Choosing a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle

 

Selecting the right vehicle starts with understanding the needs of the person in the wheelchair.

Find your perfect ride

Get into the driver’s seat

If you are a wheelchair user who plans to drive, the most common choice is a fully lowered floor (to the front firewall of the vehicle) side entry minivan. A fully lowered floor side entry van is also a good choice if the wheelchair user wants to sit in the front row passenger seat. A lowered floor minivan – where the floor is lowered from behind the front row seating area – can also include options and adaptations to make the vehicle wheelchair driver-ready.

There are other less common choices, including many types of vehicles that can be adapted for drivers such as pickup trucks or SUVs.

Multiple options for wheelchair passengers

If the wheelchair user does not plan to drive, there are additional choices including a half floor (short floor) side entry minivan or a rear entry minivan. Both of these vehicles include a lowered floor inside, but the floor is not lowered into the front row seating area. The wheelchair passenger therefore sits in the area of the second or third row of the vehicle.

Family-friendly wheels

If the vehicle is for a family with a child in wheelchair, a lowered floor minivan is a great solution, offering space for other family members to ride together. It also enables a caregiver to be seated nearby to provide assistance when needed.

Maximize your funding sources

The staff at Silver Cross Automotive is also well versed with local funding agencies so you can maximize applicable funding sources to ease the cost burden of an adapted vehicle.

Our experienced consultants are here to help!

At Silver Cross Automotive, our team of accessible automotive consultants take the time to understand your needs – both for today, as well as for the future.  They will meet with you and with your health care professional if applicable, take measurements to ensure you have room to maneuver and have the easiest access possible, and will review your home parking and typical travel to understand any limitations you may have for equipment and ramps. They will also show you options to consider for ease of operation, and coordinate any additional adaptation equipment including driving controls or transfer seating.

We conduct ourselves with integrity and passion for what we do – mobility for life. Speak to your local consultant today to discuss your needs and find your perfect ride!

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Side Entry Minivans

Full floor side entry minivans feature a lowered floor to the front firewall of the van and a manual or powered ramp at the side sliding door. The ramp can be configured as a bi-folding design or it can be designed to extend under the main floor, called an in-floor ramp. Access in and out of a side entry van is easy for parallel parking beside a sidewalk or with an open area beside the van. Side entry vans maintain a storage area in the back of the vehicle. A short floor side entry van is great for families as it offers many of the same features as a full lowered floor, but the wheelchair user cannot position the wheelchair in the front row as a driver or passenger.
More about side entry vans

Rear Entry Minivans

A rear entry accessible minivan offers a lowered floor area from the back of the van forward allowing for the wheelchair user to enter easily from the back with a manual or power bi-folding ramp. As a structurally simpler conversion, the rear entry van conversion is generally less expensive. With a long floor rear entry van, there is plenty of space for even larger wheelchairs. A variety of seating options are available for other passengers to ride, offering flexibility of use. Manufacturing of a new rear entry van conversion can be as quick as one week to complete.
More about rear entry vans

The Base Vehicle to Convert

Accessible van conversions are built on the most popular minivan models in North America including the Dodge Caravan, Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey. Silver Cross Automotive offers already converted vans from our extensive inventory, as well as the ability to order the base vehicle of your choice for conversion. Or, you can bring your existing vehicle to us to be converted. Be sure to speak to your Silver Cross Automotive consultant about the best vehicle for your needs prior to making a purchase.

A Word About Safety

All minivan conversion designs are fully crash tested and comply with CMVSS (Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards).
See an example crash test

Don’t Want a Minivan?

Silver Cross Automotive also offers accessible pickup trucks from SVM as well as adaptation services for a variety of other vehicles.

Truck Wheelchair Conversion | Silver Cross AutomotiveRead more about SVM pick up trucks, or adaptation services

no limits mobility from Silver Cross Automotive

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Find Your Perfect Ride June 21, 2016