Your guide to the most popular Motability Adaptations

6 Posted: 6th Sep 2021
Your guide to the most popular Motability Adaptations

To give even more people access to everyday freedom the Motability scheme lets eligible drivers add modifications and adaptions to their new car. We’ve put together the most popular on offer, to help you realise that you could get on the road!

  • The Motability Scheme is a scheme that enables people to have everyday freedom and get mobile by exchanging their mobility allowance to lease a new car, wheelchair accessible vehicle, scooter or powered wheelchair. To ensure that everyone has access to everyday freedom, the scheme also offers around 500 different Motability adaptations for your new car, many of which are available for free when fitted at the start of your lease. It’s all about allowing drivers to maintain their independence and feel comfortable and confident behind the wheel.

    Some mobility issues can be solved by choosing the right vehicle with the right features, for example an automatic gearbox, to avoid using gears and clutch, a push-start button to prevent turning the key, parking sensors or a boot with a height-adjustable floor.

    If you are not sure if this can be an option for you, we have Motability specialists in all our showrooms to help you find a car that could suit your needs before discussing adaptions. This means that you can get straight on the road and find your freedom!

    If you do need adaptions, don't worry, it won’t take long for the installation and fitting of your requirement and our Toomey staff will keep you updated on the progress of your vehicle. Some adaptions are small and may be just a matter of moving the buttons around and some might be a bigger task such as adding a ramp or wheelchair hoist. The Motability scheme can help you organise all of this, and depending on the cost can help you with this too.

  • Driving

    Steering Aids

    For drivers that might have trouble holding or moving the steering wheel, aids can be installed to help with controlling and steering the wheel. For example, a grip can be added which includes the ball and mushroom style, which allows the driver to rotate the wheel using one hand rather than 2. These grips can be fixed on, or if you are taking advantage of 3 drivers on your insurance, you can have a quick-release style that allows the non-disabled driver to remove and attach it back on easily. The release mechanism is small and lightweight, meaning it can conveniently fit in your glove box!

  • Hand Controls

    If you have less mobility in your legs or are unable to operate the pedals effectively, hand controls, such as a push/pull device, that allow you to control the speed of the car instead. A push-pull device typically works but pulling the hand controls to accelerate and then pushing the control to brake, some controls even come with a switch which is connected to your indicators too. If you are considering a push-pull device, please be aware you will need to choose a car with an automatic gearbox.

  • Pedal Modifications

    If you still have mobility in your legs, but just less, like have difficulty reaching the pedals or limited mobility in your right leg, there are options available. You may choose to have detachable pedal extensions which means you can bring them closer to your driving seat, allowing you to drive more comfortably while controlling the car with ease. There is also the option to switch the accelerator to the left side, rather than the right so that you have more control of the vehicle.

  • Remote Control Devices

    Remote control devices help to make a number of driving tasks much easier to operate, such as indicators, windscreen wipers and headlights. You can also have these controls integrated on your steering aid so that everything can be accessed with one hand.

  • Stowage

    Car boot hoist

    If you travel with a wheelchair or scooter, you may need a hoist to manoeuvre it into your boot. If you have a larger wheelchair a 4-way hoist is needed, they help move the product up and into your boot at the touch of a button, once in the vehicle you can then secure it with tie downs. Alternatively, if you use a lighter wheelchair a 2-way hoist can be used that operate with an up and down function only, you will need to pull the chair out or push it in, and then secure by hand.

  • Rooftop stowage

    A rooftop storage solution is another option that helps you store your manual wheelchair on the roof instead of in the boot, this is particularly handy if you need to use your boot to store other items. The solution allows you to store a folded wheelchair, in a box, on top of your car. It hoists the folded wheelchair from the ground on the driver or passenger side, depending on the setting you choose and then manoeuvres it into the rooftop box.

  • Access

    Swivel Seats

    A swivel seat can be a very useful adaption, as they allow the front car seats to rotate towards the door to provide you with easier and more comfortable entry and exit, they are available in manual and automatic versions, however, manual versions require yourself or the help from someone else to help you position it back in the correct driving position.

    Wheelchair swivel seats are also available, they are made up of two parts and allow the wheelchair base to connect to the specially designed car seat. However, they cannot be operated independently as it requires someone to help put the wheelchair base into position and store it once you are in the car. Swivel seats can only be fitted in some cars, so speak to our Toomey Motability specialists to discover your options.

  • Transfer Plate

    A transfer plate is also an alternative if you are able to transfer yourself out of your wheelchair onto the transfer plate and back again. It is an extension to the car seat that folds out to make the seat wider and lets you move from your wheelchair.

  • Now remember, this isn’t a list of all the adaptations that are available, there are around 500 different types! So if this guide doesn’t cover an adaption that would work for you, there are plenty of other solutions available to help you get on the road. And, if you are unsure of what adaption you need, our Motability experts at both Toomey Basildon and Southend can help you find something suitable, so that you can find your everyday freedom! To do this, contact us and our experts will be able to help guide you every step of the way.

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