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The Research Institute for Disabled Consumers is the UK’s leading expert in user-centred research involving disabled and older consumers. We have over 50 years’ experience of independent, specialist research.

Car search

Motoring advice for older and disabled peopleOur unique car search has car factsheets showing measurements and photos of car models.

You can search for:

  • accessibility features including seat heights, headroom, door openings and boot sizes
  • detailed car measurement data on over 1400 cars
  • to find cars that are easier to get into and out of
  • to find cars with flat boot sills and that can take an unfolded standard wheelchair
  • to find car boots with space to stow a wheelchair, mobility scooter, bike or other items
  • and compare the details of up to 4 cars

Go to car search

Choosing a car coverChoosing a car

Find out about simple equipment for older and disabled people to make driving a car easier, including car controls, with tips and things to consider.

Go to choosing a car 

Cars for families of disabled children

We consider the issues affecting disabled children and their families when choosing and using a car and look at relevant standard features and specialist equipment as well as the specific issues affecting disabled children, including supporting posture, challenging behaviour and  transporting equipment.

Go to family cars: a guide for families of disabled children

Getting in and out of a car

Whether you're in a wheelchair, or just find it difficult to get in and out of a car, we provide:

  • information and advice on useful techniques
  • details of aids or equipment for anyone needing extra help
  • information and practical advice on getting getting from your wheelchair into your car.

Go to getting into and out of a car

Car controls

Disabled and older drivers who need to adapt the driving controls can find out the range of controls with our information which includes:

  • a list of things to consider
  • details of type of car adaptations you may need
  • guidance and contact details of adaptation companies
  • advice on where to go for further advice.

Go to car controls

Wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs)

A wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) can make a great difference for disabled drivers and disabled passengers. Travelling in your wheelchair means you don't need to transfer in and out, or stow it in the boot, so you can travel more freely. We provide:

  • information on the different types of WAV available
  • advice on how to go about choosing and buying one
  • contact details of useful organisations that  can provide specialist advice.

Go to wheelchair accessible vehicles

Getting a wheelchair into a car

We consider what equipment is available to help get a wheelchair or mobility scooter into a car and transport it safely, including different types of hoists, racks and trailers.

Go to getting a wheelchair into a car

Motoring if you've a particular disability

Our series of print guides provides additional information for people with specific disabilities or conditions including:

  • things to look out for
  • information about adaptations
  • and where to go for further help
  • tips and advice from people with the particular condition or disability

Download our printable motoring guides

The print edition of 'Motoring with arthritis'

Driving safely for life: a guide for older driversDriving Safely book cover

  • What is there to consider when making decisions to stay safe and independent on the road?
  • What does the law says about ability to drive?
  • How best to assess capabilities?
  • What is on offer at a mobility centre?
  • What modifications to vehicles and good driving habits can help keep drivers on the road longer?

Go to older drivers guide 

The law & motoring

Depending on your disability or long-term health condition, there may be certain legal requirements you need to fulfil before you can legally drive and get insurance. You'll need to tell the DVLA about any adaptations to your car which will be recorded on your licence. 

Go to the law and motoring 


Adapting a car can be expensive but there is help with finance available and some adaptations are and the rules on what is VAT exempt. 

Go to car finance and find out the rules on VAT

This information from the Research Institute for Disabled Consumers is unbiased and we hope it will help you choose the right option to meet your needs. We don't sell products. Please search online by product name to find suppliers.

Last updated: August 2018

 See also: Motoring research | In-car safety technology