Following a recent article by Thiis, we caught up with our Accessible Vehicle and Travel Advice Advocate Roger Warner for his thoughts:
It’s long been understood that it’s more expensive to maintain a good standard of living if you’re disabled. According to the Disability Charity Scope, in a report published in 2019, on average, disabled adults face extra costs of £583 per month. I’m disabled, and in the last 5 years I have had to buy an electric wheelchair, £10,000, and an accessible bathroom conversion, £10,000, another £2,000 on a riser chair, and £120 just for crutches, and the advance deposit and hand controls on my Motabilty Mini EV, plus much more.
It’s hardly surprising then that a 2020 government survey stated that disabled adults in England made 28% fewer trips than non-disabled adults. The main trip was to go shopping, where the disabled rode buses almost twice as much as the non-disabled.
Now, with the government plans to abolish sales of ICE vehicles by 2030, and with the overall push for green energy, we’ve seen costs increase for all forms of energy and transport. Additionally, to inflict even more pressure on the disabled, the average cost of an EV is much higher than that of an ICE vehicle.
In the last 2 years we have seen a huge drop in the availability of cheap and affordable cars via Motability’s lease scheme. As manufacturers begin to produce more expensive electric vehicles, the number of cars with nil advance payment has reduced dramatically. In October 2022 there were just 35 EV’s available on the Motabilty scheme, only two of those cars were available with nil advance payment. The average advance payment has also increased significantly making most of the suitable cars available out of reach to the large majority would be EV drivers. All this only compounds the existing problems disabled people face.
In a family with a disabled member, it could be Mum, Dad or one of the kids, the family car is often a Motability car. This allows the disabled person to join with their family members together as a group on journeys and outings. If that family can no longer afford to lease the Motabilty vehicle then the result will be, a disabled person left behind while the remainder of the family have no choice but continue to go about their journeys.