Best Wheelchair Vans For Sale For Less!

Rear-Entry vs Side-Entry Wheelchair Van – Pros & Cons

Closeup image of a handicap parking spot with handicap symbol

Rear-Entry vs Side-Entry Wheelchair-Accessible Vans - Pros & Cons


Accessible vehicles like wheelchair vans have revolutionized mobility for individuals with disabilities. By providing wheelchair users with more freedom and independence, these vehicles have become integral in their daily life. The most popular configurations are the side-entry and rear-entry vans. But which one is the right choice for you or your loved ones? To make an informed decision, let’s explore the pros and cons of each type.

Side-Entry Wheelchair Vans


1. Driver Accessibility: A unique advantage of side-entry vans is the potential for wheelchair users to drive the vehicle themselves. The direct pathway from the side door to the driver’s seat fosters higher independence.

2. Seating Flexibility: Side-entry vans offer greater seating flexibility, with the wheelchair user being able to sit in the front, middle, or rear of the vehicle. This versatility is an advantage if the user wishes to occupy the front passenger seat or even the driver’s seat.

3. Independence: Side-entry wheelchair vans generally have power ramp systems. However, there are some models that are manually operated. In a power system, many wheelchair users can travel by themselves, without a companion or caregiver. The ramp is easily operated and users have the ability to either drive from their wheelchair or transfer from their wheelchair into the driver’s seat to drive.


1. Narrow Interior: The positioning of wheel-wells in side-entry vans can make the interior narrower than in rear-entry models, restricting interior maneuverability, particularly for larger power wheelchairs or scooters.

2. Higher Cost: Side-entry wheelchair van conversions often come with a higher price tag than rear-entry conversions, which could be a consideration for those with budget constraints. The conversion process is much more involved.

3. Parking Challenges: Despite popular belief, side-entry vans can pose challenges in parking lots due to the extra space needed for the ramp to deploy on the side. Other drivers often park too close or on the parking buffer (stripes), blocking access to the ramp. For this reason, it may make it more difficult to park in common spaces without totally blocking off adjacent ones to ensure access.

Rear-Entry Wheelchair Vans


1. Spacious Interior: Rear-entry vans generally offer a more spacious interior, affording more room. This is especially helpful for individuals who use larger power wheelchairs, multiple wheelchairs or travel with service animals.

2. Cost-Effective: The cost of rear-entry conversions is often lower than that of side-entry conversions, making them a more budget-friendly choice. Conversions are generally manually operated, keeping electronic components to a minimum.

3. Parking: Since a rear-entry wheelchair van’s ramp deploys from the rear, parking in a traditional parking space is easier. This eliminates the worry of another driver parking too close to either side of the vehicle and blocking access to the ramp.


1. Limited Driver Access: Rear-entry wheelchair vans restrict the user to the middle or rear of the vehicle. It’s not common for users to be able to transfer into the driver’s seat, which limits their ability to drive the vehicle themselves.

2. Companion or Caregiver Required: For a wheelchair user to use a rear-entry wheelchair van, they must have a companion or caregiver present at all times. This is needed because the ramp is manually operated, and access to the front seating area is not accessible for independent driving. 

3. Limited Seating Options: Rear-entry vans may offer fewer seating options for wheelchair users. The front seating area is not accessible to the wheelchair user. They are restricted to the center & rear of the vehicle.

4. Parking Considerations: Rear-entry vans require adequate space behind the vehicle for the ramp to extend fully. This could pose a challenge in parking situations where space behind the vehicle is limited, such as in tightly-packed parking lots or street parking.

How Side-Entry & Rear-Entry Wheelchair Conversions Work


When choosing between a side-entry and a rear-entry wheelchair van, the key is to consider the specific needs and preferences of the wheelchair user. Both configurations offer valuable features, and potential challenges should be considered. The user’s physical capabilities, seating preferences, desire to drive, parking availability, and budget should all factor into the decision-making process. Always consult with mobility specialists or conversion companies to ensure that your final choice fits your lifestyle and mobility requirements.

