Is Rear Entry or Side Entry Right for Full Size Accessible Vans?

For most organizations, the process of purchasing a full size accessible vehicle requires significant resources. There are several options and one size certainly doesn’t fit all.

When we work with our clients, often the first thing we hear from them is “I don’t know where to start.” Our team of mobility consultants is always happy to assist. After an initial 5-10 minutes conversation, we are able to narrow down vehicle options so that our clients do know where to start in their search for the right accessible van.

We appreciate that everyone is busy and that clients may want to be educated about their options before connecting with our team. We find that once our clients have determined whether they require rear entry or side entry vehicles, the other deciding factors become much more manageable.

Rear Entry or Side Entry?

Tips to decide whether a rear entry van or a side entry van is right for your organization.

‘Rear entry’ or ‘side entry’ refers to where wheelchair users and mobility passengers would enter the vehicle from. Determining where your passengers will enter from involves considering different scenarios.

Parking

If the vehicle needs to be parked in a narrow driveway or in parking lots without accessible spaces, a rear entry wheelchair van is recommended. This is because there is no additional space required at the side of the vehicle to accommodate an accessible ramp.

Ambulatory passengers with different levels of mobility

If your organization transports ambulatory passengers who have difficulty using steps or running boards to enter and exit a vehicle, a side entry accessible van is recommended. MoveMobility’s P Series vehicles (P3, P4, P5) have barrier-free access with a side entry ramp. Passengers with walkers, canes, or wheelchairs can easily board the vehicle.

Size and weight of wheelchairs

If any of your passengers use large or heavy wheelchairs, you may find that it requires less effort to on-board and off-board them through the rear of the van. A rear entry van also eliminates the need to turn the wheelchair once inside the vehicle.

In addition to determining whether your organization’s wheelchair van needs are best suited with a rear entry or side entry accessible vehicle, there are other specifications you should consider. MoveMobility is here to help determine what type of accessible van will be appropriate for your program. Contact our team today to arrange for a no-obligation consultation.

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