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NICOLAS HAMILTON The motorsport star speaks to Enable Motoring MOTABILITY MATTERS The affordable car leasing scheme explained TEST DRIVE A roundup of the best Motability motors


Accessible motoring solutions for all


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enable motoring

Letter from the editor



Denise Connelly denise@dcpublishing.co.uk EDITOR

Lindsay Cochrane lindsay.cochrane@dcpublishing.co.uk EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS

Rachael Fulton Alisdair Suttie DESIGN AND PRODUCTION

Emma Goodman SALES

Claire MacDonald claire.macdonald@dcpublishing.co.uk Dorothy Martin dorothy.martin@dcpublishing.co.uk Brought to you by the team behind Enable Magazine www.enablemagazine.co.uk DC Publishing Ltd 200 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4HG Tel: 0844 249 9007 Fax: 0141 353 0435



ello, and welcome to the very ďŹ rst issue of Enable Motoring! At Enable Magazine, we know how important independence is – and nothing represents freedom quite like the keys to your own car. With a set of wheels in your driveway, you’ve got the choice to go where you want, when you want, on your own terms. It’s a total thrill. We also know that car ownership isn’t the most accessible – either in terms of physical access or ďŹ nance. But, luckily, there’s plenty out there for disabled people to get them on the road, either as a driver or a passenger. And we’ve covered it all in the pages of this magazine! Whether you’re new to motoring or it’s all old hat, we’ve got something for you. For instance, we’ve explained the ins and outs of the Motability Scheme on page 12. The Scheme’s been opening doors for disabled people for decades, making driving a much easier, more accessible activity for all. On page 14, one Motability customer explains how the Scheme has changed their life too. Elsewhere, we’ve been rounding up the best cars available on the Scheme – from a tiny VW up! to rumbling SUVs like the Jeep Renegade, we’ve covered all bases. There’s going to be something there to suit all tastes. We’ve been ďŹ nding out about adaptations and conversions too – whatever your disability, there are products on the market to get you either behind he wheel or sitting comfortably as a passenger. Get the lowdown on page 40. Don’t miss our fantastic interview with motorsport star (and younger brother of a certain F1 champion) Nicolas Hamilton on page 46 – he’s gone from being told he’d never walk to racing all round the world. If that’s not inspirational, I don’t know what is. And this is just scratching the surface – there’s plenty more going on in the pages of our debut issue, and I can’t wait for you to get motoring with it all! So go on – kick back and enjoy the ride. You won’t be disappointed.



Lindsay Cochrane Editor


NICOLAS HAMILTON The motorsport star speaks to Enable Motoring MOTABILITY MATTERS The affordable car leasing scheme explained TEST DRIVE A roundup of the best Motability motors


Accessible motoring solutions for all

Find us on Facebook EnableMagazine Follow us on Twitter @EnableMagazine

24 The best driving holidays Want to see more of the country? Hop in your car and take it all in from behind the wheel.



ŠDC Publishing Ltd 2016. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or used in any way without prior written permission from the publisher. The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of DC Publishing Ltd. The publisher takes no responsibility for claims made by advertisers within the publication. Every effort has been made to ensure that information is accurate; while dates and prices are correct at the time of going to print, DC Publishing takes no responsibility for omissions and errors.


31 Learning to drive

The specialist centre offering drivers with a range of disabilities the opportunity to get motoring.

34 Mission Motorsport We find out about the charity giving injured war veterans a chance at a career in the world of motorsports.

Issue 1 | enable motoring 3


“That’s the hardest part – trying to turn your condition from a disabled condition to an able-bodied condition, to be able to race”

What’s Inside

Nicolas Hamilton


12 24 34 THE BIG INTERVIEW 46 Nicolas Hamilton:

achieving the impossible

The younger Hamilton brother is stepping out of Lewis’s shadow to show the world that disability doesn’t mean the thrill of motorsport is off-limits.

ADVICE AND TIPS 8 Useful resources

Some of the organisations that’ll make your motoring experience that little bit easier.

38 Parking sussed

The Blue Badge Scheme explained.

48 Cover yourself

The importance of getting an insurance policy that meets your needs.

40 WAVs and accessible vehicles

Thanks to lots of clever conversion and adaptation options, driving is more accessible than ever before.

LIFESTYLE 24 The best driving holidays

Want to see more of the UK? Hop in your car and get exploring!

26 Product spotlight

REAL DRIVERS 14 Motoring with Motability One customer shares their experience of the Scheme.

31 Learning to drive

QEF tell Enable Motoring more about their driving school for learners with disabilities.

34 Mission Motorsport

The charity giving former servicemen and women opportunities in the motorsports industry.

A selection of handy tools that’ll make the motoring experience more accessible.

50 Drive time

36 Thrill seekers

High performance driving days aren’t just a pipe dream if you have a disability.

Some celebs share the soundtrack to their time behind the wheel.


We round up some of the best motors available on the Motability scheme

ACCESSIBLE MOTORING 12 On the road to independence

16 Small cars 21 Medium cars 28 Large cars 32 Estates 43 SUVs

The Motability Scheme has helped thousands of drivers and passengers get from A to B – we found out how it works.

4 enable motoring | Issue 1



With the Motability Scheme and hundreds of handy adaptations at our disposal, it’s never been easier for disabled people to get on the road. It hasn’t always been this way, though – we take a look at what used to be available for disabled people


ack in the day, before Motability was even a pipe dream, getting from A to B was a totally different pursuit for people with disabilities – and a little bit lonelier too. After World War II, the Ministry of Health launched a service for disabled people where they were provided with a small, motorised trike encased in a fibreglass shell to help them get mobile. Based on an initial design by engineer Bert Greeves, who adapted a motorbike with the help of his paralysed cousin Derry Preston-Cobb, the three-wheelers seated only one person, but were accessible and used tillers rather than a steering wheel. INDEPENDENCE These pale blue ‘invalid carriages’, known generically as the Invacar, gave thousands of injured servicemen and women

6 enable motoring | Issue 1

post-War and disabled people a new sense of independence – all funded by the health service. With the Motability Scheme at our disposal, the idea of a one-man motor seems silly when a proper car can be funded and easily distributed.

Only 200 Invacars remained in Britain when the scheme closed in 2003 Campaigners thought that the dinky ‘Noddy cars’, as they were commonly known, were unsociable and also made life difficult if you had a family or lots of equipment – and, as a result, the Motability Scheme came into being in 1977 to let disabled people lease a proper car using certain welfare benefits.

