With the pricing of new wheelchair accessible vehicles likely to hit your budget hard, a quality pre-owned vehicle, at a more budget-friendly price, can be an appealing alternative. Purchasing a wheelchair accessible van or truck is a worthwhile investment and the possibility of finding a quality used handicap vehicle that fits your specific needs and budget is now greater than ever.
You can find listings for pre-owned wheelchair vehicles virtually anywhere in a wide range of marketplaces, like printed materials and websites that offer listings from private parties. However, these avenues can be exhausting, time consuming, and can often end with a regretted purchase, unfortunately.
An option that can alleviate much of the work and concerns when purchasing a pre-owned accessible vehicle is to buy a quality used vehicle from a mobility equipment dealer, like Active Mobility Innovations. These are pre-owned vehicles that have been purchased or taken in as a trade-in with the intention of servicing and reselling them to those in need and on a conservative budget. Purchasing a wheelchair accessible vehicle from a mobility equipment dealer, such as AMI, that specializes in the sales and service of mobility equipment has many advantages.
Buying from a specialized dealer who understands the ins and outs of mobility vehicle equipment and the specific needs of the user can make a hug difference in your purchasing experience from start to finish, and after. Each vehicle goes through a thorough inspection and evaluation, which includes a mechanical review and appraisal. Any repairs needed are completed and the vehicle is appraised to determine its value for sale and possible financing.
The Needs Assessment
Once you have found the perfect accessible vehicle that has the options you are looking for it is time to take the “Needs Assessment”. Whether the user intends to drive the vehicle or ride as a passenger it is important to determine if the vehicle fits all the needs of the user.
Details such as height and weight requirements are usually the first to be determined. It is also important to consider if the users mobility devices will fit in the allotted space. It is possible that the vehicle may fit the bill, however the lift may need to be replaced to handle the width and weight requirements of the users equipment.
Furthermore, if the user intends to drive the vehicle, it is necessary that the driver also assess this ability. The needs of the user can be very specific and making sure that the vehicle functions to fit the users specific driving needs and abilities is an important consideration. In some instances, the driver may need an evaluation because of changing hand controls or the method of driving may be different than accustomed to.
Now that you have found the used vehicle you have been searching for and it meets all the requirements, let’s give it one last look over. If you are purchasing from a reputable dealer, like Active Mobility Innovations, the vehicle has been inspected, serviced, and is ready to roll, and for your peace of mind would only require a basic mechanical evaluation.
However, if you decide to buy from a private party, it is necessary that you put more effort in the evaluation of the vehicle’s mechanics. Personal listings placed online usually do not require verification of the condition of the vehicle or the accuracy of how it is represented in the listing. In this instance, insisting on an inspection is a must, whether by you, or someone that you trust who is qualified to determine a vehicle’s condition.
A basic pre-purchase inspection that does not require the expertise of a mechanic, but can offer some indicators of a vehicle’s condition are as follows:
• Leaks such as oil, power steering, and coolant can often be indicated by low fluid levels. Leaks can be evaluated by checking the fluid levels of the vehicle. If any are low, check under the vehicle to see if there is any dripping.
• Abnormal wear and tear can often be an indicator that the vehicle was used for a commercial service prior to being listed for sale. However, if this is the case it is certainly not a deal breaker but it can offer some insight to other areas of the vehicle that may need special attention when determining its condition accurately, such as the performance of the assistive devices and remotes, etc.
• Unusual tire wear patterns often present themselves when there is a problem with the suspension. Whether it is from rough road conditions or an accident can often be determined by a service records report, like Carfax.
• A service records report, like Carfax, can help identify when a vehicle was serviced, and repairs made to the vehicle. This report can also shed light on any accidents the vehicle may have been reported in. This report will also give you information on the title, which you may also want to explore further before purchasing, especially if purchasing from a private party, to make sure it is free and clear.
• Warranties may still be available on the vehicle or assistive devices on the vehicle, like lifts, ramps, remote controls, etc. You want to make sure you have this information when purchasing so you can take advantage of any available warranties, if needed in the future.
Purchasing a pre-owned wheelchair accessible vehicle can be a daunting and exhaustive task, but it doesn’t have to be. Now that you are educated in the best practices and what to look for, we encourage you to contact Active Mobility Solutions, a specialized dealer in mobility equipment and quality pre-owned accessible vehicles. Here at AMI, we truly understand the significance of your mobility freedom and strive to help you gain and maintain your independence. AMI is family owned and operated and we will be there for you every step of the way. Our team is knowledgeable, expertly trained, and committed to helping you find the best solution to your specific mobility needs.
We are ready to take your call!