Disabled drivers have traditionally found it much harder to get car insurance for a variety of reasons, but times are changing. Today, drivers with a disability should not have to pay higher premiums or extra charges for insurance and there is a much wider range of deals available including excellent short-term car insurance quotes.
We will take you through everything you need to know about car insurance for disabled drivers with information about costs, vehicle adaptations, how many drivers you can have on your mobility vehicle, and advice on how to get the cheapest disabled driver car insurance.
Why might I need disabled driver insurance?
Every driver needs motor insurance and if you’re disabled, you might also require extra cover for any additional accessories and/or modifications that your vehicle needs to enable you to drive. This could include steering wheel adaptations, wheelchair ramps, clamps, lifts, and altered pedals. Motorists need to inform the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) if they have any medical conditions or disabilities that could impact their driving. While car insurance is not cheaper for disabled drivers, thanks to changes in the law, motorists who are registered disabled have access to the same categories of car insurance at comparable prices.
What type of insurance can disabled drivers get?
Car insurance policies are divided into three main categories which you can tailor to your lifestyle and budget:
- Third-party: this is legal minimum requirement and essentially provides protection if you injure someone or damage their property or vehicle. However, it doesn’t cover damage to your own car.
- Third-party, Fire and Theft: this is the same as above, but with the addition of also covering your own vehicle if it is stolen, damaged, or destroyed in a fire.
- Fully comprehensive: this covers everything mentioned above with the addition of any damage to your own car. Typically, this will give you full financial protection for your car as well as a personal injury safety net.
How much does car insurance cost for disabled drivers?
Car insurance should not cost you extra because you are disabled. Thanks to the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 and the Equality Act 2010, it is illegal for car insurance companies to charge disabled drivers extra simply because they have a disability. Prior to this, disabled drivers had few car insurance options and there was confusion around how vehicles adapted for disabilities affected insurance premiums with some companies seeing modifications with a risk factor. As a result of this legislation, many disabled drivers can now benefit from equally cheap car insurance deals and the same level of flexibility as everyone else.
How can I save money on disabled driver car insurance?
Today, disabled drivers have a variety of ways to save money on their car insurance. Disabled motorists make up 6% of road users and can often be seen as safer drivers by insurance companies so it is definitely possible to get a good deal. There are also some clever methods to save money on insurance and bring down your quote to ensure you get cheap disabled car insurance.
- Choice of car: it’s important to choose a car that is the best fit for your disability, but it’s worth being aware that smaller and less powerful cars cost less to insure, and this could be one way to save money.
- Keep your vehicle safe and secure: if you’re able to show that your car is kept secured in a garage (or similar) or you have installed security equipment such as a tracker or immobiliser, this could bring down the cost of your insurance.
- Drive less: It might seem obvious, but the fewer miles you drive each year, the less you’ll have to pay in car insurance.
- Increase your voluntary excess: Generally, the higher the excess, the lower the monthly payments. Just remember not to raise it to an amount beyond what you could afford if you had an accident.
- Consider Telematics or ‘black box’ insurance: these policies can save you money by showing your insurer that you’re a safe driver, while also helping to show all insurers that new drivers aren’t necessarily a risk.
- Pay-per-mile: this form of car insurance essentially means you pay for cover by the mile i.e. the fewer miles you drive, the less your policy will cost.
- Shop around: You’re unlikely to find the best price first time around so shop around and compare quotes. Sometimes the cheapest isn’t the best too.
- An additional driver: this can help mitigate or spread the risk for the insurance company, especially if the other driver is experienced with a good record.
- Check online discounts: insurance companies regularly offer specific online offers and discounts, and this could also save you hours on the phone.
- Go for the comprehensive policy: these are often cheaper than Third-Party or Third-party, Fire and Theft because they cover against the most risk.