DECLINE Motability’s inception saw a decline in the number of Invacars in the UK, and as a result, it was decided to close the scheme. Despite closure scheduled for 1981, some service users insisted on keeping their Invacars going. It wasn’t until the government banned the carriages from UK roads in 2003 amid safety concerns that the 200 remaining little blue cars finally went into retirement. Since Motability’s launch, over three million cars, scooters and powered wheelchairs have been provided to disabled people, with more self-financing to get themselves on the road. These days, a few Invacars remain in British museums, and some private owners still have theirs – although they’re destined for a quiet life in the driveway rather than out on the road. ■






BRUTE THE FIAT 500 FAMILY FROM NIL ADVANCE PAYMENT INSURANCE, SERVICING AND MAINTENANCE INCLUDED AS PART OF THE MOTABILITY SCHEME PACKAGE New Fiat 500 Pop Dualogic (Automatic): • Start&Stop • LED Running Day Lights • Steering Wheel Mounted Radio Controls Fiat 500L Trekking: • Cargo Magic Space: Height-adjustable Load Platform • Rear Parking Sensors • 5” Touchscreen Radio with Bluetooth Fiat 500X Cross: • Traction + • Drive Mood Selector • Cruise Control with Speed Limiter • Special All-road 17” Alloy Wheels

Visit your local dealer now or go to fiat.co.uk/motability


Fuel consumption figures for the Fiat range in mpg (l/100km): Urban 29.7 (9.5) – 68.9 (4.1); Extra Urban 46.3 (6.1) – 97.4 (2.9); Combined 38.2 (7.4) – 83.1 (3.4). CO2 emissions 171 – 88 g/km. Fuel consumption and CO figures based on standard EU tests for comparative purposes and may not reflect real driving results. Vehicles shown are Fiat 500X Cross 2

1.4 MultiAir 140HP with NIL Advance Payment, plus New Fiat 500 Pop Dualogic 1.2 69HP with NIL Advance Payment and Fiat 500L Trekking 1.4 95HP with NIL Advance Payment. Fiat 500X and Fiat 500L Trekking feature optional paint at additional cost. Advance Payments are correct at time of going to press and subject to orders being placed by 30th June 2016. Not available in conjunction with any other offer. Terms & Conditions apply. Offer may be varied and withdrawn at any time. Subject to stock availability. We work with a number of creditors including Fiat Financial Services.


Useful resources Whether you’re new to motoring or it’s all old hat, you can never have too much information at your fingertips to make the whole experience run a little more smoothly. Check out these helpful guides, apps and organisations to get you on the road to stress-free travel. NEW APP TO MAKE REFUELLING EASIER A new app is being piloted in the North West to make refuelling easier for disabled drivers. Launched by Niall El-Assaad, a wheelchair user himself, the fuelService smartphone app puts an end to the frustration of driving up to petrol stations where no one is available to offer help if it’s needed. The app, which is currently working with Shell and Sainsbury’s, lets drivers look for petrol stations nearby and contact them to let them know they’re coming and may require assistance. Station staff are informed of when Find Petrol the customer has arrived Stations too – saving the need to beep Ask Them to Help your horn or wave your Blue Say You’ve Badge. Arrived The not-for-profit app, Rate Your Experience which will donate any excess money to the Spinal Research charity, aims to give drivers a bit more independence and confidence in their motoring. 10:05 PM


Sign up for the pilot today at fuelservice.org.


USEFUL DRIVER ADVICE FROM RICA If you want to get clued up on all things motoring with an accessible twist, check out the Rica website. Rica, the consumer research organisation for older and disabled people, has a raft of useful guides online to help disabled motorists and passengers suss out their options and get the best advice and support available. You can use the car search function to find the most accessible motors, get advice on buying a car, find out about

8 enable motoring | Issue 1

equipment to help you embark and disembark, get the lowdown on wheelchair accessible vehicles – you name it, Rica has it covered. The organisation’s impairment-based guides are really helpful too, with details of things to consider, adaptations and support on the road, with conditions covered such as brain injury and restricted growth. Find out more at www.rica.org.uk/ content/motoring.

If you want a bit of extra support when it comes to driving, get in touch with Disabled Motoring UK. The charity supports disabled drivers, passengers and Blue Badge holders across the nation, working with government and businesses to improve parking, refuelling and access provision for those with access needs on the road. By joining as a full member for £24 a year,

you’ll get a monthly magazine, member discounts, access to advice and support services and case work help with issues like parking tickets and local authority issues. Head to www.disabledmotoring.org to find out more.



ption in since its ince bitions. s e v li f o s d n a m d thous toring a e has change many more in their mo m e h c S y it il b lp s out al to he The Mota Motoring find as the potenti 1977 – and h ow does it work? Enable But exactly h

O T D A O R E H ON T t costly. You’ve go ar ownership is nce, breakdown ra your petrol, insu ention the cost m to t no r, ve co some It all adds up to of the car itself. s. es sin bu pretty expensive le with disabilities are And when peop y to have lower e likel statistically mor liant on benefits, the re be me incomes and ownership beco r ca to s ay pathw ow. increasingly narr e Motability Scheme th hy w is ch hi W vernment eviously, the go came about. Pr rson blue ‘invalid pe issued tiny one- ly enclosed trikes ial carriages’, essent the road. Disabled on n ru d ul co that wasn’t , knew that this people, however d under Lord Ster ling an y good enough – an, the Motabilit and Lord Goodm king Scheme. t be possible, ta “They felt it mus from certain ance someone’s allow ith the Depar tment w g kin or ith benefits, w ions, wor king w ns Pe d an k or W for g rin ry pionee banks, and a ve nership to bring rt pa te iva pr icthe publ gether and get to gs in all those th ,” explains lly sfu es cc su k Scheme to wor otability Operation. M Delia Rae from m there really.” fro n ow gr st ju ’s “It


