You may at some point find yourself in need of a wheelchair for a brief period ranging from a few hours to several days. Perhaps you need to travel or attend an event but your mobility is limited due to an injury or illness.

A common go to mobility solutions is the electric wheelchair, which you can either buy or rent. Some planning is necessary to if you’re thinking about renting an electric wheelchair, especially if you’re planning to travel.

Long-term rentals versus short-term rentals

Short-term rental power chairs can serve you for a day to a week. For a longer period, you need a long-term rental. The terms of agreement vary from one vendor to another, but there are some common difference between short- and long-term rentals that most vendors offer.

  • Selection. The variety of choices for short-term wheelchairs is often limited compared to long-term wheelchairs. Moreover, vendors offering long-term rentals are more likely to offer other assistive equipment such as power lifts and ramps.
  • Contracts. You’re typically required to sign a contract for long-term rentals. Day-long rentals often don’t need a contract. However, you might have to make a security deposit on top on the rental fee.
  • Cost. Short-term rentals may charge more per day than long-term rentals.

Consider the terms and features

Before renting an electric wheelchair, consider the terms and features. Thing to check include:

  • Function and comfort. Take the wheelchair for a test drive if possible. Make sure the batteries are on full charge.
  • Damage. Carefully inspect the electric wheelchair. If you notice any sign of damage, immediately report it to the vendor. Otherwise, you may lose your security deposit for damages you’re not responsible for.
  • Exchange policy. Find out whether the vendor will let you exchange the model for a different one for no added charges. Good vendors will even deliver the alternative model to your home in case it doesn’t suit you.
  • Convenience. If you’re planning to travel, go for collapsible or foldable wheelchairs that can fit in a car.

Buying versus renting an electric wheelchair

Your circumstances will determine whether you need to rent an electric wheelchair or buy one instead. Among the main things to consider is your budget versus your needs. Taking into account the total cost which includes the security deposit for most short-term rental power chairs. Sometimes the cost of renting the chair might be the same as the chair’s purchase price.

Buying a chair allows you time to get familiar with the wheelchair. If you’re planning to use the wheelchair long-term, renting might not be the suitable option because you have to start familiarizing yourself with a new chair every so often. On the other hand, renting a wheelchair might be the most suitable option if you have a medical condition that might change and require you to use a different wheelchair.

Whether you decide to buy or rent an electric wheelchair, make sure you get one from a well-reputed provider to ensure that you get a high-quality product.