Richard W. Maxwell, MBA

Richard W. Maxwell, MBA

Richard Maxwell, is a seasoned automotive marketing executive with over two decades of experience. Starting in 1999 with his advertising agency, Maxx Design & Marketing, he has consistently delivered innovative marketing solutions. After earning his MBA, Richard shifted focus to adaptive technology, serving as Marketing Manager for Superior Van & Mobility. Today, he leverages his expertise to promote and educate others about adaptive equipment in transportation and drive change in accessible mobility.

Which Vehicle Wheelchair Lift is Best for You and Your Needs?

Which Wheelchair Lift is Best for You and Your Vehicle?

BraunAbility Commercial Wheelchair Lift in white Ford Transit

With your wheelchair, you have your set of wheels and the increased mobility that comes with it. But to get further afield than your immediate neighborhood, you need wheels for your wheels. A vehicle wheelchair lift would mean greater independence for you and the freedom to go where you need to go.

Your choice of a wheelchair lift for your vehicle is almost as important as your choice of a wheelchair. Finding one that best suits you and your needs becomes easier once you know your options. For a new unoccupied wheelchair lift or scooter carrier, it will run $3000 to $6000 installed. For an occupied wheelchair lift, that cost will be between $7500 to $15,000 installed.  However, remember that used lifts & carriers are readily available at reduced costs, so be sure to ask if you are interested. 

Vehicles Suitable for Wheelchair Lifts

Superior Van & Mobility specializes in vehicle conversions and adaptive driving solutions, including wheelchair lifts and scooter carriers. However, it’s no secret that vans and SUVs work best when it comes to wheelchair-accessible conversions and driving adaptations. Their larger platform, height, and floorplan options provide more space and accessibility options.

Exterior Vehicle Lifts

A blue mobility scooter sitting behind a blue SUV with a Harmar AL100 wheelchair lift installed on the rear

Exterior Scooter Carriers secure your mobility device to the vehicle’s exterior, generally at the rear. Because of this, the main advantage of an exterior lift is increased vehicle compatibility. More lift and carrier options, including sedans, are available for more vehicle types.

An exterior wheelchair lift or scooter carrier attaches to the vehicle’s towing receiver. If your vehicle does not have one, one must be installed. Note: vehicle tongue weight will dictate using an external wheelchair lift on your vehicle. Please be sure to contact one of our lift managers to check the compatibility of your car.

Another great benefit of using an external lift is that you have multiple vehicles. It is possible and easy to move an external lift from one vehicle to the next if compatible.

To use an external lift, the user must be able to stand for two to three minutes while the lift is running and walk a short distance without assistance. However, an exterior carrier is still an option if you travel with a companion or caregiver.

Interior Scooter Lifts

Smart Lifter Wheelchair & Scooter lift inside the rear hatch of a blue hatchback holding a power wheelchair

There are many different models of interior scooter lifts & carriers available. Most store the mobility scooter or power wheelchair in the cargo area of a vehicle. Some lifts work like a crane. We call these hoist-type lifts. They are usually installed inside the rear hatch of a vehicle or in the bed of a pickup truck. They use a strap attached to a lifting point on your wheelchair or scooter. They lift your device into the air and then rotate for placement inside your vehicle.

Some options utilize a drive-on platform. This type of lift is called a hybrid lift. Hybrid lifts are one of the easiest to use. A user drives their mobility equipment onto the platform, secures it, and then uses a handheld pendant to operate the lift, storing their device inside the vehicle’s rear hatch.

However, remember that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for scooter carriers & lifts. The make and model of your vehicle have as much to do with which lift type will work best for you as your scooter or power wheelchair. We suggest you converse with one of our lift managers for these reasons. Their experience matching your equipment, vehicle, and the most suitable lift or carrier type is invaluable.

Wheelchair Lifts for Wheelchairs With an Occupant

Photos of commercial wheelchair lifts installed in vehicles

One last type of lift available is called an occupied lift. These types of lifts are often found in commercial applications. They are much larger but also much more substantial. They have lift capacities of 800 to 1000 pounds.

These lifts are designed to lift a person while seated in a wheelchair. The user does not transfer from their chair into a vehicle. They will remain in their chair during transport.

Due to their size and operation, occupied lifts have strict requirements for use. They require full-size vans or buses for installation and are generally not used in consumer applications.

