6 Tips on Selecting the Right Wheelchair Van
What to Consider when Selecting a Wheelchair Van
Who is in the Wheelchair?
If you are a wheelchair driver, you will most likely require a full floor side entry minivan, unless you have adequate mobility to transfer safely to the driver seat. If you are not a driver and do not intend to be a driver, you can opt for either a rear entry or short floor side entry van. But the next step is checking measurements.
Check the Fit
Some wheelchairs are quite large and require more room to maneuver. Important measurements to consider are:
- Width of ramp
- Entrance height
- Wheelchair position total space
- Total weight of the wheelchair and the occupant
It’s best to try the van in person with the wheelchair to be sure of the proper fit for the chair.
If the wheelchair user requires assistance nearby, it will be important to see the seating configurations available to ensure that the caregiver can get close enough to the wheelchair passenger.
Entry System Constraints
Both rear and side entry systems have fold out ramps or lifts that take up space. Depending on your day-to-day needs, you will want to consider what will be easiest for you. A side entry ramp requires extra parking room on the side, but can be easier to deploy at the curb. A rear entry van is often easier to use in most parking lots or driveways, but can be more challenging for curb-side use. Try them out in person to see which you like best.
There can be big differences in pricing once the vehicle is fully priced out with needed options. Create your budget first, or request quotes for several different styles and brands in order to make a decision that will fit your budget.
You may have funding sources available to you! However, if you will have to fund the vehicle yourself or secure a loan, make sure that you consider the Total Cost. Most financial institutions will only loan the Cost of the Vehicle itself but not provide for the additional mobility equipment that is in the van. Don’t buy without researching available funding.