The cost of a new, specially outfitted handicapped accessible van can be prohibitive, and many people try to save money by instead buying a base model van and having a set of used wheelchair lifts installed. For even more substantial savings, check into used vans with used wheelchair lifts already installed.

Lifts can be either motorized or manual. The manual version is relatively simple to install and can often be a do it yourself project for someone basically handy, and are also pretty low cost. Some slide into a hitch of the back of your vehicle, and there is even one or two which can be installed and removed with only one person. Motorized lifts require drilling into the body of the vehicle and wiring the unit to your car’s battery; a project best left to the experts. There is one power wheelchair product made that can be easily installed by attaching it to the third-row hardware in a lot of mini-vans, and operated by its own battery, which makes for easy installation. This unit is called the BackPacker lift by Silver Star.

Of course, used wheelchair lifts can be obtained for a fraction of the cost of the same thing new. Some people opt to upgrade and sell their old equipment, but more frequently you will probably see used vans with wheelchair lifts sold as a package deal. Getting a great deal on this type of van with an included lift requires the same type of due diligence you would do with any used vehicle purchase. Check it out yourself, and also have your mechanic give it the once-over before laying down any cash for the vehicle. If your mechanic is not comfortable giving his opinion on the lift, find a service facility for lifts and ask them to check it over for you. Be prepared, of course, to pay them for their time.

If you’re considering a used van with a lift, it’s probably still a good idea to work directly with an experienced van conversion company. An experienced mobility van company can give you more information and tips, and also guide you toward the vehicle that makes sense for your particular situation. They can give you access specifications and teach you how to use and maintain your new equipment.



By Olivia

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