Wheelchair Van Purchasing TipsAnd Frequently Asked Questions
Wheelchair van purchases can be daunting for people who have never invested in one: Which is the safest? Will I be able to get into one without issues? What’s the best version?
A mobility van ranges in price depending on the features you need and want. We suggest test driving one to discover if it’s the right fit and if it makes you comfortable. Consider things such as where you may get in and out of this van the most. Would it be better to have rear or side entry? Will it need to be great for parallel parking?
Here are some of the most common questions about wheelchair vans:
How much does a mobility van cost?
Like all vehicles, it varies based on the features. Costs start around $40,000 for new vehicles. But there are plenty of used options as well. If you consider the regular price of a van and then add in the mobility features, that’s where it goes up. It is a high cost, but the features you require or ask for may call for specialty work that is out of the norm of a typical vehicle build.
Is a wheelchair van tax deductible?
It depends. The vehicle itself is not. That’s the standard purchase for anyone. The modifications that make it accessible for wheelchairs are tax deductible. It’s not just ramps: Anything that is needed for medical reasons may be deducted, and so can insurance premiums that support this specialty vehicle. There are also differing deductions for personal vs. commercial use. Check with your tax preparer for guidance.
Why are handicap vans so expensive?
Adding features such as lifts can get pricey. There is careful engineering that goes into adding one to a van. You have to first consider where the lift will go (the side or the rear) and then what else you will need. Will you add a transfer seat base? Hand controls? Will the person in the wheelchair also be the driver? See the dealer about applying for financing to help you cover the cost of your wheelchair van and get you comfortably on the road. When you look at wheelchair vans online, most dealers offer a financing calculator for potential buyers to enter the cost of a vehicle, the down payment they can make, and the terms of the loan sought. That tool will help you estimate a monthly payment.
What vans can be converted into wheelchair-accessible vans?
Common vans for converting into wheelchair vans are the Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Pacifica and RAM ProMaster. The lift is truly what matters when deciding on which van to buy. Each will offer varying features: The Dodge Grand Caravan, for example, offers “Flip-N-Fold” to allow for more seating and has both rear- and side-entry options. The Honda Odyssey tends to be on the pricier side but offers an in-floor power ramp and a blind spot information system. The Toyota Sienna is in the middle of the road as far as pricing and it offers a power 8-way driver’s seat. Your dealership is your best source for checking out the van options and the features offered.
Can I buy a wheelchair van online?
You sure can. Most dealerships will deliver your vehicle to you. Be sure to read the vehicle’s history report when looking online if you aren’t speaking directly with the dealer.
What add-ons or features do I need to be thinking about?
There are many! But some of the bigger ones include whether the van has a raised high-top roof, doors on both sides, a navigation system, side or rear entry for the wheelchair, parking camera sensors and running boards. These are just a few of the features you will find in mobility and conversion vans. Make a list of what you need and take that to the dealership or search it online. Consider what kind of comfort level you need, such as leather seats, heated chairs and more.