Getting on the Road with Vehicle Adaptations


At Ransome Mobility we specialise in providing disabled drivers in East Anglia with a range of vehicle adaptations to meet their particular needs. However, if you are disabled and intend to drive, there is a lot more needed to make yourself ready to drive than just having your car adapted.

In this article, we take a look at the other actions you need to take to ensure you are safe, legal and confident on the road.

Getting a Licence

Like all drivers, you will need to get a valid driving licence from the DVLA before you can drive on a public road independently. And, like all drivers, you must be medically fit to drive, according to the guidelines set out by the DVLA.

If you have never driven before, you need to apply for a provisional driving licence initially, to enable you to go out on the road with a driving instructor.

If you already have a driving licence which was valid before you became disabled, you will need to tell the DVLA about the change in your condition and provide evidence about your fitness to drive. Details about how to go about this are on the DVLA website (www.gov.uk/driving-medical-conditions).

Taking Lessons

If you are newly disabled and used to drive before you became disabled, it can be tempting to think that you don’t need driving lessons. But in fact, it is just as important to have lessons from a specialist driving instructor, if not even more so, if you have driven before. This is because a lot of your previous driving skill was based on “muscle memory” and you will need to relearn where everything is and how your body interacts with the controls. A search online for “disability driving instructors” will be a good starting point for finding a specialist instructor in your area.

Apart from learning how to drive correctly and passing your driving test, getting lessons from a specialist disability instructor is invaluable for one other very important reason. As a specialist, they will have instructed many other disabled drivers with a variety of disabilities, and they will be highly familiar with the vehicle adaptations that are available; so they will be able to put you on the right track in terms of deciding which car adaptations you need. Specialist driving instructors will typically have access to a vehicle which already has at least basic adaptations on it, so you won’t necessarily need to buy your own vehicle at this stage. This is something you will need to discuss with your instructor when you first contact them.

Getting a Vehicle with Adaptations

Once you have passed your driving test, your next step is to find your own vehicle with the necessary adaptations – or arrange for adaptations to be made to a vehicle of your choice.

At Ransome Mobility we can provide a full range of car adaptations for all types of disabilities, including push pull hand controls, steering balls, left foot accelerators, infra red controls, and easy release gearshifts and handbrakes. We can also fit swivel seats to enable easier entry and exit to the vehicle, or the unique Carony Drive System for wheelchair users who want to drive from their wheelchair.

If you are finding your own vehicle for us to modify, it is a good idea to talk to us about which modifications you are thinking about first, so we can advise you about which makes and models of car will be suitable.

As part of our service we will arrange a familiarisation session with you to make sure you are completely comfortable with how to operate everything.

However, if the adaptations are significantly different to those in the vehicle in which you learned to drive, it may be advisable to arrange a session in your new vehicle with your driving instructor, just to give you that extra confidence and peace of mind.

Getting Insurance

Once these adaptations have been made, you need to get insurance that takes into account the particular modifications made to the car. There are now a number of specialist insurers for disabled drivers, who will generally be a lot more accommodating and understanding about the needs of disabled drivers compared to many general purpose insurance providers. We recommend Fish Insurance who can offer significant discounts to Ransome Mobility customers.

Vehicle Adaptations East Anglia – Visit our showroom in Ipswich for a demonstration or to try out of our range of adaptations.