Before you choose your car through the Motability scheme, you may need to think about the adaptions you might need to make driving easier and more comfortable. Popular options include hand controls to make controlling speed easier if you have difficulty with foot pedals, modified handbrake controls, swivel seats for easy access and steering wheel balls to provide better control of the steering wheel. At Sturgess, our dedicated Motability specialists can guide you through the myriad of options available and offer detail on the costs associated with these features.
Generally, Motability vehicle adaptations fall into three categories: Driving, Stowage and Access:
Driving adaptions are fundamental to your motoring life and range from simple bolt-on solutions to the replacement of all existing controls, and even a bespoke system designed around you. As you would expect, most driving adaptions are connected to speed control, steering and signalling. They generally involve retaining your car's original controls, so that other drivers can still operate your car – useful if you will want to share the use of your car with a partner or a family member. It's important to remember that these solutions often require an automatic gearbox, although this shouldn't limit your choice of model at Sturgess.
Stowage systems take the weight of a wheelchair or scooter and manoeuvre it for you. There are basically two types to consider: a boot hoist or a rooftop unit. Both are easily operated at the touch of a button, although some lightweight models may still require you to push a wheelchair or scooter into position. Remember that if you would like a boot hoist, your chosen car will need a boot big enough to accommodate it. Again, our Motability team will guide you through the options available to you.
Access adaptions include wheelchair-accessible vehicles, but they are not the only options. There are adaptions that can be fitted to otherwise standard cars, increasing your choices beyond what may seem like the obvious solutions.
Swivel seats come in two basic designs. The permanent type allows the whole seat to turn or even move in and out of your car. It also lowers and tips to aid access. Wheelchair swivel seats work in a similar way but are designed in two parts, with the lower half acting as a removable wheelchair base. You will need someone to help position the base element and store it once you're ready to go.
The alternative is an electric hoist that lifts you into the car. This may be the right alternative if you don't want a converted Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle, and also means you can use the original car seat on journeys.
We appreciate that the range of options in combination with the variety of cars on offer can make choosing the right vehicle difficult. That's why our Motability team are always on hand to help answer any questions you may have. Why not book an appointment today to discuss your needs?