Types of Handicap Van Conversions

The mobility needs of one person may be completely different from the mobility needs of another person. Similarly, the types of handicap vans available come in different shapes, sizes, and with different features to accommodate all of these different needs.

The type of handicap van conversion that you need may be determined on both your current mobility needs as well as potential future needs. By working with your healthcare professional and one of our mobility specialists, we can help you make the most educated decision when it comes to buying a handicap van.

One of the first (and most significant) decisions you will make during the purchase process is whether to opt for a side entry handicap van conversion or a rear entry handicap conversion. Below, we take a look at these two options in depth.

Side Entry Handicap Van Conversions

There are countless reasons to select a side entry handicap van conversion. Speaking with a mobility specialist about your mobility needs will help you determine if a side entry van is an ideal option.


Parallel Parking - Because wheelchair users are entering and exiting from the sides of the vehicle, parallel parking is not affected and may, in many cases, provide easier entry/exit access.

Front Seat Compatibility - Side entry handicap van conversions sometimes allow for more flexibility in the front seat area of the van. This allows the wheelchair user to operate the vehicle or be seated in the front passenger area. This is especially useful for couples who wish to travel together. In many side entry van conversions, the van’s floor is lowered to allow the wheelchair operator to move easily between the driver’s side and passenger side.


Access to Wider Parking - Because the driver and/or passenger(s) are entering and exiting from the sides of the van, side entry conversion vans will need access to wider parking to allow sufficient room for entry.

Your personal preferences, lifestyle, and mobility needs will help you make a better determination as to whether this type of conversion is ideal for you and your family.

Rear Entry Handicap Van Conversions

Just as the name implies, rear entry handicap van conversions allow the wheelchair user to enter the vehicle via the back of the vehicle.


Less Expensive - Because rear entry handicap van conversions affect a smaller area of the van, they can sometimes be less expensive than side entry vans.

Easier Access in Tight Parking - Rear entry handicap conversion vans are practically unaffected by tight parking due to the fact that users simply enter and exit through the back of the vehicle.

Better Ground Clearance - Rear entry handicap van conversions are raised higher towards the back of the vehicle, which allows for additional space when compared to a side entry handicap conversion van.


Parallel Parking is Difficult -  Because this type of handicap van conversion uses rear entry access, wheelchair users will find it difficult (and sometimes impossible) to enter or exit their van from a parallel parking situation unless the van is moved to allow such access.

Wheelchair User has Driver-Side Access Only - Most rear-entry handicap van conversions lower the floor of the vehicle to just behind the front seat, which does not allow the wheelchair user to sit in the front passenger area unless they transfer out of their wheelchair.

Interested in selling your handicap van but unsure of where to begin? Why not sell your handicap van to Van Products?

All of our used handicap van conversions are available with door-to-door delivery as well. For more information about the types of handicap van conversions offered by Van Products, contact us toll-free at (800) 209-6133 or locally at (919) 238-4597.