How to Recognize a Wheelchair Mobility Expert from a Traditional Car Salesman

Anyone who has purchased a vehicle from a car dealership knows that the process can be a real hassle – from having to deal with pushy salesmen, to sorting through all of the vehicle options, and then finding the right financing. Add to that the specialized equipment and nuances of a wheelchair accessible van, and now you have a whole new level of potential complications in the car buying process. That is, unless you visit Bussani Mobility for a mobility van in New York.

We’ve been helping people with physical disabilities with their personal transportation needs for over 40 years, so we really know our stuff. Our mobility specialists have the experience and personal compassion to help our customers find what they need to be mobile and independent.
Let’s look at just what it is that separates a mobility expert from a traditional car salesman…

One of the biggest differences is that a mobility expert is certified. To receive certification, a mobility specialist will have been educated and kept up to speed in the latest advancements through mobility conversion manufacturers and industry organizations. Our mobility specialists are all QAP (Quality Assurance Program) certified through NMEDA (National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association).

Why does that matter? While a car salesman might be able to tell you about the motor of the vehicle or its general features, a mobility expert will know everything there is to know about the adaptive equipment, including such things as ramps, lifts, lock-downs, transfer seats, and specialized driving controls.

Another big difference between mobility experts and traditional car salesmen is that a mobility specialist has experience with the various challenges that people with disabilities face in their daily lives. Many have built their whole careers around assisting individuals, families and caregivers who are dealing with a physical disability to help then regain their day-to-day mobility with an adaptive vehicle.

Specific questions that mobility experts know to ask, that a traditional salesman might not, include:

  • What is the nature of your disability?
  • What is the primary purpose of the transportation?
  • Will the person using the wheelchair be driving the vehicle or ride on the front passenger side?
  • How many ambulatory passengers might ride in the vehicle on a regular basis?

At Bussani Mobility, we understand that finding the right vehicle takes time, and it is a big investment. That’s why you won’t find any pushy salesmen when you visit us at any of our New York locations. Come in and see us today. Let us help you find the perfect accessible vehicle for you.

One Bussani Customer Gives a Van to Another This Holiday Season

During this season of giving, a beautiful thing happened at Bussani Mobility. One customer gifted another with an accessible vehicle. And a Merry Christmas it will be!

The first customer, who wishes to remain anonymous, walked in Bussani’s Smithtown location one day, in the market for a new wheelchair accessible van. He generously told Mobility Specialist Michael Garramone that he wanted to donate his current van to someone who needed it.

Long-time customer, Anthony Di Blanda, immediately popped into Mike’s mind. Tony had been in an accident over the summer on the way to church, at one of those Long Island intersections that truly needs a stop light. He made it through the accident with only some bumps and bruises, but his converted, 12-year-old Dodge with fold-out ramp was totaled. The family didn’t have collision insurance.

For six months, he and his family struggled with his transportation needs. His wife, AnnMarie, and his son had to lift him and his scooter in and out of their other SUV whenever they wanted to go anywhere. They often asked others for help.

“Tony has always been a person of positivity, radiating happiness. But that accident really got him down,” Bussani Mobility’s Michael Garramone said. “He was not happy because that vehicle was his independence. It was his way to drive and get out.”

Recounting the day Tony got the call from Bussani offering the vehicle, he said, “I remember that day. I said ‘thank you, thank you, thank you.’ The way they looked out for me was like family. It was truly amazing!”
The team at Bussani Mobility got to work fitting the donated 2007 Honda Odyssey with push-pull hand controls for Tony. It already had an in-floor, automatic power ramp installed. Don’s Hand Carwash of Smithtown also provided a free detail. And Branch Auto Care of Smithtown donated a free NY State inspection.

On Friday, December 8, the vehicle was ready and Mike handed the keys over to Tony and AnnMarie. When we asked where they’ll go first, Tony said with a beaming smile, “I’m going to wheel up the ramp in my scooter, sit in the back, and let my wife drive us to lunch!”

He went on to say, “She’s the real hero, the way she helps me, takes care of the kids, puts up the Christmas lights with a drill.”

The love between these two incredible people is palpable. Married for 25 years, they have three kids, now ages 13, 17 and 19. Just seven months after getting married, Tony was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when he was 30. As the disease progressed, Tony began using a cane, then crutches, and then a scooter.

“In the beginning, I was so down about what happened to me,” Tony said. “I didn’t even want to bother trying to do things. But now there’s so much technology. At one time, it looked like I couldn’t even get into a vehicle. But now I can even drive. A life that looked closed is now open again.”

When Tony drives, he parks his scooter in the passenger seat area and transfers over. “It gives freedom to me and my family. It allows me to be there for them. It makes you feel better that you can take other people places. I can go to Costco, you can go to Costco, we can go to Costco together.”

