Archive for Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle

Everything you need to know about driving with a disability

Living with a disability can make normal daily activities more challenging and the things many of us take for granted are a constant struggle. However, driving doesn’t have to be one of them.

Constant advancements in vehicle adaptions are making independent mobility possible for a wider range of disabilities all the time.

So, in order to remain safe and legal on the roads, it’s important to keep abreast of all the requirements surrounding driving with disabilities.

Driving with a disability

The most accurate answer to this question is, probably. It all depends on your circumstances.

Whether you are a new driver applying for a provisional licence or a qualified driver who has developed a “notifiable” medical condition or disability, you will need to inform the DVLA and declare all disabilities and medical conditions.

Using this information, the DVLA will assess your condition to determine whether you comply with the medical standards of fitness to drive. Should the DVLA deem you fit to drive, it will make recommendations on any modifications you need to make to your vehicle.

Getting a provisional licence

If you’re unsure whether you will meet the medical standards for driving and would like more information before applying for your provisional licence, the best course of action is to seek advice from a driving mobility assessment centre. Here, professionals will be able to assess your abilities and give you the right advice on your mobility options.

Once you have acquired your provisional licence, it is recommended you seek out a specially trained instructor in your area who has experience in teaching disabled drivers. These instructors will often have a tuition car modified for disabled drivers. However, these modifications are likely to be basic and may not suit your particular needs.

If you require more specialised vehicle adaptations, you may need to consider purchasing or leasing a car that meets your needs. Most driving instructors will be happy to give tuition in your vehicle.

While most prospective drivers will need to be over the age of 17 to hold a driver’s licence, those receiving the enhanced rate mobility component of Personal Independence Payments (PIP) or the higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) will be able to get a provisional licence at 16.

Passing your driving test

Regardless of your disability or the severity thereof, you will need to pass the same theory and practical driving tests if you want to get your licence. However, some concessions may be made in both instances.

You can inform the centre at the time of booking should you require any extra time to allow the examiner to talk you through any modifications or any other information you may require.

The practical test will be taken in a vehicle that meets your requirements and the examiner will record any restriction codes to appear on your licence.

getting provisional licence with disability

Keeping your licence if you become disabled

When you are ready to start driving again after an accident or illness that has left you with a disability, you’ll first need to inform the DVLA of your condition. If you’re unsure this is necessary, your doctor should be able to advise.

The DVLA will then assess your condition and take appropriate action, which could range from being issued a shorter licence or a requirement to drive a modified car to having to give up your licence completely for a designated period of time.

Other ‘notifiable’ conditions that require you to inform the DVLA include anything which could affect your ability to drive safely, including diabetes, epilepsy or glaucoma.

What car can I drive if I have a disability?

What car you can drive will depend entirely on what restriction codes appear on your driving licence and any adaptations you may need to have fitted.

Also, if you pass your driving test in a modified vehicle, you will need to have the same or equivalent modifications on your personal vehicle; just like if you passed your test in an automatic car, you would not be allowed to drive a manual.

Advancements in vehicle adaptations have made it possible for people with a wide range of disabilities to continue driving, from hand-controls and swivel seats to full Drive From Wheelchair systems.

If you’re unsure what you may need or what is available, then you can go for an assessment at The Motability Scheme or a vehicle adaptation specialist like Ergomobility.

Lowering swivel Seat - Turny Evo

What does being a disabled driver mean for my car tax and insurance?

If you receive the higher rate mobility component of DLA or the enhanced rate mobility component of PIP, you can apply for an exemption on your car tax. You can also get a 50% reduction in car tax if you receive the standard rate mobility component of PIP.

It is illegal for insurers to refuse cover or increase premiums on an insurance policy on the grounds of disability. However, failing to tell your insurer of any disability or medical condition may invalidate your cover, so it’s best to speak to your insurer directly in order to ensure you have the cover you need.

Whether it’s commuting to work daily or popping our for a bit of retail therapy, the freedom offered by driving is irreplaceable in some people’s lives. Ergomobility is here to help find the best solutions to your motoring needs and get you back where you belong, on the open road behind the wheel of your own vehicle.

