Adapted Vehicles for People with a Disability

Your disability does not have to prevent you from operating a vehicle. New technologies are coming onto the market every day that can assist you with driving a car. These adaptive technologies are allowing many more people to get behind the wheel safely.  

The Cost of Adapting Your Vehicle 

 

Finding the right equipment to operate your vehicle with a disability will take a little research and planning. With so many options available to you, you need to know what you are looking for to adapt your car so that you can find it at an affordable price.  

 

Many services will offer to install disability packages on your vehicle. If you plan to use one of these services, make sure that you are not over-purchasing adaptations. Only install what you need so that you can operate your vehicle safely. 

 

Adaptations to your car can be something as simple as having a special cushion put in the back so that you can sit better or having your car seat put on a swivel for easier access into and out of the vehicle. You may need hand controls installed in the vehicle or special mirrors attached for more comfortable viewing. You may also need a place to store your wheelchair inside a van or on the back of the car. 

 

Start with a list of what you would like in a vehicle and speak with your medical care provider to see if they have any recommendations for you to drive based on your conditions. Once you know what you need, you can find the right equipment. 

 

If cost is an issue, you may be able to get some help. Many charitable organizations are willing to customize a new vehicle to accommodate the needs of a disabled person. They may offer full or partial coverage of the costs for the adaptation. Most of these services, however, want to do it on a new vehicle or one that is less than a year old so that they know you will have use of a car for an extended period of time. 

 

There may also be government agencies that can help you cover the costs of adapting your vehicle. These may be a little more difficult to obtain because they often have long waiting lists. However, it is important to investigate the option anyway. 

 

The use of adaptive technologies can help people with different disabilities keep or gain independence. With a proper driving license and an adapted vehicle, the only thing left is to fill the tank and drive. 

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More information

Please note: VAT is removed in the checkout process

In the UK, disabled people do not have to pay VAT when buying certain disability aids and services (This can be claimed by friend or family member purchasing on their behalf). Not everything supplied to disabled people is necessarily zero-rated for VAT. Goods and services on which you do not have to pay VAT are usually known as 'zero-rated' or 'eligible for VAT relief.

Who is eligible for VAT relief?

You must be 'chronically sick or disabled' to qualify for VAT relief. The HMRC comment on this is as follows. A person is 'chronically sick or disabled' if they either:

VAT Relief on our Disability Aids

All products on the Aids for Mobility website are flagged with an option to claim VAT relief during Checkout if it applies to that item. When you add a zero-rated product or service to your Basket, you will be asked to tick a checkbox to confirm that you, or the person for whom you are buying the item, are eligible for VAT Relief.

How VAT relief works

If you are claiming VAT Relief you will be asked to complete an extra few questions during Checkout, where we will ask you to provide brief details of your disability and confirmation that the product is for 'personal or domestic use'. We will keep a record of this declaration along with your order details. You can then buy the product(s) in your Basket at a price that excludes VAT. You will be asked to make this declaration each time you place an order that includes zero-rated products. It is a legal requirement that we record this information for every order, and we apologise for the inconvenience.

More information from HMRC

You can find out more about VAT Relief for disabled people on the HM Revenue and Customs website. If you cannot find the answer to your questions there or would prefer to speak to an adviser, you can call their Helpline on 0845 302 02 03.

The helpline is open from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday. (Closed weekends and bank holidays).