Purchasing a mode of transportation is an important event for anyone. For people with disabilities, it means independence, Life Moving Forward. But when you decide to purchase a handicap van, don’t let the rush of excitement overtake your logic.

Picture it: Those shiny new vans are calling your name. The new car smell is intoxicating and the equipment is awesome. A test drive won’t hurt…

Put the brakes on! What do you know about wheelchair accessible vehicles? Enough to invest thousands of dollars? Savvy shoppers do their research beforehand.

  • Visit www.NMEDA.com to get an education in all things relating to vehicle conversions and mobility equipment. Research the different aspects, make an appointment to meet with a Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist and know what you need—and don’t need.
  • Once you’re more knowledgeable, contact a local dealer you found on the NMEDA site using the “Dealer Locator” link.
  • All NMEDA dealers are QAP (Quality Assurance Program) accredited, so you know a trained staff, experienced in wheelchair accessible vans and equipment, can help narrow down a mobility van or equipment to fit your condition and your budget—whether it’s new or used. Sometimes they can outfit your existing vehicle with necessary driving equipment.

How will I pay for it? NMEDA members know lending institutions familiar with the costs of converted vans and equipment and can guide you to financing options.

A savvy buyer will also wait until the sales, discounts, rebates and specials kick in for even better prices.

Find it difficult to get to the dealership? Let the dealership bring the van to you for a test drive.

Enter to win a free one!

Share your story of dealing with or overcoming mobility challenges through video or in writing. Thre winners will receive a 2012 custom Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle. NMEDA’s Local Hero contest begins March 18. Go to www.MobilityAwarenessMonth.com for more information.

The National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) is an advocate for mobility and accessibility for drivers with disabilities. If you need help with converting or buying a handicap accessible car, truck or van, please consider one of our mobility equipment dealers.

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