There are literally millions of people across Australia who have mobility issues, such as being confined to a wheelchair. This typically doesn’t cause any problems on a day-to-day basis, as a person goes about their usual daily tasks, but if someone needs to travel, then problems can quickly arise. This is generally why many people choose to purchase or hire wheelchair vans, as this allows them to travel to their intended destination in comfort, and with as little hassle as possible. However, when it comes to buying or hiring a van, one of the first questions you are likely to be asked is whether you would prefer a van that provides rear entry or side entry. This post compares the two entry methods, thus allowing you to make an informed decision as to which one is best for you.
Rear Entry Wheelchair Vans
A rear entry wheelchair van typically has a certain amount of the floor cut out from the rear bumper all the way up to the back of either the middle seats or front seats. This section is usually lower than the rest of the van, thus allowing easy access for those in a wheelchair.
- You should notice that a rear entry van provides far better ground clearance than a side entry van. This means that you no longer have to worry about cars or other vehicles being parked either side of you, which is the most common type of spaces found in a car park.
- Entering the vehicle is far easier, as the wheelchair doesn’t need to be turned into a place in order to get into the van. You simply need to place the wheelchair onto the entry point at the back of the van, typically a ramp or lift, and then you can get into the van very easily. This is especially useful for those who require far more legroom.
- As mentioned, most parking lots have vehicles placed next to each other, which generally leaves very little side room. However, with a rear entry van, this never need be a problem, as cars don’t generally park right behind or in front of each other.
Side Entry Wheelchair Vans
A side entry wheelchair van usually has the floor lowered from the back seat all the way to the front of the van. This is far more advantageous for a wheelchair operator who may be driving or looking to sit in the front passenger seat.
- There are certain locations which require vehicles to parallel-park, thus meaning there is very little space in front of and behind the vehicle. However, this obviously leaves ample room to the sides of the van, so passengers in a wheelchair can easily get in and get out of the van.
- As mentioned, a side entry van provides far more benefits to someone who wishes to either drive the van or sit in the passenger seat. A rear entry van means that you can only sit in the seats allocated behind the front two seats, thus giving you no access to the driving position.
Purchasing your own wheelchair vehicle can prove to be extremely expensive, however, if you are occasionally looking to go on a little adventure then there are plenty of companies which provide affordable wheelchair van rental.