What Features Should You look for in A Handicap Accessible Van?


In today’s world, traveling from one place to another has been made possible by many means, and accommodation for all kinds of passengers is a priority. People with special needs and suffering from disabilities also need t o commute for their regular checkups and leisure activities.  Therefore, the invention of handicap-accessible vans has benefitted and given disabled people a means of transportation. It is a modified vehicle that provides comfort and an ample amount of space to have easier access. 

It is just like any other van but with different properties. The van’s floor is lowered to make an easier passage for the wheelchair, while the seats are also modified to make space. At times the side entryways of handicap vans are arranged to incorporate a slope for a wheelchair to enter the vehicle from the side. A few vans have a rear section for wheelchairs, which is simpler than a side-passage as no additional room change is required. Maintaining is easier for rear entry vans. These vans have either a manual ramp or a motorized one which comes in two styles. A fold-up ramp is installed in a vertical position near the doors; it is more durable and robust to carry the weight of a wheelchair. At the same time, the in-floor ramp takes less room as they are installed on the floor of the van. 

Features of the handicap van 

It is understood that people with different disabilities might require different features for their van. The main question is whether their priorities match with what they are looking for. Some people may prefer driving from their wheelchair; this van will have features in the front seats. So depending upon the situation, it is essential to look into several features before opting for one. 


It is vital to look for a van that provides a comfortable ride to avoid bumping on the roof and bending to fit in. A small handicap van will not only create inconvenience, but it can be dangerous to the safety of the travelers, so the following key measurements should be noted beforehand. A sizeable van should have wide enough ramps for the wheelchair to enter and exit safely. The width of the wheelchair should be kept in mind when measuring the entryway. The doors should be tall enough to enter without having to bend, and the interior should have measured headroom. 


There are two main types of entryways: a rear door and a side doorway. As implied by the name, the rear entryway can be accessed from the vehicle’s back using foldout ramps, while a side entryway stretches the ramp from the passenger or driver seat. If you are planning to drive, a side-section van is the best option as it accommodates drivers in wheelchairs. Rear passage vehicles limit an individual in a wheelchair to the seating columns behind the driver seat. But suppose you depend on another person to assist you with getting on board. 

In that case, this alternative gives quicker admittance to the vehicle inside, as you never need to stress over closely parked vehicles hindering your slope. So the decision whether you want to drive or use it as a passenger makes a huge difference, and one should keep it in mind before making the purchase. Most regular wheelchair vans are side-entry. It’s not difficult to get on or drop off a traveler curbside with a side section wheelchair van.  

Conversions and customization

It is crucial to look for what modifications can be made or are already present in the van to make the right choice, as not all handicap vans come with the same conversion process. It covers features like the kind of ramps present; in-floor ramps take less space while foldout ramps are stronger. People purchasing a handicap van on a tight budget can even look for manual ramps, which can prove to be more economical. 

Dealers should also provide with the option of customizability as disabilities can be of different types. These extra additions can include hand controls, wheelchair securement choices, adjustable seats, remote with emergency controls, underlying showcases, and exceptional styling alternatives. Also, additional space can be customized for equipment like an oxygen tank. Side section wheelchair vans typically have seats that can be taken out. Some even have seats connected to the entryway that can be set up once the entryway is shut. Side section vans permit the wheelchair customer to decide whether to ride as a driver or a passenger, settling on them a decent decision who occasionally or consistently drives.

Rear camera

The backup camera is a beneficial feature as it allows the driver on the wheelchair to get a back view without having to turn around. Also, it can provide comfort and access to drivers on the wheelchair who are suffering from spinal cord injuries, and it will protect them from back and neck pain. It can also help in parallel parking if one has a van with side entryways. Drivers who choose to drive independently can have difficulty parking large vans on their own without moving and adjusting mirrors around to park. The rear camera can give a broad view of the back without needing the driver to move around. This feature is much needed as it will provide comfort and the safety needed to prevent any accidents from happening. 


To improve the living and traveling standards of disabled people, it is necessary to invest in a handicap-accessible van. To make the right and economical choice that best suits the budget, you need to make up a list of all the required features in a van. Eliminating some unwanted features can lower the price, and additional customized features can be installed instead. To assist with balancing the significant expenses, apply for state subsidies that can help pay for wheelchair vans. 

Pricing strategies differ accordingly. If you’re on a budget, you can even look for manual handicap vans. Dealers or organizations can also help with the pricing strategies depending upon the option of paying half advance payment and paying the rest through monthly installments. On the good side, these vans are partially tax-deductible. These packages can always be made, and research can be done to check whether your state offers any extra financing choices. 

Second-hand Vehicle background

If you plan to purchase a second-hand wheelchair-accessible van, it is necessary to have a good background check. This should be done to ensure that all the pieces are in the right place if any renovation is required and damages from the previous accidents should be taken into account. 

Types of handicap accessible vehicle

Rear passenger 

This type of van allows the wheelchair to get access from the back and take the back seat. This type of handicap-accessible van is more budget-friendly.

Up-front ride

This type is suitable for people who prefer to sit in the front passenger seat and people who like having the option to switch places from front to back. But moving back-and-forth can lead to the removal of some seats to make a passage to move in front. This type is only desirable if the person is traveling alone or with fewer passengers. 

Transfer seats

Few handicap accessible vans also come with adjustable seats that can facilitate the transfer of a disabled person from the wheelchair easily into the comfortable seats. And the wheelchair can be kept in the back of the van.

Drive from the wheelchair

Different and more expensive features are required for this type of van, allowing the disabled person to drive and control the vehicle. It sure gives them a sense of control and independence that they crave. 


It is appropriate to conclude that in order to improve the living and traveling standards of disabled people, you need to invest in a handicap-accessible van. But before making a purchase, you need to list all the features required in order to make the right choice. Key feature includes the size of the van, entryway, conversions, customization, rear camera, pricing, and running a background check.

It all also depends if the disabled person chooses to drive from the wheelchair or simply wishes to sit upfront. Modes of transportation like a handicap accessible van can make it simple for anybody in a wheelchair to remain portable.  

Handicap-accessible vans are a blessing for the disabled and a great invention to ease things out for them. With the world getting more futuristic by the day, autonomous driving seems like a reality close to us. Our guide can autonomous driving take over physical driving? will help answer all of your questions on the topic. 

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