Author Topic: Vehicle Purchase - Wheelchair Van  (Read 2272 times)

Lathome

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Vehicle Purchase - Wheelchair Van
« on: February 17, 2016, 02:22:14 PM »
Hello. I am new to the forum and was hoping for advice. We have a young son in a wheelchair and need to get an adapted vehicle. While I really don't like the idea of spending money on a vehicle, it's a must so now we are looking at either (1) buying a new or next to new vehicle and modifying it and holding warranties on the vehicle and conversion (about 7 years is average) or (2) buying a used vehicle with modifications done. The total price tag on (1) can be about $50,000 if adapting a Dodge Caravan or $70,000 if it's a Toyota or Honda (both with better reliability reputations, at least per the company that does the conversions). There isn't a huge resale market as people tend to hold the vehicles for 7 years+ (after warranties expire) and then they are still in the $20,000 to $30,000 price range. Has anyone had to deal with a similar decision when it comes to accessible vehicles? are there angles I should be looking at that I am missing? We live in Canada and there is a federal tax break on the conversion cost (it's a full deduction) or up to $5000 on an already modified vehicle. Thanks for any thoughts on this!

hops

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Re: Vehicle Purchase - Wheelchair Van
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2016, 03:06:34 PM »
Are there any charitable foundations that might offer assistance? My aunt was only able to afford an adapted van for my wheelchair-bound cousin thanks to organizations that help disabled kids.

I think this site is more US-centric:

http://cpfamilynetwork.org/grants-for-disabled-children/

There's also this resource for Canadians:

https://mobilitybasics.ca/canadian-funding

Lathome

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Re: Vehicle Purchase - Wheelchair Van
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2016, 03:11:09 PM »
There are some funding options but all are income tested and we are above the thresholds. We will be able to access maybe $1000 tops so it is on us.

SomedayStache

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Re: Vehicle Purchase - Wheelchair Van
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2016, 01:05:39 PM »
If you can't find a used one then there's not really a choice huh?

I wish you the best of luck.  My brother was in a wheelchair and the first lift van my parents bought was old and used.  They had numerous problems with it.  On the way to an out-of-town wedding the lift got stuck in the open position and we had to drive home with the door open and the lift sticking out.  Luckily this happened only a few blocks from our house at a restaurant and not two states away. (We didn't make it to the wedding obviously). If you are stranded with a child in a wheelchair the tow-truck driver can't exactly give you a ride anywhere nor can you easily rent a vehicle.

The next van my parents bought was a full size brand new Ford Van with absolutely nothing on the inside except a driver's seat.  Metal floors - no windows - nada.  They had the conversion done and drove that beast for the next 15 years.  I was too young to know any details and probably none of it would be applicable to current events anyway.

lizzzi

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Re: Vehicle Purchase - Wheelchair Van
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2016, 01:48:31 PM »
When I was a public health nurse, one of the families I worked with had a teen-ager who was wheelchair-bound, and of course he liked to go out and about with his family. They would purchase second-hand wheelchair vans from the vendor companies who provided handicapped transportation for nursing homes or whatever. They had quite good luck with one...but said they had had another one that was just too worn out and cost them too much in repairs. This family was in the middle-class black hole--didn't have much money, but had too much to qualify for anything.

Lathome

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Re: Vehicle Purchase - Wheelchair Van
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2016, 02:33:31 PM »
Thank you for the replies. I'm definitely leaning toward accepting we will have to depart from the usual situation and buy new or nearly new to make this worth it! I think I just needed some confirmation that the exceptional nature of the situation justifies the large purchase of a depreciating asset!

lizzzi

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Re: Vehicle Purchase - Wheelchair Van
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2016, 07:01:54 PM »
I had a muscular dystrophy patient--a really great guy, and good advocate for the disabled--anyway, he had a nice wheelchair van that his aide drove for him. He told me he paid for it through a PASS account--something to do with his Social Security Disability.