How Do Hand Controls Work?

BussaniMobility-HandControls-IntoToHandControlsFor people with limited lower-body mobility, hand controls are often the difference between being cooped up at home and enjoying their  independence. A relatively simple adaptive technology, customized for your needs, can make driving yourself to the grocery store or to a doctor’s appointment or out with friends a reality. 

At Bussani Mobility, we’ve been putting customers in accessible vehicles ─ and sometimes in their dream mobility van or car ─ for more than 40 years now. Here are the questions that we’re asked most often about how hand controls work. We hope this will answer some of your questions, too.

1) How much do hand controls cost?
There are hundreds of options with varying degrees of functionality and pricing, from a $125 spinner knob to a $70,000 electronic digital driving system. The cost of your hand controls will depend on your specific mobility needs and your financial resources.

2) What type of hand controls are most common?
The controls most often used are basic, manual hand controls. They’re the simplest solution for drivability. They’re mounted as an extension of the foot pedals, so a person without the use of their lower extremities can drive using their hands only.

 3) Can anyone drive a car with mobility aids?
Yes, the person with the physical disability can use the mechanical hand controls to operate the pedals, and another person can drive the same vehicle using the original gas and brake pedals. Some models have safety mechanisms to ensure the gas pedal isn’t inadvertently pressed ─ and all passengers are kept safe.

 4) Do I have to own a van to have specialized hand controls added?
The good news is, no. Nearly any vehicle can be fitted with specialized hand controls, not just a minivan or a full-size van. The certified technicians at Bussani Mobility have even installed high-end driving aids on sports cars, including a Mercedes Coupe and a BMW i8 Roadster.

BussaniMobility-HandControls-IntoToHandControls15) How do I know which hand controls are right for my needs?
Your local mobility dealer will set you up with a certified driver rehabilitation specialist to evaluate your needs and decide on the best driving aids and solution for your abilities.

 6) What kind of training do I need to operate my updated vehicle?
Training is needed to properly and safely operate a vehicle using hand controls. You will want to pay special attention to your one-on-one training and only work with authorized mobility trainers and dealers.

 7) Where can I find more information about hand controls?
Go to for a short overview of driving aids. Also,  you may want to visit for more info. 

 If you have any questions or concerns about hand controls for your mobility van, car, or truck, give us a call or stop by Bussani Mobility on Long Island or in Westchester. We sell, install, and service the best driving aids on the market today and can help customize your vehicle to fit your specific needs.

What to Know About Trading in a Wheelchair Van

Trading in Your VehicleYou may be considering trading in your wheelchair van for any one of several reasons. Is it getting older and you’re ready for an upgrade? Is your family growing and you need a bigger vehicle? Did your physical needs change and a new vehicle will fit your needs better? Or do you just have your eye on the latest-and-greatest stylish or functional model?

These are all common reasons that individuals decide to trade in their accessible vehicles. But when it comes time to actually making the switch, is it better to make the trade at a dealership or sell the vehicle yourself? Below we discuss a few of the best benefits to trading in your mobility or non-converted vehicle at a certified dealer. 

  1. Trading in a vehicle gives you tax savings. For instance, if there’s an 8% sales tax on a $50,000 vehicle, which you trade in for $20,000, you now pay that 8% sales tax on just $30,000. That’s savings in your pockets that you can’t get when you sell your vehicle yourself.
  2. It’s easier than selling your own van. You don’t have to worry about coordinating times for potential buyers to look at your vehicle. Also, if you’re selling a converted mobility van, the selling difficulty goes up. And then there’s a safety issue. Do you really want strangers going to your home to look at the vehicle?
  3. Be careful of getting a quote solely over the phone. We often hear from people who called a company and were told they could trade in for $20,000. But when they got there, everything changed. It’s important to take your vehicle into a knowledgeable mobility dealer. We put it up on the vehicle lift, identify any potential problems, and then make an appropriate trade-in offer.
  4. You get the latest-and-greatest. Mobility vehicle manufacturers have teams of engineers working on new and better ways to make driving easier for people living with disabilities. When you trade in, you get a vehicle with the most up-to-date advancements and conveniences.
  5. Trade in early. As a vehicle gets older, its value drops. Try to time it so that you trade in your vehicle early enough that it still has good value and you can cash in on the equity it has. The sweet spot is usually 3-5 years old. Once the vehicle hits the 7-year mark, it loses a lot of value. If you’re thinking of trading in, remember that the auto shop at Bussani Mobility is always looking for used vehicles in good shape that we can put into our inventory for people who don’t have the financial means to buy a new wheelchair accessible van.

 The most common reason that people trade in their mobility van — instead of selling it themselves — is to use it as a downpayment on a new van.
First, we try to align on the value and eligibility of the vehicle for purchase. We evaluate the vehicle well prior to the transaction, so there are no surprises for anyone at the last minute. And if you’re looking for a new vehicle, it’s important to note that Bussani Mobility refurbishes all vans to a roadworthy, warrantable condition so our clients can always drive worry-free.

Some customers like to have a vehicle service contract, to give them the greatest peace of mind.

If you have any questions or concerns about the wheelchair van trade-in process, give us a call or stop by Bussani Mobility on Long Island or in Westchester.