1. Health

Wheelchair Rentals


Updated May 22, 2014

Grandma get on the wheelchair and the grandchild
Michael H/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Wheelchair rentals are a way to have the benefit of a wheelchair without the cost of purchasing one. Many people who are disabled can walk short distances, but may not be up to the task of walking all day when on vacation or when attending special events, such as weddings. The good news is that many different models of wheelchairs, including powerchairs and scooters, are available for rental at various locations throughout the United States and abroad.

Where to Find Wheelchair Rentals

If you will be arranging travel through an agent, inquire about wheelchair, powerchair or scooter rentals. They can arrange to have your wheelchair or other mobility aid at your destination when you arrive. Often resorts and spas, as well as some vacation home rental agencies, can assist in providing wheelchair drop off and pick up at your destination.

For those who like to arrange their own travel accommodations, check with the hotel or vacation rental home for local businesses that offer wheelchairs and other mobility aid rentals. Typical businesses that rent wheelchairs include the following:

  • Medical supply shops
  • Bike and golf cart rental shops
  • Hospital equipment and supply shops
  • Tourist destinations – request a rental in advance of your arrival when possible. Many museums offer rentals at their customer service desks.

Long Term Vs. Short Term Rentals

Long term wheelchair rentals usually offer the user more choices than short term rentals. Businesses that offer long term rentals usually give the customer more choices when it comes to models. Long term rentals usually require a contract to be signed by the renter. They may be cheaper to rent per day than short term rentals and the business renting the wheelchairs may offer other perks, such as ramps or power lifts for vehicles that have a trailer hitch.

Short term wheelchair rentals are often those that are rented for a day or less than a week. Wheelchairs that are rented for a day at a specific location usually don’t require the user to sign a contract; however they may require a deposit in addition to the rental fee. Short term wheelchair rental agreements often vary from location to location. If you will be renting for more than a day you’ll usually be required to sign a contract and in most cases, pay a security deposit.

Considerations When Renting Wheelchairs

  • Before you rent a wheelchair, powerchair or scooter, be aware of the total cost and security deposit when required. Oftentimes it may be cheaper for someone who may be using a mobility aid regularly to buy rather than rent it. Sometimes the cost of a scooter rental for a week or more may actually be the same price as buying the same model from the manufacturer.
  • Be sure that the wheelchair or other device can be folded or taken apart easily for transportation. Unless you have a sports utility vehicle, certain models may not fit in a smaller car’s backseat or trunk.
  • Know the weight limit of the device you’ve chosen. For example, some powerchairs or scooters have a specific weight limit- if you add a child to your lap, it may make the device more difficult to move, or prevent it from moving at all.
  • If you have a wheelchair or other mobility device delivered to your vacation destination, check it thoroughly for any problems or damage before you use it. Report any problems the same day you take possession of your wheelchair rental to the business who rented it to you. This will protect you from losing your security deposit at the end of the rental for damage someone else has done.
  • When possible, try out the wheelchair or other mobility device at the business before you rent it and make sure that if it runs on batteries that it is fully charged. You don’t want to get to your tourist destination and find out that the battery is dead or that the device is uncomfortable to use.
  • Finally, find out if the rental business will allow you to exchange the wheelchair for another model if it doesn’t suit you without any penalty or additional deposit. Rental businesses may offer to pick up and drop off a different model if your wheelchair rental doesn’t suit you.
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