If you are buying a wheelchair van for the first time there are a few things of which you should be aware. There are actually several styles and options available in wheelchair vans today. You even have a choice of several different types of vans for use as a wheelchair van, including the smaller, easier maneuvered minivans. Before you start shopping you will want to do some research and make a list of the things you are looking for in a wheelchair van.
Questions to consider before buying a wheelchair van:
1. Is the wheelchair bound person also going to be the driver? Many handicap vans can be adapted for use by a wheelchair bound driver. This does not necessarily mean the driver has to remain in the wheelchair while driving. It should be decided if the van is going to be driven by other family members so that it can be properly equipped. If a transfer seat is used, non-wheelchair bound users can also drive.
2. Do you want a wheelchair van that will accommodate the entire family? Wheelchairs can take up a lot of room in some vans, especially minivans. In addition, lifts and ramps take up room as well. You want to ensure that whatever wheelchair van you choose will accommodate the family if that is your desire.
3. What features and options to do you want? As with any vehicle there are always lots of options and features that can be added to a wheelchair van. It’s best to either research these online, or talk to a qualified dealer. Hand controls, locking systems, lift systems, and security measures are only a few of the things that must be considered before buying a wheelchair van.
4. What is your budget, or what are your financing options? Wheelchair vans can be a large investment so you want to know your budget at the outset. There are many financing possibilities including grants, government loans, dealer financing, and fundraising. It’s important to have a budget in mind so you can reasonably determine the features and options you can afford.
Because these are such a large investment and cannot easily be changed, you may want to test drive a wheelchair van, or rent one and drive it a few days. This will give you a better understanding of what your needs really are and how they can be accommodated with the purchase of a wheelchair van.
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