With the plethora of vehicles in today’s market, it can often be overwhelming to make a decision. However, depending on where you live, there’s a less common option you might want to consider.

A Low Speed Vehicle (LSV) is exactly what it sounds like—a vehicle that travels at low speeds. At first you may think of something similar to a golf cart or off-road utility vehicle; and you’d be correct because those are part of the LSV category. However, a LSV goes beyond these options, branching into street-legal vehicles that resemble cars more than recreational vehicles.

What is a Low Speed Vehicle?

What qualifies an automobile as an LSV is due mainly to two criteria: one, that the top speed of the vehicle stays at 25 mph or below, and two, that they only drive on roads with speed limits 35 mph or less.

Benefits of LSVs

So, why purchase an LSV if there are limitations? Well, for many people, an LSV would support the majority of needs for transportation, especially for those with accessible needs. Here’s why: typically an LSV will drive for approximately 30 miles on a full charge, as many are electrically powered.

These 30 miles may not sound like much, but at a constant speed of 20 mph, that allows for an hour and a half round-trip drive. With your home in the right location, this could be all you need for a day’s worth of errands. Not only do they have surprising range, but most LSVs are driver-only vehicles which allows you to enter from the back.

This means if you use a wheelchair, all you have to do is roll in and lock your seat in place. Without the need for chair lift equipment and wheelchair storage, an LSV could be the answer to quick, independent transportation for your household.

Before You Buy

Before you sign any purchase agreement, it’s important to determine if an LSV is right for your lifestyle. Can you reach areas such as the grocery store, hospital, post office and friends’ houses without highway travel? If these are the places you’d be traveling to most often in your LSV and they do not require you to drive on high-speed roads, this type of adaptive vehicle might be your ideal solution.

Next, it’s a good idea to consider the environment you live in. If your area is prone to snow and ice, extra research is recommended to make sure your purchase is safe in these conditions. Also, each state has its own individual laws regarding the ownership and operation of LSVs, so double-check these regulations.

If you’ve considered the options and believe you might want to make the investment in an LSV, contact your local NMEDA dealer to help you through the process. In teaming up with NMEDA, you’ll be well on your way to owning a new accessible low speed vehicle for all your transportation needs.

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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