QUALIFYING with Scheme wor ks The Motability rt of pa or all g in us disabled people fare benefits to lease wel their qualifying year s. otor for three m w ne d an br a Higher e th e ar nefits The qualifying be ponent of Disability om Rate Mobility C Rate of , the Enhanced ce an w llo onal Living A rs Pe ponent of the Mobility Com ent, War Paym Independence t or ility Supplemen ob M ’ rs ne io ns Pe yment. Pa ce en nd Indepe Armed Forces o tw of is made up paid The lease itself al, nt re kly ee the w f components – of eon ove, and a for out of the ab Payment which ce up-front Advan ec models. covers higher sp it as being a t ou ab lk ta “We g clusive motorin worry-free, all-in Delia’s colleague s package,” explain . “That really does nd Rachael Sweetla

12 enable motoring | Issue 1


E C N E D N E P INDE e has ee. That packag mean worry-fr ed, from the car itself ne ever ything you kdown cover, we’ve ea br e, nc ra to insu ve any ntre so if you ha got a UK call ce can give us a ring, u troubles at all, yo nce – all that is in na servicing, mainte u really don’t have d yo the package, an than hing else other to think of anyt tting hi d an r ca ur yo putting petrol in d the road!” 2,000 makes an There are over le on the Scheme, ailab models of car av turers signed up ac uf an m r ajo m meo with uxhall, Alpha Ro including Ford, Va for basic entr y-level n go and Fiat. You ca rt of take up all of pa front models, which up no ith w ce an ow your weekly all der this un ll fa 500 cars bit payment (about tle t to pay that lit category), or op hands on models with ur extra to get yo There lls and whistles. and be e or m a few ed ne e, st ever y ta are cars to suit inis to rm pe su y pp ni m preference, fro vans. adaptable mini VARIETY es, bigger ones, “There’s small on ily cars if you’ve got m medium ones, fa t, and we’ve got quite en pm ui eq of t a lo ible heelchair access a big range of w who want to travel of le is is only a third vehicles for peop ael adds. “There’s omer s – and th st cu ch eligible. in their chair,” Ra as far as what we those who are go at th e m so en ev quite cars, which are u to RWARD call ‘drive from’ yo STRAIGHTFO out more, signing up ow all ey th t bu d te nd ap fi ad to e t ily th an av , as he You If you w elchair and drive straightforward. l stay in your whe m your wheelchair. the Scheme is na to tio di ad y an o fro to underg ve ha name suggests, ” . t n’ ne do yo in er e ev u’r ng for ents – if yo There’s somethi be included in your tests or assessm fying benefits and n ali qu e th of Adaptations ca 400 receipt ea there’s roughly you your self ar at th e ov package too – ith pr w n r, ca fe med of na on o ns tw tio ve or ha different adapta suitable driver ties, you’re al package, iti du in e ng th ivi dr in d on re 150 cove ility drive drivers to take at help you to n call the Motab mostly things th balls and left-foot y to go. You ca ad e re or m r el 456 4566 fo like steering whe team on 0300 local . stop into your rs to or r ra n, fe le io of ce at ac on rm e fo ar in ey have at th th t ha rs ca r to see w And it’s not just Motability deale d mobility an s air ch el he – powered w you y to offer. o available, so if ings people reall scooters are als or feel like it’s not a “One of the th ey th at th is r it ca t of already have a nancial enjoy and get ou ad and not worry,” w, you’ve got fi priority right no r mobility options. At take to the ro n ca hey know they he suppor t with ot e has over 650,000 ael points out. “T ch Ra hem present, the Sc


d they’re call the RAC , an like can just call us, e pick them up. W bit of straight out to a s er om e our cust to think we giv get back to om ed fre d an independence ’s going es, whether that or just on with their liv ds family or frien to wor k, seeing or’s appointment that ct getting to the do .” to go to ed ne the they Delia point out, lives d an l ae As Rach g gin an me really is ch r. tte Motability Sche be e th r fo – and all er om st across the UK cu e to see how on g Turn the page in or ot m r m thei has benefited fro hesitate to contact t n’ do d an e, ag pack w you can get ho e se to the team involved. ■ find out more Motability ty.co.uk www.motabili 66 0300 456 45

Issue 1 | enable motoring 13


motoring with motability Thinking of signing up to Motability? We spoke to car lover Mark Casey about his experiences with the Scheme and the freedom it gives him to get out and about


ark Casey is one of over 650,000 disabled people who take advantage of the Motability Scheme to get on the road. Mark is the proud driver of a Ford Kuga as a result of the Scheme. His car helps him get around from A to B and helps give back some of the independence he has lost in recent years due to ill health. “If I was to lose my car, my life would be in danger – as my health can go downhill very fast,” says Mark, 42. “Driving is my passion and my fun in life.” Mark has a complex combination of illnesses, all of which require him to take regular trips to hospitals across the country. He has end-stage liver disease, heart disease and diabetes, and also suffers from high blood pressure and thyroid problems. HEALTH ISSUES His health issues became severe in 2000 and have gradually deteriorated in the years since, forcing him to retire from his job in the private security sector. “I struggled on until around 2014

“Driving is my passion and my fun in life”

14 enable motoring | Issue 1

before entering the Motability Scheme,” says Mark. “I was helped by my then social worker and was awarded it. It helps give me the freedom to get back and forth to hospital, as if not, I would be completely stuck and housebound. I’d also have to use taxis as patient transfer is not easy to use because my appointments regularly overlap.” AT EASE Mark had been driving for a decade before his health problems became severe. Joining Motability has allowed him to secure a car and put his mind at ease about the upkeep of his current vehicle. Without his car, Mark would be unable to attend his crucial hospital appointment schedule and would struggle to retain the freedom he enjoys through driving. Although he needed no adaptations made to his Kuga, his leg problems did require he choose a higher car to get in and out easily. “Motability is a great programme,”says Mark. “By speaking to your dealer, they take all the fear and worries away. There’s no need to worry about tax, MOT, services or repair with Motability.” ■


Join us at The Big Event -%'#)(!'()(%!.$+!(+!! $#)$)!).") +#) ).#()' Over 100 cars from 28 different manufacturers

Over 40 scooters and powered wheelchairs

Over 35 adapted cars and Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles


Over 45 cars available to test drive including 18 fitted with adaptations Free entry, free parking and a FREE tea or coffee in a fully accessible indoor venue

Phoenix Way, off Barton Dock Road, Manchester, M17 8AS


EventCity, Manchester

Friday 13 and Saturday 14 May 2016 9am to 4pm

Find out more at motability.co.uk/thebigevent or call 0800 953 7000 !(&*$)

$)()'+)'(.$*"*()'#.$*'*!!'+#!##(#$*' )()'+!')$#$#).*!!'"(# $#)$#(#$*#) "$)!).$* )+#)  +#)($'#(#$().$)!). %')$#("),(*)$'(#'*!).)##! $#*) *)$').

