Ivan Nelson

Don’t Forget History Checks With Dodge Wheelchair Vans

Written by Ivan Nelson. Filed in Dodge Handicap Van Buyers Guide

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Before you make an offer on a used Dodge wheelchair van, consider these facts:

  • Hurricane Katrina resulted in the damage and/or flooding of over 500,000 vehicles. Past hurricanes and other major weather events have damaged millions of others.
  • Every year, millions of people are involved in automobile accidents. Some are minor but create permanent problems for the vehicles involved. Others cause obvious, severe damage that is later covered up.
  • While many vehicle owners do their best to maintain their vehicles, others shirk the responsibility. They fail to change the oil regularly, don’t engage in regular service and otherwise ignore developing problems.

With that in mind, how comfortable can you be making an offer on a used Caravan, Grand Caravan or Sprinter? Are you looking at a great wheelchair van option at a wonderful price or a series of major problems just waiting to happen?

There’s only one way to know.

You need to obtain a clear understanding of the vehicle’s history. Asking the seller is one way to get information, but that can’t help you if the seller doesn’t know everything–or if the seller is lying to you. You can also learn a lot by careful observation but you’re unlikely you’ll find everything you need to know unless you spend a great deal of time and have a strong automotive background.

Getting a VHR is easy.

That’s why it’s a good idea to order a vehicle history report (VHR) for the Dodge wheelchair van you’re considering. Vendors like CarFax will access databases maintained by government organizations, insurance agencies and the law enforcement community to generate a comprehensive study of any vehicle’s history. The reports are affordable and it only takes a few hours to get one via Fax or email.

typical history report

Typical history report from Autocheck or CarFax will give you peace of mind

A VHR will supply you with some valuable information that can help you decide if that Dodge wheelchair van is right for you. You can discover:

  • The number of previous owners. Vehicles that are frequently purchased and sold are often problematic. Additionally, the risk of maintenance and service neglect increases with the number of past owners.
  • Clear vehicle identification. You want to be certain that the vehicle you’re considering matches the description of the one associated with its vehicle identification number (VIN). That reduces the risk of being defrauded by a dishonest seller.
  • Past accidents and insurance claims: Incidents of significant damage increase the likelihood of eventual major repairs, decrease the vehicle’s reliability and dramatically shorten the lifespan of the van or minivan.
  • Previous locations. Cars registered and operated in states with harsh winter weather or that are near the ocean often develop early problems with rust and other related issues. You’ll want to know about this before making an offer.

You Will Need A Professional Mechanic Evaluation

Professional Mechanics

Professional mechanics will give you honest advice

A VHR can be very helpful, but you’ll also want to have a professional mechanic look at the vehicle for any warning signs or hidden damage you may not be able to spot.

Finally, you can consult the free database maintained by the National Insurance Crime Bureau that records information about vehicles known to be involved in flood situations and similar damaging events.

Unfortunately, many used Dodge wheelchair van buyers may overlook these relatively simple steps. That puts them at a tremendous risk of purchasing a seriously damaged vehicle that will be more likely to spur disappointment and to generate massive repair bills than to provide a positive driving experience.

A used Dodge wheelchair van can be a significant investment. It makes sense to do everything within your power to protect yourself and your finances before making that investment. Obtaining a VHR, having a mechanic evaluate the vehicle and checking the van against the National Insurance Crime Bureau database are three steps that can decrease the risk of making an errant purchase.

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About Ivan Nelson

Ivan Nelson

Ivan is a true hero to countless men and women with disabilities who have been asking Ivan for years on ways and methods to overcome their disabilities and propelling their way to a new and fulfilled life. Ivan's expertise in disability rehabilitation for over 15 years is solid and his knowledge is always fresh from a different perspective.

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