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Thread: When buying a Wheelchair Van, Do you haggle over the price?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    When buying a Wheelchair Van, Do you haggle over the price?

    I am a T4 Para and have driven cars with hand controls for the past 21 years since my injury. Now that I am 42, I am considering buying a mini van with a lift and a driver seat that swivels around so I don't have to break the chair down anymore and load it in the back seat and then reverse the process when I get out. I live in Indianapolis and there are several dealers in town that sell converted vehicles. My question is: When purchasing a converted vehicle, do you haggle over the price like you do at a car dealership? I truly hate the entire car buying process, but I want to go into it armed and ready so I don't get ripped off. Is it cheaper to buy a Van and have it modified someplace, or is it cheaper to find a converted one that fits your needs? Anyone have experience or suggestions about the modified van buying process?
    Thanks,
    Brad
    "If everything is under control, you are going too slow." - Mario Andretti

  2. #2

    possible alternative

    This might not work for you, but i know a few paras who got mini vans without the conversion. they basically take out the seat behind the driver, and after transfer they pull the chair behind them. (you will need the power slide door)
    this might be a good 'in between' option; you will not have to take your chair apart and could save you some $$

  3. #3
    Manix, you will really have to pay through the nose if you buy new. Have you considered a used van? I often see low milage vans at a significant price reduction. Check out eBay (search for "wheelchair van") and also www.disableddealer.com

    We found in buying new you are more likely to get them to throw in some extras in a deal rather than them being willing to lower the price.

    (KLD)

  4. #4
    Hi Brad,

    I finally broke down and bought a van. You can look at www.amsvans.com at their inventory. They keep about 40 converted vans in inventory. They get the vans (around 15,000 miles) coming off lease and convert them in their own facility in Norcross (Atlanta), Ga. You can purchase your own van and send to them for conversion if so desired. The lady I dealt with was Diana and she was very helpful.


    Good luck,
    Millard
    ''Life's tough... it's even tougher if you're stupid!'' -- John Wayne


  5. #5
    Good question. I will bump the thread to see if we get some pointers. Thanks.
    T6 complete (or so I think), SCI since September 21, 2003

  6. #6
    Senior Member Kris's Avatar
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    I have a four door mini van and I pull my chair through the forth door while sitting in the drivers seat. When you buy a regular van you pay a lot less and then only pay for the things you need. It is worth pricing both ways.

  7. #7
    Can you give us some tips?? I was looking into a regular van with a driver´s side power sliding door, but it looked like a stretch to comfortably load and unload the chair. Any tips would help.



    Quote Originally Posted by Kris
    I have a four door mini van and I pull my chair through the forth door while sitting in the drivers seat. When you buy a regular van you pay a lot less and then only pay for the things you need. It is worth pricing both ways.
    T6 complete (or so I think), SCI since September 21, 2003

  8. #8

    Dude,,

    When I bought my van, I bought used. There is no sense buying new, unless U are rich or something...lol. Really, look in the newspapers in U'r area. I found mine a few years ago now this way. It was about 5-6 years now for 7,000$, it had like 40,000 miles, lift, door openers, power seat, pretty much - the works. I did have to do some body work but that was cheap. Ooo, its a '97 ford hi top. I got a deal & so can U if ya look around. Good luck & don't forget ebay, as they have lots of them. My next one will probably come from ebay unless I can find a good deal locally. Good luck, dude. ,,,joe.. edit ta say..... YES, bargain for the best price anywhere,, & anytime... I say.........lol
    Last edited by nada; 05-07-2007 at 04:29 PM. Reason: need ta add stuffs...

  9. #9
    Senior Member Kris's Avatar
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    to Paramoto

    What I do is hop onto the seat then turn side ways so my legs are still outside the van. With my left hand I put the front of the wheelchair on the ledge going into the door so that it will stay there. I then back up a little bit and reach between the drivers seat and the door post and grab the front of the wheelchair and pull it in.

    The first time was very difficult but after awhile I learned how to do it with the front wheels in the right positions and things like that. It is now a breeze. Easiest setup I have ever had. (although I've never had a lift)

    I always find that if I can do it once I will be able to do well with time.

    Good luck.

  10. #10
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    Palm Coast, Fl.
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    It is very hard to determine the value of a modified van. There aren’t any Blue books or NADA web sites where you can check the price. I have been doing a lot of looking lately as I am buying a new van. I found the best way to come close to the value, is to look at the Blue Book value for the van, then add the modification cost. The problem with the dealers is that they don’t want to pro rate the modification cost based on years in service.
    I would decide what vehicle you want and then check as many sources as you can to get an idea of prices verses the year of vehicle and milage. Good luck, I am getting a Rollx van if the VA comes through with some help.

    http://www.kbb.com/

    http://www.nadaguides.com/home.aspx?l=1&w=28&p=0&f=5000

    http://motors.listings.ebay.com/_W0Q...ngCategoryList

    http://www.disableddealer.com/default.asp

    You can also do a Google search for handicap vans and find several more dealers. The bottom line, find out s much as you can about the cost of what you want and don’t be afraid to ask for a discount.
    Mike

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