As you'd expect, there's no definitive answer to the question posed in the title. Like buying a house, there are a number of things that affect the price. With houses, location, lot size, square footage, number of bedrooms and baths, materials, and amenities are considered in determining price. Here are the factors considered when you see the price of mobility vans for sale:
New/Used--Whether a standard vehicle is new or used certainly figures into cost. The same is true for a wheelchair accessible van. The base vehicle can be new or used, and the conversion can be new or used. Consequently, prices will vary for a new van with a new conversion, a used van with a new conversion, and a used van with a used conversion, depending on your preference and needs.
Make/Model/Year--Wheelchair minvan conversion manufacturers have identified several minivans (ex. Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Town & Country, Volkswagen Routan) as the best vehicles for wheelchair van conversions. The cost of the base vehicle, based on make/model/model year, will vary slightly among manufacturers, and that will have an impact on the total price of the adapted van.
Conversion Manufacturer--Handicap accessible vans have been manufactured for a few decades, with technology and design evolving over the years. Some manufacturers included kneeling systems in their design. Consequently, the cost of the conversion itself can have a serious impact on the overall price of the vehicle. The AMS-brand design has eliminated the need for a kneeling system, saving customers thousands of dollars on every minivan AMS manufactures.
Rear Entry/Side Entry--Your ideal wheelchair van should be selected to accommodate your situation and your lifestyle. Period. A rear-entry conversion van typically costs less than a side-entry model because the rear-entry manufacturing process is somewhat less complex than the side entry, and it takes less time to manufacture. Bottom line--your choice of conversion style (and manufacturer) affects the price.
Manual/Powered Ramp--Though cost-effective, manual ramps are designed for ease of use, some people prefer the convenience of a powered ramp, which will bump up the price a bit.
Securement System--Again, your choice here will have an effect on the price of your van. Wheelchair tie downs can be non-retractable or retractable (at a higher cost), or you can opt for an electric/automatic docking system--the ultimate in wheelchair securement, which, of course, comes at a price.
Value-Added Equipment--While a standard wheelchair van conversion provides all the basics an individual or family needs for road-ready, accessible transportation, any additional equipment or accessories you desire to customize your van affects the sale price. Equipment like fold-up jump seats and transfer seating provides extra passenger space, or you might want hand controls. A number of equipment brands and styles are available, so you can shop by price and control the dollar amount you add to the cost of the van.
Whatever the cost, when you take your first ride in your newly purchased new or used wheelchair van, you'll realize that every penny is worth it!