Disabled drivers looking to buy a new car have to take a number of things into consideration before making this significant purchase.
Adapting Your Car
Firstly it is important to find a model that can accommodate your disability including, if necessary, how easy it would be to convert it so that it would be possible for you to drive it. This can include something relatively simple like buying an ordinary car with automatic transmission if you happen to have limited use of one of your legs or arms, so as to avoid the need to make regular use of a clutch or gear stick. At the other end of the scale, you may need to have more substantial adaptations made to the vehicle in order that you may be able to drive it. These can be things such as hand controls for acceleration and braking, useful for wheelchair users, along with having pedals moved to suit your needs.
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Sometimes a manual car can be driven by a disabled driver without having to be adapted. This can be, for example, if someone suffers from kidney disease, or something similar, where a disabled badge holder needs to park near to their destination because they can become tired very rapidly when walking.
To help disabled driver with the expense of buying a new or second hand car, the Motability Scheme has been set up which assists disabled drivers in purchasing or leasing a car which they can afford. This is possible by turning all or part of the mobility component of your Disability Living Allowance into the car of your choice. By using the Motability Scheme you will have no waiting lists, no credit checks and will not require an assessment.
If you decide to take the higher purchase route you will then become responsible for agreeing a price with the car dealer in addition to making sure that the car is covered by insurance. The term of the higher purchase can last from between 3 years and 5 years. After this period the car will belong to you.
Car prices regarding the Motability Scheme are updated every three months, but you will pay the price the car was registered at when you ordered it, even if that price subsequently rises before you collect the car. On some model of cars it may not even be necessary to make an advance payment.
If, because of money worries, you would find purchasing a car, or having a car adapted, difficult, Motability may be able to offer you some financial assistance. The Motability Scheme can provide a grant through their charitable fund or through the specialised vehicle funds that they administer on behalf of the government.
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Should you wish to have the work to get the car adapted carried out yourself it is important to have at least two, but preferably three, quotes to get the work done.
Once you have received the quotes, which should be in writing to avoid any confusion or misunderstandings later, you should factor this in to your budget that you are using to purchase a car. Also ensure that the car you wish to purchase is capable of accepting these modifications, so you are not left with a nice new car that you are unable to drive.