Adaptations help and advice
If you’re not sure whether you need an adaptation, the first step is to think about what areas of driving, or travelling, you find difficult or uncomfortable.
Some issues can be solved simply by choosing the right car. New cars with features such as push-button ignition and parking sensors can help to make driving easier. Talk to the Motability specialist at your local dealerships about your options. They will be able to recommend different models of cars that may suit your needs.
However, if you suspect that a standard, non-adapted car will not meet your mobility needs, then it is worth considering the types of adaptations that may help.
Receive specialist advice on adaptations
Adaptations are not suitable for every type of car, so it’s important to consider the adaptations you need before you choose your car.
The Forum of Mobility Centres has 17 independent assessment centres across the UK. They will be able to make suggestions on driving adaptations, seating options and products to help with getting in and out of vehicles.
You can also discuss your needs with an adaptation installer. Adaptation installers offer different types of adaptations and will also be able to recommend which car models may be suitable for installing your chosen adaptation. Remember, it’s best to find out if you need an adaptation before you make a final decision on which car to choose.
The table below could also be a starting point to help you see which adaptations may be suitable for you.
|If you need help with:||For example:||Consider:|
|Driving your car||If you have limited mobility or control in your legs||Mechanical hand controls, electronic accelerators, steering aids and pedal guards|
|You have limited mobility in your right leg||Mechanical hand controls or left foot accelerators|
|You have limited strength in your upper body||Steering aids, remote control devices, easy release handbrakes and electronic accelerators|
|Stowing your wheelchair or scooter||Your wheelchair or scooter is too heavy to lift and stow||Car boot or rooftop hoists|
|Getting in and out of the car||You find it difficult to transfer from your wheelchair to your car||Swivel seats, person hoists or tip-up plates|
Visit a Motability dealer to choose your car
Once you have an idea of the adaptation which will help you, you can then visit a Motability dealer and choose your car. Your local car dealer will work together with the adaptation installer to find the right combination for your needs.
When your have chosen your car and adaptations, your Motability dealer will complete the simple online ordering process with you. Your dealer will work with the adaptation installer to ensure that your brand new car is fitted with the adaptations you need before your car is delivered. You can also arrange a free familiarisation session to help you get used to using your new adaptations. If you think this would be useful, ask your dealer when you place the order.
To help you see how our most popular adaptations work, watch our film clips below.
These are divided into three areas:
- Driving controls
- Wheelchair and scooter stowage
- Seating and access
These can help make basic areas of driving easier, including speed control and steering.
There are a number of stowage systems available for your scooter or powered wheelchair
Seating and access - summary (duration – 01:19)
This film includes adaptations that help you get in and out of your car more easily
The electric person hoist physically lifts you into the car and might be suitable as an alternative to a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle
Swivel seats (duration – 01:04)
Swivel seats can make it easier to transfer from the car to your wheelchair