Jason Dion

More Than You Think: Working Out the Real Cost of a Dodge Wheelchair Van

Written by Jason Dion. Filed in Dodge Handicap Van Buyers Guide

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What does a fully loaded and converted Grand Caravan wheelchair van cost?

How much will you spend for a nice full size Sprinter wheelchair van?

There are two ways to answer questions like those.

You can do it the way most people do, which is by repeating the sticker price. Alternatively, you can provide a real assessment of the cost of a Dodge wheelchair minivan or full size wheelchair van.

Where To Start

That second option is the most accurate one, but it requires a little effort and calculation. You can start with the aforementioned sticker price. However, you don’t want to fool yourself into thinking that’s what your actually spending for a Dodge minivan.

Don’t Forget Financing Costs

That is because you probably are not writing the salesman a check for the full purchase price. Instead, you are going to secure a vehicle loan. That loan is going to be stretched over a predetermined number of payments. The sticker price will look nothing like the real number you will get from multiplying the monthly payments by the number of months for which the loan is in effect.

Wheelchair Conversion Expenses

Now, unless you are buying a van that has already been converted for wheelchair use, you will need to think about handicap conversion expenses. Once you have an idea of how many those changes will cost, you can add them to the total cost. If you are going to be financing, you will want to account for the real overall expense again.

Bad Credit Ratings Increase Financing Rates

You will soon realize that the price tag on your loans is wildly changing how much you are paying as opposed to what things “cost.” For instance, someone with a nearly prefect FICO score may be offered and interest rate so much lower than a marginal credit risk that the person with the lower score may pay more than twice as much over the life of the loan as will the good credit risk.

Ongoing Costs

The price of the Dodge and its conversions still does not provide you with a complete understanding of the vehicle’s real cost. You are going to be pumping gas in to that wheelchair van. You will be servicing the disability equipment. You will be paying for oil changes and regular maintenance. You will be covering major repairs that are not covered by warranty. You will be making insurance payment, paying personal property taxes, replacing tires, and writing out annual checks to your local DMV for registration and licensing.

That is not an exhaustive list, either. Owning a vehicle is a constant source of expense.

The sum of all of those numbers will give you an idea of the real cost of a Dodge wheelchair van over time and that real cost will bear no resemblance to the sticker on the van’s window in the Dodge dealer’s lot.

Weigh Up The Costs v’s The Benefits

Do not let that big number frighten you, though. We are talking about a total cost over a length of time. Failing to look at the number in that context can be more misleading than a nice sticker price. As long as the Dodge wheelchair van you need fits within your budget and does not jeopardize your well-being, the number should not worry you.

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About Jason Dion

Jason Dion

Jason was a professional test-driver is his last life and is now a full time Nurse in Seattle, WA and follows the changing landscape of Disability Rights and Advocacy. He is keen to assist in developing useful disability information and advice from his real-life perspective working with people with disabilities. Jason is an automotive guru and covers a broad range of topics, including disability automotive, health conditions and lifestyle advice.

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