Shopping for a new vehicle takes much more consideration when there’s a wheelchair you need to move. Whether you are a wheelchair user or regularly transport a family member that requires an accessible vehicle, it’s important to choose the right type of vehicle that will make getting around easy. It needs to be one that is not only easy to get in and out of, but also one that has room to comfortably hold a wheelchair and other accessibility equipment. We have compiled a list of the best wheelchair travel options and, when the time comes to make a purchase, we carry a variety of the best wheelchair-accessible vehicles to choose from.
Tips for Choosing the Right Vehicle
In the wide world of automobiles, how do you know which are good vehicles for wheelchair users? There are several considerations to keep in mind when shopping to ensure the car is able to accommodate a wheelchair. Who will be driving the vehicle? Is the wheelchair user the driver, or will the individual be the passenger? Will the vehicle need to be side or rear entry? Would you prefer a fold-out or slide-out ramp for access?
You’ll also need to consider the parking situation in your local area. If spots are small or dominated by street parking, you may want to purchase a more manageable vehicle like a mid-size SUV or wheelchair-accessible van rather than a large pickup truck.
Vehicle Styles, Benefits, and Models
Wheelchair users have a lot to consider that can oftentimes feel as though the vehicle options are limited, but there are actually a variety of wheelchair-accessible vehicles to choose from that will match your style, personality, and needs. Along with accessibility, these are safe wheelchair travel vehicles that provide the functionality you need and the amenities and features you want.
Minivans are a top choice for many wheelchair users. They offer plenty of room, easy accessibility conversions, convenient in/out access, and great safety for the entire family. Some excellent models of wheelchair-accessible vans include the Chrysler Pacifica, Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Grand Caravan, Toyota Sienna, and Honda Odyssey.
SUVs are a great option for those who want to look outside of the minivan. They are appealing because they still offer roominess and cargo space while also combined with off-roading capabilities and driveability in virtually any weather condition. In some instances, the cargo space may even be larger than what you’d find in minivans. The most popular model excellent for wheelchair users and conversions is the Chevrolet Traverse.
Pickup trucks are a great choice for wheelchair users who require more functionality out of a vehicle. Whether you have something to tow or require the ability to haul items in the bed, trucks offer versatility that is not always available in other vehicle options. Of course, trucks aren’t always a top choice for daily use by wheelchair users as they sit much higher off the ground, making it difficult to get in and out of. In addition to accessibility, a wheelchair will most likely have to be stored in the bed and, if there is no cover, it would be exposed to the elements while driving. For those interested in a wheelchair-accessible truck, an ideal model to choose would be the Chevrolet Silverado.
Temporarily Transporting a Wheelchair? Consider a Rental
There may be times that you only temporarily need to transport a wheelchair, whether it’s during a brief recovery period or taking a road trip with a wheelchair user that may not normally be along for the ride. Renting a wheelchair-accessible vehicle can help ensure that everyone is comfortable and accommodated for the ride. Unfortunately, you can’t go to any rental company and find an accessible vehicle, so when it is necessary, we offer wheelchair vehicle rental at Southern Bus and Mobility.
Get Help Choosing the Right Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle
Typical automobile dealerships don’t have the expertise and knowledge surrounding wheelchair-accessible vehicles to help you make an educated purchase decision. When you need a vehicle that is comfortable and functional for a wheelchair user, it’s important to visit a dealership that understands your needs and can help you choose the right vehicle in the style you want. Shopping for an accessible vehicle requires you to contact a wheelchair vehicle provider that has the information you need, like Southern Bus and Mobility.
We are an NMEDA QAP Certified dealer, meaning we’re here to help make your buying process easy to understand and ensure the wheelchair-accessible van you purchase is high-quality.