Aaron Widmar
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Should I Rent a Wheelchair Van for My Temporary Injury?

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How to decide if it’s worth renting an accessible van during your recovery

A wheelchair-accessible van provides long-term transportation solutions to people who use wheelchairs. But what if you’re only temporarily using a wheelchair due to a leg, back, or hip injury? Does it make sense to rent a wheelchair van for mobility during a short-term rehabilitation?

You should consider these factors when determining if your temporary condition warrants a converted van.


Which Vehicles Can Be Modified to Accommodate Wheelchairs? These are the most common models


4 questions to ask yourself before you rent a wheelchair van

Do I have assistance available?

An accessible vehicle lets you drive wherever you want to go without anyone else there to help you enter and exit the vehicle. If you live with someone who can drive you wherever you need to go for the next couple months, you wouldn’t need to have your own accessible vehicle you can enter and exit in your wheelchair. Instead, your friend or family member can load your wheelchair into the trunk for you.

Can I use crutches or a walker?

Even if you use a wheelchair most of the time, are you able to occasionally get around using crutches or a walker? If so, you can drive a non-upfitted vehicle and store your wheelchair in the trunk, hopping from the back of the car to the driver’s seat using a walking aid.

If you can’t put any weight on your legs and have to remain seated in a wheelchair, you should consider renting a modified van.

How essential are my travel needs?

Although the freedom of driving wherever you want whenever you want is attractive, it isn’t always necessary. If you’re only using a wheelchair for a short time, can work from home, can take short-term disability leave from work, have friends and family visit you at home, and can carpool when you run errands, you might not need to rent a van during your recovery.

However, if you can’t arrange a carpool to work or are obligated to drive often, a rental van could be essential.


When You’re Done: Tips for trading in an accessible van you no longer need


Is the cost covered?

Depending on how you were injured and if an insurance company is paying for your rehabilitation and medical expenses, the cost of renting a wheelchair van might be covered — so why wouldn’t you take advantage of that? However, if you have to pay out of pocket for a van rental, you should

Many wheelchair vehicle conversion and retail dealers have upfitted vehicles you can rent on a temporary (weekly or monthly) basis, as do some rental car companies. If you need to rent a wheelchair van for a short period, find a company you can trust.