FAQ

 

I have been told that I need to drive a car with modifications, where should I start?

The important thing to know is that you will be able to drive. The first thing you need to do is get assessed by an occupational therapist to ensure that you will be able to drive a modified car. You can get into contact with an occupational therapist specialised for driving at this link: www.otaus.com.au/find-an-occupational-therapist An occupational therapist will talk you through all the necessary requirements in getting your own car, as well as discussing with you every option you can take during all the stages of this process.

Will my car modification(s) change the safety rating of my car?

Modifications are assessed by Australian Standards regarding their ability to be used on a national road system.  If they are accepted by the Transport Accident Commission (TAC), then the safety rating of your car will remain the same.

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What companies do vehicle modifications?

Car modifications need to be installed by specialist automotive engineers and mechanics who have experience in this area and can ensure all modifications meet the necessary safety requirements.

The Independent Living Centres (ILC) in all states provide a comprehensive list of suppliers across Australia who will install car modifications, follow this link for the full list: http://ilcaustralia.org.au/products/7696

The Australian Government website also provides a comprehensive list of suppliers from across Australia who will install car modifications, please follow the link below: http://jobaccess.gov.au/node/12189

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What car modifications are available?

There are many car modifications available and it is important that the modifications are tailored to the person's specific needs. Modifications are generally fitted to a car with an automatic transmission.
Vehicle modifications can include simple additions to the car such as:

  • Sliding boards that assist the driver to transfer into or out of the car
  • seat belt extensions
  • car seat cushions that provide a more comfortable seating position and/or reduce vibration

Other modifications can be more costly and involve greater adaptation to the vehicle such as:

  • hand controls which enable the vehicle to be operated using the upper limbs rather than using standard foot pedals
  • changeable accelerator pedals
  • hoists that enable an individual to be lifted from their wheelchair into the car seat
  • wheelchair hoists which lift the wheelchair onto the roof for storage during transportation

For the full list, follow this link to the Jobaccess website: http://jobaccess.gov.au/content/vehicle-modifications

The Independent Living Centre provides information about all car modifications available. There are Independent Living Centres available in each state, follow this link for more information: http://ilcaustralia.org.au/search_category_paths/488

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Can somebody else drive my modified car?

Others may use the car as long as they use it on a regular basis, i.e. they do not utilise the modifications. Most modifications usually allow cars to be driven in the regular way, and that is how they should be used.

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Will I still be covered in the event of a collision if I have car modifications fitted?

An Occupational Therapist must check that the modification paperwork meets compliance, that is, modifications are not being applied by an unreliable operator. If these standards are met, you will be covered by road authorities in the event of a collision. Your driving licence must state that your car has modifications.

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How do I know if it meets compliance?

Every state and territory has its own standards for vehicles with modifications. Contact your states transport services and they will be able to give you all the information.

Contact details for the transport services can be found at:
Victoria:
http://www.transport.vic.gov.au/about-us/contact-us

New South Wales:
http://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/contact

Queensland:
http://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/About-us/Contact-us.aspx

Northern Territory:
http://www.transport.nt.gov.au/about-us/contact-us

Western Australia:
http://www.transport.wa.gov.au/aboutus/15761.asp

South Australia:
http://www.sa.gov.au/subject/Transport,%20travel%20and%20motoring

Tasmania:
http://www.transport.tas.gov.au/contact

Australian Capital Territory:
http://www.transport.act.gov.au/files/contact

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Do motoring organisations throughout Australia offer specialised assistance?

Yes, in the case that your wheelchair or scooter is immobilized, many companies, such as the RACV or RACQ, will provide Emergency roadside assistance. This is a 24hr service.

If the problem is unable to be fixed on the spot, a taxi will be dispatched to transport you and your wheelchair or scooter to your chosen destination.

For more information, and to get in contact with a company from which you can purchase roadside assistance in your state visit the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) website at http://www.aaa.asn.au/ or call (02) 6247 7311.

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Where can I get driveway service at petrol stations these days?

Driveway assistance is a service which is offered at independent petrol stations within certain states of Australia.  It offers direct assistance for individuals who experience difficulty filling up their cars with petrol due to a disability or medical reasons.

Most service stations are self-serve and it is up to the station itself to decide whether it offers driveway assistance. It is often offered by independent petrol stations, and those in rural areas. It may also be offered as a courtesy and convenience by stations who have the ability to offer it. If you are a regular customer you may also be able to meet these requests

Driveway assistance is offered in Victoria and Tasmania by certain petrol stations under the TACC and VACC. Please follow the links below to find the locations of petrol stations which offer this service:

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What are the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)?