TRIRIDE: COMPACT, EASY, LIGHT always with YOU Triride Ž, is a smart, efficient and convenient solution for turning a manual wheelchair into an electric “trike�. r It is compact, easy to handle and light and can be stowed in any car boot. r It adds just a minimum space to the wheelchair length, due to its 14� motor wheel. r Max steering angle: 90°, therefore you can U-turn on place. r Reverse gear adds further manoeuvrability. r Fit for both indoor and outdoor usage. r Attaching and detaching to/from the wheelchair takes just a handful of seconds. r It has a dry cell Li-ion battery, easily and safely transportable on car, train, aeroplane. r The battery gives you a 50Km (30+ miles) range, allowing a great independence of movement. Triride is conceived, designed and produced in Italy by Gianni Conte, who made the first prototype for his personal use and then decided to start a production founding Triride Srl (www.trirideitalia.com). Triride has been introduced in the Italian market a couple of years ago. As of today some 2,000 pieces have been sold. Triride Ž is imported in UK by Mobilitise Ltd. Come to visit us at Naidex exhibition in Birmingham on 26, 27, 28 April 2016 – stand E38, Halls 6&7, have a test drive and take it with you at a special exhibition price! Contacts: info@mobiitise.co.uk - www.mobilitise.co.uk




Whether you need a nippy set of wheels for the school run or to facilitate easy city driving, there’s a host of fantastic small cars on the market to take you from A to B

Volkswagen up!

www.volkswagen.co.uk/ buying-guide/motability-offers

Any car which introduces itself with an exclamation mark has got to be fun, and the up! from VW is no different. ON THE ROAD With two 1.0-litre engines to choose from – the 59bhp and 74bhp – it’s safe to say that the up! isn’t the fastest of motors. The lower powered engine may struggle a bit with

16 enable motoring | Issue 1

motorway driving, but if you up to the 74bhp, you shouldn’t have any problems. However, what it lacks in speed, it more than makes up for in the fun factor. It’s surprisingly agile, with accurate steering too – it does feel like a small car, but with its funky looks, it stands out amongst the class. INSIDE With an uncomplicated dash to match its simple exterior, it’s really easy to find your way around this motor. The wheel can only be adjusted for

height, not reach, but there is room for manoeuvring with the driver’s seat. It’s pretty spacious for a small car, with a 251-litre boot, and it’s cheap to run too.

central locking. The mid-range High up! has a fantastic touchscreen navigation and infotainment device and heated front seats too.

EQUIPMENT Available in three trim levels on Motability – the Move up!, Look up! and High up! – there’s a good bit of variety. The entry model is pretty basic, but if you go a step up to the Look, you’ll get air conditioning, electric front windows and remote


VOLKSWAGEN 1.0 HIGH UP! Fuel: Petrol Brake horsepower: 74bhp Average MPG: 61.4mpg Average annual fuel: £613 CO2 emissions: 106g/km Motability customers: Total allowance + zero Advance Payment


Renault Twingo With its retro styling, the Twingo is one for those with an eye for design – and it comes with some pretty nifty tech too. ON THE ROAD This rear-engined motor comes with a choice of two three-cylinder engines – the 1.0-litre SCe has 69bhp, while the 0.9-litre 89bph TCe is nipier. It doesn’t make for the best drive amongst small cars, but deals well with bumps in the road and copes at high speeds, even if it is a little noisy. It is, however, quieter than some rivals, especially on motorways. INSIDE With the engine positioned in the rear, the Twingo is actually a really practical city car. In the cabin, the dash is simple and the driver’s seat is pretty high – a drawback for taller drivers – but it is very practical. Four adults can fit in comfortably, and the rear seats fold completely flat. There are lots of extra storage sections,

Alfa Romeo MiTo www.alfaromeo.co.uk /motability

The MiTo is a small car that’s big on looks – and it comes with a five-year warranty too. ON THE ROAD You’ve got two MiTo engines to choose from on Motability, and the 1.4 TB MultiAir 140bhp is the one to

and 219-litres of boot space before folding down the rear seats. You might struggle to get any bulky equipment in there, but for day-to-day use, it does the job. EQUIPMENT The basic entry-level model is pretty sparse, but if you go

look out for, offering a strong drive. It dishes up quite a firm ride – not what you’d expect from a supermini – and it’s perhaps better suited to city driving than twisting country roads. Opt for the higher spec for a smoother, easier ride.

for the mid-level Play you’ll get yourself air-con and a height-adjustable driver’s seat. Alloy wheels come at an extra cost, but with the free to download R&Go app, you can turn your smartphone into a touchscreen sat-nav system – pretty nifty.

INSIDE In access terms, the MiTo’s seats are easy to adjust, and the dash is simple to navigate, with everything clearly marked. It is a threedoor, so don’t expect masses of space and manoeuvrability. The boot, however, is a good


RENAULT TWINGO 1.0 PLAY 5DR Fuel: Petrol Brake horsepower: 69bhp Average MPG: 60.1mpg Average annual fuel: £627 CO2 emissions: 105g/km Motability customers: £56.25 weekly rental + zero Advance Payment

size for a small car, offering 270 litres of space. EQUIPMENT You get a lot for your money even in the entry level model. Go for the Distinctive trim, however, and you get larger wheels, rear parking sensors, lumbar support for the driver’s seat and cruise VITAL STATS

ALFA ROMEO MITO 1.4 DISTINCTIVE 3DR Fuel: Petrol Brake horsepower: 138bhp Average MPG: 52.3mpg Average annual fuel: £720 CO2 emissions: 124g/km Motability customers: Total allowance + £1,795 Advance Payment


Issue 1 | enable motoring 17


Dates for your diary Want to know more about motoring opportunities for disabled people? You’re in luck. Events are taking place UK-wide this year – here’s a flavour of what’s going on

opportunities to test drive adapted and non-adapted cars, meet with Motability partners. One Big Day, Harrogate 13 August Yorkshire Event Centre, Harrogate www.motability.co.uk With adapted and non-adapted cars on display, scooters, wheelchairs and more, you’ll leave with plenty more knowledge on your mobility options.

