How to Make a Van Wheelchair Accessible
The question “how to make a van wheelchair accessible” is posed by many wheelchair users and transportation providers. To make a van wheelchair accessible is a lengthy process that involves many steps and safety measures with a team of highly trained technician experts. In short terms, a wheelchair accessible vehicle is a vehicle that has been converted by making better use of the interior size of the vehicle and equipping it with seating and wheelchair entry and securement; a wheelchair ramp or lift. Converting a vehicle to become wheelchair accessible can have up to 40 alterations depending on the type of ramp or lift required, and if the vehicle is side entry or rear entry.
Before you purchase a vehicle at an automotive dealership, consider going straight to a mobility dealer instead! MoveMobility specializes in accessible van modifications and we know which vehicles can be converted, whereas an automotive dealerships’ sales personnel typically do not understand specific mobility needs and the steps required to give a client the accessible vehicle they need.
Visit MoveMobility! We are the experts, knowing exactly what vehicles can be modified and our team can explain the entire process for you to help determine if the vehicle you are interested in can be converted before making a purchase.
Another important consideration to determine is if the wheelchair user will be the driver or the passenger. This will help solve the dilemma of which position the wheelchair should enter the vehicle to accommodate the caregiver and wheelchair passenger.
Our certified MoveMobility technicians ensure each vehicle is certified to meet strict safety requirements across Canada. Conversions typically include lowering or installing the floor, vehicle interior lining and finishing, ramp or lift installations, wheelchair tiedowns for securement; ensuring the wheelchair(s) have room to easily maneuver into and out of the vehicle.
MoveMobility Specializes in Converting the Following Vehicles for Wheelchair Accessibility:
Full-Size Vans: Dodge Promaster, Ford Transit and Mercedes Sprinter
Minivans: Dodge Grand Caravan, Toyota Sienna and Mercedes Metris
A rear entry vehicle is more economical compared to a side entry vehicle, as it requires fewer modifications. It is important to consider parking in your city, and your interior requirements such as trunk space and overall height.
Choosing a conversion entry at the side or the rear of the vehicle can affect the cost of modifying and converting the vehicle to become wheelchair accessible. The cost is based on the needs of what kind of service you are providing, the wheelchair passenger(s) needs and the number of passengers who will be in the accessible vehicle. Rear entry ramp conversions don’t have access to the driver’s seating area, requiring a caregiver, community transportation provider or family member to drive the vehicle. Rear entry ramps generally come manual and therefore cost less.
Rear entry conversions require no extra room for the ramp, mid-passenger seating can be mounted next to the wheelchair position, provide additional ground clearance and have enough space for longer wheelchairs.
Check out these 5 benefits to choosing a rear entry wheelchair van: Click Here!
Side entry modifications are labor intensive and cost more than rear entry modifications, however a benefit of a side entry conversion is that it gives the wheelchair user the option to drive the vehicle or to be positioned in the front passenger seat. Wheelchair vehicle conversions typically range from $15,000 to $35,000; this is on top of the vehicle purchase price. The prices vary depending on what specifications and features you choose for the vehicle.
In addition to giving the wheelchair the ability to drive the van or sit in the front passenger position, side entry conversions allow the wheelchair user to enter and exit the vehicle from the curbside away from the traffic. They also retain the minivan’s rear cargo space.
Wheelchair van conversions are an investment, but they will last for years to come. Book a consultation with a MoveMobility Consultant to find the most cost-effective solution for your lifestyle.