More accessible wheelchair transportation

VB full air suspension for wheelchair accessible vehicles

Wheelchair users want to experience a sense of security, comfort and confidence when they are taken to their destination. Wheelchair transporters, therefore, want to be able to offer tailor-made transport. Ensuring the safety and physical comfort of their passengers is of paramount importance to these carriers. This is what the passenger ultimately considers to be the most important. So what’s better than wheelchair users who choose to travel with you – just because your vehicle has that extra bit of comfort?

The problem facing wheelchair accessible vehicles

No one likes to feel all the road humps and bumps while travelling. Since the weight distribution in a wheelchair-loaded vehicle is usually not optimal, the journey for both the wheelchair user and the driver can become significantly less comfortable. This non-optimal weight distribution also has further adverse effects on ride comfort: the original suspension on the rear of the vehicle can become “stuck” when the weight of the wheelchair cannot be optimally distributed. The vehicle may also normally be too high – or too low – or the vehicle may have a too high approach angle. This would make it even more difficult to optimally assist passengers and would cause even more inconvenience.

How can Ergomobility and VB Airsuspension help?

A constant ride height is therefore essential for both the driver and the wheelchair user. This is easily achieved with one of our products. When using our air suspension – and electronic ride height control to achieve a constant ride height – ride comfort increases significantly. This means the passenger feels comfortable and safe, as well as you as a driver. Would you like to know more about the matching products – such as VB-FullAir – for this category of vehicles?
Take a look at the product leaflets here.

Discover the many benefits of VB Airsuspension’s wheelchair vehicle solutions

For more information contact us on 01444 882 233, email or fill in our online Contact Form.

Does Your Customer Need a WAV…..or Not?

WAVWAVs – Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles start out life as a standard vehicle and then a specialist conversion company makes a number of structural alterations to allow a wheelchair user to access and remain in their wheelchair – as a driver or passenger.

These vehicles are not supplied through the standard Motability dealer network. They are only supplied through the converters themselves.

But does your customer need a WAV or not?

If your customer can transfer out of their wheelchair without too much discomfort and effort then a standard car fitted with adaptations could be the answer.

Adaptations may include:

Wheelchair/scooter boot hoists

Swivel seats

Person hoists

Transfer plates

Wheelchair roof top boxes

But we don’t expect you to know the answer to this question! We are always here to talk to your customer and, if necessary, arrange a demonstration and an assessment to ensure they get the right vehicle from you at the very outset.

Does your Motability client really need a WAV?


Motability Dealerships regularly message us saying they have a client who would like to travel in a vehicle, sitting in their wheelchair.  They will typically have researched the internet and off the back of this have called their local dealership, asking for a particular vehicle to be converted into a WAV (Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle). ‘Chances are the Motability Specialist will spend time showing cars to their client, looking at the internet with them and pulling together prices.

It’s usually at this stage the Specialist calls us only to hear disappointing news…..

Motability will not allow a vehicle on the Standard Car Scheme to be converted into a WAV. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Mini Clubman or a full sized van that could be converted into a WAV. It’s not allowed on the Motability Scheme.

The reason why?

Motability have a WAV Scheme with a selection of Motability approved vehicles that have already been converted by Motability approved converters. If someone wants to travel in a wheelchair in a Motability vehicle it has to be purchased through the WAV Scheme.

So, if one of your clients is looking for a WAV, you could direct them to the Motability website, where they can find all the information they need…

But you can always call one of our team and ask us to get in touch with your customer.

There may well be other products your client is not aware of that would solve their accessibility issues, eliminating the need for a WAV altogether. You’d be surprised at how many people are unaware of the existence of swivel seats, sliding plates, wheelchair hoists, person hoists, etc. Any one of these, or a combination, would allow many of your clients to travel in the front seat of a standard car. A WAV is not their only option.

If, after all this, your client does need a WAV, we will always point them in the right direction.

Ergomobility Sussex
Units 1 – 4, Crosspost Industrial Park,
Cowfold Road, Bolney,
West Sussex, RH17 5QU

Telephone: 01444 882233

Ergomobility Thames Valley
Reading, RG4 7XW

Telephone: 0118 321 8193

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