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Thinking of Buying a Salvaged or Rebuilt Title Wheelchair Van ?

Considering a Wheelchair Van with a "Branded Title"?

Here's What You Need to Know

If you're in the market for a wheelchair van, you might come across enticing deals on vehicles with a "Branded Title" such as Salvaged, Rebuilt, or Restructured. While the price may be tempting, there are significant reasons to reconsider purchasing such a wheelchair van. Here's an overview of what a salvage-title wheelchair van is, along with six compelling reasons to avoid buying one.

What is a Salvage-Titled Wheelchair Van?

A wheelchair van receives a salvage title when the cost to repair it due to an accident, weather damage, or theft exceeds the van's assessed value. This designation warns future buyers that an insurance company has deemed the van a total loss. Although some salvage-title vans may have incurred damage from events like hailstorms or minor fender-benders, such cases are rare.

6 Reasons to Avoid Buying a Salvage Wheelchair Van:

  1. Hard to Receive Financing: Most financial institutions are hesitant to issue auto loans for salvage-title wheelchair vans due to the higher risk associated with their reduced value. Be prepared to pay mostly in cash if you choose to purchase one.

  2. Hard to Insure: Only a few auto insurance companies offer collision and comprehensive coverage for salvage-title wheelchair vans, making it challenging to find suitable insurance coverage.

  3. Safety Concerns: Rebuilding companies might cut corners on safety features, such as structural alignment and airbags, posing significant risks to drivers and passengers. Phony airbags are estimated to be installed in one out of every 25 salvage cars.

  4. No Warranty: Salvage-title vans are sold "as-is," meaning you're responsible for all repairs out of pocket. The extent of damage is often undisclosed, leaving you vulnerable to unexpected and costly repairs.

  5. Low Resale Value: Salvage-title vans are difficult to resell, as dealerships are reluctant to accept them as trade-ins, and private sales can be challenging due to inaccurate pricing.

  6. High Instances of Fraud: Sellers may downplay the extent of damage, making it challenging for buyers to know the truth. Legal recourse is limited once the purchase is made, as there is no warranty or guarantee on the van's condition.

Final Thoughts:

While the prospect of saving money on a salvage-title wheelchair van may be tempting, the associated risks often outweigh the benefits. Considering the safety, financing, insurance, and resale challenges, it's advisable to opt for a quality new or used wheelchair van from a reputable dealership. Remember, the vehicle you choose will be part of your life for the next 5 to 10 years, so prioritize quality over 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.

Thinking of buying a salvaged or rebuilt title wheelchair van