Car Insurance option for disable drivers

If you’re driver with a registered disability, finding the right car insurance for you may at first seem a challenge –this guide should help highlight the options available to you.

The Disability Discrimination Act 2005 states that it’s illegal for insurers to discriminate against disabled drivers. This means that insurers can’t refuse to provide cover for an individual because of their disability, and they can’t charge a disabled driver a higher premium for their car insurance cover either.

In theory, it should be straightforward for disabled drivers to get car insurance and pay a reasonable price for their cover. However disabled drivers may still come across issues when obtaining quotes, primarily because the vehicle they are trying to insure may have been modified to suit their requirements. Disabled drivers may require cars that have been modified in a range of ways, for example: fitted with electronic accelerators, hand controls, steering aids, pedal modifications or remote control devices.

Typically, when modifications to a car are declared, this may lead to an increase in the price of car insurance. However, there is a difference between a car that has been modified to improve the ease of use for a disabled driver, and one that has had modifications simply to boost its performance. When you tell your insurer about any modifications, ensure you are clear that they are to assist a disability – your insurer can then take this into account. It might be useful to contact a car insurance provider by phone to explain the situation.

It’s also important to check what kind of vehicle you would be given as a courtesy car if yours is involved in an accident: if your own vehicle has been adapted to help you drive it, a replacement car may also need the same adaptations.

You should consider your requirements should a modified courtesy car not be available to you.


Inform the DVLA

If you have a driving licence and what the DVLA defines as a ‘notifiable’ medical condition or disability, you should inform the DVLA. The DVLA considers notifiable conditions to include anything that might affect a motorist's ability to drive a car safely, including physical disabilities, visual impairments, neurological conditions such as epilepsy.  

You should contact the DVLA if you’ve developed such a condition or disability, or if it has got worse since you were issued with your driving licence. This isn’t an optional step - you could be fined as much as £1,000 if you haven’t told the DVLA, and even prosecuted if you’re involved in an accident.

It’s also important to inform the DVLA so that your driving licence is correctly registered - you may need to share these details with a car insurance provider if you need to discuss vehicle modifications.


Join the Motability Scheme

Some disabled drivers may be eligible to join the Motability Scheme, and it certainly does come with its advantages. You can join the Motability Scheme if you receive any of the following benefits:

  • Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance
  • Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment
  • War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement

The Motability Scheme allows disabled drivers to lease a car, changing the vehicle every three years, at an affordable price. But it also comes with insurance included, and with breakdown cover from the RAC, via RAC Motability Assist.

There’s further information about the Motability Scheme, including more details on eligibility and other FAQs, here.


Disabled Motoring UK

If you're a disabled driver who is unsure about car insurance and needs more support, Disabled Motoring UK can help. This charity supports not only disabled drivers but passengers too, as well as Blue Badge holders. Click here to check your eligibility for Blue Badge membership, which entitles holders to benefits including designated and reserved parking spaces.

Disabled Motoring UK state that while “many insurers did not understand about (car) adaptations so would not insure adapted vehicles” in the past, “these days it is generally much easier for disabled people to get quotes.” They’re on hand to help if needed.

Get a quote for RAC Car Insurance here or discuss your requirements for vehicle cover on 0330 159 1019.