The ability to drive for anyone with a mobility impairment, living in South Africa, is an essential part of their independence. Without their own transport it is extremely difficult to get to and from work and they remain reliant on friends and family or a driver. However the challenge is how to find a driving school that can accommodate their needs for an adapted vehicle. There are currently only a few driving schools across the country that can accommodate drivers with disabilities, however most of them can only accommodate people who have arm function and no leg function. When an individual is choosing a driving school, their choice should be based on how the vehicle has been adapted and whether it is suited to their disability. Unfortunately due to the variety of needs of each individual, they are often forced to learn to drive in a vehicle that is not correctly adapted for them as it is not possible to accommodate all the different needs.
Where no driving school is available that can accommodate an individual’s needs, they need to first purchase a vehicle and get it adapted accordingly, and only then can they learn to drive. To do this a special motivation is needed for the banks to enable them to get vehicle finance with only a learner’s licence. They will also need to get their insurance pre-approved before the bank will agree to finance them.