If you would like more information on internal or external wheelchair lifts and scooter carriers for sale or to check if your vehicle is compatible, please get in touch with our lift managers. You can call them direct at 1-844-341-LIFT (5438). You can also research and view the available lift models by clicking the link below.

Richard W. Maxwell, MBA

Richard W. Maxwell, MBA

Richard Maxwell, is a seasoned automotive marketing executive with over two decades of experience. Starting in 1999 with his advertising agency, Maxx Design & Marketing, he has consistently delivered innovative marketing solutions. After earning his MBA, Richard shifted focus to adaptive technology, serving as Marketing Manager for Superior Van & Mobility. Today, he leverages his expertise to promote and educate others about adaptive equipment in transportation and drive change in accessible mobility.

Shopping For a Scooter Carrier or Wheelchair Lift?

4 images of Harmar & Bruno Power scooter and wheelchair lifts and carriers

Shopping For a Scooter Carrier or Wheelchair Lift?

Online vs Brick & Mortar Mobility Dealer

With online shopping becoming more of the rule than the exception, you may search for a scooter carrier or wheelchair lift for your vehicle online. While there are numerous sources out there where you can do just that, is that going to be your best option? Most likely, it is not. Here are just a few reasons why it makes more sense to buy your scooter carrier or wheelchair lift from a “brick and mortar” mobility dealership such as Superior Van & Mobility.


The manufacturers train our mobility consultants to examine each application, ensuring you choose the right mobility equipment for your current and future needs. Finding the right wheelchair lift or scooter carrier is not always as easy as finding one that fits your vehicle. We must consider many additional factors when determining what mobility equipment to recommend.

  1. Is the lift rated for the proper amount of weight it needs?
  2.  Is the lift the appropriate type for your mobility device?
  3.  Does your vehicle have the specifications to handle a lift and its cargo?
  4.  Every vehicle has a “tongue weight rating” or TWR. The TWR is typically 10% of the vehicle’s overall towing capacity. For example, your vehicle has a 1,500-pound towing capacity. Therefore, the TWR is 150 pounds. Adding a 100-pound lift and a 200-pound scooter to that vehicle will exceed the TWR. This can result in serious damage to your vehicle and mobility device. Plus, consider your safety. Exceeding the TWR is not only bad for your vehicle/equipment, but it also affects the handling of the vehicle, which can jeopardize your safety and that of your passengers.

So, considering the investment you already made into your vehicle and mobility equipment, does saving a small amount purchasing online seem like such a good deal after all? Yes? No? Well, let me continue…

A blue mobility scooter sitting behind a blue SUV with a Harmar AL100 wheelchair lift installed on the rear


All our technicians have been trained and certified to install and service every lift. This installation takes place in one of our service facilities. Not only will you have the peace of mind of knowing that you are receiving the correct lift, but it’s also being professionally installed and backed by a full warranty. (Most manufacturers require your mobility device to be professionally installed for activation of warranty)

  1. When you buy a lift online, who will do the installation?
  2. Does your installer warranty their work?
  3. How are you sure your installation was done correctly and it is safe?
  4. Who will adjust it to ensure the platform angle is correct to handle the weight & size of your mobility device?
  5. How do you know the correct hitch adapter is being used to ensure the lift is installed at the correct height?

These are all questions you must seriously consider as your safety and equipment depend on them. However, suppose you purchase from brick & mortar facilities like Superior Van & Mobility. In that case, these items you can rest assured are addressed and handled correctly, as your safety and your equipment is our top priority.


When you call Superior Van & Mobility, you will speak to one of our lift consultants, not a salesperson. Our consultants are trained to ask the right questions and intently listen to your current and future needs before recommending any product. Our staff is not paid on commission, so our approach is low-pressure and understanding. You can rest assured that we will ask the right questions to ensure the wheelchair lift or scooter carrier you need perfectly fits and addresses your current and future needs.

When you shop online, you must ensure you’ve done all your research correctly and understand what you purchase will work for your situation. You must know exactly what questions to ask, your measurements, weights, etc., and hope the information you provide and are provided is correct. Remember, an online-only retailer is only out for sale. They are not concerned with the service after the sale.

Two hands open holding a red heart


When buying a wheelchair lift or scooter carrier from a brick-and-mortar dealer, you know you are getting a quality product. At Superior Van & Mobility, we do the research before selling any product as our business depends on it. We will only sell products we feel are of the utmost quality, safe, and backed by a full manufacturer warranty.

