Hi there - my stepfather had a stroke in 2020 and has significant weakness of his right arm and leg. He regained his driving licence last year with vehicle adaptations and, in his haste to get some independence back, bought a Kia Soul. He now finds this too heavy to drive for any real distance and is now thinking about getting a Smart car. Obviously he can’t test drive it without the adaptations, so it seems like a big commitment and it don’t want this to go the same way as the Kia.
I wondered if anyone had any experience of this, and could recommend any cars which they or their relatives have found easy to drive after a stroke?
Many thanks in advance for your help!
Hi @Sam002 just popping by to say hi & welcome to the community. I can’t offer any recommendations for cars as mine isn’t adapted just an automatic. Hopefully others will be able to offer suggestions. A lot will depend on what sort of adaptations he needs.
Could he try speaking with motability? I’m not sure if they will offer advice but no harm in asking i guess.
If he is not in a huge hurry then Motability run events over the summer which all the makes of car and adaptation companies attend. Search ‘Motability The Big Event’. He should be able to arrange test drives.
Will your father be driving alone? I have found the cables at public charging points very heavy and difficult to pull around the car. Could you take him to check before he goes electric. Of course if he doesn’t drive any distance from home he can charge at home without worrying.
I would echo Janet’s comments. Those motability shows are excellent, whole range of cars and test drives.
We had a wheelchair to accommodate and being able to wheel one in and out of half a dozen cars and going for a test drive in a couple made all the difference.
It’s possibly easier with wheelchair vehicles but we have bought our last 3 off eBay. 2 from specialist dealers and one privately where we paid for an AA inspection.
A number of dealers will bring cars to your home with no obligation.
Furthur thoughts- Does your father struggle to get in and out of a car? do you need to carry a wheelchair or other equipment?
RIDC ( Research Institute for Disabled Consumers) maintains a database of car measurements such as: seat heights, headroom, door openings and boot sizes
Car search | RiDC
Is this convenient for you ?
I have a disabled colleague, she drives a VW T-Roc, adjusted to her requirements. She loves it.
I have a Golf auto. fortunately my right leg is the good leg
Hi everyone - thank you so much to you all for taking the time to reply. He’s got a twin flip left foot accelerator and a Lodgesons R213 Keypad control on his current car (if that means anything to anyone…). He’s very keen to try and get something asap, so I think we’ll start by having a look at a few makes/models and seeing how he goes getting in and out etc. I’ll try and persuade him to hold fire until May if I can though, The Big Event looks like it would be really useful.
Thanks again for all the replies, and please - if anyone else has any thoughts, do keep them coming.
I’m fairly sure that if you want a test drive at The Big Event you have to book in advance.