For people with disabilities, the diminishing of independence is one of the hardest things to accept. Tasks such as driving become very difficult, if not impossible, for a person with a physical disability, forcing them to depend on someone to drive them around or to rely on public transport, which can be a lottery in some locations.
With driverless cars gearing up to hit the roads in the months and years to come, the motoring world looks set to experience one of its biggest shifts very shortly. Autonomous car technology is already being looked at by big-name vehicle manufacturers like Lexus and Mercedes, while Tesla has already begun to trial its driverless Autopilot system on UK roads. Google is testing its own automated technology as well, while there are rumours that Apple has teamed up with German car maker BMW to create its own vehicle — there’s speculation that this set of wheels will be automated too.
Sometimes customising a vehicle to make it wheelchair-accessible is a lifeline. It means freedom, comfort and control. Renault has been at the forefront of supplying suitable base vehicles into the Motability market for wheelchair accessibility for many years. Renault say, “Our converter partners are able to offer a great selection of vehicles to meet the specific needs of the wheelchair user, so whether you are a Motability customer or looking to outright purchase a wheelchair accessible vehicle, then we can introduce you to our converter partners who are experts in this field.
One of the leading motor dealerships in southern England is gearing up for an increase in Motability Scheme customers looking to buy self-charging hybrid Toyota vehicles.
Family-run Snows Motor Group has seen a rise in consumer interest for hybrids, which combine an electric motor and standard combustion engine to reduce vehicle emissions.
It is a trend borne by latest UK industry figures for new cars - registrations of petrol and diesel cars fell whilst hybrid and plug-in vehicles posted an increase of nearly 4%.
The Motability Scheme is the lending car scheme for disabled people.
National motor retailer Lookers, who are widely known for their variety of disability cars, is set to encourage those with a variety of disabilities to visit its dealerships with the launch of the first Motability Awareness Week across its network.
The week, to take place between 6th-13th October, coincides with the National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour initiative and will see each participating dealership make changes to their showrooms such as turning down the lights and turning the music off.
Data from a new international survey of wheelchair users on behalf of the Toyota Mobility Foundation highlights the need for innovation in the field of assistive technology to allow people with limited mobility in the UK the opportunity to fulfil their potential in the workplace. The impact of which could have huge consequences for the estimated 65 million people worldwide who use a wheelchair and for the global economy.
Launched in 2013, The Renault Captur is ideal for drivers who need to carry lots of equipment, but who don’t want to compromise on lower running costs.
Last year it was named Best Compact SUV at the BusinessCar Awards, and two years ago the Captur gained the accolade of Most Highly Rated Car at the Honest John Awards – which are voted for by website users.
Dan Harrison, Editor of honestjohn.co.uk, said:
“Families like its outstanding value and practicality with owners very satisfied thanks to its frugal fuel economy and everyday usability – and giving it five stars as a result.”
Paul Flanagan, Managing Director, Groupe Renault UK and Ireland, said:
If you’ve ever owned a Honda Jazz or even been in a passenger in one, you’ll know how comfortable the car is – but don’t just take our word for it. The Jazz is a great all-rounder and has been popular since it was launched back in 2001. Now in its third generation, the Jazz was awarded Most Reliable Small Car in What Car? Awards 2017 and has just added another piece of silverware to its trophy cabinet.
In fact, Honda recently bagged three of the top awards in this year’s Honest John Awards – hosted by the popular motoring website – with the Jazz winning the gong for small hatchback of the year.
What the experts say
Wheelchair accessible transportation can be a huge problem for those with a disability and/or those that care for someone with a disability. Public transportation can be difficult and unreliable, plus it does not always get you to where you need to go. Fortunately, in recent times there have been some incredible advances in disability friendly motoring with many vehicles now available for those with a disability to either drive themselves or ride as passenger safely and comfortably.
- Motability Scheme customers rate Ability Matters Group the best dealership in the UK
Ability Matters Group dealership is celebrating being named the UK’s leading scooter and powered wheelchair dealership in the annual Motability Scheme awards. The award for large fleet Dealer of the Year recognises outstanding service to customers of the Motability Scheme, and is based on direct customer feedback. The Group was rated over 9.8 out of 10, demonstrating exceptional commitment to going above and beyond for their customers.
Lyndon Reeks, Commercial Manager at Ability Matters Group, commented:
The Mobility Roadshow, which has been providing opportunities for disabled and older people to find out about driving and other mobility options since 1983, is to close.
The decision has been taken by the Board of the Charity, Mobility Choice, which has run the event since 1998, in the light of falling exhibitor numbers over recent years. In particular, the growth of the Motability One Big Day and other events, which many of the Mobility Roadshow exhibitors can attend free of charge, has had a significant impact on the viability of the Mobility Roadshow.
Mobility Scooter Use Questionnaire
The department of Social Sciences at Nottingham Trent University are conducting a research project to understand mobility scooter use and the experiences encountered whilst using one. Specifically, we are interested in the hazards that mobility scooter users face whilst using a mobility scooter, particularly at road crossings. The project is funded by the Road Safety Trust.
Our ultimate aim is to increase the safety for mobility scooter users on the road. We also hope that mobility scooter users will be more likely to reap the benefits of using a mobility scooter.
Huge Turnout for Mercedes-Benz V-Class Reveal
A full-capacity audience recently joined Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle specialists Brotherwood to celebrate the launch of their new “Klastar” Mercedes-Benz V-Class WAV at an exclusive unveiling event, hosted by the prestigious Haynes International Motor Museum in Sparkford, Somerset.
Following extensive research and development, Lewis Reed is delighted to be the only wheelchair accessible vehicle company in the UK to be able to offer its customers four models from the VW Caddy range. Several models will be on show on stand TD1 at the Mobility Roadshow.
The Caddy Life SWB is a compact, functional vehicle which can accommodate twofront passengers (driver and passenger). The rear of the vehicle features a flexi-seat system which allows either 5 passengers and no wheelchair user or by splitting the three seats in the back into a 2 and 1, the vehicle can accommodate a wheelchair alongside a single passenger seat ensuring a total of 4 people (including a wheelchair user) can use the vehicle.