For medical teams, mobile units can help contribute to improved efficiencies in operation, as well as allow for increased reach across communities. But when looking to add a mobile medical vehicle to an existing or new fleet, the question becomes whether to buy new or used.
Both new and used mobile medical vehicles offer their own set of pros and cons, making the decision one worth weighing. The following guide will help medical teams as they navigate the new and used mobile medical vehicle market.
The Benefits and Drawbacks of a Used Mobile Medical Vehicle
Mobile medical vehicles are upfit to meet almost any medical need. From transporting equipment to rural locations to hosting blood drives at company events, used mobile medical vehicles exist on the market in numerous designs and styles.
If you are considering a used mobile medical vehicle, make sure to think through both the pros and cons of choosing a pre-used unit.
- Affordability — One of the top benefits of choosing a used mobile medical vehicle is that you can often find them for an affordable price. If your clinic is in need of a budget-friendly choice, opting for a used medical unit can provide you upfront savings. However, keep in mind that you need to weigh the lower price tag with the long-term maintenance required for older vehicles.
- Equipment inclusions — In many cases, when a medical clinic is selling off used units from their fleet, they will include equipment with the purchase of the vehicle. This can help make it easier to source everything at once.
- Immediate use — A used mobile medical vehicle is already designed and ready to go. This makes it a good choice for teams that need a vehicle right away. A good example of this would be in the case of disaster response when time is limited.
- Higher potential for breakdowns — Unfortunately, with older vehicles comes a higher chance of breaking down. This can be not only inconvenient but costly, which can eat away at the perceived upfront savings of purchasing used.
- Lack of customizations — When you purchase a used mobile medical vehicle, you are stuck with the existing layout and design. This lack of customization can be difficult for teams that offer specialty services.
- Outdated equipment — Older vehicles are not only mechanically older, but they are also often equipped with medical devices and technology that is outdated. The cost to upgrade these features can wind up eating into the savings of purchasing used.
- Fewer safety features — According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2012 the average vehicle on the road had a 56% lower fatality risk for occupants than in the 1950s. Since 1960, the NHTSA estimated that safety developments in the auto industry have gone from saving 115 lives a year to 27,621 lives today! The reality is that newer vehicles are far safer than older ones. A used mobile medical vehicle will not feature the same level of safety that a new custom build will.
The Benefits and Drawbacks of a New Mobile Medical Vehicle
On the flip side of the mobile medical vehicle market is the option to purchase new, which offers the following pros and cons.
- Customization — One of the best reasons to choose a new vehicle for your fleet is because it allows you to customize the build. From the layout to the size of the vehicle to the chassis it is upfit on, you can design the mobile unit exactly as you wish.
- Safety — As mentioned above, vehicles are safer now than ever before. A new mobile medical vehicle will help keep staff members safe on the road.
- Technology — From backup cameras to built-in WiFi, a new mobile medical unit can feature everything the latest technology has to offer.
- Reliability — New vehicles are far less likely to break down and leave your team on the side of the road. And, when trouble does occur, you can lean back on warranties to handle repairs, lowering maintenance costs.
- Higher upfront cost — The only drawback to a new mobile medical unit compared to a used one is the upfront cost. Custom designs require an investment, which can be hard when your clinic is strapped for funding. However, many custom builders will offer financing options, which can help alleviate this concern.
Should I Buy a New or Used Mobile Medical Vehicle?
Deciding whether or not you need a new or used mobile medical vehicle will have a lot to do with your team’s specific requirements, as well as your financing options. The following can help you determine which build is right for you:
- Do you need a custom build? If so, you should consider a new vehicle, as this will allow you the opportunity to design the ideal layout and space. This is particularly true for specialty medical units, such as labs, bloodmobiles, and dental clinics.
- Do you have budget restrictions? If so, a used mobile medical vehicle might be the right fit. However, if you do have budget concerns but ultimately would benefit from a new medical unit, there are two options to consider. First, talk to your custom builder about financing options. Often, with a low down payment, you can finance the rest of your custom build. Secondly, consider applying for federal grant money. There are numerous grants available to help fund mobile medical vehicles.
- Do you need a simple vehicle for equipment transportation? In some cases, if you are looking for a van or truck to transport equipment from one location to another, investing in a used commercial vehicle might be your best option.
Talk to Summit Bodyworks About Your Custom Build
Interested in investing in a new mobile medical vehicle for your fleet? Our team at Summit Bodyworks can help. Our manufacturing facility is equipped with the latest in technology, allowing us to help you design a high-quality mobile medical unit. We can help you build any of the following medical vehicle types:
- Primary care units
- Mobile labs
- Mobile eye clinics
- Mobile dental clinics
- Vaccination and testing clinics
If you want to learn more, check out a few of our recent customer builds. Here you can see how we have assisted our clients with the best in designs and layouts. No matter what equipment or technology you need on board, we can help you create the perfect vehicle to match your team’s requirements.
To get started, reach out to our team for a free consultation. We look forward to helping you choose the best vehicle for your team.
Established in Colorado, Summit Bodyworks is on the forefront of innovation and customer service for vehicle manufacturing and upfitting. Whether you’re looking for all-electric, hybrid, or gas-powered options, Summit Bodyworks is your one-stop-shop for design, manufacturing, and upfitting of trucks, vans, specialty vehicles, and fleets.