There are many lift companies out there. However, not all of them build their products with the same quality construction as others. If you purchase a wheelchair lift or scooter carrier online, how well will it hold up and do the job you rely on it providing? Who will service your device if it malfunctions? What if you need parts? At a brick-and-mortar dealer like Superior Van & Mobility, our goal is to ensure that your equipment is correct for your needs and is quality made and of good components. Nothing is worse than being out and about only to have your lift malfunction!

Most brick & mortar dealers, like Superior Van & Mobility, are members of the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA). These dealers must uphold the highest standards, and when they are also part of the NMEDA Quality Assurance Program (QAP), they must also provide 24/7 emergency service. We will never leave you stranded!


Superior Van & Mobility has been over 45 years, serving clients. We have an A+ BBB rating in every state we have a facility, and as mentioned earlier, we are standing members of NMEDA. We have one of the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the business!

At Superior, we will always stand behind our work. We have a dedicated staff, each ready and willing to help you in any way possible in “Regaining Your Independence.” We pride ourselves on having a team passionate about helping others. It is our driving force. You become part of our family when you purchase Superior Van & Mobility.

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Richard W. Maxwell, MBA

Richard W. Maxwell, MBA

Richard Maxwell, is a seasoned automotive marketing executive with over two decades of experience. Starting in 1999 with his advertising agency, Maxx Design & Marketing, he has consistently delivered innovative marketing solutions. After earning his MBA, Richard shifted focus to adaptive technology, serving as Marketing Manager for Superior Van & Mobility. Today, he leverages his expertise to promote and educate others about adaptive equipment in transportation and drive change in accessible mobility.

5-Items To Consider Before Buying a Mobility Seat for Your Vehicle

Lady sitting in turny evo mobility seat in a van and image of handicap transfer seat installed in a van

What is Mobility Seating for Cars, Trucks, Vans & SUVs?

Mobility seating is designed to assist a person with physical limitations to safely enter or exit a vehicle for transport.

The most common type of mobility seating is the turny seat. This type of seat is customized to turn and lower outside the vehicle to make seating transfers easier and safer.

The second most common type of mobility seating is the transfer seat. It is designed to assist wheelchair users in transferring from a wheelchair onto either the driver or passenger seating inside a vehicle. 

Before You Buy Mobility Seating for Your Car, Truck, Van or SUV - Consider these 5-Items

  • PERSON WHO NEEDS IT – Similar to wheelchair options, it’s equally important to consider a person’s vehicle seating needs and how the product can best assist. Is it for a child or an adult? Which seating area in the vehicle makes sense to replace with a mobility seat?  What controls or customized control buttons are available for drivers versus passengers?  If a child or someone needs assistance, what options might a caregiver need to assist them in safe seating positions?
  • USAGE – It’s best to have a plan for usage.  Will a mobility seat be used once or twice a day or less frequently? Is the seat for the driver or passenger of the vehicle? 
  • COST – The cost of mobility seating products can vary according to the type of seat and the vehicle it will be installed into. There are also new and used seating options available at most mobility dealers. Often, a used mobility seat might be the best option for your budget.
  • FIT AND COMFORT – A mobility seat is an investment in your mobility and independence.  It’s important to ensure the type of mobility seat you choose gives you the support and comfort that you expect and need. This includes accounting for any health-related seating reasons. Many seats are compatible to work with your factory OEM seating. However, in some applications, this is not the case. For these applications, there are numerous aftermarket seats available that provide the same level of comfort and options.
  • IS A MOBILITY SEAT YOUR BEST OPTION?  Are you looking for a short-term or long-term solution?  When considering this, you’ll want to consider the reason for the mobility seat. Is it an injury or illness? Is there a condition that will progressively advance requiring additional needs?  These are important questions to ask upfront, to ensure your investment is going to be your best option. While a mobility seat might work now for you now, is it going to in the long-term?  Know all your options first by taking into account the long-term need. A mobility consultant will best assist you in understanding your options.

