No matter whether you’re in a wheelchair permanently or just using one for a short time period, you don’t want to be out of luck and stuck at home because you can’t get your chair in a vehicle. When the urge to travel takes hold, consider the following tips for gaining access to a wheelchair accessible rental.
Some rental providers require up to three business days of advance notice to get a car with such accommodations. Adaptive driving features may include hand controls, spinner knobs, pedal extenders, and left foot accelerators. While that is good, they do tend to come with a waiting period for the provider to move the van to your location.
Ask for specific features
Need a ramp for your wheelchair? Looking for hand-operated accelerators and brakes? How many passengers does the vehicle need to transport?
Rental agencies may think they know what you need, but do they really? Be very specific with them to be sure you end up with the vehicle that is comfortable for yourself and your passengers.
Always get the details. For example, if the rental van has a lowered floor for wheelchair access, you might want to take into account that it won’t be the right vehicle for any off-road capabilities as it will be too low to the ground. Discovering all the details could just keep you from paying for damages along the way!
Check the accessibility systems
As you take a tour of the car, don’t forget to operate the ramp, lift, and restraint systems. Make sure you know how they work and that they are appropriate for your situation. Go through the same steps for any passengers that plan to use the restraint systems during travels.
Don’t neglect the basics
No matter who you are or what makes you unique, there are some details you should always take into consideration when renting a car. The best rental cars are those that are comfortable during your entire ride. Make sure you like the seats. Run the heater or air conditioning. Open and close all of the windows; lock and unlock the doors, etc.
Don’t forget to ask about fuel efficiency and the history of the vehicle. You’ll be responsible for all those fill-ups on the road and you want to make sure it’s affordable. Protect yourself from becoming liable for any damages that happened before your own trip.
The right rental vehicle can enhance the enjoyment of any road trip. Run through these tips to make sure your satisfied with the vehicle you’ve chosen, and you won’t go wrong!
Let NEILS know if there is any need for us to advocate on your behalf. Our team is standing by!