What makes for the better buy?

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Should I Buy a New or Used Wheelchair Van

Debating about a new or used wheelchair van is like debating which is better: mint or strawberry ice cream? It all comes down to looking at what works best for your personal or business situation.

With that said, buying new or used wheelchair van and/or vehicle is an important question to answer when looking at buying a vehicle. I think instead of debating the merits of one over the other, there are other questions that need to be answered first to truly find the right mobility vehicle solution for you and your family.

6 Questions To Answer Before Deciding If New or Used Is The Way To Go

Question #1 – What kind of wheelchair van are you looking for?

This is a good place to start when you are looking at buying a wheelchair accessible van. It’s important to start thinking about the things you want to have in a wheelchair accessible vehicle, what’s important to your family, colour preference, entertainment features, safety records, entry methods and so on…this kind of information will help you as you start to look at both new and used wheelchair vans.

Question #2 – What is your purchase timeline?

Depending on when you are needing a wheelchair accessible vehicle will have an impact on your decision. If you are needing something now, your options potentially are limited and you will need to go with the best fit. Alternatively, if you have all the time in the world, you can be very choosy about a new or used wheelchair van.

Question #3 – Similar to question #1, what are the things you really need to have in the van?

These are the must haves, the deal breakers, the things you need to have in the van to make it an enjoyable vehicle to drive. Make a list of these things while you are doing your research as it will make finding the right wheelchair van that much easier. Some of these must haves may only be available on a new wheelchair van whereas your needs list may be available on a used wheelchair van…this all comes down to personal choice.

Question #4 – What are you planning on doing with your existing vehicle?

Are you planning on keeping your existing wheelchair or vehicle? Are you planning on selling it privately or trading it in? It is good to know what your plan is for your vehicle before deciding if a new or used wheelchair van is the way to go. Your existing vehicle affects you in a few different ways. If you still owe money on the vehicle and you are keeping it, lenders will take this into consideration when looking at your debt/equity ratios. Similarly, if trading your vehicle in and the vehicle is valued less than what you still owe on it, you are considered to be upside down. The difference between the trade and the loan can be added to the new purchase but again will affect your debt/equity ratios which will impact how much money you can borrow to buy your vehicle. If you are selling it, make sure you are getting enough to either pay off your existing loan or enough to use as a down payment. Alternatively, if you are planning on trading in your vehicle, you need to be realistic on what you are going to get offered. If it is a broken down rust heap, don’t expect to get the world for it.

Question #5 – What is your current financial picture?

This is a sensitive topic so I am not going to dive too much into it. Rather, it is important to know how your credit is as this will impact your ability to get finance or lease options. As well, it is important to know your long term financial plan…if know you will need to borrow more money in the future for certain projects or purchases or have a lot of expenses coming up, how realistic is it to have a large vehicle payment. I think it is best to be real with yourself instead of biting off more than you can chew.

Question #6 – What is your personal preference?

The first five questions really help create a balanced picture on what kind of wheelchair van you should be driving. Based on your answers you may find new is the way to go or you may find that as long as it is reliable, has four wheels and a wheelchair ramp, that’s all you need. With that said, I still think it’s good to consider what makes you feel most comfortable. For some, the idea of driving new means they have total peace of mind on the vehicle. If anything should go wrong with it, there is warranty to cover it (minus routine maintenance of course.) For others, a used wheelchair may be the way to go as there might be a certain body styling that was only available in a certain year. Knowing your personal preference will allow you to add back in some of the emotions of buying a vehicle and it acts a like a bit of a check and balance with the previous five questions.


At the end of the day, answering these six questions will help paint a pretty good picture of what you need for a wheelchair van. As well, it is important to be open minded as an option which you may never have considered before may pop up that makes sense for you and your needs. If you need help in answering these questions, request more information by clicking here and we can help you find the right solution.


Image courtesy of Rakratchada Torsap at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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