Here are a Few Videos of Available Mobility Seating Products

Handicap Parking Violator Deterrent System, ParkSmart from VMI

Handicap Parking Violator Deterrent System, ParkSmart from VMI

VMI Parksmart logo

VMI Introduces ParkSmart™ Handicap Parking Alert System on New VMI Wheelchair Vans Beginning 2021

A new product in town is designed to help drivers and passengers of wheelchair-accessible vehicles by eliminating blue-stripe parking violators on handicap parking spots. The product is called ParkSmart™, a new, patent-pending feature that will be found on EVERY new, VMI handicap, wheelchair-accessible vehicle beginning in 2021.

However, before I get into the nuts & bolts of the system and how it works, for all who may not know (The blue stripes next to a handicapped parking spot that is designed for parking a wheelchair van are there to alert other drivers NOT to park to close to their vehicle. The stripes are designed to mark off the appropriate distance from the handicap-accessible vehicle where the driver can deploy their wheelchair ramp to safely exit and enter their vehicle).

Image of handicap Parking spaces
Lady coming out of her wheelchair van in a parking lot with a silver car parked illegally in handicap spot blocking her access

Now that I’m done with that, let’s get into how the system works. It’s quite cool! First, the driver of the wheelchair-accessible vehicle parks his or her vehicle in the spot designated for handicap van parking. Next, upon exit of his/her vehicle, the user pushes a button on the dash to engage the new ParkSmart™ feature from VMI. (The system engages in a delay to allow the user to exit the vehicle). The wheelchair user then exits the vehicle and goes on about his/her business. The system is now engaged and active within 30 seconds. In all, the sensor works just like those on the rear bumper of a vehicle backup system, deploying a short-distance radar of sorts. Now, if a driver of another vehicle or a motorcycle user decides to park within the blue stripes or to close next to the VMI wheelchair-accessible vehicle, an audible alert will sound as the driver is getting out of their vehicle. The audible alert is then followed by a recorded message, further alerting the driver they have parked their vehicle illegally or too close to the wheelchair user’s vehicle and it asks politely to move their vehicle. The message will repeat itself as needed to ensure the user hears the message if there is a delay in them exiting their vehicle.

Closeup image of the button inside a VMI wheelchair van that activates parksmart parking assist
ParkSmart™ Button

There you have it! The industry’s first passive parking alert system was designed to assist wheelchair users in stopping the ever-so-frustrating handicap parking violator. In my opinion, this is going to be a game-changer! I applaud Vantage Mobility International (VMI) for developing such a nice feature that can only help our users of wheelchair-accessible vehicles by eliminating one of the biggest headaches they encounter in their travels, handicap parking violators. Thank you, VMI!

Watch a Demonstration Video of ParkSmart™ from VMI Here!

Shop our Current Inventory of New Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles Here!

Find a Superior Van & Mobility Location Near You!

Richard W. Maxwell, MBA

Richard W. Maxwell, MBA

Richard Maxwell, is a seasoned automotive marketing executive with over two decades of experience. Starting in 1999 with his advertising agency, Maxx Design & Marketing, he has consistently delivered innovative marketing solutions. After earning his MBA, Richard shifted focus to adaptive technology, serving as Marketing Manager for Superior Van & Mobility. Today, he leverages his expertise to promote and educate others about adaptive equipment in transportation and drive change in accessible mobility.

Handicap Van Options Make Transit Easy

Handicap Van Options Make Transit Easy

4 images of Harmar & Bruno Power scooter and wheelchair lifts and carriers

What Can These Options Do For You?

New or used handicap vans are the main means of transportation for people with disabilities. They can compensate for most disabilities while providing comfort with the available options. Depending on your disability, you can choose which options would best fit your needs.

Here’s a list of customized options. These options will make commuting easier and more comfortable for you and your family.

The Options:

The main options for additional handicap van equipment include; Bruno Valet, portable ramps, hand controls, driving aids, lifts, jump seats, wheelchair tie-downs, transfer seats and platform carriers. Here’s a description of each:

Driving Aids: Driving aids include pedal extensions, wheelchair pulleys and sensors to help drivers maneuver safely.
BraunAbility Turny Evo: A Turny Evo seat allows someone with limited mobility to get in and out of their vehicle with very little effort and strain.
Lifts and Scooter Carriers: Lifts and mobility scooter carriers are probably one of the most useful options for a handicap vans and other accessible vehicles. Lifts and platform carriers for a van can be mounted internally or externally. They can lift a person in a wheelchair in and out of the car or store a mobility scooter during a commute.
Wheelchair Tie Downs: wheelchair tie-downs can be installed into the floor of a handicap van to secure wheelchairs during transit.
Hand Controls: In the instance of someone who has limited or no use of their legs, that person can have hand controls installed into their steering column so they can operate their vehicle.
Transfer Seats: A transfer seat works just like a lift and platform carrier. It can lift a wheelchair into a handicap van.

