Should I Buy a Used Wheelchair Van or a New One?

Let’s get right to the point. More often than not, whether to buy a used handicap van or new one depends on your personal finances.  If you’re spending thousands of dollars on medical expenses because of your or a family member’s disability, there’s a good chance you’ll need the lowest price you can afford on a wheelchair van. Let’s give both options a fair appraisal, especially where value is concerned.

A Brand-New Van

Besides that intoxicating new-van smell, the new vehicle you drive off the dealer’s lot should have a nice, long warranty and shouldn’t require anything but scheduled maintenance for quite a while.  With new vans, you have the choice to purchase the van first and get your preferred wheelchair conversion done at a later time, or you can purchase a brand-new handicap van already converted for wheelchair access. Of course, like any new vehicle, it depreciates significantly the moment you drive it off the dealer’s lot. On the positive side, your new van will have greater resale and trade-in value. The most glaring negative is the often staggering, lofty price that comes with the luxury of a brand-spanking-new handicap accessible vehicle.

A Used Wheelchair Van

The most attractive positive of a used wheelchair accessible van is its affordability.  AMS Vans’ used handicap vans are sold online for thousands of dollars less than their local competitors, thanks to low overhead, their industry-changing, innovative conversion styles, and unparalleled customer service. Next, you’ll appreciate the vast inventory of used accessible vehicles available to you, both online and at local dealerships. There are a number of ways to acquire a used handicap vehicle:

  • Purchase a used van and arrange for the handicap conversion separately
  • Purchase a used van already equipped with a new conversion
  • Purchase a used van with an existing (used) conversion
  • Have your existing minivan modified for wheelchair accessibility with a new AMS conversion

The three used-vehicle options on the table mean you’ll discover a wide range of pricing, which means you’ll have a good chance of finding a used accessible van in your price range. Even if you don’t have all the money required, you’ll be in a good position for a grant or other funding to help buy a wheelchair accessible van or cover the full purchase price.

Now, about warranties. The warranty on the van and the warranty on the conversion are separate. If the base vehicle is a late model and still has time on the original warranty, you’ll have warranty protection until it expires. If the base vehicle gets a new conversion, you’ll get a full warranty on the conversion. If you purchase a used van with a used conversion, you’ll have the time remaining, if any, on the warranties for the vehicle and for the conversion. After OEM warranties have expired, you might consider third-party extended warranties, but, as with anything that impacts your finances, research carefully before you proceed.

As you’d expect, the resale and trade-in value of a vehicle purchased used will be significantly lower than a new van. When debating the two choices, consider your finances, along with the long-term value of buying used vs. buying new, and you’ll surely come to the right decision.