Learning to drive brings its own challenges if you have a disability. But don’t worry, lots of driving schools have specially trained disability driving instructors. There are also specialist schools devoted to training disabled drivers. As well as an understanding of the support a disabled driver needs, they’ll have access to cars that have been adapted for disabled drivers.
Here’s what you need to know about learning to drive if you are disabled.
You may be able to start learning early
Most drivers can start learning to drive on their 17th birthday. But some disabled drivers can get a year’s headstart. If you receive higher rate mobility component of DLA (Disability Living Allowance) or the enhanced rate mobility component of PIP (Personal Independence Payment), you can apply for your provisional licence three months before your 16th birthday. That way you can start learning when you turn 16.
Finding a specialist driving instructor
Big driving schools like RED will have instructors who’ve had additional training to support disabled learners.
Another way of finding a disability driving instructor is to look at disabilitydrivinginstructors.com. You can enter your postcode and search for disability driving instructors near you. There’s also lots of useful advice and tips on learning to drive with a disability. Whether you have a physical disability, special educational needs, or hearing difficulty, there’s an instructor out there for you.
Learning in a Motability car
If you and your family have a Motability car you can learn to drive in it. You’ll need to be with a driver aged 21 or over who is insured on the car and has held a full licence for at least three years.
A huge variety of vehicles are available from Motability. There are cars with no adaptations through to specially adapted vehicles for wheelchair users.
Motability may even help with the cost of your driving lessons.