What to Look for When Choosing a Vehicle as a Disabled Person
Buying a new car can be a challenging process for anyone, but there are even more hurdles to overcome when it comes to disabled drivers. Can you enter and exit with ease? Will you be able to lift things into the boot? Is there space for a wheelchair? These are just some of the considerations for choosing a vehicle for a disabled person – continue reading to find out more.
Usability and Accessibility
Many disabled drivers use walking aids to get around including walking frames and wheelchairs. Therefore, appropriate storage space needs to be one of the first considerations. Ideally, you need to have full access to the trunk without having to pull the passenger seats forwards, as this may be difficult. Abled drivers don’t think twice about lifting items into the boot, whereas disabled drivers may struggle to lift things far off the ground. Therefore, you need to keep in mind the height of the boot.
When it comes to additional storage space, especially if you have a large mobility scooter, many cars designed for disabled people come with the ability to lower the boot floor. One of the best cars on the market, especially for storage space, is the Ford Galaxy.
Manual Vs. Automatic
You need to decide between manual and automatic. The location of your driving will help nudge you in the right direction. For example, if you’re going to drive primarily in large cities, you’ll be changing gears constantly. Whereas, if you’re navigating country roads, there will be much less shifting involved. Naturally, you need to measure the pain level of changing gear. You will need to use your forearms and leg, which may be difficult for some disabled drivers. If you struggle at all with mobility in your arms or legs, an automatic car will be the best option.
Entering and Exiting
Small cars are designed with low roofs and compact doorways. When choosing a vehicle as a disabled driver, you may need to have more room, especially if you have to shimmy across from a wheelchair. Before choosing a car, measure up the width of the doorway, the height, and the headroom inside the vehicle – you can test this action at the dealership before making your decision.
What About the Cost?
Buying a car as a disabled person can be challenging, especially if your work opportunities are hindered. However, if you receive HRMC (Higher Rate Mobility Component) or WPMS (War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement), you can look into Motability cars. If you secure a vehicle this way, the funds will be paid directly to the service provider. To see if you qualify for the Mobility Scheme, visit Allied Mobility.
Disabled people have many more hurdles to overcome when choosing a new vehicle, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still plenty of options. The features above are all excellent considerations to make, and you may be eligible for the mobility scheme in place of payment, so it’s worth checking out.