National Disability insurance Scheme (NDIS). The is a national scheme designed to improve disability services by helping to provide greater control and decision making to people with disabilities in Australia. The new scheme is currently being rolled out in 3 areas around Australia and hopes to provide long term, high quality support for those who have a permanent disability that impacts on their life. It will also include a focus on early intervention and increasing choices for those managing disabilities.

For more information visit the NDIS website at www.nationaldisabilityinsurancescheme.gov.au

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I have been told I need an Occupational Therapist to assess my driving, where can I locate one?

Occupational Therapy Australia provide a list of Occupational Therapists who provide driving assessments, sorted by state.

Follow the link below for more information:
http://www.otaus.com.au/find-an-occupational-therapist

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Why does an Occupational Therapist need to assess my driving?

An Occupational Therapist is needed to assess the functional impact of the individual's medical condition on their ability to drive safely. The Occupational therapist will prescribe vehicle modifications, support the driver and talk with licensing authorities to ensure the driver receives a rehabilitation program perfect for their needs.

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I have been told that the licensing authority in my state needs to know about my vehicle modification, why is this?

The licensing authority in your state needs to ensure that the individual driver has no medical concerns that would prevent them from driving safely. You will be issued a specialised driving licence that will state exactly what modifications you have been approved to drive with.

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Is there training or driving schools, available to teach you how to drive with car modifications?

Yes, there are private instructors or driving schools available to teach you how to drive a car with modifications.
The Independent Living Centres (ILC) in all states provide a comprehensive list of driver instructors Contact http://ilcaustralia.org.au/products/7696
The Australian Government website also provides a comprehensive list  of Driver Instructors from across Australia who will install car modifications, please follow the link below: http://jobaccess.gov.au/node/12189
Or
Contact an occupational therapist via the occupational therapy Australia website at http://www.otaus.com.au/
Remove all but and ad the following re DIabeties.

 

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How will being diagnosed with diabetes mellitus affect my driving?

Ausroads advises that a driver with diabetes mellitus should not drive following a severe hypoglycaemic event until they have been cleared by the appropriate medical practitioner. Ausroads also advises that people who have diabetes mellitus should always check their blood sugar prior to driving, and every two hours on long trips, ensuring to snack if the trip is likely to be more than 2 hours.

For more information you can download the Ausroads guidelines at http://www.austroads.com.au/assessing-fitness-to-drive

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“I have diabetes; how often do I need to assess my vision?”

Retinopathy (or the breakdown of the retina in the eye) is treated by Ausroads the same way as any vision disorder. Vision tests must be undertaken periodically, as part of the conditional license you will receive for having a vision disorder. Periodical time frames will vary depending on the severity of vision loss.

For more information you can download the Ausroads guidelines at http://www.austroads.com.au/assessing-fitness-to-drive

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Where can I find out about public transport accessibility in my city?

Please follow the links below to find the accessibility of public transport systems in your city:

New South Wales
http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/explore/getting-around/accessibility

Northern Territory
http://transport.nt.gov.au/public/bus/accessible-transport

Queensland
http://www.qld.gov.au/disability/out-and-about/public-transport/

South Australia
http://www.sa.gov.au/subject/Transport,+travel+and+motoring/Public+trans...

Tasmania
http://www.transport.tas.gov.au/passenger_information_and_forms/disabili...

Victoria
http://ptv.vic.gov.au/getting-around/accessible-transport/

Western Australia
http://www.transperth.wa.gov.au/Default.aspx?TabId=170 or http://www.transperth.wa.gov.au/PassengerInfo/PeoplewithDisabilities/Fac...

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Where to rent modified cars across Australia (as driver or passenger)?

There are various services nationwide that offer hire cars with hand controls and hire car with wheelchair access. The table below outlines the companies that offer this service. If you are looking to hire a car fitted with modifications, Disability Car Hire (NSW) has the widest range of modified vehicles available, and though they are located in NSW they offer a delivery service to anywhere in Australia for an additional fee.

Company Number Website To Drive Passenger
Wheelaway (Nation-wide) 1800 133 320 http://www.wheelaway.com.au/ No Yes
Hire Mobility (WA) (08) 9309 3011 http://www.hiremobility.com.au/ No Yes
‘Wheelies’ Van Rental (SA, VIC, NSW, QLD) 1300 352 742 http://www.wheeliesvanrentals.com.au/ No Yes
EuropCar (VIC, NSW) 1300 131 390 View website No Yes
Disability Car Hire (NSW, but will deliver to other states upon request) (02) 4577 2225 http://www.disabilitycarhire.com.au/ Yes Yes
Adairs Bus and Van Hire (NSW) (02) 4340 4030 http://www.adairsbus.com.au/site/wheelchair/ Yes Yes
Avis Car Rentals (VIC, NSW, QLD & SA) 13 63 33 http://www.avis.com.au/ Yes No

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