When it comes to wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs), the great variety of adaptive equipment systems available makes the number of possible conversion combinations seemingly infinite. It would be difficult to find two WAVs with identical conversions, as each vehicle is customized to its owners’ specific needs.
This can make shopping for a used adaptive van or car a bit of a process, however the hard work is likely to pay off in the end. Here are a few tips to keep in mind if you are looking to purchase or finance a used wheelchair accessible van.
If a person with a disability will be one of or the main driver of the vehicle, be sure he or she has undergone an examination by a Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist. This evaluation will determine what type of equipment will be necessary for safe and comfortable driving, letting you know what to look for in a used vehicle.
Finding an accessible vehicle for sale by a private seller is possible, however it may take some patience on your part. These highly specialized vehicles are not easy to come across in the classifieds; searching through the inventory at your local NMEDA dealer might be a better option. Many WAV owners trade their vehicles in at dealers in order to upgrade, meaning there is usually a fair selection of cars, SUVs and vans to choose from.
Finding the One
All NMEDA member mobility dealers will do an evaluation but be sure to specify your particular needs to your dealer, including who will be driving the vehicle, how it will generally be used and who will ride as passengers most often. These factors will affect the features in adaptive vehicles, and can help narrow the search. Measurements, such as wheelchair height, are also useful in determining which vehicle is best for you, as some will have lowered floors conversions.
Once you’ve found your ideal vehicle, you’ll be on the road to enjoying nearly limitless opportunities. Added mobility and freedom are just some of the perks of owning a wheelchair accessible vehicle. Find the rest out for yourself by contacting your nearest NMEDA dealer.
The National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) is an advocate for mobility and accessibility for drivers with disabilities. If you need help with converting or buying a handicap accessible car, truck or van, please consider one of our mobility equipment dealers.