Are you trying to figure out the cost of a wheelchair accessible van? One challenge you might face is being roadblocked by wheelchair van manufacturers who don’t disclose costs. There’s also a good chance you’ll feel overwhelmed by competing prices across different vendors. In addition, hidden fees or charges from vendors that impact the final cost can also get frustrating.
We’ve been manufacturing wheelchair accessible vans and mobile medical vans for well over 10 years at MoveMobility. We understand how important it is for your organization to know the costs involved in your purchase of a new wheelchair accessible van. That’s why we’re upfront and fully transparent when discussing cost-related information with our clients.
We’re writing this article to give you an unbiased look at the cost of wheelchair accessible vans. The more you know about the costs, the easier time your organization will have in choosing the right wheelchair van for your needs.
In this article, you’ll learn:
- What some of the different wheelchair accessible vans cost
- Factors that influence wheelchair accessible van cost
- Ways to lower the cost
- Factors that influence cost between manufacturers
How much does a wheelchair accessible van cost?
When it comes to purchasing a wheelchair accessible van, understanding the cost is one of the most important things for your organization to think about. These vehicles are designed to provide mobility and independence to individuals with disabilities, so they’re an essential investment for many organizations. Let’s dive into how much a wheelchair accessible van costs and what factors contribute to its price.
Take a look at the table below of the costs of different wheelchair accessible vans we offer at MoveMobility. Keep in mind that these budget ranges are for informational purposes only and are subject to change without notice.
$120,000 – $160,000
Ram Promaster & Ford Transit Classic Series
$125,000 – $140,000
$140,000 – $170,000
$110,000 – $135,000
Rear Entry Minivan with manual ramp conversion
$85,000 – $100,000
6 factors that influence wheelchair accessible van cost
The cost of a wheelchair accessible van can vary widely based on several factors. Let’s explore some important factors that impact the total cost:
1. Van type and size: The type and size of the van play a significant role in determining the cost. Larger vans with more spacious interiors are pricier than smaller ones. Larger vans with roomier interiors cost more because they need more materials and space. This factor increases production expenses. Additionally, bigger vans often require more powerful engines to carry the extra weight, leading to higher costs.
2. Conversion process: Converting a regular van into a wheelchair accessible one involves specialized modifications. This conversion process includes adding features like ramps, lifts, lowered floors, and secure tie-down systems. The complexity of the conversion affects the cost.
3. New vs. used: Just like with regular vehicles, the choice between a new or used wheelchair accessible van affects the cost. New vans have a higher upfront cost but will come with warranties and the latest features. Used vans could be more affordable but will have higher maintenance needs down the road. A wheelchair van is considered used when someone other than the manufacturer owned it, regardless of the miles driven. This is similar to regular cars.
4. Accessibility requirements: The specific accessibility needs of the clients your organization serves also impact the cost. Some of your clients might require more comprehensive modifications for their unique needs.
5. Optional extras: Additional features like upgraded seating, entertainment systems, and enhanced interior comfort will increase the overall cost.
6. Chassis: The term “chassis” refers to the main structure or body of the vehicle. For wheelchair accessible vans, the chassis is the foundation on which the van is built. The cost of this chassis has a big impact on the overall price of a wheelchair van. The expenses associated with the chassis and the modifications needed to make it wheelchair accessible are quite similar.
The price of the vehicle’s chassis is something that wheelchair accessible van manufacturers don’t have much control over. When you buy a chassis from a specialized wheelchair van vendor, you’ll notice that the cost is quite comparable to what you’d pay if you were to purchase the same chassis from a regular dealership that sells original vehicles (known as OEM dealerships).
When a wheelchair van manufacturer has a solid reputation and is well-established in the industry, they tend to have strong connections with original vehicle manufacturers like Ford, Ram/Chrysler (now known as Stellantis), and Mercedes.
This collaboration enables them to get the chassis from these well-known companies at lower costs. The strong partnerships assure quality and reliability in the process of creating wheelchair accessible vans.
8 ways to lower the cost
It’s normal for organizations to look for ways to find an ideal balance between cost savings and ensuring the van meets the needs of their clients. While these strategies might be helpful to reduce costs, it’s important to know that the cheapest option isn’t always the best one.
Here are several things to keep in mind:
1. Manual wheelchair ramps: One way to cut costs involves choosing a manual wheelchair ramp over a powered one. While this decision can yield savings of a few thousand dollars, it’s important to consider the trade-off. It will involve manual operation of the ramp on every use. This approach is helpful in very cold regions where powered systems aren’t always reliable due to their hydraulic systems. Nevertheless, powered ramps are a much more suitable option for organizations that want efficient boarding of their passengers.
2. Accessibility needs vs. budget constraints: Discussing cost-effective options with clients sparks a larger conversation about their priorities. At MoveMobility, we want to assess whether you’re ready to invest in a wheelchair van that ensures long-term accessibility and adaptability or if you’re just looking for the most economical mobility van solution available.