Motability Big Event 13-14 May EventCity, Manchester www.motability.co.uk As the name suggests, this is the big event of the year for the Motability Scheme! Taking place across two days and entirely indoors, head north for the largest display of Motability vehicles in the country. You’ll find over 100 cars from 27 different manufacturers, test drive opportunities and plenty of experts to quiz.

Mobility Roadshow 26-28 May Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Northants www.mobilityroadshow.co.uk Taking place at the iconic Silverstone Circuit for the first time, the fantastic Motability Roadshow lets you check out a range of cars, adaptations, products and more. Don’t miss the Get Going Live! strand, targeting young and novice drivers. Kidz to Adultz South 9 June Rivermead Leisure Complex, Reading www.disabledliving.co.uk/kidz

18 enable motoring | Issue 1

The hugely successful Kidz to Adultz exhibitions are heading to Reading in June, with over 120 exhibitors stopping by to show off their wares. You’ll find a number of companies showcasing car adaptations, Motability vehicles and more. Check out the other Kidz to Adultz events this year too – Wales (Cardiff, 7 July), Scotland (Edinburgh, 15 September) and North (Manchester, 17 November).

Left, Get Going Live! at Mobility Roadshow, Silverstone Above right, One Big Day, Peterborough Arena

Independent Living Scotland 5-6 October SECC, Glasgow www.independentlivingscotland.org North of the border, Independent Living Scotland will have plenty for those keen to explore their motoring options, with adaptation firms, dealers, manufacturers and Motability reps on hand.

Disability Awareness Day Motability Event 10 July Walton Hall Gardens, Warrington www.disabilityawarenessday.org.uk This huge event in Warrington gives you the chance to meet local dealers and car adaptation firms, as well as Motability specialists. One Big Day, Exeter 16 July West Point, Exeter www.motability.co.uk The One Big Day event in Exeter this July will have over 50 Motability cars on display, with

One Big Day, Cambridgeshire 3 September Peterborough Arena, Cambridgeshire www.motability.co.uk The final One Big Day event of the year will be taking place in Peterborough. You’ve got the chance to meet with local dealers and adaptation firms, Motability experts and more.

FIND OUT MORE Motability specialist car dealerships across the country regularly hold open days where potential customers can go along and try out different models available on the Scheme. Find your local dealer at www.motability. co.uk now.






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After a bit more motor for your money? Move things up a gear to the mid-size car range and check out these great family-friendly motors

Hyundai i30

www.hyundai.co.uk/Motability The small family car from the South Korean manufacturer brings a lot to the table, all in an affordable-to-run package. ON THE ROAD With a variety of petrol and diesel engines to choose from, it’s the diesels that pack a punch with the i30. The entry-

level 1.4-litre petrol makes for a fine drive, but the 1.6-litre diesel is where it’s at. All models have great suspension, making for a smooth, comfortable ride, with a bit more lean and plenty of grip compared to rivals. INSIDE Inside is the real treat. You’ll get a classy cabin

layout for your money, with easy-to-use and welllabelled controls. Those travelling up front get lots of legroom and shoulder room, and the back is comfortable too. The boot is big for its class – 378 litres, expanding to an impressive 1,316 litres with the seats folded flat. Much roomier than the Ford Focus of VW Golf.

EQUIPMENT Motability customers get access to the S, SE and SE Nav. The basic S mode comes with enough fun toys to surprise you, including Bluetooth, USB connections and air-con, but taking it up to the SE Nav gets you sat-nav and a rear-view camera too.


HYUNDAI I30 1.6CRDI SE 5DR Fuel: Diesel Brake horsepower: 108bhp Average MPG: 78.4mpg Average annual fuel: £473 CO2 emissions: 94g/km Motability customers: Total allowance

+ zero Advance Payment


Issue 1 | enable motoring 21




www.seat.co.uk/ Motability/offers A practical, stylish family car, there’s not much to fault with the Seat Leon. ON THE ROAD In terms of driving, you’ve got a range of engines to choose from through the Motability Scheme. The

1.4-litre petrol is a good, but take it up to the 2.0-litre diesel and you’ve got an effortless, fast drive. Maybe not quite as refined as its more upmarket stablemates, but you won’t be disappointed. INSIDE Behind the wheel, you’ve got a solid, simple layout with a good range of adjustment

features, unlcluttered dash with simple controls The cabin is spacious with lots of headroom and legroom, especially in the five-door models. It comes with a large boot too at 380 litres – so you can fit plenty in the back, even with the seats up. EQUIPMENT The cheaper models are great value for money, with

lots of added extras to choose from. The entry-level S models come with air-con, MP3compatible six-speaker CD player and Bluetooth, but if you take it up to the SE spec, you’ll get alloy wheels, leathercovered steering wheel and gearstick knob, cruise control and a front armrest.


SEAT LEON 1.4 SE 5DR Fuel: Diesel Brake horsepower: 123bhp Average MPG: 54.3mpg Average annual fuel: £694 CO2 emissions: 120g/km Motability customers: Total allowance + zero Advance Payment

Fiat 500X

www.fiat.co.uk/motability/ offers Fiat’s popular 500 has had an upgrade, transforming into the small SUV that is the 500X.


FIAT 500X 1.6MULTIJET II POP STAR 5DR Fuel: Diesel Brake horsepower: 118bhp Average MPG: 68.9mpg Average annual fuel: £538 CO2 emissions: 109g/km Motability customers: Total allowance + zero Advance Payment

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ON THE ROAD There are lots of different engines to choose from, from a turbocharged 1.4 Multi Air II right up to a 2.0-litre diesel, coming with four-wheel drive. All engines deliver a pacey, comfortable drive – suspension is good at lower speeds but can be a bit bumpy on faster routes. INSIDE With the 500X, you’ve got

a good driving position and well-placed pedals. The wheel and seat are fully adjustable, meaning most drivers will be able to find a position that suits. The boot offers 245 litres of space – not the biggest in its class, but still plenty for a small family. EQUIPMENT In terms of equipment, even the entry-level Pop model comes with plenty of extras, including air conditioning, cruise control, a touchscreen and USB input. The Pop Star gives alloy wheels, rear parking sensors and body-coloured wing mirrors.


