Thinking About An Accessible Van Conversion?
Two popular options exist when it comes to choosing a wheelchair accessible van conversion. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. It is important to ask questions about the conversion process and type of conversion before making a final decision. Not taking the time to ask these questions can lead to major headaches and frustrations down the road.
Reach out any time for more information about purchasing a wheelchair accessible vehicle in Winnipeg. We are here to help you make the best choice possible for your specific needs.
Popular Option #1 – Purchasing a Vehicle from a Dealer Before Doing The Conversion
Some people prefer to buy their soon-to-be wheelchair accessible van ahead of time prior to doing the conversion. This method can work, however, there definitely are questions that need to be answered prior to making the purchase. The last thing you want is to end up with a van or other type of vehicle where the conversion cannot be completed.
Question #1 – Can this van actually be converted?
This first question is the most important to be asked. It should be asked to the accessible van conversion company you are thinking of working with and not the dealer. The accessible van dealer has the expertise (as well as being unbiased) about what will or will not work for the conversion. For example, the Kia Sedona is one of the top-selling minivans in Canada. However, currently, there is no type of conversion available for it to make it either side or rear entry.
Question #2 – Can the conversion I need be done to the van I want?
Some models of vans only allow for a certain type of wheelchair accessible van conversion. Knowing the kind of conversion you want ahead of time will help you narrow down your choice of vehicle. For example, the Dodge Grand Caravan is extremely versatile and flexible. All conversions can be done. These conversions include manual rear entry, manual side entry, and power side entry. On the flip side, the Honda Odyssey which is an extremely nice van only allows for a power side conversion to be completed. If you were hoping for a Honda Odyssey with rear access, you will be hard pressed to find a solution.
Question #3 – If I buy the van through a dealer, can I take advantage of their finance or lease programs for the van and conversion?
This question doesn’t have a clear-cut answer as each dealership and manufacturer is different. Each dealer and manufacturer have their own program. Sometimes, people want to buy through the dealer because of special incentives or that’s how they have always been used to buying their vehicles. It is important to know if the finance or lease will cover the entire vehicle, how this may affect any interest rates, how much cash is required out of pocket and so on. What may look good in an ad may not necessarily work out in your favour in the end.
It’s important to know the answers to these questions and have the confidence you can convert the vehicle you want to buy prior to putting any pen to paper.
Popular Option #2 – Purchasing The Whole Accessible Van Conversion Package
The second option of buying the complete wheelchair accessible van conversion package from a mobility van dealer is a different experience. You are not left to piece things together yourself.The questions you ask a mobility van dealer are similar to the questions you would ask at an auto dealership. The difference is you are getting the information you need that is directly about your situation from people who specialize in this area.
Question #1 – What accessible van conversion is right for my situation?
One of the major benefits of buying the van and conversion directly from the mobility dealer is they have the knowledge to help you find the entry method to meet your needs. A lot of people are initially interested in a side entry van. After learning about the advantages of a rear entry, they are more likely to go with a rear entry option.
The second benefit is they will know based on your entry method requirements, which van works best. For example, for some individuals who are very tall and require a side entry van, the Toyota tends to be the best option over the Dodge or Honda.
Question #2 – Do you stock the van or do you need to order it in?
The answer to this question will depend on who you are dealing with. For some mobility van dealers, they do not have any inventory at all, others may have some inventory and others carry a complete lineup of vehicles. The challenge you will find when looking for an accessible van conversion is what works for one individual may not work the next. Quite often, it is easier to do a custom build on the van and entry method. This way, you and the mobility dealer know, you are getting the right van and conversion the first time. In certain commercial or family situations, buying a stock van with a conversion done to it already works just fine.
One of the advantages of working with MoveMobility for example, is we are able to sell you the van and conversion for the best price possible. We have special arrangements with Dodge which allows us to offer you the best price right from the beginning, making the process of procuring a wheelchair accessible vehicle easier.
Question #3 – Do you offer finance or funding options to pay for my accessible van conversion?
Just like the regular auto dealers, the solutions you find for finance, funding, and leasing will vary from mobility dealer to mobility dealer. Some have programs while others don’t. For example, at MoveMobility we offer both lease and finance options for our vehicles as well as familiar with several 3rd party funding programs to offset the cost of the conversion.
Now before I wrap things up, there is one other option available but it doesn’t work too well for most people. The third option is to convert their current vehicle. In most situations, it is either cost prohibitive or the vehicle is not compatible. If you are thinking about this as an option, it is best to speak to a mobility vehicle dealer to see what can be done.
Our recommendation is to work directly with a mobility van dealer to make sure you get the right van and conversion. The knowledge and expertise provided will help make the process a lot easier when deciding. However, if you do decide to buy your vehicle first before doing your accessible van conversion, it is important to ask the dealer these questions before putting any signatures on the dotted line.
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