A Guide To Adaptations For Motability Vehicles - Vertu Motors
Thinking of having an adaptation fitted in your next vehicle? In this article, we take you through the adaptations available, and how to get them.
- Adaptations are special features designed for disabled motorists to help make everyday motoring easier
- There are a few different types of adaptations to suit different needs, so it is useful to understand these to make sure you choose the right one for you
- Adaptations must be fitted by a specialist installer, and there is a simple process you can go through to request one
Adaptations are features added to a vehicle to make them easier to use for those with disabilities.
According to the Motability Scheme, over 50,000 customers have had these fitted to their vehicles, showing how they provide incredible support with mobility.
With this in mind, what specific adaptations are available, and how do you go about getting them added to your vehicle?
Read on to become an adaptations expert and choose the right one for your next vehicle.
Types of adaptations
When it comes to adaptations, there are a few different types. These include:
- Those that help you drive
- Those that help you get in and out of your vehicle
- Those that help store your equipment
For disabled drivers, there are some specific adaptations you can have fitted to help you drive. One of these is hand controls, if you find using the brake or acceleration pedals difficult.
These allow you to control your speed when driving by pushing or pulling a lever, rather than pressing the pedals with your feet.
Then, there are electronic accelerators that are designed for those with limited leg movement. These come with a hand-controlled brake and allow you to accelerate your vehicle using a button on the steering wheel.
Left foot accelerators are available for those who have mobility issues in their right leg, for which the original accelerator will be covered or folded away.
Pedal modifications are also available to bring the pedals closer to the driving seat, though most of these are only suitable for automatic vehicles.
You can also have steering wheel aids fitted to your vehicle if you find turning the wheel difficult such as a steering ball, plus remote-control devices to help operate your indicators, wipers, and headlights.
With all of these, we recommend talking to an installation specialist who can show you how to use these adaptations once fitted.
For many disabled motorists, getting in and out of their vehicles can often be difficult. That is why there are a range of accessibility adaptations designed to help you enter and exit your vehicle comfortably.
- Transfer plates - fitted to the side of your driver’s seat to help you get in and out, which folds away when not in use
- Electric hoists - to help physically lift you in and out of the vehicle if you are unable to do so. These allow you to sit in the passenger seat next to the driver unlike wheelchair-accessible vehicles (WAVs)
- Swivel seats - permanent seats designed to help you get in and out of your vehicle, available in both manual and motorised versions for the driver or passenger sides
- Side steps - available to help you access the driver or passenger seat in larger vehicles. They can be manual or automatic, and fitted in various positions. When not in use, they are stored under the vehicle
Again, you should speak to an adaptations installer about your specific needs to help choose the right adaptation for you.
As a wheelchair user, it is important to be able to store the equipment you will need for trips out in your vehicle.
Some storage adaptations available include car boot hoists to lift wheelchairs and scooters into your vehicle, or a rooftop stowage unit if you want to save boot space.
Why add adaptations to your vehicle?
Adaptations are a great way of supporting your mobility and making everyday driving tasks easier. Whether it is accessing your vehicle or operating the controls you find difficult, there are plenty of adaptations to suit all needs.
Many adaptations are also free of charge meaning there is nothing to pay, and they will be fitted by specialist installers so you can rest assured they are safe and secure.
How to get an adapted vehicle
To request an adapted vehicle, you must first be a member of the Motability Scheme. You can check your eligibility online and apply in a few simple steps, with the help and support of one of Motability’s specialist advisors.
If you are already a member of the Scheme, get in touch with an adaptations installer before looking for your next vehicle to see what they would recommend for your needs.
You can then start searching for a vehicle that is available with the adaptation you require. Since not all adaptations are suitable for all vehicles, this is an important step and your adaptations installer will be there to help.
Some things you may want to consider when choosing your vehicle are:
- How you will access it (getting in and out)
- People who will be regularly travelling with you
- Any pets
- Space needed for any equipment or luggage
Once you have found your perfect Motability vehicle, you can then order it at your local Vertu Motors dealership.
We have a wide range of vehicles available to view and order online, or you can speak to the dedicated Motability Specialist at the dealership for any queries you may have.
We hope you feel well-informed on all things adaptation. For more helpful advice and guidance, keep in touch with our newsroom.