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Is a Wheelchair Van What You Really Need?

June 11, 2013
Conversion wheelchair vans and wheelchair vehicle lifts give mobility-challenged individuals the freedom to hit the road when they want, without having to leave their motorized scooter, power wheelchair or manual wheelchair behind. But, some people might have trouble deciding between a wheelchair van or an external wheelchair lift.

This article is intended to offer useful information for making the most suitable vehicle transportation choice for your power mobility device.

Accessible Vans & Car Lifts - The Differences

When choosing either a handicap accessible van or a wheelchair vehicle lift, it's important to understand the differences between the two options.


Wheelchair Accessible Van:

  • A converted, or structurally altered, van, mini-van or SUV-type vehicle
  • Interior access for an occupied manual wheelchair, power chair or electric scooter
  • Costly modifications (i.e., lower floor, raised roof, sliding doors, re-wiring )1
  • Driving from the mobility chair seat is possible in some converted vans

Wheelchair Vehicle Chair Lift: 

  • A powered lift, mounted outside of the motor vehicle
  • Transportation platform for an unoccupied personal mobility device (wheelchair, power wheelchair)
  • No extensive modification. Hitch attachment required 2
  • Minor effort involved (i.e., lift operation; loading and securing the mobility device) 3

Easy Lift Transportation for Your Power Chair

Each type of transportation assist for a personal mobility device has its share of pros and cons. But if convenience, safety and cost-savings are important to you, then a hitch-mounted car lift for your power wheelchair might be just what you need.

Externally-mounted lifting platforms, like the HOVERLIFT® for Vehicles, offer easy, one-button operation. Contact Hoveround today. Call 1-800-308-9295 to learn more about this compact, money-saving vehicle lift for transporting your personal mobility device.

1Van conversion may not be possible for all vans, SUVs and/or mini-vans.

2Hitch receivers installed as standard on some vehicles, otherwise sold separately. Professional installation may be necessary. Not all towing hitch mounts are compatible with all motor vehicles or all external lifts.

3The device-user, or a helper, may be required to drive the mobility device onto the loading platform, secure the equipment, and operate the lift. The ability to navigate on foot to and from the lift, and/or to and from the front of the motor vehicle for driving, is also necessary.

This article is for general informational purposes only.

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