Buying a van that is wheelchair accessible can often feel daunting, which is why it is important to know what you need before you look. Each buyer will have different needs and priorities when finding a ride that is accessible, but there are a few things you should never compromise on. Read on to discover the best features for your next wheelchair accessible van.
The Right Fit
Any vehicle requires the right fit, regardless of whether it is wheelchair accessible or not. You want to take some key measurements prior to buying your wheelchair accessible van. Make sure you measure the distance from the floor to the top of your head, the ramps to make sure they are wide enough for the wheelchair, and the combined weight of the wheelchair and the occupant. Don’t forget to measure the width of the wheelchair at its widest as well as the width of each wheel.
The Right Entry Point
There are several different access points for vans with wheelchair access, the rear entry, and the side entry. The rear entry has a ramp that deploys from the back of the vehicle. The side entry allows you to enter from the driver’s side or passenger’s seat.
If you plan on driving the vehicle, make sure you get the side entry van. These are the only ones that can accommodate drivers in wheelchairs.
Safety is important for those who require a special van. Your dealer should make sure you can experience a safe ride each time you drive. You’ll want to make sure the van is up to the standards of the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration. It’s also worth it to make sure the tie-downs and securements are of high quality.
Don’t forget to ask about the side and rear crash test ratings to discover how seriously the dealership considers safety.
The conversion process is what separates the different kinds of vans. You’ll want to look at new and used vans and ensure that there are high-quality ramps, lowered floors or raised roofs. You’ll also want to make sure there is a certain level of customization available for the wheelchair van. You might want to add securement options, built-in displays or transfer seats.
Make sure there are also financial resources when purchasing your van. Speak with the dealer to discover the options. They should provide you with a number of different resources to make the purchasing process easier.
You should never feel overwhelmed about the buying process. Purchasing your next wheelchair accessible van should be a process about freedom. You won’t know everything before visiting a dealership, so make sure the salesmen are willing to answer any questions you might have about the process.