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the best driving holidays If you’re planning a staycation this year, make the most of Britain’s beautiful countryside with a driving holiday. Here we’ve picked our favourite accessible camping, caravanning and off-road road trip ideas for you


he coastlines, hills and countryside of Britain are best explored on a driving holiday, whether that’s on a scenic tour of the Lake District or a camping trip to Scotland’s Highlands and islands. Behind the wheel you can see so much of the country in one day, while also having the freedom to come and go as you please. Perhaps you’re packing the car full of family members or it’s just you, a round of sandwiches and a flask of tea – either way, there are loads of accessible trips you can take to make the most of your driving experience. CARRY ON CAMPING Woodlarks (www.woodlarks.org. uk) is a camping facility in Farnham, Surrey, that’s designed for disabled campers. The site has incredible facilities and hosts seven one-week camping holidays a year. You can

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have barbecues, swim in the heated swimming pool and even have a shot at the specially adapted zipwire that runs through the woodland treetops. This is a perfect way to experience nature, make new friends and try new sports while enjoying state-of-the-art accessible facilities. If you want to drive down and experience the beautiful Welsh Valleys, Tyn-yr-onnen (www.tyn-yr-onnen. co.uk) camping site is on the border of Snowdonia National Park, nestled between the Moel Eilio and the Elephant Mountains. The beaches of the Llyn Peninsula are just a short drive away too if you’d like to see the Welsh coastline. The site is not designed solely for disabled guests, but does have accessible facilities that allow disabled people to have a break, surrounded by 400 acres of heather-covered countryside. The site is a working sheep farm that’s been in

the same family for generations and there are lots of llamas, donkeys, pigs and chickens on site for interested animal lovers. THE SCENIC ROUTES The Lake District is arguably one of the most beautiful regions on the British map, and the 30-mile drive that snakes through the fells and banks of Lake Thirlmere and Lake Windermere is a stunning way to explore. You can stop off in the idyllic market town of Keswick to visit some of their famous traditional sweet shops after your drive. On the B4632 road in the Cotswalds you can have a quiet drive while surrounded by rolling English countryside. Quaint villages pepper this part of the world, and rolling English countryside and woodlands lie between them. Stratford-uponAvon is the final destination on this car tour, so be sure to learn about the town’s most famous son, William Shakespeare, when you get there. Get further inspiration on some of the country’s most picturesque towns and villages at


www.visitengland.com. GO GLAMPING Why put up a tent when you can get comfy in your very own yurt or tepee? Glamping allows you to stay off the beaten track without completely roughing it and there’s plenty of wheelchair-friendly glamping zones dotted around the UK. Camp Katur in North Yorkshire (www.campkatur.com) has safari tents, bell tents, unidomes and hobbit pods to name but a few structures, all with their own barbecue and fire pits. Although not all activities available will be suitable to every disability, such as their Segway and zipwire, the site is wheelchair accessible. Hot Tub Safari Glamping in Wales (www.goglamping.net) does exactly what it says on the tin. Beautiful safari-style tents greet guests in the grounds of Pentre Mawr Country House and the fully heated bedrooms have super king size beds and five-star extras. Each glamping tent has its own private terrace and hot tub to relax in and guests have access to a shared swimming pool. The site is a great way


to enjoy Wales – and a little bit of Africa – on your road trip. CARAVANS FOR ALL Caravan holidays are another great option for those keen to see more of the country. Look into well-known holiday parks like Haven (head to www.haven.com/ enable to get a discount on your next break) and Butlins (www.butlins.com), which both offer a select number of accessible static caravans at their sites, and there’s always plenty of entertainment and lots of new friends to be found. If you’d rather have a bit more freedom, what about hiring a wheelchair-accessible motorhome? Check out the likes of Wheely Independent (www.wheelyindependent.co.uk) and Coachbuilt GB (www.coachbuiltgb.co.uk).

SET SAIL Driving holidays don’t have to be restricted to the UK mainland. Many ferries are wheelchair accessible, but your journey does require a little extra planning to ensure comfort and safety. Ferry operators Caledonian MacBrayne run regular routes to the islands of Scotland’s west coast, including Arran, Islay and the Outer Hebrides. Passenger assistance is top class too – and there’s a Blue Badge discount, giving you 25% off the price of a vehicle ticket when a Blue Badge holder is travelling. Get details at www.calmac.co.uk/on-board/ passenger-assistance. If you’d rather get a little sunshine over in France, Brittany Ferries (www.brittanyferries. com) also do their best to accommodate disabled passengers. Wheelchair accessible cabins, Braille signage and assistants to help you during the journey are all part of their service. Certain ships are more accessible than others, depending on a passenger’s disability, so it is always best to call ahead for advice. ■

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PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT Making your car meet your needs doesn’t have to involve costly adaptations – there are lots of budget-friendly items on the market that make motoring an easier experience for everyone. Check out these products for inspiration


Pump Pal is a handy device that makes refuelling your car easier. At the petrol station, simply clip the Pump Pal over the pump handle and twist to hold in the trigger, letting you fill your car handsfree. Great for people who experience discomfort or have trouble gripping. Get it: Pump Pal, £9.99 (www.pumppal.co.uk)


Handybar If you find it difficult to get in and out of the car, the Handybar could be the answer. This non-slip grip slides into the door-latch to give you extra support while sitting or standing. It’s easily removed and stored in the glove box when it’s not in use. Get it: The Helpful Things Company, £29.99 (www.helpfulthings.co.uk, 0845 544 2582)

BLUE BADGE COMPANY While this product isn’t necessarily designed to make motoring easier, it does make the experience look a little better! Blue Badge Company wallets are available in a variety of colours and patterns, brightening up your Blue Badge as it rests on your dashboard. Get it: Blue Badge Company, from £15 (www. bluebadgecompany.co.uk, 0117 923 2594)

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For a better rear view, check out this panoramic car mirror from the Ability Superstore. If you experience discomfort when checking what’s going on around you, this makes the process easier, improving driver safety and eliminating blind spots, giving all-lane visibility. Clips on easily over your existing mirror. Get it: Ability Superstore, £16 (www.abilitysuperstore.co.uk, 0800 255 0498)

SWIVEL SEAT DELUXE Make transfers easier with this handy swivel seat. With its cosy fleece upper, foam padding and an easily-turnable base, it ensures total comfort when manouvering in and out of your car. The swivel seat rotates easily, meaning minimal effort is required to get in and out of your car. Get it: Complete Care Shop, £24.95 RRP (www.completecareshop.co.uk, 0845 5194 734)





If size matters in your mind, try these models for an overall bigger ride and plenty of room to boot

Vauxhall Insignia


With its sleek looks and great value deals to be had, the Insignia is well worth checking out. ON THE ROAD There’s a good selection of engines available to choose from through Motability, and the 1.4-litre turbo is best from the petrols.

