What a lot of disabled drivers worry about is the cost of handicap hand controls for driving cars. Remember it’s not just the cost of the controls you need to be aware of; there are other peripheral costs which will hit you and need to be calculated into your budget. Find out more below.
When you’re looking to find out the different costs associated with driving a vehicle as a disabled person there are several price tags which must be included in the total figure. Firstly are the cost of the controls, and this varies based on whether you want permanent, semi-permanent or portable hand controls – as well as by brand, model and the dealership (or online/offline shop) you purchased them from.
Generally you’ll find mobile hand controls to be the cheapest, followed by semi-permanent and then permanent. Remember that if they’re portable you can buy them on the internet which allows you to shop around and get the cheapest price. Most importantly you can check out user reviews of the product you’re going to buy too. Next they don’t need professional installation, anyone who can read a manual and knows where the floor pedals are is competent enough to attach and detach them when necessary.
You’ll find fixed controls (such as by Menox) and semi-fixed (many GuidoSimplex devices) to be more expensive as well as needing professional mechanical engineering. Both of these require a mechanic to install, with the difference being that semi-permanent controls have detachable action points. A good example is the GuidoSimplex acceleration wheel which sits over the steering wheel, but is easily detachable allowing driving without using hand controls. Permanently fitted designs cannot be removed and means a non disabled person would need to use the disability controls.
The next thing which you need to look into is disabled driver’s insurance. Now there’s a lot of misinformation when it comes this kind of insurance so I just want to simply it for anyone. If there’s a genuinely increased chance of your being more likely to sustain an injury based on your condition (perhaps if you have seizures or blackouts) then you will be charged a premium. However in most cases you’ll find that your insurance should be a reasonable and you are protected under U.S law (and most equality laws in most other countries).
The best method of getting the cheapest and best disabled driver’s insurance is to do it the old fashioned way. A ring around with negotiations is by far the best method and sentences such as “The Americans with Disabilities Act which was passed in 1990 makes me ineligible for premiums without evidence suggesting my condition increases my chance of crashing” are your weapons of choice. Use website comparisons, look on their websites, ring them up, ask them for better offers, tell them who got you a better deal where and why – and so on.
Installation fees for hand controls for cars vary depending on the extent of the modifications to your vehicle as well as most importantly who’s doing it. In some cases you’ll be referred from the auto dealership to a mechanic shop or other times they’ll handle it in store. It’s really important to ask early on if the cost of installation is included within the cost of the hand controls – and how much this is. It’s also worth asking what the cost is without the installation – and ringing up other shops and asking them if they could install it for you. Remember you’re not making extensive modifications to your car, all that this auto dealership has is an instruction manual sent from the manufacturer and by ringing them up you can have the exact same done at a fraction of the price.