We hear a lot of talk about which accessible vehicle to buy. It all depends on your unique mobility needs and your lifestyle. (Do you tote around business equipment, a wheelchair or have tons of friends?) There are several sizes to choose from:
It’s difficult for anyone to get into the back seat of a 2-door vehicle. A 4-door is easier. If you use a walker or wheelchair, you need a car with a roomy trunk and a low lip height for easier loading. Some sedans have a hatchback in place of a trunk lid – the entire back of the vehicle lifts up for easier loading.
Sedans and hatchbacks are roomy enough for portable manual wheelchairs, electric wheelchairs that can be disassembled, compact or partially dissembled scooters and walkers.
A station wagon has a old school connotation but they are typically roomier than a sedan and handy for loading with its tailgate at the rear. Fold-down rear seats accommodate either passengers or cargo.
Station wagons have ample space for manual wheelchairs, compact electric wheelchairs, electric scooters and walkers.
Minivans are taller than a sedan or station wagon and easier to maneuver than full-sized vans. Many have sliding doors as well as out-swing doors. They come in large, compact, mini and micro sizes.
Minivans can hold manual wheelchairs, many electric wheelchairs, electric scooters and walkers.
Full-size vans are designed to transort cargo and/or groups of people. They are taller than other private vehicles and ideal for larger families or those with “cargo”- i.e. power wheelchairs.
Full-size vans are spacious enough for manual wheelchairs, 2 electric wheelchairs, electric scooters and walkers.
Depending on your budget, you can also adapt SUVs, Pick-up Trucks and some Sports Cars. With the rising price of gasoline you will want to consider how important good gas mileage is to you versus style and convenience.
Consider the future: Buy a vehicle not just for today, but for tomorrow’s possible needs.
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!