Fuel-efficient engines make this big car surprisingly environmentally-friendly. It’ll offer a comfortable ride, but steer away from the bigger wheels. INSIDE The interior of the Insignia is very classy, and all the controls are easy to use. However, it’s not as spacious as the exterior might lead you to believe.

There’s not quite as much headroom in the back as tall passengers might like, but the 530-litre boot isn’t to be sniffed at. There is plenty of space for a family, but perhaps not the best option for transporting a carful of adults. EQUIPMENT You’ve got a choice of trim levels available on Motability, from the sportier

to the luxury, but depending on what you want to spend and what your driving preferences are, there’s likely to be a model to suit. In terms of extras, all Motability versions of the Insignia come with lots of nifty features as standard, including digital radio, Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control and front and rear parking sensors.


VAUXHALL INSIGNIA 1.4 DESIGN Fuel: Petrol Brake horsepower: 138bhp Average MPG: 53.30mpg Average annual fuel: £707 CO2 emissions: 124g/km Motability customers: Total allowance + zero Advance Payment

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Skoda Octavia


Perhaps more commonly associated with taxis, there are plenty of good reasons why the Octavia is selected by hire car firms across the land. ON THE ROAD On the Motability Scheme, you’ve got a choice of four four-cylinder engines. The entry-level 1.2-litre is, pleasingly, more than enough for a car this size. The diesels, however, pack a good punch – the starting point 1.6 is great, while the 1.6 Greenline with six-speed manual auto ‘box takes things even further. Performance-wise, Skoda delivers a comfortable drive in the Octavia. It’s not the most agile in its class, but the petrols are quiet, offering a smooth, secure journey. INSIDE As expected from a large car, there’s plenty of room

Ford Mondeo


The Mondeo is a good-size car, made for transporting families with lots of gear. ON THE ROAD You’ve got a range of engines to choose from on Motability. The 1.5-litre petrol is speedy, but if you want more from your Mondeo, opt for a diesel. Whatever engine you go for, the good news is that you’ll get a good drive, and not a lot of noise from under the bonnet either. In terms of handling, it’s agile and takes corners well, thinking nothing of bumps in the road. INSIDE With a good driving position, supportive seats and lots of room for adjustment, this is a


inside this motor. You’ve got lots of adjustment options behind the wheel and with the driver’s seat, and it’s pretty supportive. The dashboard is simple, with an easy-to-use touchscreen, and you’ll get in four tall adults with room to spare. Best of all? The boot is vast – 590 litres to cart about all your worldly belongings.

EQUIPMENT This car comes in four trim levels, and at the most basic S slevel, you’re getting air-con, alloy wheels and Bluetooth. Take it up to SE and you’ll add in rear parking sensors, dual-zone climate controls and rear electric windows – definitely worth the extra expense.


SKODA OCTAVIA HATCH SE 1.6 TDI Fuel: Petrol Brake horsepower: 108bhp Average MPG: 74.30mpg Average annual fuel: £499 CO2 emissions: 99g/km Motability customers: Total allowance + £195 Advance Payment

good choice for anyone who needs a bit of personalisation to get comfortable behind the wheel. There’s lots of room inside this car – it’s one of the longest in its class – and the spacious, hatchback boot makes it easy to load and unload large items, with 541 litres’ worth of space. EQUIPMENT The Mondeo comes in a range of trims and through Motability, you can get behind the wheel of a Zetec or Titanium. It comes with lots of great extras in the Zetec through Motability, including the Ford Navigation System with eight-inch touchscreen, quickclear heated windscreen, cruise control, power-operated wing mirrors and free metallic paint and rear parking sensors.


FORD MONDEO 1.5 ZETEC Fuel: Petrol Brake horsepower: 158bhp Average MPG: 48.70mpg Average annual fuel: £773 CO2 emissions: 134g/km Motability customers: Total allowance + £495 Advance Payment

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learning to drive Getting behind the wheel is daunting for most new drivers, but having a disability means extra considerations when driving a car. We spoke with QEF Driving School and driver Robert Ryan to find out the best route to getting rid of those L-plates


“It’s all about easing people into what they need at their own pace – nothing tried, nothing gained” Marion D’Moirah, QEF

THOROUGH ASSESSMENT “There are vehicles for passengers and drivers of all age groups,” says Marion D’Moirah, marketing executive at QEF. “We have a full fleet of cars and after thorough assessment we advise which adaptations we feel would be good

for individuals. “One of the biggest problems in encouraging drivers to come forward is that people think they are coming for a test when they come to us, but they are coming for an assessment. We want to help them, not to test them. We want them to be safe on the road. It’s not about being a perfect driver – it’s about being safe.” Expert instructors devise individual driving programmes for each learner, beginning on QEF’s safe private track and on quiet roads to help drivers build confidence. Instructors teach drivers how to use their adapted vehicles efficiently and train them up to DVLA test standard. “The instructors are sympathetic to people’s needs, and they have so much experience,” said Marion. “It’s all about easing people into what they need at their own pace – nothing tried, nothing gained. Family members can come with drivers too if they feel too nervous to come on their own.”

hether you’re a seasoned driver and new to disability or long-term disabled and new to driving, the prospect of getting out on the road can present various challenges. Thankfully – there are services available to support disabled drivers through assessment, car adaptations and lessons tailored specifically to your disability. The Queen Elizabeth Foundation for Disabled People offers support for drivers and passengers with a wide range of physical and cognitive disabilities, and provides thorough assessment to match drivers with car adaptations. They also offer rehabilitative tuition and lessons to give drivers confidence in using their newly adapted cars. Expert instructors devise tailor-made driving programmes for each individual on QEF’s safe private track.


