For those of you that don’t know I get chauffeured around all day by my brilliant family, friends and helpers in my wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV). I did have the opportunity to learn to drive when I was 16 however, it was quite expensive. I would have had to get a car adapted before I even knew if I’d manage to drive it. Also, being a passenger in a car is my time to relax. I am driving most of the day, having to dodge everything in my path however, when I’m in the car I can just sit back and watch the world go by or sing my heart out (even though I’m a terrible singer).
During the summer of 2017 I started to look into what WAVs were available for when my Mobility contract ran out in the summer of 2018. I thought researching a year ahead would give me plenty of time to find the perfect car. However, it was definitely not as simple as I thought. There wasn’t much to choose from, which you’d think would be easier but, it is surprisingly stressful. Therefore, I decided to renew my contract for another year and give myself more time.
It’s come up fast though and now it is time to begin the hunt again, I’ve had my car coming up for 6 years now and it’s time for an upgrade. I love my current Peugeot Horizon, it’s served well but, it’s definitely had its problems. The main issue being I cannot hear a thing when we’re driving around, especially on the motorway. I sit behind the driver and front passenger so, when there isn’t another passenger beside me in the back of the car then I struggle to have a conversation with someone. I’m not very good with car parts or where they are, but I think all I hear is the sound of the engine and maybe the vibrations through my wheelchair with driving 70mph on the motorway is just not the best combination. Therefore, if we’re driving on the motorway, we just turn up the music and have a sing song. It might look like we’re ignoring each other but, there’s no point even trying to talk.
Another reason I’m not getting this car again is because every taxi firm wherever you go uses the same car, and when I’m at festivals, on a night out or even sometimes just driving about Dundee in the daylight, people try and jump in. Luckily my doors are automatically locked until you press a button but, it’s still frustrating. I would love a car that doesn’t look like it’s for wheelchairs, but of course I wouldn’t get in it then. When you are shopping for a new car it’s meant to be exciting, thinking about all the great road trips you are going to have. For me it’s stressful and a little disheartening because I see all these nice cars that are just unsuitable. At the Mobility show there were different sections for different capabilities and I just kept get drawn to the Fiat 500s, BMWs, Jeeps and many more cars that are adapt for people who are able to sit in standard car seats. My helper Linzi enjoyed sitting in them all though.
I don’t really want to disclose the cars that I’m looking at just now though because it is still all a bit up in the air, but I will keep you posted on my final decision and other choices that were in the mix. Lets just hope I can make up my mind before August or I’ll have no car at all.