Disability cars have been around for decades. Yet the stylish, user-friendly disability vehicles available today from major suppliers like Allied Mobility have come a long way in recent years, both in quality and affordability.
Looking back, our modern disabled cars are part of the wider evolution of transport for disabled people. Some of you might remember the once-ubiquitous 'Ministry Blue' Invacar - a Health Department issued three-wheeler, famously seen around the perimeter of football grounds on match days in the 1970s. Or the big, bulky 'welfare buses' that were once the norm for hospitals and local authorities (some still use them to this day).
Since those days, thankfully, transport for disabled people has advanced massively. Disability car suppliers today offer both standard-type cars which have been adapted for use by disabled drivers and a wide range of mobility cars, MPVs and minibuses specially converted to make them fully wheelchair accessible vehicles.
Allied Mobility aims to cater for as many different disability-related transport needs as possible. Our solutions for disability cars today include a wide range of vehicle adaptations and wheelchair accessible vehicles, including the lowest Advance Payments available on the UK Motability Cars Scheme.
Even a few years ago, disability vehicles made to accommodate disabled people travelling in their wheelchairs were relatively rare, not least because of the high cost of such conversions.
During the 1980s, 90s and early 2000s, fully wheelchair accessible vehicles were largely provided by smallish local disability car suppliers, undertaking one-off conversions. Unfortunately this approach could be time-consuming and costly, with the result that disability cars were often too expensive for most disabled people, even where they were eligible for the Motability Scheme. Motability Advance Payments ran into thousands of pounds, meaning that owning your own disability car was beyond the reach of most disabled people.
This meant most wheelchair users were left with no option other than public transport. Of course for many disabled people service buses and even taxis - especially the traditional London style taxi - are not easily accessible, with wheelchair passengers commonly left to travel facing sideways, wheelchair unsecured and with no passenger seat belt.
Special transport, such as dial-a-ride schemes, provided a welcome lifeline yet often this was or still is infrequent, has to be booked well in advance and takes the form of high, awkward, square 'welfare buses' that very obviously shout 'disabled vehicle'.
Fortunately, disability transport options have improved by leaps and bounds over the past few years.
Perhaps the biggest transformation in disability transport has been in the number of disabled vehicles owned by individual disabled people and their families. This has come about as a result of advances in technology and manufacturing efficiency among larger, highly specialised disability car suppliers like Allied Mobility, working closely in partnership with the UK Motability Scheme.
Not so long ago, disability cars were unwieldy-looking, awkward to use and expensive to own. Nowadays:
Nowadays you can even hire a disabled vehicle, thanks to Allied Mobility's wheelchair accessible rentals service. This offers competitively priced disability car hire by the day, week or over an extended period, with a variety of collection and home delivery options.
Hire of disability cars is popular with disabled individuals planning a holiday or trip to visit friends or relatives and with relatives of disabled people who would like to take them out somewhere for a day trip or breakaway.