To plan a wheelchair van conversion for your current vehicle or purchase a one for sale? That is the question. Identifying the right accessible vehicle for your lifestyle can take a bit of research — luckily, our Mobility Specialists are here to help you find the answer. This quick guide will help you decide whether you should start typing “wheelchair vans for sale” into your Google search bar or browsing mobility products to plan your conversion.
Why Search Wheelchair Vans for Sale?
You Can’t Convert Your Current Model
First, we’ll talk about when you may want to consider purchasing an already converted wheelchair van. The most compelling reason to search wheelchair vans for sale is that your current model cannot be outfitted with the necessary accessibility features.
Some of the most popular models for wheelchair van conversions are spacious minivans and full-size vans. These often include the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, Chrysler Pacifica, Dodge Grand Caravan, Ram Promaster, and Ford Transit. While these are not the only models that can be made accessible, it’s important to know whether or not converting your current vehicle is an option before starting your search.
Model, age, mileage, drivetrain, and accident history are only a few of the important factors used to determine whether a vehicle can be made accessible. Consult with a Mobility Specialist to figure out if your vehicle checks all the right boxes. If not, it may be time to start browsing!
You’re on a Tight Timeline
Another major reason to consider searching for wheelchair vans for sale is your timeline. Converting a non-accessible vehicle can take up to five weeks, depending on the extent of the changes. If you’re on a time crunch or simply don’t want to wait that long to take your accessible vehicle for a spin, purchasing a wheelchair van may be the better option.
Buying on a tight timeline doesn’t mean your options are limited, though. At Ability Center, we have dozens of makes and models you can rent before you buy to ensure you end up with the perfect wheelchair van for your lifestyle.
Other Factors to Consider
The cost for a wheelchair van can run anywhere from $20,000 to upwards of $100,000 – it all depends on the make, model, and features included. That’s why Ability Center offers both new and used options to help clients find the perfect fit for their wish list, as well as their wallet. You can even trade-in or sell your accessible or non-accessible vehicle to help offset the cost of your new vehicle. Not to mention, we’ll work closely with the VA to help veterans seeking mobility solutions in addition to our partnerships with a number of car manufacturers that have rebate options for accessible vehicles.
If you’re short on time, don’t have a vehicle that can be easily converted, or are just looking for a more modern model with updated features, purchasing a wheelchair van may be the right move for your mobility needs.
Converting Your Current Vehicle
Why Opt for a Wheelchair Van Conversion?
If your current vehicle is a model that can be converted, you may consider having it adapted to include accessibility features. The typical conversion process includes removing some of the interior components of the vehicle and creating more space for drivers and passengers. This often requires the floor to be lowered or roof raised before a ramp or lift can be installed.
This process can take up to five weeks depending on the model of your vehicle and the features you are adding. Basic conversions can cost $10,000 to $20,000, while some conversions can cost as much as $60,000 for specialized equipment. Speaking to an Ability Center Mobility Specialist can help you get a better idea of what your modification budget will be based on your unique preferences and needs.
It’s also important to note that converting your current vehicle into an accessible wheelchair van will not negate the manufacturer’s warranty so long as you go through a conversion manufacturer. Just like with purchasing a pre-converted model, your vehicle will maintain its original warranty — within the agreed terms — and a separate warranty will be issued for the conversion.
Other Factors to Consider
Rather than purchasing an accessible vehicle from a mobility solutions provider, some people may opt to purchase a vehicle from a non-accessibility focused dealership, which they’ll then take in for conversion. While this is an option, it is not highly recommended for a couple of reasons. First, your chances of falling in love with a vehicle you won’t be able to convert increase. Second, between the vehicle purchase and conversion costs, you may end up paying more for your accessible vehicle than necessary.
For those on the hunt for an accessible vehicle, it may make more sense to purchase an already converted model. However, if you decide to purchase a vehicle elsewhere before having it converted, be sure to speak to one of our Mobility Specialists to help you plan accordingly.
If you’re still unsure whether you should opt for a wheelchair van conversion or purchase an accessible vehicle, give our team a call! You can reach an Ability Center Mobility Specialist at 866-405-6806 or through the form on our website. With our extensive inventory of products, Ability Center is sure to help you find the right fit for your individual lifestyle — and budget!