Getting Started with Accessible Minivans

Savaria Side Entry Van

 

What type of accessible minivan is right for you? Use this checklist to find out and see a few FAQs too.

 

Choose a side entry conversion if…

  • You have a wide driveway or you park on the street
  • You want a power assisted ramp
  • You want or need driver capabilities for wheelchair passenger
  • The wheelchair passenger will be sitting in the front passenger area

Choose a rear entry conversion if…

  • You are looking for the most cost-effective solution
  • You have limited-space parking (single driveway)
  • You would like to have second row ambulatory passengers
  • You have a larger wheelchair (ease of access)

 

How much does an accessible van cost?

The cost can be split into two parts: vehicle cost and conversion cost. The vehicle cost will vary based on individual preferences and whether or not you buy a brand new van. A minivan could range from $15,000 to $60,000. Similarly, depending on the type of conversion and which options you’d like, a conversion may cost anywhere from $16,000 to $27,000.

 

Can I get my current van converted or do I have to buy an accessible minivan ready-to-go?

You may be able to convert your current van depending on the brand and its condition. The best thing is to call your local conversion dealership or the manufacturer directly and ask them if yours is a model that can be converted.

 

Are accessible minivans safe for passengers in wheelchairs?

Yes. They are just as safe as traditional minivans. Any reputable converter of wheelchair accessible vans will have performed seat belt tests and crash tests (front, side, and rear impact) to comply with federal safety requirements (FMVSS and CMVSS). You should not be hesitant to ask for a copy of these tests when you are purchasing a vehicle.

 

When it comes to accessible minivans, there are a lot of options to consider. Take some time to think about your needs today and consider if they may also change in the near future. It is helpful to know what you are looking for and then work to find a vehicle that fits your criteria. And don’t be shy about asking questions. Dealers and manufacturers are there to answer your questions and help you find the right wheelchair accessible minivan for you.

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