The notion of getting a new or used vehicle is an exciting one, but if you are a disabled person, there is a lot more to consider than just your favorite type, color, or style. Disabled individuals have to take virtually all aspects of the vehicle into consideration and find one that is adaptable to their needs. Vehicles are generally made for the needs of the majority of the public and unfortunately, that does not include disabled individuals. However, disabled people need transportation too, so if you are looking for a vehicle to enhance your personal mobility, here is what you need to know about buying a car as a disabled person.

Finance Help if You Are Disabled

One of the biggest worries facing disabled individuals in the UK is financing their new car. However, thanks to the Motability Scheme, disabled people can buy or lease their vehicle without difficulty. The scheme assists in the purchase and helps negotiate a price that is suitable to the individual. Leasing options within the Motability Scheme allow the individual to own the car outright within 3 to 5 years of purchase. Prices are updated on a quarterly basis during the year to ensure prices are appropriate for every buyer. If you desire a car within the scheme, you can find some significant discounts and some applicants, depending on their financial situation, can even receive a car through charitable donations.

Other Perks for Disabled Drivers

Vehicle Tax Exemption

Provided the vehicle is for personal use only, disabled individuals can apply for vehicle tax exemption. One tax exempt vehicle is permitted per residence at any one time and you can apply for this program if you are a component of DLA, PIP, ADP, Child Disability Payment, War Pensioners Mobility Supplement, or Armed Forces Independence Payment.

Vehicle Tax Reduction

A 50% tax reduction is available for those who are a component of PIP or ADP and the vehicle is registered in the disabled person’s name.

VAT Relief for Vehicles

VAT relief is available for disabled individuals that are required to alter their vehicle to fit their needs or those that are a part of the Motability Vehicle Scheme.

Blue Badge Parking Scheme

Individuals with mobility impairments or disabilities can apply for the Blue Badge Parking Scheme. This program allows for recipients to utilize a small blue badge on their vehicle to be able to park in designated parking spaces closer to businesses. Disabled individuals that own their own vehicle can apply and also individuals that assist disabled people in their day to day lives.

Adapting Your Car

Apart from purchasing a vehicle, many disabled people have to adapt the vehicle to fit their individual needs. Generally, we think of alterations for vehicles strictly devoted to wheelchair accessible vans. Where this is a common issue with those who need the assistance of mobility devices such as wheelchairs, it is not the only one. Smaller cars and SUVs can be adapted to wheelchair use as well by having wheelchair ramps or mobility scooter transport holders attached to the back of the vehicle.

Alterations to your vehicle might have to be made in the interior as well. Changes to the foot petals are common. Often automatic transmission vehicles are recommended for disabled individuals to help them manage the petal system more effectively without having to engage a clutch while driving. Foot petals can also be adjusted to be closer or farther apart depending on your individual needs.

Even individuals that have little to no use of their legs due to a disability can benefit from vehicle adaptations. Hand brakes and accelerators can be installed to allow for safe driving without having to use your legs. These adaptations can be significant and alter the entire working mechanism of the vehicle, so others may not be able to use your vehicle. However, there are options for more versatility by leaving foot petals in place with options for use of both foot petals and hand controls depending on the needs of the driver. This adaptation can be ideal for those who are disabled and drive regularly, but also have another person in the home that does not have the same disability.

Everyone needs the chance to enhance their mobility through driving. Driving allows disabled individuals to feel more free and less reliant on others to help them with their daily tasks. If you are living with a disability and want to drive, there is hope. Car dealerships and government agents can assist you in applying for benefits related to your disability so you can begin driving again. Make sure to have all essential documentation in place before applying for benefits and if you need alterations to your vehicle to accommodate your disability, ensure you use a reputable establishment to ensure your ultimate safety while driving.

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