An important advantage of leasing a car through the Motability Scheme are the adaptations that can be made to the vehicle. They make sure you are completely comfortable at the wheel and can drive safely, yet also improve access to the car and modify its storage areas. Many adaptations are covered by the regular payment you make monthly, and we can arrange for modifications to be made through our network of contacts.
You should make sure you understand which adaptations are required and those that are available before you apply, and here at Gates Ford we can help.
Generally there are three types of adaptations. The multiple driving adaptations include:
• Left foot accelerator
• Steering wheel ball
• Radial accelerator
• Push/pull hand control
• Infrared controls
• Easy-release handbrake.
The others are stowage modifications such as wheelchair stowage for the boot and roof, plus access adaptations which include a swivel seat. These alterations are fitted alongside normal vehicle controls, which means that named drivers can use the car as normal when they need to. Quite often Motability Adaptations can be fitted at no extra cost to you and they can sit alongside the traditional controls of the car so that other drivers can also operate the vehicle. As always, if you have any questions then please contact us today and speak with a member of our Motability team.
The swivel-seat adaptation helps you to enter and exit the vehicle if you have limited body movement. The exact motion of the seat depends on the model you select, but generally it allows the seat to turn and face out of the cabin or extend from it completely. It can also tip and lower manually or electronically for easier access.
The wheelchair swivel seat is similar but includes a second section that acts as the wheelchair base. The top section is the seat and can be directly connected to the car to include the above functions. Manual and electric versions are available, but please note that this feature requires more than one person to operate.
The electric boot hoist modification for wheelchairs helps you to load your chair into the cabin. Most electric hoists involve attaching the wheelchair before using the electric keypad to manoeuver it into the boot.
If the boot is needed for other items you can choose to store your wheelchair on the roof of the vehicle. Most rooftop stowage features use an electric hoist to lift and fold the chair into its own compartment on the top of the car.
A push/pull hand device can be fitted if you are unable to operate the car’s pedals using your feet. You instead accelerate by pulling the lever backwards and brake by pushing it forwards.
The radial accelerator is similar to the push/pull adaptation, as it is used by those who have difficulties controlling foot pedals. It is operated by pushing the lever down and in a slight radial action to accelerate. Braking is applied by pushing the lever away from the body.
A steering wheel ball gives you more control of the car and the steering action if you only have use of one hand or have difficulty turning the wheel. The feature lets you grip and control the wheel using your strongest hand.
If you are not able to push the accelerator using your right leg, a left foot accelerator will move the pedal to the other side so that you can safely control the vehicle’s speed. ‘Twin flip accelerators’ let you pull down only the accelerator that is needed while hiding away the other. Floor-mounted left foot accelerators include a cover over the pedal that isn’t in use.
An easy-release handbrake will help you to fix the car in place when you stop in traffic or park if you lack the flexibility or strength to use a standard handbrake. Some adaptations use buttons, and others a small lever.
Infrared controls place key functions right at your fingertips if you have limited upper body movement. This modification typically fits a keypad on the steering wheel. You simply push the relevant button to access the desired function.
The Motability Scheme experts at Gates Ford can help you to understand which adaptations are needed for your individual circumstances and which model is suitable for them.
Please contact your closest dealership to start the discussion and for answers to any more questions you may have.