Currently, 11 million people in the UK live with some level of disability, impairment, or long-term illness. Living with a disability sometimes changes how you look at things that many others take for granted or see as mundane, but it does not mean that you have to miss out on certain freedoms that other people have. Fortunately, technological advancements in the automobile industry have made it possible for people living with disabilities or impairments to drive safely and legally. Are you disabled and keen to get on the road? Then here are some important points to consider.
That is probably the first question on your mind as you read this article, your reasons for wanting to drive rests on your individual needs and circumstances. While it is possible to make car modifications suitable for a driver living with a disability, you must inform the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). Otherwise, you might face a fine of £1,000. That also applies to already-qualified drivers who might have developed a condition. Once you report your status to the DVLA, the agency will assess you before declaring you qualified to drive.
Learning to drive
Learning to drive with a disability is not significantly different from how non-disabled persons learn, so you will still go through all theory and practical lessons. But there will be a slight difference because some considerations may need to be taken. Ensure that you inform your test centre when booking your practical or theory tests. That way, they would allow extra time for your instructor to take you through the necessary modifications.
Buying a car
You need to note that you must buy a car that you are qualified to drive. Therefore, if you pass your test with a modified car, you need to buy a car with the same modifications to make your driving safe. You can buy a car, just like anyone else, however, you can also get on the Motability Scheme, which will help you exchange your mobility allowance for a new modified car.
What type of car should you buy?
Almost every car can be modified to suit your needs. Therefore, you are required to conduct a lot of research that will help you come to a decision. You can check out the list of car manufacturers available on the Motability Scheme as well. There are over 20 car manufacturers available, giving you a broad range to choose from. Whether you want Jeep, Honda, or VW Motability cars, there is something for you. What is more, some of these cars do not require any advanced payments.
It is possible to drive in the UK with a disability, however, it is essential that you fully understand what it involves and what you need to do. Hopefully, these questions have cleared up any initial doubts, but be sure to get in touch with the relevant agencies to help answer other questions you might have.