Wheelchair Van Leasing Pros and Cons

wheelchair van leasing pros and cons
wheelchair van leasing pros and cons

Committing to the purchase of a wheelchair accessible vehicle can be daunting. For those who have a temporary need for a wheelchair accessible vehicle, wheelchair van leasing could be a better alternative. How do you know when it makes more sense to lease a handicap van rather than purchase a wheelchair van? Let us help you decide.  

Lease a Wheelchair Van 

With wheelchair van leasing, you are paying for the ability to drive the wheelchair van for a fixed period. Most leases are financed through your mobility dealer and last three years. Typically, you will pay an initial amount to drive the van off the mobility dealer’s lot, which covers a range of taxes and fees. You’ll make monthly payments over the life of the handicap van lease, to cover the cost of depreciation of the vehicle. There may be restrictions on the number of miles you can drive the wheelchair van, and you’ll typically need to return the vehicle to the mobility dealer in great condition to avoid extra fees.  

Benefits of Leasing a Wheelchair Van 

If you need to keep your monthly budget in check, a lease can offer the perks of a newer vehicle without the higher payment that comes with buying a handicap van. Typically, any down payment for a lease is more manageable as well, and you’ll have the benefit of warranty protection through the lease. And since most leases last 36-months, you won’t be on the hook for a long-term financial obligation, which could be ideal if your need for a wheelchair van is potentially temporary. 

Disadvantages of Leasing a Wheelchair Van

While leasing a handicapped van may be financially easier in the short-term, you are still responsible for mileage restrictions and any repairs if the vehicle isn’t returned in the necessary condition. And, of course, you’ll have to turn in your wheelchair van and find a new set of wheels at some point, and without the equity of a trade-in.  

Buy a Wheelchair Van 

When you purchase a wheelchair van, it’s obviously yours to own at the end of your loan term. If it’s a new wheelchair van, you can expect a larger price tag. A certified pre-owned accessible vehicle can make owning your own mobility a more affordable option. And compared to leasing, once you’ve paid off the vehicle, you’ve built equity in it versus just trading it in as you would with a lease.  

Benefits of Buying a Wheelchair Van

If you’re purchasing a wheelchair van, you don’t need to keep a close eye on your mileage. Drive across the country and visit every National Park without having to worry about extra fees at the end of the lease! Similarly, you won’t have to worry about charges for damages beyond “normal wear and tear” which could be subjective depending on the dealer and add up to extra fees for you. Of course, when you own the vehicle, you won’t have to worry about a trade-in date and how you’ll get around after – your ride is yours to keep or trade-in and trade-up.  

Disadvantages of Buying a Wheelchair Van

Most of the time you can count on a higher monthly payment if you’re purchasing vs. leasing a wheelchair van (although this offer from BraunAbility may be the exception). Getting a more attractive monthly payment typically depends on how large of a down payment you’re able to make. The more money you can put down, the less wallet-draining the monthly payment. Speaking of costs, those regular maintenance and any service repairs are all on you if your warranty doesn’t cover them. Just like owning a house, it’s great until there are repairs needed.

Bottom Line   

Deciding whether leasing a wheelchair van or buying one makes sense for you depends on your personal driving habits, how much you can comfortably afford and the length of time you’ll need a wheelchair van. When you’re ready to discuss further, contact a BraunAbility Product Specialist or your local mobility dealer to discuss the best options for you.  

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