Decisions to Make When You Are Ready to Buy a Wheelchair Van

So, aren’t you excited to finally be at the point where you can afford a luxurious wheelchair van?  This is not just a convenience—it’s a life-changing vehicle.  Now you will be able to drive around town, take care of errands and even help others to get around town.  Of course, while choosing luxury features is a lot of fun, there are some other decisions that merit your attention.

For instance, what about the configuration of the entry point?  There are actually two different types of setups you can choose: side-entry and rear-entry. What’s the difference in terms of comfort?  It really depends on your lifestyle and your personal preference.  For instance, side entry setups allow you to drive the car while sitting in a wheelchair or to sit in the passenger seat in a wheelchair.  They allow easier entering and exiting in some traffic situations (curbside), while the alternative offers other traffic advantages.

A wheelchair-accessible van that has a side entry setup also requires extra room for the ramp deployment, i.e. handicap parking spots; but these are not always the easiest vehicles to use for driveways.  Statistically, most wheelchair vehicles are made according to the side entry design.  Rear entry vehicles, in contrast, do not require any extra room for ramp space since the person can be wheeled in from the rear.

Whatever you decide, remember to take into account your personal comfort, the favorites of your family or friends (who may be using the vehicle or riding with you) as well as price considerations.  This is a big investment, as these vehicles can easily last ten years or more.  Here at Ability Center, we recommend taking a test drive and determining what you like best in your wheelchair van.  Give us a call and let’s put you in a great vehicle!

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