How Much do Electric Wheelchairs Cost in 2021?
When you consider the incredible independence and freedom that an electric wheelchair can bring, it’s easy to dream of a world where their prices are as accessible as the machines themselves. Unfortunately, the world is not (yet) so kind. So, when considering an upgrade from a manual wheelchair, or if you’re just switching to a new electric model, it’s common to wonder: Just how much do electric wheelchairs cost these days?
Typically, the cost of an electric wheelchair can range anywhere from around $1,000 to $15,000. This depends on the brand, quality, size, features, and requirements. However, the average electric wheelchair for the regular user can be expected to be priced at around $2000 to $3000.
Given the above, if a mid-range wheelchair is what you’re looking for, we suggest budgeting around $4000 once you consider the chair itself, accessories, modifications, and any extra batteries you might want. However, if you’re thinking about a standing wheelchair, you need to be preparing for a significantly higher price.
In This Article
Why are Electric Wheelchairs so Expensive?
An incredible amount of technology and research goes into manufacturing, producing, and designing electric wheelchairs. Whilst the materials used to build a specific wheelchair might not cost the same as the end-product, you can guarantee that the company that produced the wheelchair spent thousands, if not millions, of dollars and hours in the research and development stages.
Furthermore, whilst the market is growing every year, the demand for electric wheelchairs is still relatively low, giving suppliers a significant amount of power. This is compounded by the fact that most users don’t just want an electric wheelchair, they need an electric wheelchair – no matter the price.
A final consideration is that if an electric wheelchair manufacturer wants to release their mobility device in the USA (which they will), they are required to obtain FDA approval under the “powered wheelchair” category. This requires extensive testing to meet certain standards relating to quality, durability, and product-life.
Taking all these things together it’s easy to understand why electric wheelchairs cost so much more than manual wheelchairs: They’re expensive to buy primarily because they’re expensive to make. However, for many people, the cost is absolutely worth it for the liberation and independence these devices bring to their user’s lives.
How You Can Minimize the Costs
1. Consider a Budget Model
Like all products sold in the free-market, there are naturally always some budget products to consider. If you go looking, it’s possible to find a reliable electric wheelchair for around ~$1,000, with all the standard features you would expect.
For example, the Horizon Mobility model is available for $999 – despite this great, affordable, price-point, it’s still a full-featured electric wheelchair suitable for the average users’ needs.
2. Talk to Your Insurance Company
A common question that gets asked is whether insurance will cover the price of an electric wheelchair? Thankfully, when medically necessary, the answer is usually yes. Most health insurance companies have plans that are prepared to pay for an electric wheelchair. You will likely have to speak to a physician and your insurance company to determine if this is true in your personal circumstances.
On the topic of insurance, you may want to insure your electric wheelchair against damage; like cars, these are expensive machines that many insurance companies are able to provide coverage for. However, whilst this will decrease the costs you have to pay if you damage your wheelchair, it will add a monthly fee to consider alongside wheelchair maintenance.
3. Inquire About Finance Options
Again, like with buying a car, many electric wheelchair companies offer finance options. This can allow you to spread the cost of your machine over a longer period of time. If paying a large sum at once will be difficult for you, this is definitely something to consider.
4. Look for Discounts, Subsidies, and Charities
There are a number of programs that offer free and reduced cost electric wheelchairs to certain qualifying people, such as those with low income or desperate need. The best place to start looking is to get in contact with your local disability organization, they should be able to point you in the right direction.
However, if you don’t qualify for a discounted wheelchair, it might be worth considering purchasing a used model. Electric wheelchairs depreciate relatively fast, so a model from 2 years ago can be significantly cheaper than buying new. Have a look on eBay, a local Facebook group, or again contact your local disability organization for some direction.
5. Go Directly to the Manufacturer
There are a lot of wheelchair resellers online, and unfortunately in our experience, most of them charge outrageous prices with a significant markup. You can usually get a much better price by contacting the manufacturer directly yourself – with the added benefit of great, direct, customer service. Many manufacturers directly list their electric wheelchairs on Amazon, allowing you to easily explore product reviews, features, and to message the manufacturer with questions and your requirements.
Electric Wheelchair Price Guide
Finally, we provide a pricing table that shows our 10 top-rated electric wheelchairs as explored more in-depth in our article here. You will see that wheelchairs come in a wide variety of prices, and as we stated upfront – the cost of one of these machines is always going to depend on your personal circumstances and needs.
|Pride Mobility Jazzy 600 ES||5/5||$3,529|
|EZ Lite Cruiser Deluxe DX12||4.4/5||$2,595|
|Sentire Med Forza D09 Deluxe||4.7/5||$2,550|
|Forcemech Navigator XL||4.6/5||$2,498|
|Porto Mobility Ranger D09||5/5||$2,449|
|Forcemech Voyager R2||4.4/5||$2,198|
|Innuovo Model N5513A||4.1/5||$2,198|
|Drive Medical Cirrus Plus||4.5/5||$1,499|
|Golden Technologies Scooter Powered-Wheelchair GP162||3.9/5||$1,449|
|ComfyGO Heavy Duty Electric Wheelchair||4.7/5||$999|