The selection of vehicles for people with disabilities who also need wheelchair access may not be as varied as the selection for those who do not need a lift or ramp, but there are many makes and models to fit your unique needs.
If your sedan has space for a fold-up wheelchair, and you can transfer with or without help, you may only need a few pieces of adaptive equipment.
If a full-size van or truck won’t fit in your garage, you may need a minivan or sedan. If you require more space inside the vehicle, you probably need a full-size van.
- Minivans have better mpg than a full-size van and are often easier to maneuver.
- There are two different entry styles for a lowered-floor minivan: side-entry and rear-entry. Typically only the side-entry can be driven by a person seated in a wheelchair.
Full-size Wheelchair Van
- Taller people who need additional head space may require a full-size van.
- You need to know how far the engine cover extends into the van as it may be an obstacle to easy transfer or swiveling.
- If you plan to drive or ride in your wheelchair, you need the roominess of a full-size van or a lowered floor van.
- If a truck is more your style, you will need a lift to transfer the wheelchair into the bed.
- Power lifts hoist and store a wheelchair and/or scooter into the bed from the side door or the tailgate.
There are many solutions available, so always consult a NMEDA mobility equipment dealer who will work closely with a certified driver rehabilitation specialist to advise you on the proper vehicle and driving equipment to accommodate your particular adaptive equipment 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 vehicle, please consider one of our mobility equipment dealers: https://nmeda.org/consumer-resources/dealer-locator/