Finding a specialist driving instructor if you’re disabled
By: Jen Peacock, On: 09 August 2018
Driving is often one of the most exciting rites of passage for younger people, as well as an important and essential skill in most adults’ lives. However, if you’re disabled or have a particular medical condition, you may have concerns about how to find a specialist driving instructor that can cater to your needs and ensure you pass your driving test with flying colours.
Here at Fish Insurance, we think it’s vital that everyone has access to the appropriate tutorage which will increase independence through driving. Below, we’ve outlined some of the best resources for finding a specialist driving instructor, as well as some tips for starting your driving journey.
Apply for your provisional licence
You can apply for a provisional licence just before your sixteenth birthday and any time after that. The easiest way to do this is online via this form and costs £34.00. However, you can apply by post as well, at a cost of £43.00.
You can check if your medical condition or disability means you are unable to drive in any capacity here. It’s important to remember that you could receive a fine if the DVLA discover that you have not declared a medical condition or disability that could potentially affect your ability to drive. Not only is this dangerous for yourself, it could also affect other road users too.
Make sure you take your theory test too. This is essential if you want to take your practical driving test. When you book, you can declare what kind of medical condition or disability you have, which will enable the test to be adapted for your needs. If in doubt, you can contact the DVSA directly:
DVSA theory test booking support
Telephone: 0300 200 1122
Have a driving assessment
This allows you to find out exactly what adaptations or modifications the car will need in order for you to be able to learn how to drive successfully. The DVLA may refer you to one of its assessment centres once your provisional licence has been applied for and your application has been reviewed. You can read more about the driving assessment process here.
Once this mobility assessment is completed, you can begin your search for an appropriate driving instructor.
Finding a driving instructor
If after your assessment, you feel confident that a local driving instructor, who does not have any specialist qualifications, would be suitable for your needs, then ask around for recommendations and make sure you check out their website or Facebook page for reviews.
However, if you do require someone with certain qualifications and specialisms, then you can find an instructor easily using the Disability Driving Instructors website. Here, you can browse instructors via your postcode and select what your vehicle requirements, such as what kind of adaptions a car may need.
Once you have found someone suitable, now the fun begins! Learning to drive can be a nerve-wracking process, but the freedom it provides you with is invaluable.
When you’re ready, speak to your driving instructor about booking your practical test and ensure that you have everything you need for it. Because you’ll have chosen your instructor carefully, they’ll be able to assist with the booking process and inform the booking centre about any specialist needs they might need to know about.
What happens next?
Congratulations! If you’ve successfully passed your practical driving test, you can now start the next step in your driving journey – finding the right vehicle. Remember, before you can get on the road independently, you’ll need the right insurance too. Speak to a member of our team today to discuss your individual requirements.