How to Determine Which Wheelchair Van is Right for Your Situation

If you are looking for a van that can accommodate wheelchairs – or other mobility equipment – the car shopping process can quickly become complicated. Beyond the usual factors you consider when selecting a new vehicle, you also have to take into account your own specific needs and the budget you have available for the purchase.

On the other hand, you could look on the bright side and recognize that the complexity of this process is a result of the fact that the disabled now have many more options when it comes to choosing a vehicle for transporting someone who is wheelchair-bound. There are many more convenience and safety features and newer assistive technologies that make operating this kind of vehicle much easier.

What to Look at When Choosing Your Van

When selecting the perfect wheelchair van will your specific needs, you need to consider three important points:

Who: Who will be using the van?
Where: Where will the van be used?
What: What are the price, safety and modification considerations?

Who Will Be Using the Van?

You need to consider the size of your wheelchair, your height when choosing your full-size wheelchair carrying van or a wheelchair minivan. In addition, you have to think about how compatible the van to your needs and lifestyle. Are you on the go a lot and fairly independent or do you get a lot of help from family members and friends? If you want to be the driver, a side entry van is always the best option for wheelchair users. It’s also a good option if someone else is doing the driving but you prefer to be seated in the front as a passenger rather than the back.

It’s fairly easy to introduce hand controls by connecting them to the van’s current controls so that you can use the accelerator, breaks and other controls. If you use a bigger than average wheelchair, or one that tilts, a rear entry van might be a better option. This is also perhaps the best choice if you have a caregiver who accompanies you, since it allows for easier egress and ingress. This also means that you can have optional seating, which will accommodate either a bench seat for your passengers or multiple occupied wheelchairs.

Where Will the Banned the Use?

Minivans can be a good option for wheelchair users if you tend to take short trips, since they are easier to park, easy to drive in busy traffic and are much more fuel-efficient. However, if you need to carry extra cargo or other significant amounts of medical equipment or have a family that will be traveling with you, a full-size wheelchair van is probably a better choice. They are also much better if you find yourself going on longer trips.

One advantage to a side entry handicap van is that the floors can be lowered, which provides easier access for the wheelchair to get into the van. In addition to this, side entry vans can be more easily park next to a curb so that you can unload your wheelchair without the need to find a curb cut on the street. A rear entry van will have a four that does not have to be lowered. They are much better for Philly regions or locations they get a good deal of snow. It’s also possible to park in a more limited space while still allowing the uploading or offloading of your wheelchair.

What Are the Price, Safety and Modification Considerations?

When it comes to this consideration, you to look at the costs involved, the safety features and the duration of use. Important safety features include wheelchair tiedowns, seatbelts, a ramp, and sturdy wheelchair straps.

• The ramp should allow you to easily roll your wheelchair to and from the van and should come with antiskid features that prevent your wheelchair from sliding and injuring you.

• Many customers also choose to include a transfer seat, which allows you to transfer from the wheelchair to the driver’s seat.

• Your wheelchair van should pass all necessary safety tests designated by the government and should come with a warranty.

It can be quite expensive to purchase a new, wheelchair ready van. A used van can be a good option, particularly if you think the need for the van is going to be fairly temporary. If you do choose a used van, make sure that it is not much more than five years old and has no more than 50,000 miles on it.