Side-Entry vs. Rear-Entry Wheelchair Vans
Side-entry wheelchair vans and rear-entry wheelchair vans both accommodate disabled passengers, but differences between these two handicap vans cover:
- Seating Position
- Passenger Space
- Ground Clearance
- Parking Ability
Read on to compare the relative benefits that come with each type of wheelchair-accessible vehicle conversion.
The Benefits of Side-Entry Handicap Vans
Side-entry wheelchair-accessibility vehicles are significantly more popular than rear-entry models, with benefits including:
- Front-Seat Position: A side-entry wheelchair van is easier for those who wish to drive the vehicle. It’s also nicer to sit up front rather than in the back, even if you’re not driving.
- Standard Power: Some rear-entry wheelchair accessible vans have power, but not all. Side-entry vans come with power as standard, so the ramp retracts and deploys at the touch of a button.
- More Passenger Space: A rear-entry van has the entire rear row removed, while side-entry models retain more passenger space.
The Benefits of Rear-Entry Handicap Vans
Rear-entry handicap vehicles are not as prevalent, but that doesn’t mean they don’t offer several compelling advantages:
- Low Cost: Compared to the side-entry process, the rear-entry process doesn’t require as much of the vehicle to be converted, so the cost of conversion should be lower.
- Strong Ground Clearance: Side-entry models must be lowered, which can make going over speed bumps or uneven roads rather challenging. A rear-entry model will maintain the same ground clearance as a normal minivan — you can always pick a kneelvan to bring the cabin down at will.
- Easier Parking: Searching for a handicap-accessible parking space can become a chore. You can exit a rear-entry vehicle without even finding such a space.
Which is Right for You?
You should opt for a side-entry van if you want to ride closer to the front, drive the vehicle yourself, maintain more passenger space, or have power entry as standard.
You should choose a rear-entry van if you’re looking for easier parking, zero ground clearance issues, or a lower conversion cost.
Find Your Next Wheelchair Van With Freedom Motors
Whether you’re interested in a side-entry or rear-entry wheelchair van, the Freedom Motors team can help find the perfect model to meet your needs. Simply contact us today for more tips on buying an accessible vehicle.