Being confined to a wheelchair can be a financial disaster, especially if it’s a recent development. If you’re going to be in a wheelchair for a long time, you may be advised to get a mobility car, also known as a wheelchair van. But if you’ve recently been paying for other medical bills, you may not be able to afford a brand new van. This is where used wheelchair vans come in.
Like with most used vehicles, there are a few things you should know about used wheelchair vans. The following are a few tips to check out when you’re looking for one to purchase.
1. Make sure it runs well and doesn’t need repairs. This is Used Car Buying 101, but it bears repeating. Usually you are so caught up in the “wheelchair” aspect of the used van that you forget to check the other aspects as well. Make sure that everything beneath the hood works as well as the sliding door and lowering platform. The last thing you need when buying a van is a load of repair bills along with it.
2. Make sure the van was never recalled or otherwise put on notice. Some wheelchair van brands came under fire during the 90s for having malfunctioning doors. Not everyone who owned one turned theirs in, and thus the vans may still be on the market today. Whatever van you decide on buying should be researched by make and model. Never buy a van that has been recalled or otherwise put on notice. Your safety is too important to fall to a good deal.
3. Check out the person selling you the van. If you’re buying it from a mobility equipment place, make sure they have a good reputation for selling you the items they promise. If you’re buying it from a private individual, search even harder. Do they have credentials or a background in disability care? To whom did this van originally belong? How well was it taken care of? As the buyer it is your right to ask these questions, as well as you should.
4. Make sure that whoever is driving the vehicle can handle it. Whether you are the one who is going to be the primary driver or not, make sure it can be driven without issue. There are different warnings to driving a wheelchair van than a regular one. Some territories require a special license to drive such a van, so check that out before getting behind the wheel.
5. Most of all, make sure you like it. We should always love our vehicles if possible, but a wheelchair van may become like a second home for the person in the wheelchair, especially if there are many doctor’s appointments to attend. If you are not happy with the view, how comfortable it is, or the amenities such as air conditioning or even stereo, either arrange for it to be changed or move on to another van.
Buying used wheelchair vans can be an intimidating task, but it doesn’t have to be. With some vehicle savvy and a knowledge of what you want, your next van can be your favorite yet.