A decade ago, there weren’t too many options for those who were wheelchair-bound to drive. Aside from full-sized conversion vans (which can be gas guzzlers and larger than necessary for the lifestyle of many people) the market was virtually devoid of choice.

However, now things are different and the world of disabled-accessible motor vehicles has experienced a total transformation. Here are six great reasons why you may want to consider purchasing one of these custom rides – whether you are disabled or have a family member who is.

Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

1) You Have Rear or Side-Entry Choices.

While side-entry is fine for many people, sometimes it can make parking in tight areas more difficult. If you are the kind of person who is constantly on the go (especially in urban or busy locales) you may want the safety and convenience of rear entry. Many vans offer this conversion for those who desire it.

2) There Are More Than Just Vans To Choose From.

While those who want or like vans can still choose from full-sized models or many makes and models of minivan, the choices don’t stop there. You can also pick from GMC Sierra or Chevy Silverado pickup trucks or even wheelchair-accessible motorcycle trikes, which are a combination of a motorcycle and fast hotrod car.

Now you can haul what you want and have the room necessary for passengers or work storage with a truck, or feel the wind in your hair and take that outdoors-oriented road trip you’ve always dreamed of with a bike.

3) Many Top Brands Are Represented.

Each brand is known for something different, and you should be able to pick models that you have always admired for both their looks as well as their comfort and durability. In addition to GMC, Chevy and BMW, you can also get top names like Toyota, Honda, Chrysler/Dodge, Pontiac and others.

Both domestic and international makers produce models that can be converted into your ideal ride.

4) It’s Simple to Browse Retailers’ Inventory Online.

Rather than go straight to a dealer and handle pushy salespeople, you can look and see what certain retailers have available via Internet before even setting foot on the sales floor. Most sites are set up so you can search by mileage, car make/model, the accessibility features you want, and other criteria.

This allows you to spend time looking at what you really want, rather than wasting hours sifting through tons of clunkers or products that don’t interest you.

5) Customer Satisfaction is Key.

Just as with standard vehicles, you should be able to get 3 year/36,000 mile warranties, rust, paint and fabric protection, dealership servicing and much more.

6) The Freedom To Do Everything Yourself.

Let’s face it: No one relishes the thought of asking for help every day. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a hand control-operated custom van, truck or other vehicle that allowed you to enter, drive and exit without the need for any assistance? It’s hard to put a price on that kind of freedom.

As a social worker, Carla works with people with disabilities in her day-to-day life. She has seen firsthand the difference mobility, in the form of an accessible vehicle, can make in these individuals’ lives. She recommends that families of people with disabilities, or the people themselves, investigate these vehicles further and check out mobilityworks.com.