No matter who you are or where you’re from, the topic of financing can be confusing. That’s especially true when it comes to financing specialized products that aren’t well understood by the general public – like wheelchair accessible vehicles!
1. Why are wheelchair accessible vehicles so expensive?
“I just want to add a ramp on my van – not all the bells and whistles.” That’s a statement heard often by the finance team. Many first-time buyers don’t understand the time and work that goes into making a mobility vehicle. The conversion process is not just adding a ramp – it is rebuilding of the original vehicle, top to bottom and bumper to bumper. Keep in mind, mobility vehicles come in many shapes, sizes and price points: from rear-entry or side-entry, manual ramps or fully-automatic, brand new or certified pre-owned or even used. All of these options are available through Access Options, Inc.
2. Can’t Medicaid or Medicare pay for the vehicle? What about insurance?
While Medicare and Medicaid may cover the cost of your wheelchair or scooter, they do not cover the cost of a wheelchair accessible vehicle. Neither does health insurance. There are some national, state and nonprofit funding sources that can help. Find a full list of those services here.
3. Why don’t you offer free financing?
Because the vendors purchases chassis directly from the automotive manufacturer and not a dealership, the same consumer financing incentives you see offered by a Chrysler or Ford dealership, for example, do not carry over to the mobility dealership. Purchasing directly from the manufacturer lowers the MSRP, and the finance then works with major lenders to ensure we can offer competitive terms and low rates.
4. How much of a down payment should I plan on when purchasing my wheelchair accessible vehicle?
The general rule of thumb in the automotive industry is 20% down. It’s possible to get a vehicle financed with zero down, but putting some money down initially puts the consumer in a better long-term financial position and results in lower monthly payments.
5. How do I apply for financing as a caregiver of someone else?
You need to have financial power of attorney in order to apply for financing on behalf of someone else (this is separate from medical power of attorney).
And if an individual is unable to physically sign loan documents, there are alternatives.
6. What kind of credit score do I need to get financing for a wheelchair accessible vehicle?
There is no magic credit score required to obtain financing. Our finance team strives to widen opportunities for those with challenged credit. It’s important to note that your credit score is a small part of the overall credit decision.” Considerations like employment and employment history, total debt owed, income, and dozens of other factors all go into the final decision, she adds.
7. What is GAP insurance? Do I really need it?
Guaranteed Asset Protection insurance (GAP) comes into play when there is a total loss on a vehicle due to fire, theft or an accident. For example, in the event of a total loss, an insurance claims adjuster may say the fair market value of a vehicle is $30,000. If the consumer owes $35,000 on the bank loan, that leaves a gap of $5,000 for the consumer to cover. If the consumer had purchased GAP insurance, it would cover the $5,000 deficit and up to $1000 of the deductible.
“Anyone who is financing a mobility vehicle should consider purchasing GAP insurance,” recommends Jill. For just an additional $5 onto your monthly payment, GAP could be a decision that saves you tens of thousands of dollars.
GAP insurance is available nationwide on any wheelchair accessible vehicle for a term of up to 84 months with the with the exception of New York.
8. What is a Vehicle Service Contract?
A vehicle service contract (VSC) is extended coverage of the warranty of your mobility vehicle’s chassis and conversion. Buying at the time of sale reduces the VSC’s cost and allows it to be included in your total vehicle financing. The length of the contract is up to the consumer, but purchasing at the time of sale avoids any lapse in coverage and matching it to the length of the loan agreement.