Wheelchair-accessible vehicles provide greater mobility for both wheelchair users and their caregivers. Wheelchair accessible vans can help you get anywhere, from doctor appointments, to the grocery shop and can help you navigate through your everyday chores.
The most commonly used handicap – accessible vehicle is a wheelchair accessible minivan for manual wheelchairs, power-driven wheelchairs or scooters, and is modified in such manner to allow users to drive their mobility equipment directly into the van without any assistance.
Owning a wheelchair-accessible van comes with many benefits, but also with a great price. A used wheelchair accessible van could start at $20,000 and can range up to $60,000.
There is also the possibility of buying a new wheelchair accessible vans, or converting a regular van in order to save some money, but in such case conditions must be met, like mileage and condition of the van. Many people struggle with the idea of buying a new wheelchair-accessible vehicle because of its’ high cost, despite the many benefits it offers.
New or used wheelchair-accessible vans?
Many people fear buying a used vehicle because they think that it would be a bad financial decision, it will require a lot of mechanical repairs, or it will simply not meet their needs. The truth is, you can save a lot by getting a used vehicle.
Some of the most common fear is that used vehicles have too much mileage on them, which is a common misconception, since many of those vehicles on sale don’t have much mileage and the mobility equipment may be hardly used.
With a proper care taken for the vehicle, even used handicap vans can last for decades. For your own reassurance you can contact a mobility dealer who sells used handicap vans and is a member of the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA). Part of its Quality Assurance Program (QAP) guarantees 24-hour service to its customers.
One of the disadvantages of getting a used vehicle is that it may not have the latest equipment which you want, such as in-floor ramp. However, if the price is good, you can install it after the sale. This needs to be considered as part of the cost and be weighed against the time and effort it takes to correct or fix a used wheelchair.
In any case, it is best to speak with a mechanic to check if there are any problems with the van before making a purchase. Always select from a reputable company or dealer. When in doubt, find someone who is a specialist in vehicles to help you make the right decision.
Financial assistance for wheelchair-accessible vehicle
Despite the many benefits of owning your own van, many wheelchair users struggle to buy a new or used handicap van. There are several funding opportunities available which can help you get the van you need.
Governmental organization may help you by providing some financial assistance to purchase a wheelchair van or other mobility product. Few of them are: Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation, Bureau of Workers Compensation, Medicare – Medicaid Driver, Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD), The Veterans Administration.
There are also many non-profit organizations dedicated to helping wheelchair and scooter users. Some of the non-profits and charities helping the disabled community are: Easter Seals, MS Society and Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Many people choose medical crowdfunding for raising money for a van. Whether you need a van for you or your loved ones, you can turn to the community and ask for financial help. Setting up an online fundraiser is easy and it won’t cost you additional money, and at the same time can help you get the vehicle you need.
Carefully plan all costs and list all the features in a vehicle you will need. Always have in mind that getting a wheelchair – accessible van is a big investment and should serve you for many years.
1) How to Afford a Used Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle: http://www.nmeda.com/nmeda-blog/how-to-afford-a-used-wheelchair-accessible-vehicle/
2) Frequently Asked Questions About Mobility Products: http://www.mcmobilitysystems.com/frequently-asked-questions-about-mobility-products
3) Benefits of Owning Wheelchair-Accessible Vehicles: http://www.vantagemobility.com/benefits-owning-wheelchair-accessible-vehicles/