The demand for accessible vans has continued to increase. Mobility van dealers have responded to growing market needs by offering more inventory and a greater selection of vehicles styles and options to meet the needs of customers.
All the major automobile makers offer specialty vehicles. Mobility vans come with side entry or rear entry and can be full-sized or minivans. Equipment for handicap vans ranges from ramps and lifts to hand controls and tie-downs – and most can be outfitted to meet your needs.
If you buy a used van from a non-certified dealer, ask the dealer how long he or she has been in business and check out customer recommendations. You'll also need an on-site repair facility that can handle a specialty vehicle.
Determining Your Requirements
Consult your healthcare provide about your van purchase. Also, contact a local rehabilitation center or the Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists at 866-672-9466 (toll free in the US and Canada) to find a qualified evaluator in your area. An evaluator is trained to help you determine the type of equipment you need to maximize function and safety when you use your van.
There are a number of ways to locate available handicap vans in your area.
Your vehicle must meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. An excellent resource on safety is the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA).
NMEDA is committed to ensuring quality and professionalism in the manufacturing and installation of safe and reliable mobility equipment in vehicles for drivers and passengers with disabilities. The web site is www.nmeda.com.
Mobility Van Sales - Purchasing Tips
When you are in the showroom or looking at an used mobility van, begin by seeing what feels right for you. Test the ramp, the interior spacing, your ability to enter and exit the vehicle, and steering wheel access if you intend to drive.
Take the vehicle for a test drive or ride in it with your driver. This will allow you to see and feel if the van rocks, makes noises, or seems otherwise troubling. Also, carefully examine the interior for loose carpet and unusual wear. Check the van for rust, poor welding, or signs of an accident.
Check to be sure the van has a heavy duty electrical system to support any electrically operated accessories. The chassis also must be built to handle the extra weight of a lift system, if you require one.
Examine the warranty information to be sure conversions have not voided the document.
Before you move forward with an offer and purchase, it is always advisable to have a qualified, independent mechanic check out the vehicle.
Lastly, see if there are mobility van sales specials or deals
available from retailers or manufacturers. And, factor in the cost of your
insurance before finalizing your purchase.
More Tips for Mobility Van Sales
Buying Recommendations for Adaptive Vans
Converting a Wheelchair Accessible Van
Adapting a Handicap Accessible Vehicle
Buying a Used Wheelchair Van
Robotic Technology for Wheelchair Transfers
Mobility Van Conversions
Wheelchair Tiedowns for Vans
Saving with a Used Van Purchase
Renting a Wheelchair Accessible Van
Types of Mobility Chairs
Wheelchair Sports Activities
Helpful Resource Organizations
Mobility Scooter Buying Tips
Portable Ramp Options