Before life with MS, Tony was a chiropractor and a biochemist. He then started teaching science. Now he helps out with the school’s alumni outreach program. He said, “Now, I’ll be able to get back to the school and see all the alumni faces again.”

AnnMarie added, “The vehicle makes life doable. It opens up the opportunity to continue to live a normal life together.”

Why It’s Better to Buy a Wheelchair Accessible Van from a Local Mobility Dealer Than Online

Anyone searching for a mobility vehicle knows that there are many options to consider. Some might even be lured into purchasing a wheelchair van online because of the convenience of being able to shop from home.

While you might be tempted to buy a vehicle online, many have learned the hard way that this might not be such a good idea. It is far better and safer to go to a local mobility dealer, like Bussani Mobility, to learn about and purchase a wheelchair accessible van or an accessible SUV. Some of these advantages are: 

  • Fully customized vehicle that is guaranteed to meet your needs
  • Certified service department to help you with maintenance and repairs
  • Financing options and assistance from a dedicated mobility specialist

Customized Vehicle  

When you visit your local mobility dealer, you are sure to get a vehicle that will work for your specific needs. A mobility specialist will do a thorough evaluation, including: 

  • Physical challenges
  • Size and features of your wheelchair
  • Any additional equipment that you transport regularly
  • Parking and garage set-up
  • Who is driving

Your vehicle is then guaranteed to fit you, your wheelchair and your equipment comfortably. No crossing your fingers that the vehicle you ordered online will be a good match. You’ll know for a fact that you are getting the right vehicle.

Specialized Service Department
When your accessible vehicle needs servicing, you want a mechanic who specializes in working on mobility equipment. A local mobility dealer has a service department that will handle maintenance and repair your wheelchair van the right way.

Financing Options and Assistance
Purchasing a mobility vehicle is an investment that can be a challenge for some to afford. When you buy your vehicle from a local dealer, such as Bussani Mobility, they can discuss with you different financing options that are available and guide you on which is best for you, to help make your dream of owning your own mobility vehicle come true.

Preparing Your New or Used Handicap Van for Winter Driving

With frigid winter weather right around the corner, it’s important to take the necessary steps now to ensure that your new or used handicap van  will be ready to get you around. There are a few proactive things you can do to help avoid accidents and breakdowns.

Most importantly, have your certified mobility equipment service technician check, service and lubricate all of your adaptive equipment. Also be sure to get an oil change and tune-up. And, ask your service professional to check your vehicle’s battery, antifreeze level, heater, brakes, defroster, and thermostat.

There are also some things you can do yourself: 

  • Buy winter wiper blades that are designed to cut through snow and ice on your windshield.
  • Always keep gas tank at least half full, as this will make it easier to start on cold winter days.
  • Have tires rotated so the best ones are in the front for better traction.
  • Use synthetic oil to make starting a cold engine easier.
  • Replace your battery with one with greater starting power, higher cold cranking amps, and reserve capacity.

If you are in need of a new or used handicap van before winter driving conditions set in, visit
Bussani Mobility. We are your local, leading mobility experts who can help you find the right vehicle for your needs, and keep you mobile in all seasons.

When a Quality Wheelchair Van Rental is the Best Choice

Sometimes the best short-term option for a wheelchair accessible vehicle is a rental. Maybe you’re planning a trip … testing out a new vehicle … have an important medical appointment to get to … or waiting for your own accessible vehicle to come back from the shop. These are the times when a reliable mobility converted van can make a big difference in the ease and quality of your life.

Types of Vehicles Available
There are many options for accessible rentals, but the most common is the minivan. Wheelchair vans with a lowered floor conversion include an automatic or manual wheelchair ramp, along with other features to assist you with your mobility challenges.

Another option that is popular to rent is a full-sized van, especially for those traveling with families, large groups of people, or medical equipment and additional cargo.

There are also commercial wheelchair buses that can be rented for groups traveling with multiple wheelchair users.

Questions That You Should Ask
When choosing a rental wheelchair van, there are many questions that you might not know you need to ask. The more information that you have, the better prepared you will be to make a good choice. Here are some questions to keep in mind:

  • What are the rental rates?
  • How much mileage is included? And what happens if I go over it?
  • How many people can the van seat – both ambulatory and using a wheelchair?
  • Is the height of the van compatible with my wheelchair’s specifications?
  • Do I need insurance?
  • What date and time do I need to pick up and return the vehicle?
  • Do you offer a drop-off and pick-up service?
  • Are you running any special promotions now for rentals?

No matter which accessible van you ultimately decide on, make sure that you are renting from a reputable dealer. Bussani Mobility provides reliable and dependable wheelchair vans – and we always keep our fleet in tip-top shape. We want to help you fulfill your life’s daily tasks, and get to your destinations conveniently. We encourage you not to avoid the things you enjoy doing because of mobility challenges. Our mobility consultants will help you choose the best rental for your needs.