What Vehicle Adaptations to you need?
- To be sure, you should refer yourself to to your local Mobility Centre for an assessment and advice to suit your needs
After you have had an assessment with a mobility centre, you will receive a report with recommendations for vehicle adaptations and will also likely be advised
- (If you are an experienced driver) – to undertake a short period of tuition in order to become fully proficient driving with the adaptations.
- (If you are a new driver) – to undertake driving tuition and pass the DVSA driving test driving with the adapted controls.
It is very likely that you will need a vehicle with automatic transmission in order to have vehicle adaptations fitted. It is unusual to have driver adaptations fitted to a manual transmission vehicle, but is possible, so do check with your local Mobility Centre if this is something you are interested in. You may own a vehicle to which you wish to have adaptations fitted following an assessment at a Mobility Centre or you may want to buy or lease a vehicle. If you are in receipt of the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) at the higher rate for the mobility component or you get the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) at the enhanced rate for mobility, then you may be eligible to lease a vehicle through the Motability scheme. You can complete an on-line check to find out if you are eligible.
Buying a Vehicle
When buying a vehicle, you need to think about getting yourself in and out of the vehicle and stowing any mobility equipment you need to use as well as considering your driving adaptations. Your local Mobility Centre can offer advice on techniques and equipment and adaptations. Before buying or leasing a vehicle, you should always check with an adaptation specialist that the adaptations you need are compatible with your choice of vehicle.
Arranging vehicle adaptations
You are advised to check the make and model of adaptations as well as type as there are variations which may affect what you need the best way being to contact your local Mobility Centre. If you are leasing a vehicle through Motability, they will need to know what adaptations you require in order to inform the dealership who will arrange fitting If you are buying privately, you could arrange for a few quotes to compare between adaptation fitters before deciding. Wherever possible it is good for you to visit the adaptation fitter or for them to see you at your home address to make sure that the adaptations are fitted to best suit your needs. The position of the adaptations may be very important for your comfort and for ease of use.
When you need vehicle adaptations to drive, you must notify DVLA so that they can apply licence codes, although the report from your assessment at your local Mobility Centre can be used to inform DVLA.
Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV)
If you need a wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) to drive from your wheelchair, transfer from your wheelchair inside the vehicle, or to travel as a passenger in your wheelchair, you will need to book a visit to your nearest Mobility Centre first for advice and/or an assessment, following which you will almost certainly go through a vehicle conversion specialist. This type of vehicle can be purchased privately, leased through the Motability scheme or leased privately. There are also short-term private lease options available if for example you would like a vehicle to go on holiday or to try out, or cover a period of time you are without your own vehicle. You can find further information on WAVs here; https://www.ridc.org.uk/features-reviews/out-and-about/wheelchair-accessible-vehicles-wavs-0/buying-new-second-hand-or