Why Can’t I Find an Accessible Vehicle on Carvana?

a husband and wife at a mobility dealer looking at wheelchair vans

Buying a vehicle on Carvana has been touted as the future of buying a new vehicle or even of selling your old vehicle. By taking dealers out of the equation, the process is seamless....or so they say. While this might be true for buyers of standard vehicles, what about people with disabilities who need accessible transportation? Why can’t you find handicap vans on Carvana?

Carvana Doesn’t Understand Wheelchair Vans and SUVs

In an article Carvana wrote on their site, they promote shopping for and buying a vehicle before ever talking with a nationally accredited mobility manufacturer. This is one of the worst ways to buy a vehicle because they are assuming, unfortunately like many of our customers, that you can bring in any vehicle to a manufacturer to be made accessible, which simply isn’t true.

BraunAbility, like other major wheelchair van modifiers, operates in an assembly line fashion, meaning building the same thing over and over to ensure quality and uniformity. To disrupt this line with random makes and models would make our business incredibly inefficient, and quality designs would take much longer to develop and crash test. However, we still offer the broadest lineup of accessible vehicles of any manufacturer in the world, and we do that because we want to offer our customers the right of choice.

Going back to that article, only two of the five listed accessible vehicles for people with disabilities can be converted by BraunAbility (or any other manufacturer), and even from these, strict rules must be adhered to when buying a used vehicle to convert. For example, a vehicle with too high of mileage or with extensive repairs needed may be turned down for conversion over concerns for the customer’s safety. Learn more about our customer-supplied conditions here.

Working with a company that does not understand the mobility industry becomes dangerous when you look to sell your vehicle and they advertise “a real, firm offer in 2 minutes. No haggling. No hassles.” Sounds great on the surface, but if you are working with a company that doesn’t understand the cost associated with the design engineering behind your accessible vehicle, you won’t be getting an offer you can push back on.

Why Doesn’t BraunAbility Work with Carvana to Sell Wheelchair Vans?

This is a fair question and one we can answer by asking a question in return: how much do you know about the accessible vehicle industry? Above, we said Carvana doesn’t know anything about accessible vehicles. That isn’t entirely their fault. A lot of the general population doesn’t know anything about them either. How much can really be involved with engineering a wheelchair accessible vehicle?

A lot, as it turns out.

And with a highly-specialized product comes the need for highly-trained technicians and salespeople. We hold dealer and technician training every year to ensure our national team is up-to-speed on all the latest product and service enhancements BraunAbility has to offer. Aside from updates, we also train new employees who may have a background in car dealerships but are new to the mobility industry. Unlike Carvana or the many brick and mortar traditional dealerships in the country today, interacting with a customer with a disability is different than someone without because you have to find a vehicle that can also meet these physical needs. A traditional customer’s biggest obstacle might be the vehicle price or securing financing, but for the customer with disabilities, so many more factors come in to play. Will the wheelchair fit on the ramp? Will it fit through the door? Can the wheelchair user comfortably see over the dash? Is it easy to maneuver within the vehicle or do we need to find a larger cabin area?

All of these considerations are important, and because it is such a large investment, we really rely on our dealers to help introduce customers to this new world of car buying and help them feel comfortable in a new design of vehicle they may not have encountered before. Additionally, because BraunAbility dealers are well-versed in the world of mobility, they also help with aftermarket technology like wheelchair securement systems and hand controls

So, why don’t we work with Carvana? Because our dealer and technician network is too important to ensure our customers are well taken care of. We love the idea of a pain-free car-buying experience. We deliver that, too! But we also provide nationwide service and support for the life of the vehicle with 24/7 support and a warranty that is the best in the industry (7-years/ 100k-miles, not just the 100-day/4189-mile limited warranty that Carvana touts). 

How Am I Supposed to Find a Wheelchair Van?

We can help! Check out our Getting Started tool. We ask a few basic questions such as how tall you sit in your wheelchair or whether you will be a driver in the vehicle. In under 5 minutes, we give you a vehicle that best matches your responses and helps you get started on your search. It’s fast, free, anonymous, and fun. 

Where Can I Find Used Wheelchair Vans?

Certified pre-owned and used wheelchair vans are just a click away. (What is the difference? It’s all in the mileage and the condition.) We keep our inventory up-to-date. And with nationwide shipping, we can deliver to your nearest dealer or straight to your driveway.

View Certified Pre-Owned Accessible Vehicles.

View Used Wheelchair Accessible Vans.

Where Can I Find New Wheelchair Vans?

Pre-owned wheelchair vans aren’t for everyone. If you are in the market for a new wheelchair van, you can find all of BraunAbility’s inventory here

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