Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle Specialist: Tips on Parking for Disabled Drivers

Wheelchair accessible vehicles bring independence and freedom to disabled drivers. However, finding suitable parking can be a concern when you head out, and you may also need a parking space near your home. Here wheelchair accessible vehicle specialist Ransome Mobility Solutions, based in Suffolk, looks at parking arrangements to help ensure your travel goes smoothly, whether you are a disabled motorist or passenger.

Parking Bays and Dropped Kerbs

Road users with disabilities often find it hard to park near their home. The good news is that, if it isn’t possible to park in your own drive, you may be eligible to have a disabled parking bay installed outside your home. You would need to apply to your local council for this, and usually it’s only possible to apply for a disabled bay if you are a Blue Badge holder and there is a vehicle registered to your household. However, the rules may vary in different areas.

It could take several months for a bay to be installed, because first the council will need to look at road safety aspects and it will also have to publicise a Traffic Regulation Order. Even once the bay is there, it won’t belong to you as an individual, and anybody else with a Blue Badge will also be entitled to park there. It’s also possible to apply to the council for a dropped kerb to be installed outside your home, to allow access to your driveway.


Getting a Blue Badge

There are various rules about who is entitled to a Blue Badge under the national disabled parking scheme. Some people qualify automatically, if they are registered blind or receive qualifying levels of mobility benefits, but other people with a permanent disability could also be eligible.

You need to apply via either the Government website or your local authority and there are varying fees depending on where you live. Badges need to be renewed after three years, but councils do not always send out reminders, so it’s important to check if you should apply for the badge to be renewed.

Using Blue Badge and Information Stickers

Once a Blue Badge has been issued, it makes it far easier for disabled people to park, but there are still restrictions. There are some areas of central London where Blue Badge rules don’t apply.

Elsewhere, you can usually park on single or double yellow lines for up to three hours. But there are various exceptions to this, and also other places where you are not allowed to park, such as loading bays and areas reserved for residents with permits, so it’s important to be aware of the rules. If you park somewhere with a time limit, or on yellow lines, you need to display the parking clock issued with your badge to show what time you parked there.

As well as a Blue Badge, users of cars with wheelchair hoists often find it helpful to put a sticker on their car explaining that they need access to get to their wheelchair and asking people not to park too close. Many different sticker designs are available.

Parking on Private Land

Disabled motorists need to be aware that there are different rules for parking on private land. Most privately-run car parks, including supermarket parking areas, do have disabled bays or spaces which are designated for Blue Badge users, although private land isn’t covered by the statutory scheme. In some cases there may be charges even if you have a Blue Badge, so always read the signs.

Check Ahead

If you are going somewhere and don’t know what the parking arrangements are, this can be a worry, so it is helpful to check ahead, for instance by phoning the place where you are going or looking it up online. Some sat-navs also show where there are disabled parking bays and other facilities such as accessible toilets.

Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles from Ransome Mobility

As a wheelchair accessible vehicle specialist, Ransome Mobility are experts on supplying cars suitable both for drivers using wheelchairs and for motorists who are transporting a family member or friend with disabilities. We have a range of nearly-new and used WAVs in stock and can help customers in Suffolk, Essex Norfolk and across East Anglia to find suitable vehicles.

Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle Specialist  Click to see our range of wheelchair cars for sale.