the following information to help narrow down your options.

Who is Driving?

All wheelchair accessible vans are designed to carry a passenger and their chair comfortably, but not all of them are suited to handicapped drivers. If the wheelchair bound person will be doing the driving, you need to decide whether the driver will switch from the wheelchair to the driver seat or if the driver’s area needs to accommodate the chair.

What are the Wheelchair Dimensions?

Carefully measure the height, width, and length of the wheelchair to determine which vans it will fit inside of easily. You also need to know the combined weight of the passenger, their chair, and any medical equipment. Not all accessible vans are the same. Some can accommodate larger set-ups than others. The smaller the chair and its passenger is, the more options you have.

Where are You Parking?

Some accessible vans have their wheelchair entry on the side while others load from the back. Consider where you will be parking. If you will be keeping it in a garage at home, or need to frequently park in tight areas, a back loading van will be best. Think about how many people will be accompanying you as well. The wheelchair is going to take up a large portion of the interior.

What Features Do You Like?

Just like purchasing any vehicle, you need to decide on which features are the most important to you. Today’s vehicles, including wheelchair accessible vans, come with options like navigation systems, power sliding doors, back up cameras, and sunroofs. Researching what is available on certain makes and models will help you find what you are looking for.

What is Your Budget?

Before you begin shopping, figure out how much your budget allows for a new vehicle. This includes how high of a payment you can handle each month. Don’t be discouraged if the numbers don’t add up. You can often find good deals on last year’s models, vehicles with fewer features, or previously owned vans.

Once you know some key features to look for such as who will be driving, the wheelchair’s dimensions, and where it will be parked, it will be easier to find an accessible van that will suit your individual needs. This little bit of research will pay off later on. You will have a vehicle that you can rely on for all of your transportation needs.

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