3. Focus on essential features: While exploring cost-saving measures, try not to compromise on essential features that guarantee passenger comfort and accessibility. Identify must-have features and prioritize those when making cost-related decisions.
4. Consider usage scenarios: Customizing the van’s features to match how it will be used can save money. If you know the usual places it will go, the routes it will take, and the road conditions, you can make smart choices about where to spend money and where to cut back. For example, it wouldn’t make sense to invest in expensive winter tires if you operate in a place like Vancouver and don’t face harsh winters as you would in a place like Winnipeg.
5. Long-term savings vs. short-term expenses: When evaluating cost-cutting options, it’s important to view the wheelchair accessible van investment as a long-term commitment. Even though saving money right away might seem like a good idea, it’s essential to think about whether those savings will cause problems later on. Things like not having all the features you need, having to spend more on repairs, or needing a new van sooner than expected can cost a lot in the long run.
6. Collaborate with experts: Engaging with experienced professionals in wheelchair accessible van solutions can provide invaluable insights. Talking to an expert will give you personalized advice and recommendations for the unique needs of your organization.
7. Explore funding and financial assistance: Investigate available grants, funding options, and financial assistance programs that support the purchase of your wheelchair accessible van. These opportunities can ease some financial strain when you’re making your purchase.
8. Comprehensive cost-benefit analysis: Conduct a thorough cost-benefit analysis before finalizing any decisions. Compare the initial investment with expected long-term savings and benefits resulting from improved accessibility, enhanced efficiency, and passenger satisfaction.
Wheelchair accessible van costs between manufacturers
If you’re in charge of getting a wheelchair vehicle for your organization, you might have heard that it’s a good idea to ask for quotes from multiple vendors. This is a common practice when you’re buying something big and important.
It’s important to know that not all companies that make or sell wheelchair accessible vans are the same. This means the quotes you get from them will be different too.
There are lots of reasons why the cost of a wheelchair accessible van can be different from one company to the next. Let’s take a closer look at some things to consider when looking at the costs between vendors.
Quality: Each manufacturer uniquely creates their vans. This affects not only how the van looks but also how it functions. Think about whether the design fits your organization’s needs and if the build quality meets your expectations. Wheelchair van modifications require highly skilled technicians to reach the level of quality and safety your organization should be looking for.
Suppose your organization receives a cheap quote from a manufacturer with 3 months of wheelchair van manufacturing experience and another more expensive quote with 10 years of experience.
While it may be tempting to instantly go with the cheaper one, how would you feel if the van broke down a month after purchasing it? Or worse, what if it compromised the safety of your clients?
Customization options: Some manufacturers offer more customization options than others. This will allow you to tailor the wheelchair van more closely to your organization’s requirements. If you receive a quote from a manufacturer with a higher price tag than the others, customization level can play a role in that.
Safety: Consider how easy it will be for your clients with mobility challenges to get in and out of the van. When working with mobility challenges, safety features are so important. Compare the accessibility features and safety measures provided by each manufacturer to ensure they meet your standards.
Some manufacturers may choose to use cheaper parts in their wheelchair accessible vans to cut down on manufacturing expenses. However, at MoveMobility, we prioritize safety and your clients’ well-being. We never compromise on quality. We use only premium materials to ensure the utmost safety and reliability of our vehicles.
Warranty and after-sales support: Look into the warranty offered by each manufacturer. A good warranty can provide peace of mind. Also, inquire about after-sales support and whether the vendor offers assistance for maintenance and repairs. A manufacturer with a strong warranty package might be reflected in a higher final cost, but you won’t have to worry about issues creeping up.
Read our article on wheelchair manufacturer warranties for more information.
Support and service: Consider the support and service each manufacturer offers. Do they provide good customer service? How easy is it to get help if you encounter any issues with the van?
A manufacturer that has no customer service and support in case something goes wrong with your van might offer a cheap price compared to one that has exceptional customer service. In the long run, this could leave you with expensive repair costs.
Read our article on how to get wheelchair service and repairs in Canada for more information on that.
You landed on this article trying to find more information about the costs of a wheelchair accessible van.
You learned about the broad range of costs of some of the wheelchair vans we offer at MoveMobility. We also provided you with some factors that play a role in the costs, as well as some things that might cause the cost to be lower between manufacturers.
At MoveMobility, our decade-spanning expertise in making wheelchair accessible vans underscores our commitment to delivering excellence. What sets us apart is our unwavering dedication to transparency in pricing. We believe that by openly discussing costs, we empower organizations to make well-informed decisions, ensuring not only mobility but also peace of mind for those we serve.
If you’re ready to get the process started, talk to a MoveMobility expert.
If the chart at the beginning of this article gave you a bit of sticker shock, you should know that payment options DO exist at MoveMobility.
Your organization might also be wondering how to sell your old wheelchair van before purchasing a new one. Read our article on the best ways to sell your old wheelchair van for more information on that.