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A guide to driving with a disability

Driving is an important part of gaining and maintaining your independence. It gives you the freedom to go wherever you please, helps you maintain a social life and provides a sense of purpose. However, if your mobility has been limited due to a disability, getting behind the wheel can be more stressful than enjoyable. Here is a guide to driving with a disability to make it a pleasurable experience again.

Getting your licence back: evaluations and assessments

If you have been diagnosed with a disability that could impact your driving ability (e.g., diabetes, atrial fibrillation, sleep apnoea, epilepsy, glaucoma), you may have to undergo an assessment by a doctor before getting your licence back. The Ministry of Transportation will evaluate your situation and determine whether or not they think that a driving assessment is necessary. What you’ll be required to do will depend on your unique situation, but it’s likely to involve an eyesight or driving test.

If it’s decided that there are no restrictions on your driving, then you will be issued with a temporary driver’s licence while waiting for your permanent one to arrive in the post (usually within two weeks). If it’s decided that there should be restrictions on your driving, the DVLA will give your licence back to you along with their recommendations, such as making alterations to existing cars or purchasing a disability vehicle.

Getting reduced tax rates

As a disabled driver, you’re eligible for reduced tax rates on disability-related vehicles. This means that you’ll pay less tax when purchasing your car and when registering it each year. If a vehicle is not considered to be disability-related, these reduced rates won’t apply.

However, if your vehicle doesn’t qualify for the reduced tax rate but has been fitted with special adaptations that make it easier to drive while disabled—such as hand controls—you may still be eligible for the lower rate.

Accessing financial assistance for disability-related vehicles

If you have a disability, the government may pay for or subsidize a vehicle that is suitable for your disability. This can be any type of motor vehicle, such as a car, truck, or van. It can also be a new or used hybrid vehicle (i.e., one that uses electricity as well as fuel).

The vehicle must be designed to carry at least one person who has mobility problems and their equipment (such as wheelchairs and walkers). The government will pay for part or all the cost of buying this kind of vehicle depending on what your situation is. Visit the Gov.UK website for more information.

Types of disability assistance vehicles

There are a variety of vehicles that can help you to drive safely and independently, depending on your disability.

If you have difficulty walking or using the pedals in a car, then a wheelchair-accessible vehicle may be best for you. This type of vehicle has an extended floor with an open space where the driver sits, allowing room for a wheelchair. It also has additional features such as grab handles and easy-to-reach controls for easy access when transferring from one seat to another.

If your disability affects only one side of the body, then an automatic transmission with left-hand controls may be ideal because it allows you better control.

Confidence building strategies

If you have a recently diagnosed disability and are looking to get behind the wheel again, several strategies can help build your confidence. If you’re getting behind the wheel of a new car for the first time since your accident or injury, consider practising in a place where other people aren’t around, such as a car park. This is especially important for learning how to use controls that may be new to you.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice from friends and family members who have experience driving with disabilities. Or find a learning instructor who specialises in disability driving or vehicles. Your doctor may also be able to provide resources as well as tips on how to drive safely.

Overall, it’s important to remember that getting back on the road isn’t impossible. There are a lot of options and incentives available to help you access the equipment you need. Here at Fish, we provide Adapted Vehicle Insurance & Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) Insurance for disabled drivers and passengers, click here for more information.

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call 0333 331 3770

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