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Adapting your car

If you have a medical condition or disability that makes it difficult to drive, a Mobility Centre should be able to help you decide on some adaptations that are right for you.

There’s a range of equipment available including:

  • car key holders
  • hoists to lift you and your wheelchair
  • special cushions or swivel seats to help you get in and out of the car.

It’s also sometimes possible to make modifications to car doors and seats.

Motability scheme

If you get the higher rate of the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA), the enhanced mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP), or the War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement, you can lease a car, wheelchair or scooter at an affordable price through the Motability Scheme, run by the independent charity Motability.

Through this scheme, you use your mobility allowance to pay for the hire of the car. You may also get VAT relief on the cost of leasing and adapting it.

Motability holds ‘One Big Day’ open days around the country – call the helpline to find out whether there’s one near you.

If you’ve applied for funding through the Motability Scheme and are thinking about hiring through a dealer, it’s still a good idea to have an assessment at a Mobility Centre as they can give you impartial advice.

Upgrading your car

If your car is an old model, upgrading to a newer one might help. Newer models tend to have helpful safety features, such as power steering and anti-lock braking. In some cases, power steering can be tailored to suit a person’s strength.

Many new models also feature parking sensors (or ‘beepers’) that can help you to park more easily. Think about whether you would find an automatic car easier to handle than a manual one, or whether it would be hard to adjust.

Further information

For more information: Call Age NI Advice: 0808 808 7575

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