Whether you’ve driven before your amputation or are new to driving, you’re sure to have lots of questions. We’ll do our best to answer them.
The first steps, excuse the pun…
Due to the huge amount of modifications that can be made to vehicles, there are plenty of opportunities for amputees to get back behind a wheel, but it’s essential you inform the DVLA of your condition. You will find their contact details here. The DVLA will then assess whether or not you comply with their required health requirements or what modifications might need to be taken into consideration. You may be asked to go to your closest driving assessment centre, depending on your level of amputation. As this can sometimes take a while, it’s always advisable to get the ball rolling with it as soon as you’re able.
To find out some of the modifications available, check out the Motability website. They also have a link to find your nearest installer. You might also find it helpful to ask fellow amputees for their advice. You can do so in our private Facebook chat group, No LIMBits You’re also welcome to give us a call and we’ll look into any queries you have.
If you are new to driving, you would need to let the DVLA know of any health or medical conditions you have when applying for your provisional license. Driving mobility assessment centres would also be able to chat through your individual circumstances before applying, if you would find it beneficial.
Some specialist driving instructors will have their car modified for drivers with a disability but quite often the level of the modifications are quite basic. If you require further modifications to that of your local driving instructors, then you might need to consider getting a car which suits your own requirements and then have an instructor who will provide the lessons in your own car. You would get help towards vehicle costs if you receive the enhanced rate motability benefits payment.
Driving Assessment Centre..
This service offers driving assessment and/or advice for people who wish to commence, resume or continue driving after illness or injury, and also advises on vehicle modifications to enable safe driving or passenger travel for those with a disability.
If you’re based in Scotland, further details can be obtained from:
Marlene Mackenzie (Manager)
Scottish Driving Assessment Service
Astley Ainslie Hospital
Tel. 0131 537 9192
Outwith Scotland, more information can be found here.
It’s illegal for any insurance companies to charge more for an insurance policy on the grounds of your disability. Make sure they are aware of any health diagnosis or disabilities you have. If you are unsure what is important for them to know, just ask them while getting your quote.
The Blue Badge scheme provides a range of parking benefits for people with disabilities or those with severe walking difficulties who travel either as drivers or passengers. You can apply for a new badge here.
For more useful information please see our Motorists section here.