If you have a disability, depending on it’s severity, you may well be used to facing challenges in your day-to-day life. Having a disability can be restrictive and frustrating. However, learning to drive, despite your disability can provide a kind of freedom you may not have experienced before. The feeling of freedom one feels when out on the open road is something that can bring real pleasure and joy. Depending on the severity of your disability, learning to drive is mostly exactly the same as it is for everyone else; take your lessons, take your theory and practical test and hey presto!
The minimum age to learn to drive in the UK is 17, but if you receive the higher rate of Disability Living Allowance, including the mobility component you can start to learn to drive at 16. Furthermore, if you are aged between 16 and 24 you can get financial support to put towards the cost of driving lessons from a scheme called Motability.
When you have decided to learn to drive your fist step should be to seek out a professional driving instructor. Of course, all drivers should seek professional driving lessons, but as a disabled person, you may want to think about seeking out an instructor who has specialist knowledge of your specific needs. If possible try to find a driving instructor who has taken a specialist course in teaching disabled people. Always ask to see accreditation; instructors often take their special courses at Banstead Mobility Centre or the Transport Research Laboratory. Specialist instructors can teach you more than just how to drive. They can teach you how to get in and out of the car easily, how to get your wheelchair in and out of the car if you have one and how to use any adapted controls you may have. If your disability is minor, you may be able to learn in an unmodified car, or one that needs only minor alterations, making your search for an instructor and suitable vehicle slightly easier.
Once you have learnt to drive and have passed your test, you may want to buy your first car. Buying your first car is one of the most exciting things to do in life, but it comes with a big responsibility and considerable cost. Once you have decided on the car you want, adapted it where necessary and informed the DVLA of your purchase and circumstances, you will need to insure your car. It is unwise to assume that a regular insurance policy will meet the needs of a disabled driver. There are some insurers that specialise in insuring disabled people; Chartwell insurers are experienced and knowledgeable in the field of disabled motorist insurance. Their ‘Freedom’ range of disabled motorist policies offer highly competitive rates. More so, you will not be asked to answer invasive and irrelevant questions about your disability .You can learn more about disabled motorist insurance by vising chartwellinsurance.co.uk