As part of your Motability Scheme lease, you can add up to three named drivers for your car or Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) – these can be yourself, friends, family or carers. In this article, Scheme customer Sarah discusses how adding other drivers onto her lease allows her to stay mobile, even when she is in pain.
I love being able to drive. Having a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) is so freeing for me, as it allows me to be independent – I can go wherever I want, whenever I want. The Motability Scheme gives me that freedom.
However, my chronic health conditions mean that I’m not always able to drive. Even though my vehicle is adapted, I’m sometimes in too much pain or too fatigued to get behind the wheel.
The Motability Scheme allows you to add three named drivers onto your lease – so that you can drive, along with two friends or family members. They can be added to your lease as Permanent or Temporary drivers, and the quickest way to do this is by using your online account. I wrote all about how that can be done in a previous article.
Why I decided to add another driver onto my lease
A few months ago, my boyfriend and I were on a day out together when I started to feel unwell. We decided to cut our plans short after only an hour of being there, and had to travel forty minutes to return home. We were in my WAV, as we always are because I use a powerchair and find it more convenient to travel this way. Because of this, I was the only one who was able to drive us back.
I was in so much pain for that whole journey. The drive felt like it took hours, and I was close to tears as the pain in my shoulder and hip was horrific. Chronic pain is a symptom of having Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, and when it flares up I feel awful. As soon as I got home, I went straight to bed. I spent the next few days recovering from a bad chronic pain flare-up, and as soon as I was able to, I added my boyfriend as a permanent driver to my lease.
Having someone to share the driving with
Thankfully, we haven’t had to come home early on any other days out since this happened. Even still, my boyfriend has taken over quite a lot of the driving when we’re coming home after an event or a day out. It takes a lot of the pressure off me, as I am usually quite tired and in pain by the end of the day. Having another driver means that I don’t always need to worry about being alert and concentrating on the road. He always offers to drive and is so considerate of how driving affects me, even though I do like to do it sometimes. Sharing the driving is helping me a lot, and I really appreciate it.
I wasn’t sure I would like being a passenger at first, as I really enjoy driving my own vehicle. But after a long day, it is quite nice – particularly when I’m experiencing chronic pain and fatigue. Especially in the colder months, I am certainly not going to pass up the opportunity of resting my sore bones.
I love the fact that the Motability Scheme gives customers the flexibility to have three drivers on the lease, with the option to be a driver yourself and have two other people added on as well. As well as my boyfriend, I have also added my dad as my other named driver. This means that he can come with me to hospital appointments or run errands for me when I’m not able to.
If you’re a Scheme customer and haven’t done so already, consider adding another named driver to your lease. The online account makes the process so easy and I’ve found it really beneficial – it’s changed my driving experience for the better.