For most people who are looking for a wheelchair accessible van, it is their first time. It can seem a little bit overwhelming at first because everyone has their own specific needs. If you have qualified experts who can answer some important questions, you’re much more likely to get the functionality that you need. Here are six questions you should ask when choosing a wheelchair-accessible van.
1. What options are available
When it comes to accessible vehicles, there are more options these days than ever before. There are dozens of variations on models, lifts and driving aids. Before you go to the sales facility, find out what options are available.
2. What is their expertise level?
You want to make sure you’re dealing with knowledgeable sales reps so that you can get a good fit for your needs. You are likely to have unique requirements, so don’t be afraid to be inquisitive to the salespeople and thorough about all the details. You are making a very big purchase after all.
3. Are they accredited?
When choosing a dealer, find one that is accredited by the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA). This organization ensures safe and reliable modifications for vehicles sold to the accessibility market. The dealers who belong to this national organization are the best in the industry. You can feel more confident about the safety and quality of their services and products. The NMEDA offers a certification program called the Quality Assurance Program or QAP.
4. Know the dealer’s track record
There are many dealers who offer substandard equipment, especially if they conduct their sales online. Find out if the dealership is reputable. Ask for referrals and customer reviews. Check the Better Business Bureau website and other review websites. For a major purchase like this, it pays to do a little research.
5. What are the warranty details?
The warranty is always a very important factor when buying a vehicle because mechanical issues are likely to come up at some point in the ownership of the van. Most reputable businesses provide warranties for the conversion equipment for a wheelchair-accessible vehicle. The warranty term is usually 3 years and 36,000 miles, but it is often worthwhile to look for extended coverage if you will be doing a lot of commuting or traveling.
6. Is it a good fit?
The most important aspect of a wheelchair accessible vehicle is the size of the vehicle in relation to the person and the chair. The number of family members also has to be taken into account. You should be completely forthcoming about your disability and needs in this regard. Decide if you are buying a special vehicle or having one custom-modified for you.
Overall, the best advice in buying and accessibility vehicle is to take your time and be thorough. The dealers should be viewed as consultants if they possess the necessary knowledge and experience. Your sales rep will have a lot of valuable advice, but in the end, the decisions are up to you, so do enough research and planning to make sure you get exactly what you need.