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The hidden costs of disabilities

Inclusion at a price

Should it cost to feel included? No, wheelchair users shouldn’t have to pay extra to work, socialise and live their life to the fullest. But this is a sad reality for many.

British currencyFor example, everyone loves a holiday. It’s a luxury expense but we all need a break once in a while, so we save up until we can take that refreshing summer vacation. Among the many expenses involved in travelling abroad, there’s travel insurance.

A study by Scope found that 26 per cent of disabled people feel they’ve been charged more or have simply been denied cover altogether because of a pre-existing condition. Disabled people often have to save for a long longer just to cover this extra expense.

But it’s not just luxury getaways that come at a greater cost. Travel, equipment, medication and therapy – even keeping the house warm enough and charging your wheelchair means a higher energy bill at the end of each month.

Living and commuting with a disability

Wheelchair accessible taxis are hard to find

In fact, disabled people pay an average of £570 a month, with “one in five disabled people [facing] extra costs of more than £1,000 a month” according to Disability Rights UK.

Wheelchairs are costly – especially if you need bespoke features or specialist equipment. Then there’s the cost of travel. For disabled commuters, travelling by train or bus can be a physically and emotionally draining experience. That leaves them with very few alternatives, including costly taxi services.

And while Uber have launched their Uber Access services in several UK cities, giving riders with non-foldable wheelchairs a little more leeway to get around, users in rural areas have long waiting times – that is, if they can access the service at all.

Most people don’t have the funds to catch a taxi to and from work every day, and while there are schemes like ‘Access to Work’ in place for disabled people, often the financial support received is not enough to cover regular taxi rides.

Funding vehicle adaptations through ‘Access to Work’

‘Access to Work’ is a government-funded scheme offering extra support to disabled people commuting to and from work – and can be put towards more than just the cost of taxis.

If eligible, you can access financial support to help cover the costs of travelling via public transport or vehicle adaptations and specialist equipment to make your commute easier. Adaptations could include pedal extensions, steering aids and keypad controls for disabled drivers.

Financing Cartwright WAVs on the Motability Scheme

Cartwright's finance options explained

Wheelchair-accessible vehicles and adaptations can be costly, but the Motability Scheme helps disabled people change their lives for the better. No more stressful bus or train commutes. You can travel in comfort, with plenty of space for your wheelchair and any specialist equipment you may need.

By exchanging your higher rate mobility allowance, you can lease a new WAV at an affordable rate. The lease comes with insurance, servicing, maintenance and breakdown cover included for added peace of mind. Cartwright Mobility are an approved supplier or wheelchair accessible vehicles and vehicle adaptations on this scheme. Find out more about our financing options.

Thinking of buying a wheelchair accessible vehicle?

It’s a big decision. We’re here to help you find the perfect WAV for your individual needs. Our helpful guide on buying a wheelchair-accessible vehicle can give you some good advice on financing options and charitable grants, as well as what to look out for when buying your first WAV.

Still unsure about vehicle conversions?

If you’re struggling to choose between a wheelchair accessible vehicle or vehicle adaptations, we can help. Cartwright Mobility assess each customer’s individual needs. We’ll discuss your preferences and budget with you and give you bespoke advice.

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