Using your car
Many people with a disability drive.
Once you've got a driving license, there's no reason why you can't continue to drive, regardless of disability (provided it's safe to do so).
Living in London, public transport is usually very convenient but if it doesn't suit you, try driving.
Learning to drive
Generally, you need to be at least 17 years old before you can drive in Britain. However, if you receive the enhanced rate of the mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP), then you can apply for a provisional driving license a year earlier - as soon as you're 16.
When you apply for your provisional driving licence, you must ensure that you advise the DVLA of any medical conditions that may affect your ability to drive.
As a learner driver with disabilities, you may want an instructor who has specialist knowledge of your needs. The BSM driving school has trained instructors and adapted vehicles and their experienced instructors can teach you more than how to drive, including:
- how to get in and out of the car more easily
- how to get your wheelchair in and out of the car (if applicable)
- how to operate any adapted controls
And, if you're in receipt of mobility related benefits, you may be eligible for help towards the cost of driving lessons provided through BSM.
Learn how to drive and increase your independence:
Visit the BSM website
Buying a car
For many people, having a car is an integral part of independent living. Cars can be adapted in many ways to suit different types of disability.
The Queen Elizabeth Foundation (QEF) offer driving and car adaptation assessments for those who are unsure about which kind of vehicle suits them, or for those whose who aren't sure if it is safe to return to the road (note - there is a charge for this service).
Leasing a car, scooter or powered wheelchair
If you can’t afford to purchase your own car, the Motability Scheme provides an affordable, worry-free way for you to lease a car; a wheelchair accessible vehicle; a scooter or a powered wheelchair in exchange for your mobility allowance.
As well as your vehicle, you’ll get:
- insurance, including tyre and windscreen replacement cover
- breakdown cover
- vehicle tax
600,000 disabled people have chosen to have their allowances paid to the Motability Scheme to meet the cost of leasing a car, powered wheelchair or scooter.
Find out what the Motability Scheme can offer you
If you have severe mobility problems that make using public transport difficult, you may be able to get a Blue Badge parking permit. This lets you park closer to the places you want to visit (for example; in marked disabled parking bays).
Blue Badges can’t be issued to relatives or carers, but you can use your badge in any car you’re travelling in whether you’re the driver or a passenger.
Get out more with a Blue Badge
If you have a Blue Badge you may also be eligible to apply for a personalised parking bay near your home. This is a parking space just for you that no-one else (not even another Blue Badge holder) can use.