Saturday, June 22, 2013

Wisdom of the Internets Needed...

Friends with accessible vans - and power chairs - please advise me!

Friends who know about money - please  advise me!

(I have a theory that people who have grown up around money or with money in their families know how to manage it.  Unfortunately I am clueless about these things).

This is my dilemma.  We are getting access to Murray's super soon - it's not enough to completely pay out the mortgage - but that is what we are going to use the money for - paying down the mortgage.

BUT.

There is also the CAR question.

Our van is old and therefore is not worth putting a wheelchair lifter into.  It is also at that age that it is getting too expensive to keep repairing, but it probably (possibly) still has a couple of years left in it.  The biggest issue is getting Ashlea in and out of the car.  She is 20kg now.  I am 45kg wringing wet.  Lifting her up, twisting and then putting her into the car seat is no mean feat. I'm worried I'm going to pop out a hernia or something when I lift her (although i do admit to feeling a moment of smugness at seeing my gym-going sister struggle to lift Ashlea into the carseat...but I digress).

I just don't know what to do.

Is it wise to spend that money on a car NOW?  Or should we wait?  My brain says MORTGAGE not car - but my body says CAR.

What it really boils down to is this: Can I keep physically lifting Ashlea into the car?

At the moment I am leaning towards getting a Hyundai Imax with this type of converter ($40000 car with $10000 lifter as opposed to a $55000 Tarago with a $35000 conversion - the thought of driving an $80000 car horrifies me!).  I would also consider looking at second hand ones but know even less about buying a second hand car than I do about managing money!.

Hyundai Imax with Lifter.

Anyone got any thoughts???

16 comments:

Kel (Miss N Corner) said...

You know life can change at the raise of an eyebrow better than anyone else. Do what is going to help now. Let tomorrow take care of tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Hi Alison,
I don't know you but started following your blog posts a while ago when I saw a mutual friend commenting on Facebook. I am on the therapy team of one of the RIDBC schools at North Rocks and we had an email come through just a couple of days ago of a family wanting to sell their 2005 wheelchair modified Kia Carnival. I could send the ad through to you if you were interested? I have no idea about cars but it came to mind when you mentioned vehicles...
Xxx Rebecca

Karen Titterton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Written by Missy's proud mum said...

Hi Alison, Van looks great. The only thing I would measure is the entrance height into the IMax compared to the chair height and if there is enough room for growth. I love our Van and it would make life much easier for you and everyone in your family. Good Luck

Karen Titterton said...

Knowledge from one who's been there done that!! If you can afford to, go for a brand new car...
a) You're not buying someone else's problems...you will know the history of the vehicle
b) You will get new car warranty and should have trouble free driving for the first 3-5 years and it should last you at least 10 years. It's an investment..sort of!
c) Conversions are expensive....do you really want to convert a car that is already a few years old.

Go for the lifter conversion rather than the car modification....
a) It's about 20K cheaper
b) It takes less time to do...ie 3 weeks instead of 12
c) When you want to upgrade, you can convert the car back to just a van...easier to sell as van + you can put the lifter into a new vehicle
d) Funding is ALOT easier to get...10K from Variety and the balance from Lions/Rotary.

That's my advice, but you need to do what's best for your circumstances. We don't own our house, we just rent...but we have a van converted, and it has saved my back! Our mortgage will come!!!

melissa date said...

Lots of great advice and possible options there. I think you might have made a decision based on all of the comments. Time to buy a new car! :)

melissa date said...

PS wasn't it lovely that Rebecca passed on that info about the car- those RIDBC therapists are treasures :) We certainly treasure ours and we lost her nearly 10 years ago- no longer our therapist but always our friend.

ferfischer said...

We have an accessible van (we did it creatively, if you remember) and it was worth the $$ (I was also 6 months pregnant - it saved me!). Buy the car. Buy a used one that is already handicapped accessible. Do not convert an older car. Or buy the less expensive new one - the one you posted looks great. Then use the rest of the money to pay off debts. You WILL LOVE the van and your back will too.

Sandra said...

Preserve your back at all costs. Go for the van and lifter.

The Trousdell Five said...

Alison we are in the planning phases of getting a van and doing some home renos to accommodate a power chair. I would say sooner than later if you have the finances (that's what we're currently trying to creatively figure out!!). Good luck with whatever you decide!

Big brother, Little sister. said...

We too are in the planning stage of accessible cars- indeed all our backs need a rest and our kids need independence x there is so much good advice here that can help you buy the best car for your budget and family xx we are looking at the Kia Grand carnival where Coop drives straight in to the middle spot next to his siblings x I too freak out about an expensive car because at the moment I really don't care if anyone hits me as my car already has do many battle scars ;)

Alison said...

Thanks everyone. Time to go van shopping I think!

Ha ha - Bron I too love driving an old car and never having to worry what happens to it.

mon said...

Get the Van. Paying mortgage would just get you ahead which would be great but it sounds like its not as important as getting a car and save your back. I mean, getting ahead vs. most important....

Anonymous said...

Hi Alison
PLEASE email me regarding our van before you spend a cent!!

Jill
www.goinganyway.net

Danielle said...

I now use a Braun Ability side entry ramp conversion, in a Toyota Sienna, and love it because I don't have to transfer from my chair, which is so much faster.

But for Ashlea you should look into the Bruno Turney Seat, and Bruno Arm Lift (for a manual or power chair). It's relatovely inexpensive, quick to install, and would suit Ashlea's mobility level just fine.

Plus, unlike me (on the Canadian prairies) you wouldn't have to worry about uaing the Turney Seat in minus 40 weather.

Danielle said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ye-cHBc3eAI

So you know, I've seen this used by children who are still using car seats and / or need adaptive seating.