Understanding all of these options will make customizing your handicap van an easier process. Click here for additional buying tips.

Joey Wheelchair Lifts

What is a Joey Wheelchair Lift & Scooter Carrier?

Older couple standing at rear of minivan with lady operating a bruno joey lift with their red scooter on the lift platform.


If you’re looking for a wheelchair lift to improve your mobility in your handicap vehicle, the Joey Model VSL-4000HW is one of the best options available on the market. The easy to use wheelchair and scooter lift effectively lifts and stores your unused scooter or powerchair inside your vehicle at the touch of a button. It works with both wheelchair accessible minivans and full-size wheelchair vans. All you have to do is roll your mobility device onto the platform from either side, hit the button, and let the lift do the rest of the work. Your scooter will be safely stored and out of the way.

Securement belts allow for maximum safety during transport, and an optional barrier system is also available if you need a little extra reassurance. The powerful performance and exquisite design of this Superior Van wheelchair lift mean you will enjoy many years of dependable transportation no matter what kind of scooter or power chair you are using.

The one-button operation of the Joey lift is powered by your vehicle’s battery. It handles devices up to 28 inches wide and has drive on/drive off capabilities. With this piece of equipment you will never have to drive your scooter or power chair in reverse. It features a rack and pinion design with a horizontal rail, offering one of the most compact footprints available in the industry.

Lastly, the custom mounting fit offered with the Joey lift fits a wide range of vehicles and requires little to no drilling. In most cases, third row seating is used to help preserve your vehicle’s resale value. With the Joey, you don’t have to sacrifice your vehicle style or value. Call Superior Van & Mobility today and check one out today to see how it can improve your experience.


Handicap Van Lifts: What Are Your Options?

Handicap Van Lifts: What Are Your Options?

4 images of Harmar & Bruno Power scooter and wheelchair lifts and carriers

There are lots of ways vans accommodate people with disabilities these days. From pivoting seating systems to adaptive driving hand controls to access ramps and lifts, you’ve got plenty to consider. One of the more important decisions you’ll make is picking from the various handicap van lifts on the market.

Whether you use a wheelchair or a scooter, whether you need side-entry or rear-entry and other factors influence the decision. Think about your needs and preferences and consult your driving rehabilitation specialist and dealer to make the most appropriate choice.

There are two primary differences of Handicap Van Lifts:

Unoccupied Handicap Van Lifts

If you’re looking for the cheapest lift option, you may be able to use one of the available unoccupied handicap van lifts. The two types—swinging arm-style lifts and platform-style lifts—load and unload a scooter or wheelchair when you’re not sitting in it. They’re easy to use and they’re smaller and lighter than lifts made for occupied mobility devices.

Obviously, this sort of equipment is for people who get in and out of their scooter or wheelchair for vehicle travel. If you need your mobility aid when you get where you’re going, but you can access the van on your own, this may be the best option for you.

Occupied Handicap Van Lifts

If you can’t always get out of your scooter or wheelchair van for travel, Occupied handicap van lifts that only work for unoccupied devices aren’t going to cut it. You need something that can safely elevate and lower you while seated. There are several types of occupied lifts that do just that.

Under-vehicle lifts attach outside the van, so they don’t take up any interior room. Single-post split platform lifts are relatively small and well suited to smaller mobility devices. They permit easy access to the passenger door when stowed. Dual-post split platform lifts are similar but larger. Standard dual-post lifts have sturdier platforms and two hydraulic arms that are well suited to the largest and heaviest wheelchairs. This equipment is strong and dependable. It does block access to the door where it’s installed when stowed, and it sometimes prevents seats in front of it from reclining or sliding back. However, in many instances, there is no safe substitute.

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