- Temporary insurance: short term car insurance is a cheap alternative when you need to use a vehicle for a limited time. Unlike regular insurance, you can get covered fast and there are no long-term contracts. Cheap temporary car insurance is cost-effective, quick and easy to set up and gives you greater flexibility. Get a short term insurance quote
What might disabled drivers want to add to their car insurance?
Alongside cover for adaptations and accessibility modifications, disabled drivers may also want to consider adding the following to their policies:
- Additional named driver: this is especially important for disabled motorists who are not always able to drive themselves or carry out all their tasks independently. This could allow them to name a carer or family member to assist them. It can vary between providers, but you can sometimes have up to three drivers on a mobility car.
- Legal costs: in case of legal fees following an insurance claim.
- Breakdown: insures you for the cost of roadside assistance.
- Personal accident: this pays out if you become injured or die as a result of a road accident.
- Courtesy car: a courtesy car policy gives you access to a replacement vehicle while yours is being repaired. However, any replacement may not have the modifications or adaptations for your specific disability so it’s best to check with your insurer.
- Lost keys: this covers the cost of replacing your car keys if you lose them.
- Wrong fuel: this will cover repair costs if you accidentally fill up your car with the wrong type of fuel.
- Driving abroad: If you plan to take your car abroad, you will need to add protection. Please also be aware that driving in the EU could change if Brexit takes place so please check the latest guidance advance.
- Additional accessories: accessories such as sat-navs or extra lights may require extra cover.
- Additional modifications: this could include body parts, paintwork or engine upgrades.
What is the Motability scheme?
This allows disabled drivers to use their government-funded mobility allowance to lease a new vehicle (including a scooter or powered wheelchair) every three years and includes insurance, servicing, and breakdown assistance.
Do I qualify for the Motability scheme?
Disabled motorists are only eligible for the Motability scheme if they receive the higher rate of disability living allowance. This includes the War pensioners’ mobility supplement, the higher rate of the disability living allowance mobility component, or the enhanced rate of the personal independence payment mobility component.
What does Motability insurance cover?
A Motability insurance policy covers:
- Vehicle damage
- Vehicle loss
- A replacement vehicle if yours is lost or damaged, or loss-of-use benefit if no suitable vehicle is available
- Fire and theft damage
- Accidental damage
- Glass repair or replacement
- Permanently in-car equipment
- Any required and agreed modifications
- Any supplied vehicle accessories
- Replacement for stolen keys
- Charitable work (as long as you don’t get a regular fixed payment)
- Personal accidents up to £5,000 per person
- Driving abroad
There are exceptions, however. Motability insurance won’t cover you for:
- Other people driving your car (however there are specific exceptions where up to two additional named drivers can be added)
- Lost keys
- Non-essential accessories or modifications
- Personal belongings
- Interior damage (food stains, cigarette burns etc)
- Driving other vehicles with the exception of a vehicle provided or approved by the insurer
- Business use other than commuting
Due to some of the limitations of the Motability scheme, such as having to change car every three years and have modifications refitted as a result, motorists might decide to choose their own disabled driver car insurance so that they can keep the same vehicle and have greater flexibility. If you don’t qualify for the Motability scheme and you only need to use a vehicle for a limited period then you might want to consider temporary car insurance.
How do I register as a disabled driver?
You can check if a health or medical condition affects your driving, and what the law says about this, by visiting the gov.uk website. Depending on your disability, you may also be eligible for a blue badge. This scheme enables motorists with mobility problems to park closer to shops and public facilities. You can see whether you qualify for a blue badge and apply at gov.uk.
Cheap car insurance options for disabled drivers
If you’re disabled and you drive or own a vehicle, then it’s a legal requirement to have at least third-party motor insurance. If you feel you aren’t getting value for money with your current deal, you may want to look elsewhere for cover. In the short-term, you may want to consider cheap temporary cover as an alternative while you organise annual insurance.
A temporary insurance policy could be a great option if you’re looking for ways to reduce costs. Tempcover provides various types of short term cover, including one month insurance options – ideal for when you need coverage on a short-term basis.