HomeExpert TipsWhat You Should Know About Buying vs. Renting a Wheelchair

What You Should Know About Buying vs. Renting a Wheelchair

A young girl greets her grandfather in his wheelchair, pushed by her mother

Should I buy or rent a wheelchair? We hear this question all of the time from customers in our store. The truth is, there are benefits to both options, even if you aren’t a permanent wheelchair user. Here are a few things to consider as you make the decision between buying vs. renting a wheelchair.

Why Rent a Wheelchair?

There are a number of reasons to rent a wheelchair instead of purchasing one. Check out these use cases to see if they apply to you.

Short-Term Use

Renting a wheelchair is typically the most cost-effective option if you need mobility assistance for less than one month. At Mobility City, we offer wheelchair rentals as short as one day. There are times, however, when it may be better to purchase a wheelchair, even if you won’t be using it very long. Typically, this is in the case of specific medical needs that a rental wheelchair can not address.

Pediatric Use

Renting can also be a cost-effective option for pediatric wheelchairs. A rental wheelchair can save you big if your child is going through a growth spurt. Rentals also allow your child to try out different models to see what suits them best.

Accident, Injury, or Surgery Recovery

Whether you were in a car accident or had recent surgery, a rental wheelchair can provide you with freedom and independence. Because these situations are typically temporary and short-term, we typically recommend renting over purchasing a wheelchair. One exception would be if you have multiple surgeries planned, in which case one of our experts can help you compare the cost of renting vs. buying a wheelchair.

Travel & Vacations

For older individuals and ambulatory wheelchair users, a wheelchair can make vacation significantly more relaxing and enjoyable. If you don’t fully rely on your wheelchair, we recommend leaving it at home to prevent damage at the airport. Then, you can simply pick up – or even have your rental delivered – upon arrival in your destination. Mobility City has locations across the country ready to serve you.

Day Trips & Activities

Whether you’re planning an exciting weekend at an amusement park or a peaceful day at the botanical garden, a wheelchair rental can help you get around. These activities, while lots of fun, typically require more walking and standing than many of us are used to.

You can rent on-site at most zoos, aquariums, theme parks, and other attractions. But, their rental wheelchairs are typically old and uncomfortable. And, there’s no guarantee that one will be available when you need it. Plan ahead and rent with Mobility City so you can enjoy your day with friends or family!

Wheelchair Repair

Unfortunately, wheelchairs do need service and repair from time to time. If your usual wheelchair is out for repair, a rental wheelchair can help you fill the gap without limiting your independence. Mobility City can even save you the hassle of dropping off and picking up. We’ll come to you, collect your wheelchair for repair, bring you a rental, and deliver your usual chair back to you once it is fixed.

Try Before You Buy

Finally, renting a wheelchair can be an easy way to try out a model before you purchase it. While not every model is available for rental, many are. If we don’t have the exact model you’re looking to purchase, we may have a similar option available to try. A wheelchair is a huge investment, and testing one out as a rental first can help you make the best decision possible.

Why Buy a Wheelchair?

While renting a wheelchair is often more cost-effective, there are also a number of situations where purchasing is best.

Long-Term Users

Buying a wheelchair is typically best for permanent and long-term wheelchair users. It allows you to make an investment in a mobility aid that is perfectly suited to your needs. Even if you are not a permanent wheelchair user, if you expect to use your wheelchair for several months, purchasing is likely best.

Special Medical Needs

If you have special medical needs or require significant head and neck support, buying a wheelchair is likely the best option. Even if you hope your use will be short-term, most rentals cannot provide the level of care you will need. If you’re unsure, don’t hesitate to reach out to Mobility City. One of our technicians will be happy to discuss which wheelchairs will be the best fit for your needs.

More Variety

We work hard to maintain a large wheelchair rental fleet with pediatric, bariatric, and other speciality models. However, there will always be limits when renting a wheelchair. If you are set on a specific model, or will need to rent frequently and want the same wheelchair each time, purchasing may be your best option. You’re always welcome to call our store and see if we have your desired model available for rent.

Looking for assistance with renting or buying a wheelchair? Our team is happy to help! Find your nearest Mobility City store, where our trained professionals can meet you in-person and help fit you to the perfect wheelchair for your lifestyle.