1.8% of all Brits have difficulty walking or wheelchair to get around. For those who only require crutches, it’s easy enough to get in and out of cars.
Unfortunately, for those in wheelchairs, simply getting from point A to point B can be extremely difficult without a little help. Which is why a wheelchair accessible van is helpful.
Not everyone can afford to buy a new van but there are things you can do to make your old minivan wheelchair accessible. Keep reading for three tips to help make your minivan or SUV wheelchair accessible.
1. Determine if Your Old Minivan or SUV Can Be Converted
Luckily, there’s a really great chance that your old minivan, SUV or van can be converted into a wheelchair accessible mode of transportation. There are a few factors you need to know first, though.
Before you head off to make those changes, make sure you know the make and model of your car. Find out what year it was manufactured.
Lastly, determine the total mileage of your vehicle.
The last thing you want to do is to spend thousands of pounds converting your vehicle only to have it break down or completely die. If your minivan isn’t in good shape, it may be best to consider buying another vehicle first.
2. Consider Which Type of Conversion is Best For Your Needs
There are two types of conversions you can make a wheelchair accessible SUV. The choices are side-entry and rear-entry. Let’s learn about them both.
Side-Entry Wheelchair Van Conversion
Most people prefer the side-entry because it enables the user to ride up in the front seat or to even access the driver’s seat to operate the vehicle themselves.
Many people also like that the seating options and configurations are similar to standard vehicles. They also like that it’s easy to operate the wheelchair ramp in their old minivan.
Rear-Entry Wheelchair Van Conversion
A wheelchair accessible SUV with rear-entry is a good choice for those who are on a budget. It’s usually more affordable to convert since the rear bench is removed and replaced with a ramp mechanism.
It’s also easier to find parking because rear-entry means you never get boxed into your space. That means not having to worry about whether or not someone has already taken the blue badge parking spots.
It’s also safer for those in the wheelchair to be situated in the centre of the old minivan in the case of a collision.
3. Financial Assistance is Available
Converting to a wheelchair accessible SUV can cost upwards of thousands of pounds but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other solutions. Using an old minivan can bring down those costs considerably.
Contact a mobility dealer who sells used wheelchair accessible vehicles. Dealers know of organisations, non-profits, and other agencies who can help with financing.
You can also ask friends and family for donations and begin a savings account as well.
Let Us Help You
Whether you’re looking to convert your old minivan or you’re interested in buying one already converted, we can help.
We’re happy to answer all your questions and concerns. Click here to contact us today.