Handicap Van Shopping Guide - The Mobility Resource

What to Expect When Shopping for a Handicap Van

May 13, 2021

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Mobility Dealers are Much Different from Traditional Auto Dealerships

When you’ve decided to go shopping for a wheelchair van for the first time, you may be expecting it to be similar to visiting a traditional auto dealership. For most people, the experience is going to be somewhat different.

The first thing you will notice is that the inventory lot is typically going to be a lot smaller than what you see at an auto dealer representing a full line of models built by Chrysler, Ford, Toyota, Honda, or Chevy. That’s because mobility dealers don’t have the same type of sales volume or number of visitors that stop in to view the latest vehicles.

Mobility dealers specialize in serving the disabled community and their families with wheelchair accessible vehicles and adaptive driving equipment. And nearly all of the inventory for sale is going to be minivans, some SUVs, and a few full-size vans with a lift. You won’t find endless rows of sedans and sports cars.

Selecting the Right Handicap Van for Your Needs

One of the most important functions of a mobility dealer is to make sure that you are selecting the right conversion (new or used) and adaptive equipment for your unique requirements.

QAP-certified mobility dealers, many of which are part of The Mobility Resource’s nationwide network, will provide you with a Free Needs Analysis and Mobility Consultation to determine the exact equipment that will meet your needs. 

Unlike going to a traditional auto dealer where accessibility isn’t the focus, knowing the type of ramp installed on a handicapped van and its location is extremely important. For example, you might want a vehicle with a side-entry ramp instead of a rear-entry ramp to meet your specific needs.

Selecting the wrong minivan conversion is something you definitely want to avoid, so taking the time to meet with a Certified Mobility Consultant is highly recommended.

Financing a New or Used Wheelchair Van from a Mobility Dealer

For the majority of our quality mobility dealers, financing through the dealer is going to be an option. They work with banks and other trusted lending institutions that know their business and the unusual circumstances that go with the sale of a new or used wheelchair van.

Most dealers will also be able to take a trade-in as a down payment, including non-accessible vehicles at Kelley Blue Book trade-in value.

You can also explore a variety of options to finance your wheelchair van purchase through The Mobility Resource, including submitting a financing application to your local dealer and finding state grants that can help make your purchase more affordable.

Servicing Your Vehicle and Conversion Equipment

One of the more important aspects of getting to know your local mobility dealership is their ability to quickly diagnose and repair any mechanical issues that may come up with your ramp or wheelchair lift equipment. These repairs typically can’t be done by a general auto mechanic.

NMEDA-certified technicians that work at a mobility dealership are trained to maintain and service your vehicle’s specific conversion. They also have quick access to repair parts that aren’t available at a typical auto parts store.

Driving Hand Controls

Mobility dealers typically have the ability to install hand controls, and other types of adaptive driving equipment, on a vehicle. Check out our blog on Driver Rehabilitation Specialists to learn more about the process of driving with hand controls and how the mobility dealer works to ensure that you are trained in the specific type of controls needed to be installed.

Finding Handicap Vans for Sale Near You

The Mobility Resource’s network of dealers will have a variety of handicap vans for sale, including new wheelchair vans and used wheelchair vans equipped with a variety of different accessible conversions. They can also order new vehicles from industry-leading conversion manufacturers to match your specific make or color preferences.

To find a dealer location near you, visit our Find a Dealer page to search by your state or zip code.

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