For almost every piece of equipment we see new, you can find pre-owned and/or refurbished for a lower price. Sometimes it’s a better piece than we could have afforded new. But there are pros and cons.

Some items take more research than others: Buying a used lift for a wheelchair van may be a bigger decision than getting a ramp as the lift is a more complex piece of equipment. But the money saved may be worth the time.

Following are some points to consider when purchasing used equipment.

New: New equipment is easy to find. Visit www.NMEDA.com for a quality assurance program dealer near you – some even specialize in used vehicles and equipment.

Used: It may take time to find the exact used equipment that fits your unique needs. Buyer beware is the motto when buying anything previously owned. If you are not dealing with a trusted professional, you want to make sure you get the best possible deal while comparing cost to quality and durability. If you are in a hurry, buying used may not be for you.

New: You know the life expectancy of the equipment.

Used: Buying online or from a classified ad can be risky. Even if the lift is only three years old, you don’t know how well it was maintained or if the vehicle was in an accident that may have damaged the lift. (Tip: Some authorized dealerships sell used equipment as well as new.)

New: Good warranty

Used: May not have a warranty or will have a shorter warranty than new. But even if you have to pay for repairs out of pocket, it may still be less expensive than buying new. (Tip: If buying from a Quality Assurance Program dealership, the equipment has been thoroughly inspected the vehicle, repairs made, and usually warranties and guarantees are available.)

With a lot of research, you can find hardly used, less-than-mint condition, gently-owned or discontinued ADA-Disability products for a fair, even surprisingly low, price.

This mobility safety update has been brought to you by NMEDA – the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association. Need some information on how to make your vehicle wheelchair accessible or upgraded with the latest and most convenient features? Contact a NMEDA dealer in your local area. Your local NMEDA member is a mobility equipment and accessibility expert!

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