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Driving after a stroke: what you need to know

Strokes are scary things to go through, but they are more common than you might think. Many people recover from a stroke to varying degrees, but the most important thing to remember is that it can be possible to lead a normal life and regain your independence. And having a car can be a great place to start. The Motability Scheme can help you exchange all or part of your mobility allowance for a vehicle, helping you stay mobile – whether you’re driving yourself or you have someone to drive for you.

Return to driving after a stroke

It’s very possible that you might be able to drive again after a stroke with or without adaptations, but to begin with, you are not allowed to drive for a month after the stroke because it may affect your ability to drive safely. For example, you could have physical or visual problems, difficulty concentrating for long periods or difficulty making quick decisions. You can find out more about this on the Stroke Association website with an audio version here.

Woman driving

It can be possible to return to driving after a stroke

After a month you may be able to drive again, provided your doctor agrees to it. Your GP and the DVLA will decide together if you can still drive and you may then come into the category of drivers who need to be regularly assessed and have to renew their driving licence every three years.

Once you are able to get back on the road, there is a lot of support available to help keep you there. If you qualify for the Higher Mobility Allowance under PIP (Personal Independent Payment), you can use this to lease a Motability Scheme vehicle. You can take a Driving Mobility Assessment to see what, if any, extra help you need driving, and this will help you decide what kind of car you want. Beyond this, it will help you decide what adaptations you may need. You can find your nearest dealer and make an appointment to browse the cars available and find out what’s best for your needs.

Adaptations available

Adapted car

There are hundreds of different car adaptations available on the Motability Scheme

The Motability Scheme offers over 400 adaptations for your car that can help you drive if you have limited mobility following your stroke. For example, if you find during a mobility assessment that using standard pedals for braking or acceleration has become more difficult, you may be better off using a hand control such as a push/pull device. This allows you to control the speed of the car with your hands by pushing or pulling a lever to accelerate or brake.

If you can no longer drive

If you can no longer drive following a stroke, you can absolutely still enjoy the benefits of the Motability Scheme. You can nominate up to two named drivers who can, using your mobility allowance, lease a Scheme car on your behalf. This can be a carer, family member or friend – it’s up to you! They can also use the car when you’re not there, as long as the journey is ultimately benefiting you, such as going food shopping or running errands.

You could also use your mobility allowance to lease a mobility scooter or a powered wheelchair, depending entirely on what is most suitable for your needs. Whether you’re driving yourself or you have someone else drive for you, having a stroke doesn’t need to curb your independence and freedom to go out and about!

man driving car

You can nominate up to two named drivers with the Motability Scheme

Benefits of joining the Scheme

There are many benefits to joining the Motability Scheme. These include:

  • A new car of your choice every three years
  • Insurance
  • Servicing and maintenance
  • Full breakdown assistance from the RAC
  • Replacement tyres fitted by Kwik Fit
  • Window and windscreen repair
  • Many adaptations at no extra cost

If you would like to find out more information about the Motability Scheme, you can request a free information pack or arrange a call back from our friendly team. You can also check if you would be able to join using our eligibility checker and see the key steps for joining the Scheme.


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