Blue Badges: Myths and Factsedit
Blue Badge Holders in the UK are eligible for certain parking concessions, but there are plenty of misunderstandings surrounding the scheme. Here at Fish Insurance we’ve dispelled the myths and given you the facts about who can use the badge, which restrictions apply and more.
You can only have a Blue Badge if you’re in a wheelchair – MYTH
Some people think that only those people who use a wheelchair are eligible to hold a Blue Badge. This way of thinking has resulted in people being challenged about their ‘invisible’ disabilities. It’s important to recognise that Blue Badges are given to people with a range of mobility issues, including those which might not be immediately obvious – for example prosthetic limbs, sight problems, and chronic pain. The scheme has also been extended to people who find it extremely difficult to travel because of mental health conditions including stress and anxiety. Broadly speaking, if you find it difficult to walk short distances then you could be eligible for the scheme.
It’s okay for friends and family to use your Blue Badge – MYTH
It’s illegal for a friend or family member to use your Blue Badge, even if they’re running an errand for you or visiting you in hospital. Not only is it against the law, but it doesn’t help the stigma experienced by those with invisible illnesses who genuinely need to use a Blue Badge. The only time it’s legal for another driver to display your Blue Badge is if you are also travelling in the car. Your badge is your responsibility, so if a friend or family member uses it incorrectly it’s you who could get in trouble – not them. If someone misuses your badge, you could have it confiscated and face a £1,000 fine.
A Blue Badge means you can park anywhere – MYTH
As a Blue Badge holder you benefit from relaxed parking rules, but unfortunately that doesn’t mean you can park wherever you choose. You can park on most single or double yellow lines, but only for a maximum of three hours. You should be aware that you can’t use the yellow lines that are there for safety reasons (such as those at junctions) or lines that are reserved for loading and unloading. You can’t park in taxi ranks or bus stops, or parking spaces reserved for permit holders or residents. It’s important to apply common sense too, and make sure you don’t park anywhere which could be a danger to others.
Once you’ve been awarded a Blue Badge, it’s yours for life – MYTH
You need to apply to your local authority to renew your badge every three years. It’s illegal to use a badge that is out of date. See our guide on how to fill out the Blue Badge application form.
You can use your Blue Badge abroad – FACT
The Blue Badge is recognised in all European countries and you can make use of the same parking concessions as the country’s own disabled citizens. The concessions vary from country to country though, so make sure you check the rules of the country you’re visiting before you travel.
Blue Badge holders can often park for free – FACT
Blue badge holders can usually park for free at most on-street parking metres and on-street ‘pay and display’ areas. Unless signs state otherwise (be sure to double check), there isn’t a limit to how long you can stay either. Certain areas of Central London have restrictions – so make sure to check before you travel.
Many private car parks allow Blue Badge holders to park for free, but it’s always best to check any signage as some may still charge you to park (for example at a shopping centre or hospital). You’ll need to check the signs in the car park. Click here to read everything you need to know about the Blue Badge Scheme.
Fish Insurance can offer discounts for adapted vehicles and Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles – FACT
Some general insurers may quote higher premiums for modified and adapted vehicles, as they may see all modifications as a risk. As a Disability Car Insurance specialist, we know that if your car is modified it’s not typically to boost its performance or looks, but to be more functional for you. We also know that disabled drivers may represent a lower risk.
That’s why it’s important to compare the benefits of specialised disability car insurance cover with standard polices, because you need to make sure the insurer understands your needs and is offering the right cover for you.
To see what our best price is for your car insurance, why not give one of our experts a call on 0333 331 3770?