When you’re shopping for a vehicle with disabled passengers in mind, you’ll soon learn that there’s no set criteria to work with. Since everybody’s situation is different, there’ll no doubt be some areas that you have to pay particularly close attention to which others don’t have to think about at all. Here are just some of the aspects that you’ll have to consider.
Adapting the Vehicle to Your Needs
Depending on your situation, you may need to adapt the vehicle in some way to meet your specific demands. Modifications are relatively common, and include everything from the width of the doors to how much leg room there is and how adjustable the seats are. How much this will cost is primarily dependent on how in depth the changes you make are, but you may find that some vehicles are better suited to your needs from the start.
If you lack upper body strength, for instance, a vehicle with power assisted steering can help to alleviate this issue. Similarly, if a passenger has limited mobility, you can install a swivel seat that makes it easier for them to get in and out of the vehicle. Look for something that can be easily removed as this will save you money if you end up buying a different car down the line.
Getting Help Financing Your Purchase
Typically, you’ll be responsible for financing customisations that you make yourself, but it’s also possible that a local or national charity will be able to help you with some of the costs. However, it’s important that you seek out this information beforehand as many grants won’t be able to reimburse you for any purchases that have already occurred. Veterans UK, and other ex-services charities, may be able to contribute if you’re a war pensioner.
If you are disabled or have a long-term illness, you won’t be charged VAT on products designed for your own personal use, like stairlifts, adjustable beds, or any medical appliances. Finally, if you are disabled and your car is intended only for your use, either as a driver or passenger, you may you may be entitled to reduced road tax. Take a look here to see more information on types of vehicles that are exempt from tax.