January 12, 2018 at 6:09 PM

Buying your very first wheelchair van can be a fulfilling experience. Wheelchair vans are especially helpful in making both short and long distance travels easier for people with disability. However, before buying any van, you should thoroughly check all the features, including the entries.

One of the most common inquiries made by new wheelchair van owners is which is better; the rear-entry or the side-entry? While it may seem that both entries serve the same purpose, they have different benefits.

What is the difference between rear-entry and side-entry wheelchair vans?

The basic difference is that while side-entry vans make use of a ramp or lift and a sliding side door on the side of the van, the rear-entry vans allow wheelchair access through the back of the van. 

Rear-entry or side-entry, which is better?

Before you decide on which wheelchair van is best for purchase, there are things to consider. For instance, ask yourself who will be driving the van most of the time? How much of storage space do you need? Once you have answered the basic questions, you will be in a position to choose between side-entry and rear-entry vans.

Side-entry wheelchair vans

Are you a wheelchair user intending to do the driving most of the time? Then a side-entry wheelchair van is fit for you. Side-entry vans offer a significantly wide range of seating options, making it a better vehicle for persons with disabilities. Side-entry wheelchairs also offer different alternatives for lift styles. 

A side-entry van has the entrance on the side so that you still have sufficient storage space. These type of wheelchair vans are usually preferred due to their convenience, especially on long trips.

The only major disadvantage of side-entry doors is experienced during parking. With side-entry vans, parking n the handicap section is a must, because of the huge amount of space needed to park and exit the vehicle.

Rear-entry wheelchair vans

If you do not intend for any wheelchair user driving themselves, then a rear-entry van is a brilliant choice. The most outstanding advantage of using a rear-entry wheelchair van is that the lift does not obstruct other passengers entering from the side of the vehicle. Also, with the rear-entry vehicle, you will be able to park in any parking lot.

On the downside, rear-entry vehicles limit your van to four seats, to make space for the wheelchair. You will also have less storage space, which makes the rear-van a bad choice for long-distance trips.

In conclusion, both the rear-entry and side-entry wheelchair vans are essentially helpful. Before you purchase any of the vans, remember to consider the driver and the sole purpose of the van.

Yet, most people prefer using the side-entry because it makes it easier for the wheelchair user to drive themselves, to their desired destination. The side-entries are also better for day trips and long-distance journeys, especially due to luggage space.

Wheelchair Access Vehicle Rear or Side Entry

Category: Buying Guide