Despite laws against discrimination and programmes introduced to help improve their driving experience, disabled motorists may face some challenges when it comes to driving. This includes receiving a good deal on car insurance and access to disabled parking.
Schemes like the Blue Badge Scheme and Mobility Scheme have been introduced to help disabled drivers, offering more freedom and a better experience behind the wheel.
Disabled drivers make up 6% of UK drivers, making them a competitive market for insurers. However, finding affordable car insurance can often still be a challenge. The main reason for this is a result of the modifications most disabled drivers need to make to their cars to be able to drive them or to get in and out with ease. This could be hand controls rather than pedals, left foot accelerator or steering aids.
However, when filling out the policy form, as soon as the modification box is ticked the premium automatically increases no matter what it is for. This is because repairing a car that has been modified will cost more than the same repairs on the same car without the modifications. There is also no section on the form to state that the adjustments are for mobility uses, rather than typical ‘boy-racer’ upgrades.
Once a car has been modified it often loses value. Consequently, disabled drivers will lose even more money when it comes to selling the car making the whole driving experience an expensive business. You can check on the current value of your car using our handy online car valuation tool.
All drivers must inform the DVLA of any medical issues they have that could affect their driving ability, but this should help to make it easier to assess what type of cover might be needed. For example, if a disabled driver is involved in an accident will the insurer provide a courtesy car with the same modifications in their own car.
There are insurers out there that specialise in providing policies to disabled drivers, so it’s worth shopping around to find the best deal that works for you.
The Blue Badge is a saviour when it comes to parking for disabled drivers. It is a Nationwide Scheme to help disabled drivers park more easily providing them with much more accessibility to disabled parking spaces when they reach their destination.
Too often are disabled parking bays occupied by drivers who aren’t disabled making it a struggle for those who are. The Blue Badge system attempts to combat this. Only those eligible will receive the badge and this must be shown at all times on the dashboard when parked in a disabled bay. If there is no badge visible, then you could face a fine which helps to prevent non-disabled drivers from using those limited spaces.
However, there are times when this scheme is exploited. One way the Blue Badge is wrongly used is by those who are connected to someone who is a disabled badge holder and use it even when they are not driving with the disabled person. However, if they are caught, they too could receive a fine.
This schemed is designed to help those with a severe disability. Those who receive the higher rate of government funded mobility allowance are entitled to exchange their allowance to lease a new car, scooter or powered wheelchair, as well as breakdown assistance.
The aim of the Mobility Scheme is to provide the freedom and independence to those who often struggle. Although, this scheme isn’t for everyone. Some drivers prefer to own their car rather than have it on lease but it enables some disabled drivers to have access to a vehicle that they may not otherwise be able to get. Also, if you become disabled after the age of 65, then you won’t be entitled to this scheme.
Although there are systems in place to help disabled drivers achieve a more comfortable driving experience, they can still face some challenges. For more information on what can be done to help improve the driving experience for disabled drivers visit Disabled Motoring UK.