There’s always a little toothpaste still in the tube…

I have come to the realization that I must carefully consider a quest for driving options. It will be a daunting task that will take a while to come to fruition as the Veterans Administration will be involved. There are a plethora of options and directions that one can take an inquisition such as this. Each of these extensive expeditions has its pros and cons. The cost alone will be excessively expensive whatever path that I make in this pedantic process.

drivingThe first task to find an accessible car is to know your specific requirements. The list of amenities that are available for your choice is excessive and abundant. Can you transfer from your wheelchair to the driver seat of a sedan and then back again with the assistance of no one? Now, is it possible to do all of that while from the driver seat tearing down your chair and putting the pieces in the backseat and then back again?

If the answer is yes, then your probe is rapidly concluding. Select the car that is easiest to transfer in and out of, and that is in your budget. Lastly, pick the hand controls that work best for you and have them installed. Your quest is over. You do not have to continue reading, but you should.

However, for the rest of us, this road is a marathon and not a sprint. Those of us who cannot transfer into a sedan one hundred percent of the time without assistance must trudge on. We need to decide two significant things before we take our next step.

The first is do we want a van, an SUV or a pickup truck? Personal style, preference and the size of your bank account will help you decide what kind of vehicle you will get. I am not a truck guy, so that gets knocked off of my list of choices. I am an SUV guy, but my wallet will not allow me to have one.

The second is what does your wallet depth tell you is the best option a new or a used vehicle? Each again has its pluses and minuses or positives and negatives.

Used accessible vehicle means expensive just in a different way when it comes to these adapted automobiles. Let me give an example to get my point across. I saw a 2001 minivan that had a ramp and hand controls for a wheelchair. Without the ramp and hand controls a seventeen-year-old minivan like that would cost $3000. However, this van with these few pieces of accessible equipment is selling for $20,000. Needless to say, used does not mean affordable. I refuse to buy a seventeen-year-old car with seventeen-year-old equipment.

Modification and customization is the name of the game when referring to a new automobile. These changes can range from the massive to the miniscule always depending on your needs and budget. I will give you a few examples of how they both play their role.

fold rampFirst, you must get from the sidewalk into the vehicle meaning you need a ramp. The less costly route is a ramp that you manually manipulate into place by sliding the door open and physically unfolding the ramp.

power rampThe expensive path is a power ramp that slides out of the floor with the push of two buttons. The first knob push is to slide the door open electronically. Toggle two propels a motorized ramp from just beneath the floor.

driving from chairNext, let us consider the driver seat for the person planning to use hand controls. The lower price point option is to have a bracket under your wheelchair and the other half mounted in the driver position. Once these two pieces snap together, then you can lock them in place with a lever, put your seatbelt on, and drive away.

The pricy option is to have a power captain’s chair. These motorized seats will rotate back next to the wheelchair user so that he or she can easily transfer to the driver seat. Once they transfer seats they push another button, and this marvelous mechanism moves them into position to drive.

vanThese brand new accessible cars are beyond expensive. If you purchase a new vehicle and then modify it you void the warranty. Several businesses buy vehicles directly from the manufacturer allowing them to change the cars and still offer a warranty. These vehicles can cost fifty to over seventy thousand dollars depending on the options you choose. These options can solve any issue and deal with any concern that you may have as the possibilities are endless.

With options galore, you can create the car of your dreams.

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