Testing out vehicle adaptations for disabled people at a Driving Assessment Centre
Can people in wheelchairs drive cars and can they travel as a passenger?
Yes! – People with all sorts of physical disabilities can drive vehicles, including many who use mobility aids such as wheelchairs.
Of course, people use wheelchairs for a variety of reasons; many people who use wheelchairs are not totally unable to walk and are still capable of operating the pedals in a vehicle with their feet while sat down. And many people who use wheelchairs who aren’t able to operate the pedals with their feet can have specialist adaptations for their vehicle to make driving accessible to them as well.
People in wheelchairs can also travel as passengers in vehicles, either by moving from their wheelchair into the seat of a vehicle (much as any non-disabled passenger would) or by using a wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) that allows them to remain seated in their wheelchair for the duration of the journey. WAVs can also be adapted to allow you to drive straight from your wheelchair!
What kind of vehicle adaptations are there for disabled drivers?
There are many kinds of adaptations designed to make travel easier for disabled people. These typically fall into three categories:
- Access Adaptations – helping you get in and out
- Stowage Adaptations – helping you load and stow a wheelchair or scooter
- Driving Adaptations – helping you control and drive the vehicle
These will include:
- Ramps, lifts, and hoists
- Rotating seats
- Wheelchair storage
- Steering wheel grips
- Hand controls
- Pedal extensions
Find out more about your options for vehicle adaptations.
Can you change a Motability car so that it has the adaptations you need?
Yes! If you’re financing your vehicle through the Motability Scheme, you can get the adaptations you need for your vehicle fitted as part of the scheme.
Of course, you may not be the only person driving your vehicle – and this may be something you need to take into consideration when finding out what adaptations will be right for you.
If you want to find out more about who can drive a mobility car or WAV so that you can plan ahead – read our blog What can my Motability car be used for? This will tell you all you need to know about named drivers on your Motability policy.
Can you test out the adaptations before you buy a mobility vehicle?
Yes! The charity Driving Mobility have 20 main assessment centres across the UK which allow you to test out any of the adaptations you might need to make driving a vehicle accessible to you. They also offer advice and guidance on wheelchair and scooter loading for WAVs.
Although this is called an ‘assessment’, it’s not like a driving test so you don’t have to feel like you’re under any pressure. You’ll be accompanied by a driving instructor and an occupational therapist to discuss what your needs and driving experience are like so you can find the right adaptations (and kind of vehicle) that will be right for you.
After you’ve completed your assessment, you’ll get a report with a breakdown of all of your recommended adaptations. With this report, you’ll be able to go to a mobility vehicle conversion specialist (such as us here at Cartwright Mobility) and get a vehicle converted to your ideal specifications.
How to get a mobility car with adaptations…
If you’re going to be the sole driver of the vehicle (or one of the named drivers), think about the adaptations you might need. Arrange an assessment, as suggested above, if you want to test these out.
Think about your budget; will you be buying a mobility vehicle privately or through the Motability Scheme?
At Cartwright Mobility, we specialise in WAVs – all designed and manufactured at our facility in North Lincolnshire, where we fit vehicle adaptations to the highest operational and safety standards. We really care about helping you find a vehicle that works for you and is within your budget – this includes all the adaptations that make using your vehicle as comfortable and easy as possible.
Give us a call or arrange a call back, we’re more than happy to give you all the information you need to get driving!Back to all blog posts