Tips to Save Money When Converting Ford Wheelchair Vans


You have heard the horror stories and now you are nervous. You know that it may cost a great deal to convert your new Ford E-Series van or that used Windstar into the perfect wheelchair van. You may be wondering what you can do to keep the price under control.

Fortunately, there are ways to manage the expenses associated with wheelchair van conversion. Although the process will never be inexpensive (unless you are making the horrible decision to compromise on quality), you can cut your bill and avoid overpaying for your Windstar, Freestar or E-Series van.

Here are a few tips to help you with conversion cost control.

  1. Understand Your Real Mobility Needs
    First, avoid the desire to purchase conversions you do not really need if price is a priority consideration. You need to have all of the necessary equipment to properly use your van right now, but you do not need to over-invest in unnecessary extras. Power equipment is a perfect example. If you do not actually require full-power ramps, doors and other features, consider purchasing the must cheaper manual alternatives.
  2. Wheelchair Vans Are Not Forever
    Second, if you are worried about your abilities in the future, do not allow that to influence your buying plans in the now. Most wheelchair vans have a lifespan of approximately ten years. If you are considering a used Ford minivan, they will probably hold up in top-notch form for less than that. You are not making a permanent purchase. Plan for what you know, not what may happen years and years from now.
  3. Don’t Overspend
    Third, be a smart consumer. So many people who are otherwise very careful with their money overspend on wheelchair conversions because they fail to use the principles that guide them in other transactions. Do not make that mistake. Be a comparison shopper and look for the best possible deals. That applies to disability equipment, labor and its financing. You want the beset stuff installed by the best people with the best possible interest rate on the loan.
  4. Negotiate
    Fourth, be a negotiator. Quotations and estimates are not the law and they are not the final word. If the price tag is larger than you can or want to handle, it is fine to try to negotiate a better deal. The conversion manufactures want to see you come back with that Ford. They want your business. They will compete for your money if you give them a reason to do so.
  5. Free Money
    Fifth, look for free money. You may be eligible to have some of the expense associated with your Ford wheelchair van’s conversion covered. Veterans should talk to the VA. Everyone one should talk to his or her health insurance and worker’s compensation companies. It makes sense to call relevant state government offices, too. You may be able to secure funds to defray your expenses.
  6. Get Assessed By Your Doctor
    Sixth, after you know what you want and need, make an appointment with your doctor and get a written prescription for the conversion and all modifications. That one little piece of paper can have a huge impact on what you pay. That is because a doctor’s prescription will make all costs directly associated with your Ford wheelchair van conversion exempt from sales taxes. In some places, that’s like getting an automatic 10% off all modifications.

ford windstar 2003 wheelchair van Those are six proven tips to help you pay less for your Ford wheelchair van conversion. As noted, there is no way to make taking a Freestar, Windstar or E-Series van and transforming it into great accessibility vehicle cheap. However, in an economy where every penny counts, it makes sense to use every option and technique at your disposal to control your conversion expenses.

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