It is no secret that buying a vehicle is one of the most expensive purchases that most people make and continue to make throughout their lifetime. And the investment costs do not stop at the point of sale. The costs continue to add up with insurance fees, keeping up with routine maintenance, and even regularly filling the tank up with gasoline. The same can be said for a wheelchair van, but it is no secret that the starting price is also higher.
The overall cost of a wheelchair vans sale can range anywhere from 40 thousand dollars to 70 thousand dollars when all is said and done. This is equivalent to sports cars like the Dodge Challenger, Ford Mustang, and Chevy Camaro. But, with a wheelchair van being a minivan or full size van as the base, many individuals wonder why they are so expensive? In this two part series, we will first take a look at why wheelchair vans are so expensive and then in part two we will look at how to make wheelchair vans more affordable.
A Quick Look at the Answer to Why Wheelchair Vans are so Expensive
Wheelchair vans are made up of two distinct parts, the van itself and the conversion. The van itself is manufactured at a Chrysler, Toyota, Chevy or Ford facility the same as every standard vehicle on the market. Wheelchair van manufacturers purchase these vans from the manufacturers the same as any other car sales lot would. Then, wheelchair van manufacturers need to convert the vehicle. This process includes reinforcing the structure, lowering the floor and adding any conversion features the customer selects. There is a lot more that goes into a wheelchair van than a standard vehicle model which adds to the cost of the vehicle.
The Basis of Vehicle Costs
The base cost of the vehicle itself can vary greatly based on customer selections. At Rollx Vans we offer a wide variety of base model minivans and full size vans including the Chrysler Pacifica, Chrysler Voyager, Toyota Sienna, Dodge Grand Caravan, RAM Promaster, GMC Savana, and Ford Transit vans. Once our customers select the make and model they would like, they can also choose from the manufacturer available colors for exterior and interior and their trim package options. This can include any range of options like engine options, leather versus cloth seats, and moon roof versus sunroof. In general, the more options a customer selects to include with their vehicle, the higher the base cost of said vehicle will be.
Consider the Conversion Basics
Converting a vehicle into one that can support a wheelchair user within their wheelchair and safely transport them from point A to point B takes a lot of work that cannot always be seen by the naked eye. All of that work adds up and increases the overall cost of the vehicle. At Rollx Vans, we strip a van down to the main structure of the vehicle and reinforce the entire chassis. We lower the floor of the van, cut and install new door tracks to accommodate a taller vehicle opening, add underbody sound shields, rubberized undercoating, double door seals, among other features, and add a crash barrier around a relocated gas tank for added safety. While many of these changes are not easily noticed on daily drives, they ensure a wheelchair user and their family can remain as safe as possible while riding within the cabin of one of our converted vans.
Adding Customized Conversion Equipment Options
Another part of the process that adds to the cost of a wheelchair van are the customized conversion equipment features. This includes but is not limited to the ramp or lift, the tie down and securement system, and also any additional equipment such as hand controls, a transfer seat, etc. Minivan ramp costs alone can range in our industry from 10 thousand dollars to 20 thousand dollars depending on if a customer chooses to have a manual or automatic ramp installed, and if the automatic ramp is a folding or in-floor ramp. For full sized vans, lifts are available in a variety of options including dual and single post lifts that can be hydraulic or electric. There are even multiple options for tie down and securements including both manual and automatic options.
Last But Not Least, There is Labor Involved
There are also labor costs to be considered when finalizing the cost of a customized wheelchair van. Every step of the conversion process is touched by trained technicians and inspected to ensure the conversion meets the highest safety standards for conversion vehicles. Rollx Vans is proud of the quality and safety of our wheelchair vans and has an industry best ISO 9001:2015 Quality Certification to back it up. With one of the most experienced teams in the nation, we know that our vehicles will stand up to the test.
Rollx Vans Leading the Way
At Rollx Vans, we are leading the industry in quality, safety and transparency. We post all of our vehicle costs directly on our website and work with our customers to ensure they are getting the conversion features they actually need, not just what fits into yearly budget goals. It is for this reason that our team works round the clock for our customers without commission incentives.
Do not forget, the team at Rollx Vans is here to help you get where you need to go. And, we offer convenience with at-home delivery and service technicians that come right to our customer’s driveways. Our team is ready and waiting to answer any questions you may have about wheelchair vans, conversion features, and even what makes wheelchair vans more expensive than standard vehicle purchases.
P.S. If any of this has left you asking the question, but how can I make a wheelchair van more affordable? That is a great question and we will cover the answer in part two of this series.