When buying a wheelchair ramp van there are many factors to consider in order to ensure you’ve made the right decision and bought the proper mobility vehicle for you or the person you’re in care of. Aspects such as condition of the vehicle and its components, especially when its a used one, are important but there are also a series of specifics to consider.
Here’s a list of tips to help you in making the final decision when buying a wheelchair ramp van.
How much can you or would you like to spend? What kind of financing options are available to you? Are there any alternate funding sources that you can take advantage from? These are all important questions you should ask yourself early on in the process of buying a wheelchair ramp van.
Is the van you’re looking at new or used? Inspect it thoroughly
Is the wheelchair ramp van you’re looking to buy a new one or previously used? A mobility vehicle is a vehicle that’s been structurally modified, it’s important in for return of investment and safety that you have the van thoroughly inspected before purchase, especially if it’s a used one.
The condition of the vehicle’s components, the quality of the work, modifications done on it, and how the van sustains it all are crucial aspects to take a look at before making any decision.
Its body and frame, key components such as frame rails, sub rails, rocker panels, suspension components, brakes and engine are all main things to check. If the used van is coming from a northern state, where it snows frequently and salt is spreaded on the roads and sidewalks to melt snow and ice, or a place near the ocean, you need to look for rust in its parts, specially in the undercarriage and wheel wells.
Just like when buying any vehicle, you want to make sure everything is functioning correctly and the wheelchair van you’re about to purchase is working as neatly and safely as possible.
Who will drive?
Will the person driving be the one on the wheelchair or will it be their caregiver? This is an important question to ask since, while all wheelchair van ramps can handle passenger and transport options, not all of them work when the adaptive driver (person with mobility issues) is driving. Some mobility vehicles will require extra modifications in order to help the adaptive driver with the driving. Also, if it will be you behind the wheel, would you rather drive from your wheelchair or transfer to the seat? These are important questions to answer.
Wheelchair user’s key dimensions:
Measurement of the wheelchair user seated in its wheelchair will be needed. The main specifics to look at are:
- Height, measured from floor to top of the head while seated in the wheelchair.
- Width of the wheelchair in its widest point.
- Weight of the wheelchair and the passenger combined.
- Width of the wheels of the wheelchair.
- Length of the seated passenger, including leg extension and equipment installed in the back of the chair.
Who will go in the mobility vehicle and where will it be parked?
How many people will the wheelchair ramp van need to fit? And where will you park it? If its a narrow garage, for example, you won’t be able to fit a side entry ramp.
What other features are important to you?
Features available on some vans include: navigation aid, power sliding driver and passenger doors, backup camera, rear air satellite radio, sunroof, removable seats and more.
Overall, buying the right mobility vehicle will depend on quality, the person with mobility issues, and their caregiver’s specific needs. Ask yourself and your provider these questions and you’ll be on your way to making the right decision.
Looking to buy a wheelchair ramp van? Our team of mobility experts is ready to answer all of your doubts and help you in the purchase.