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Thinking of Buying a Salvaged or Rebuilt Title Wheelchair Van ?

Thinking of buying a salvaged or rebuilt title wheelchair van

Thinking of buying a Wheelchair Van with a "Branded Title" ? (Salvaged, Rebuilt, Restructured, etc)


If you are in the market for a new wheelchair van, chances are you have come across multiple wheelchair vans with low miles selling well below market value. If you are like most people, you may be tempted by price to purchase said wheelchair van. The question is, should you?


The answer to this question is usually no. If you take a hard look at the fine print, you may notice a salvage title. Consumer Reports advises that a salvage-title car is worth just 50% of its value on Kelley Blue Book. Many dealers and sellers will try to convince you that the vehicle damage is strictly cosmetic or a "small fender bender"; however, it can be challenging to determine at first glance if the damage is, in fact, aesthetic or structural. If you decide to move forward with purchasing a salvage wheelchair van, you could be in for a rude awakening. This article will provide you an overview of what a salvage-title wheelchair van is, along with six reasons you should stay away from purchasing one.



A wheelchair van is deemed a salvage when the cost to repair it due to an accident, weather damage, or theft, is more than the wheelchair van is worth. In this instance, the wheelchair van is issued a salvage title to warn future buyers that an insurance company has deemed the wheelchair van a total loss. There are instances where a perfectly good wheelchair van receives a salvage title, such as damage incurred by a hailstorm, or a simple fender-bender; however, instances such as those are very rare.



Hard To Receive Financing

Most financial institutions will not issue auto loans for salvage-title wheelchair van since the car is usually used as collateral for the loan. A salvage wheelchair van provides too much risk for most financial institutions because if you were to default on your auto loan, the salvage wheelchair van has little value. Thus, if you want to purchase a salvage wheelchair van, be prepared to pay mostly in cash.

Hard To Insure

Very few auto insurance companies will write collision and comprehensive coverage for salvage-title wheelchair vans because it is tough for an insurance company to place a value on the wheelchair van. You may find some insurance companies who are willing to write policies for salvage wheelchair van; however, this coverage will be limited.

Safety Concerns

Safety is the main reason many people stay away from salvage wheelchair vans. Many companies that rebuild wheelchair vans often cut corners to save money. For instance, many auto re-builders will skimp out on structural alignment and airbags. This poses a considerable risk to drivers and their passengers. The California Highway Alliance estimates that one out of every 25 salvage cars has phony airbags installed. Don’t risk your safety for a low-ticket price.

No Warranty

Most vehicles come with an extended warranty, but you will not receive this luxury with a salvage-title wheelchair van. Your wheelchair van will come as-is, which means you will be responsible for all repairs out of pocket once you leave the lot. Often the extent of damage is not disclosed to consumers, which means you could be responsible for hefty repair costs, which would eat into the money you saved by purchasing the salvage-title.

No Resale Value

Salvage-title cars are tough to resell. Dealerships rarely accept salvage cars as trade-ins, and selling the car on your own can prove to be just as challenging. This is because salvage vehicles are unable to be priced accurately using online guides like Edmunds or Kelley Blue Book. Thus, it’s challenging to convince dealerships and buyers of a reasonable price.

High Instances of Fraud

Most car salespeople and independent sellers will claim the damage to the vehicle was minor and cosmetic. The problem is, it can be tough to know if he or she is telling the truth. Also, there is little you can do as a buyer if you find out that the dealership or independent seller was lying about the extent of damage once the vehicle has been purchased. Unfortunately, there is not any legal recourse a buyer can take as there is no warranty or guarantee on the condition of the wheelchair van.


Many consumers are tempted to purchase a salvage-title wheelchair van due to the money-saving factor. While we understand the temptation of saving a substantial amount of money on your new wheelchair van, the money you save is not worth the number of significant risks. In most instances, you are better off buying a quality new or used wheelchair van from a reputable wheelchair van dealership.Remember, you will have your vehicle for the next 5 to 10 years. You want to make sure you are shopping for quality, not just price.


Vantage Mobility International (VMI) shared this piece of information with us.


"To whom it may concern,

Vantage Mobility International converts Toyota, Honda, Ford and Chrysler mini vans for use by the physically challenged community. Our conversion involves the removal of the front and center floor areas of the vehicle. At this point a new rigid framework is installed and is integrated into the uni-body structure of the vehicle. The conversion is designed, and crash tested to meet all FMVSS requirements for that model vehicle. Vehicles involved in a collision should be carefully inspected to insure that the vehicle structure is still intact. More specifically, that the portions of the frame that join the Vantage conversion to the OEM unibody construction are not compromised. It is the recommendation of Vantage Mobility International, that if ANY part of the CONVERSION frame assembly has been bent or is broken away from the OEM structures, and/or the CONVERSION frame or floor is pushed or twisted from its original position, that the vehicle be considered NOT repairable. This recommendation is based solely on our concern for the safety of the occupant. Our conversion is carefully designed and assembled to meet the special needs of our physically challenged community as well as maintaining all FMVSS criterion. Our conversions are fully crash tested to insure this. We cannot warrant the usability or safety of modifications or repairs made to the conversions' structural members. If a repair is attempted or performed on a vehicle displaying damage as noted above Vantage Mobility International will revoke all Warranties and Liabilities, and place sole responsibility on the party initiating the repair.