If you’re looking to find budget hand controls to use with your car then there are really only two options for you. Find out more below.
The best choices for you are either purchasing portable hand controls or second hand models. Now obviously the more basic your design, the cheaper it’s going to be in most cases. But you’ll find that aside from simply going for the worst brands (such as Drive Master) out there, you may want to take a look at simply getting a second hand pair.
People are more than happy to sell a second hair used set, and it has some advantages which don’t appear in other markets. Let’s say for example you’re buying a second hand printer there’s a good chance there may be some malfunction which is causing an error. There’s much more risk with buying technology based products of something going wrong – but when you’re buying what are essentially two hand levers and two metallic linkage chains there’s not that much to go wrong. Also just remember that the people selling them aren’t unscrupulous Amazon merchants who bought in a bunch of defective products cheap and are trying to rip people of – they’re people in the exact same situation who empathize with you and won’t want to screw you over.
The next option is to go with a set of mobile ones which also have a few benefits (although admittedly downsides to). To start with they’re purchased either on the internet or via a dealership – but if you go through the internet you’re cutting out the middle man and making a saving. If you go through the internet then you can also browse to find the cheapest set of driving equipment. You can utilize price comparison websites and most importantly check out reviews on what you’re buying to make sure you’re getting what you want. This is far removed from going to a disabled car dealership, having sales techniques try and convince you to do what they want, having limited choice, high prices and no knowledge on the product you’re getting. Furthermore they come with installation instructions which means as long as you can read and have a basic knowledge of cars you won’t need their help anyway (can you locate the acceleration and floor pedals? You’re in!).
You really need to go with what’s right for you, although perhaps I’d caution against mobile hand controls.
The reason for this is that I really see this kind of detachable driving aid as a temporary solution. It has downsides which make long term or constant use intolerable. Now if you’re young, fit, healthy and strong then you won’t have problems with them. But most disabled people don’t fall into all of those categories, and you need safer and more comfortable models.
Buying permanent handicap hand controls do usually do to be fitted by a mechanic but they come with a lot of upsides.
To start with they’re customizable to an extent – their handles and their position can be changed dramatically to cater from both the comfort and aesthetic perspective. This is in contrast to the one size fits all approach of temporary controls.
They’re firmer and have the possibility of mechanical linkage. Mechanical linkage reduces the effort required by redistributing it against the time taken for the action. Overall this makes things easier and takes the workload and cuts over a good sized chunk of it.
Finally there are designs such as by Menox or Veigel which allow for turn signals, windscreen wipers and washers and other car abilities to be used without taking your hands of the controls. The buttons to control these actions are placed on the handle which is on the lever. This means that if you want to signal to turn, accelerate and turn your steering wheel all at the same time you don’t have to perform any rapid switching. In fact you can just keep your hands in the same place – but these aren’t bought cheap and cost around 2000 dollars.
A good in between manufacturer of hand controls is GuidoSimplex and MPD. Whereas Drive Master and Monarch have models which cost 300-500 dollars, GS and MPS have those which are around 450-800 and serve as a good medium.
Summarising this post is easy, the question is if you want to invest a little more money and approach a long term solution to the problem of disabled driving by:
- Getting superior hand controls
- More comfortable designs
- More durable and relaxing models
Go for mobile controls which you can detach and reattach at will and are cheaper, but which most people ultimately replace when their patience grows thin at always having an inferior and sometimes annoying to use piece of equipment.
I would suggest going for the long term approach and making the leap that will last you longer, possibly save you money over time – but most importantly invest in a product you appreciate and keep you safer.