First Time Buyer’s Guide
Personal mobility is a huge contributor to your quality of life, and it makes a tremendous impact on the lives of your friends and family too. If you’re overwhelmed by the choices ahead of you, don’t be. We’ve got the information you need to help narrow down your decision before you visit your nearest BraunAbility® dealer for a closer look.
BraunAbility products open the door to freedom for wheelchair users who are able to drive. With the right equipment and mobility level, driving can be a reality for many wheelchair users. Drivers have the option to transfer into the driver’s seat or drive from their wheelchair, whichever is most comfortable and convenient. Your local dealer can guide you through the range of options for your best driving experience.
- Driver’s seat can easily be removed so you can drive from your wheelchair or transfer into the original seat.
- Your BraunAbility dealer can introduce you to the type of vehicle and the adaptive equipment that will make you comfortable behind the wheel.
- You can drive from your wheelchair in any side-entry vehicle (excluding the CompanionVan®).
- Rear-entry vehicles do not allow driving from a wheelchair.
Mobility has never been easier or more enjoyable for wheelchair passengers. From convenience to quiet to comfort, BraunAbility vehicles have the best all-around experience for wheelchair users.
- Quiet Drive® is used across all BraunAbility platforms as a technology that keeps road noise to a minimum, allowing for a more pleasant driving experience.
- BraunAbility is committed to retaining the suspensions and systems of the original vehicle, allowing for a smooth and more comfortable ride.
- Wheelchair passengers can find options in any BraunAbility vehicle, whether side-entry or rear-entry, regardless of the type of OEM chassis.
- Wheelchair positions are available in the first, second or third row positions, depending on the vehicle.
Right: The Toyota Experience details just what a wheelchair passenger can expect from a BraunAbility vehicle.
For those caring for a wheelchair user, your quality of life is also impacted by the right mobility equipment. BraunAbility vehicles give caregivers the assurance of keeping loved ones close by and comfortable.
- No matter what type of accessible vehicle you choose, you’ll love the ease and convenience of getting in and out, no more transferring!
- Caregivers also have the option of riding next to the wheelchair passenger for extra security.
- Every vehicle offers different seating configurations. Check with your BraunAbility dealer for the right solution for your family.
- Manual side-entry or rear-entry ramps can cut costs considerably.
Right: Ron and Bonnie LaTourette can experience life again…TOGETHER.
BraunAbility is honored to serve those who have so honorably served our country. Many military veterans are BraunAbility customers, and we are very humbled to know our products are making a difference in the lives of these heroes.
- If you are a military veteran, there is a good chance you qualify for assistance from the VA. Please visit our funds and financing page or your local dealer to find out more.
- BraunAbility vehicles are included in the Veteran’s Administration Federal Supply Schedule (FSS), allowing for our broad product line-up to be made available to our nation’s military veterans. Our dealer network stands by to assist veterans with their mobility needs.
BraunAbility is a proud supporter of:
- Paralyzed Veterans of America
- Mission: ABLE
- Wounded Warriors
Right: BraunAbility and West Coast Customs collaboratively developed a one-of-a-kind wheelchair accessible Ford Explorer for Lance Corporal Michael DeLancey, a Wounded Warrior paralyzed by a sniper in Iraq. He unveiled the vehicle while surrounded by fellow Wounded Warriors, veterans from all generations, VA representatives, and his friends and family.
What is the shopping process like?
Choose an Accredited Local Dealer
An informed, accredited dealer can help you make sense of the wide range of choices in front of you and will guide you toward the mobility solution that’s best for you. They’ll take the time to listen to what you’re looking for, take the necessary measurements, and ask the questions you may not have thought of yet.
A reputable dealer is one that is accredited by the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA), an organization dedicated to advocating for the provision of safe, reliable accessible products. They offer the only national accreditation program for the mobility industry; dealers who participate must meet the high standards of customer service.
You may find alternative sources for mobility equipment, online auctions, newspaper ads, etc. Be very cautious. It’s very important to choose a dealer and a manufacturing company that has experience and has not compromised the safety or reliability of your mobility upgrade.
Try Before You Buy
It’s essential that you take the time to visit your local dealer and experience your mobility solutions yourself. You may find that although you thought you wanted a Chair Topper®, a wheelchair accessible vehicle was more comfortable and a better fit for your family. Even if you think you know the right wheelchair van for you, it takes entering and exiting and navigating the interior to understand what vehicle options fit you best. The Certified Mobility Consultant will guide you through the features and benefits of all of these options.
Take Your Time
This is an important decision to make, and it’s not an inexpensive one. Be prepared to take your time at your local dealer. You can cut down on that time by doing a little homework first (and it looks like you’re off to a great start!), and having a clear picture of what your needs are and what you’d like to accomplish with your mobility vehicle.