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Don’t Buy Before You Try: The Trouble with Buying Cars Online

Online shopping has changed the way we buy products in every industry. It can be quicker, more convenient, and sometimes it’s even cheaper. But not every purchase is best made virtually.

For example, the last time you bought a car, you probably went to a dealership or met the seller in real life. Though your research for a new vehicle may have started online, you probably don’t want to spend thousands on a car without looking it over in person.

A Craigslist seller or dealership may not describe the vehicle completely accurately, intentionally or not. And you probably want to test drive it and look under the hood to make sure your potential new car is as great as it seems in the description.


1. United Access offers live, customized demonstrations.

No matter your needs, the mobility specialists at United Access can help you find the right accessible vehicle for you. Not only that, though, we’ll show you how to use every single feature on your potential new van. When it comes to ramps, lifts, handbrakes, and other hand controls, you have many different options depending on your particular needs. 

While some online car dealerships may have these options available for sale, they won’t be able to give you a personal demonstration of how to use them in your new wheelchair van.

 2. We bring the van to you.

Can’t come into the dealership yourself? We’ll come to you. Our mobility specialists will speak with you one-on-one to find a vehicle that we recommend for you and then bring it to your home. There, we’ll show you the ins and outs of the vehicle and answer all questions you have, no matter how small!

One of the biggest draws of online car shopping is the promise of door-to-door, white glove delivery. But what happens when that car shows up and you don’t like it after all? Back it goes to the dealership and the process has to start all over.

Instead, when you buy from United Access, you’re getting the benefits of a brick-and-mortar car dealership with the convenience of home delivery. The car-buying experience has never been easier!

3. We offer trade-ins.

Some online car-buying companies don’t deal in trade-ins, making that MSRP a little harder to swallow. Doesn’t sound like a fair price to us.

If you already have a wheelchair-accessible vehicle but are looking for your next car, we’re happy to give you an appraisal for trade-in value to help you get the best price for your new car. 

Once we do an in-person inspection and test drive, we’ll give you an appraisal for your car’s market value. This appraisal is valid for a full 30 days, giving you plenty of time to find the new wheelchair van of your dreams, regardless of sticker price.

Red Ram Promaster
Ram Promaster

Naturally, the same can be said of buying a wheelchair van online.

Wheelchair-accessible vehicles are an important part of independence for people who use wheelchairs. But as you likely know, choosing a wheelchair van is more complicated than buying a non-adapted vehicle.

As convenient as buying a car online might seem — no haggling, right? — you won’t know what the car is really like until it’s in front of your house.

And if you shop for an accessible vehicle online, you’re losing the benefits of shopping in person—like a mobility specialist explaining the different options available to you and customized personal demonstrations. Depending on your needs, we can help decide whether a rear-entry van is necessary, or if a side-entry van would better fit your lifestyle. Unfortunately, you don’t get that level of personal service when you’re buying from what is effectively a car vending machine.

Keep reading to find out why it’s better to buy a wheelchair van in person from a local dealership that knows your needs and how United Access can help you find the right wheelchair-accessible vehicle for you.

Silverado 2

4. You can actually test drive our wheelchair vehicles.

You wouldn’t buy a house you’ve never walked around in. Why buy a vehicle you haven’t test driven? Unlike some online wheelchair van companies, we expect that our customers will want to test drive their potential van before you buy, and we’re happy to offer that service.

If you can’t make it into one of our dealerships, we’ll schedule a test drive at your home.

5. Our mobility specialists know our products inside and out.

We know that each of our customers has unique needs and want different things in their wheelchair vans. That’s why we make sure that our mobility specialists are trained in all the specifics of wheelchair-accessible vans. When you talk to a United Access specialist online or on the phone, you’re talking to a real person—no robots here! When you’re reduced to buying cars online, you’re at the hands of a robot to answer your questions about the inventory. We work hard every day to help our customers get the best accessible vehicle  for their individual needs. 

6. Our mobility specialists can you help find additional funding.

Need additional funding? Our mobility specialists can help with that! Our team can work with you to find the most reasonable vehicle within your budget. We keep track of which organizations offer resources and funding to individuals with special needs, including financial assistance for wheelchair vans. Additionally, our finance department can tell you about rebate programs and funding options to help you access the vehicle you need.

Want to get started on research? Take a look at our financing page, our and our list of resources for veterans. Our list of potential fundraisers might spark an idea, and you can learn how to raise money via GoFundMe with our guide to setting up a crowdfunding campaign that really works.

The wheelchair van buying process can seem intimidating, we know. But buying cars online isn’t your only option when you’re too overwhelmed to go straight to a dealership. Instead, contact one of our mobility specialists today to learn more about buying a wheelchair accessible van from United Access. We’ll explain the entire van-buying process and show you why United Access is where you can go to get the right wheelchair-accessible vehicle for you.