INSPIRED Robert Ryan from Glasgow was inspired to get behind the wheel by his dad’s career as a driver and ‘transport captain’, arranging cars for film and TV. Despite having a muscular condition that limits his movement, Robert began learning as soon as he could and hasn’t looked back. “My dad was very keen on me driving and as I was disabled, he found out I could learn from when I was 16 so I did,” said Robert. “Not that I was any good – it took me three or four years to pass!” Robert passed his test third time and has been driving ever since. His car adaptations include a steering ball to help with manoeuvres and a panoramic mirror to ensure looking over his shoulder is made easier. “The car itself is a massive part of my independence,” says Robert. “People love their cars, and although I still have a few worries and concerns when out driving, I don’t dwell on them and try to stay positive.” ■ FIND OUT MORE QEF www.qef.org.uk 020 8770 1151

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Whether you’ve got lots of kids, equipment, or an over-enthusiastic dog to transport, an estate could be the solution to your transport woes

Peugeot 308


www.peugeot.co.uk/ Motability

PEUGEOT 308 SW ALLURE ESTATE 5DR Fuel: Petrol Brake horsepower: 128bhp Average MPG: 64.3mpg Average annual fuel: £694 CO2 emissions: 112g/km Motability customers: Total allowance + £99 Advance Payment

The 308 combines practicality with style in an attractive, familyfriendly estate-shaped package. ON THE ROAD You’ve got a good selection of engines on Motability, with a number of petrol, diesel and automatic options. The most powerful petrol is a good choice, but go for diesel if you’re regularly carrying lots of equipment. INSIDE The 308 does what you

Volvo V60

www.volvocars.com/UK/ Motability Volvo have a long history of producing solid estate cars – and the V60 is no different. ON THE ROAD For a better drive, go for the upper-range diesels with this car – they’re powerful with low emissions. Driving-wise, the suspension is firm but comfortable enough. INSIDE With an excellent driving position, lots of space and

expect from an estate, and it’s all in that big ol’ boot – 810 litres of space, to be precise. The rear seats fold flat too, to create even more room. There isn’t quite as much for passengers as you’d hope, however, but it’s definitely spacious enough for families. EQUIPMENT The entry-level Access comes with Bluetooth, cruise control, air-con and a digital radio, or opt to go for Active, with rear parking sensors and alloys. At the top of the bundle, the Allure gives full LED headlights and reversing parking camera.

plenty of room for adjustment, this is a welldesigned car. There’s good leg and headroom for adults, and you’ll get 557 litres of boot space – not the biggest of estates, but the back seats, which split 40/20/40, easily fold completely flat. EQUIPMENT Alloy wheels, cruise control and climate control are standard on all V60s, but upgrade to the SE and you get a sleeker looking car with Bluetooth and a smarter stereo.


VOLVO V60 2.0TD SE Fuel: Diesel Brake horsepower: 118bhp Average MPG: 67.3mpg Average annual fuel: £551 CO2 emissions: 111g/km Motability customers: Total allowance + £1,799 Advance Payment

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When your career in the Armed Forces is cut short by injury, what do you do next? Alisdair Suttie finds out more about one charity giving injured vets a second chance through motorsport


here are a lot of similarities with motorsport and the Armed Forces. Both involve dedication, concentration, emotional highs and lows, and getting the job done in often difficult circumstances. Of course, motorsport is for fun and serving in the Forces is a profession, but it’s amazing nobody made the link between the two until James Cameron set up Mission Motorsport at the beginning of 2012. Mission Motorsport’s aim is to help those affected by military service with their recovery and rehabilitation. The idea to use motorsport as the means for this was borne out of James’ love of racing and, after a very hard tour of Afghanistan in 2010-2011, he saw a lot of his men injured. A former army major, James says: “A lot of my blokes had a very tough tour and I wanted to do something directly for them. “Motorsport carries a risk, so you have to do it properly. I had looked into some high profile efforts along the same lines but I didn’t think they were being run professionally. So myself and some others came up with the plan for Mission Motorsport to link former Forces staff and the automotive industry.” STEPPING-STONE This is an important distinction between Mission Motorsport and other charitable projects that let injured former servicemen and women take part in racing. With Mission Motorsport, all of the preparation, logistics and racing itself are dealt with in the the same way as any professional motor racing team. Just as importantly, all of those taking part can use Mission Motorsport to adapt their skills to find work in the motorsport and automotive industries. Mission Motorsport is not an end in itself, but a vital stepping-stone on the road to recovery. As an example of how highly regarded Mission Motorsport and those who take part are, Jaguar Land Rover has hired 15 ex-service personnel

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as a result of their experience with the charity. These roles are as varied as working on the production line to organising logistics and vehicle design. There are also many more former Mission Motorsport workers now in full-time employment in almost every other area of the automotive and motorsport industries. FURTHER SUPPORT However, that isn’t even the end goal as far as Mission Motorsport is concerned. While it’s vitally important to help those into work who have been medically retired from the Forces earlier than they might have expected to leave, James knows they need more support than

“Motorsport has the ability to change your mood, lift you up when you feel down” James Cameron, Mission Motorsport others who find themselves out of work. “We stay in touch with the veterans and support them if they need help,” says James. “Sometimes it’s as simple as having someone to speak to who understands what they have experienced. We also keep in contact with the employers, as they can need a helping hand to get the best from ex-Forces employees. These guys have amazing skills and knowledge, but their confidence can need building up again.”

The opportunities on offer are as varied as in any other professional race team. Every job has to be filled, so all of the support roles needed to get a car and driver on to the start line are just as important as the person sitting behind the steering wheel. Over 850 men and women have benefited so far. SERIOUS FORCE All of these outlets for veterans have resulted in Mission Motorsport becoming an embedded function as part of the Ministry of Defence’s Recovery Career Services. Another way in which Mission Motorsport has grown from a great idea into a serious force within the motoring industry is by providing a unique apprenticeship scheme in Classic Vehicle Restoration. As well as this course, Mission Motorsport offers a Level 3 Diploma in Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair based on the City and Guilds 4290 qualification. It’s another example of how veterans can be brought into the charity because of their interest in cars, and then find a route into new employment. The employment opportunities are a key part of the charity, but James adds: “Motorsport has the ability to change your mood, lift you up when you feel down. This is the most important element for all of us. These guys joined the services for opportunity and excitement, and motorsport is one of the few areas outside of the Forces where they can find that. “It’s also important to remember that motorsport is unusual in that you have to adapt to it rather than it changing to suit you. The car can be altered to fit the driver but they still have to compete on the same track as everyone else, and in a race nobody is going to give an inch because they all want to win.” The determination to win, get the job done and succeed is something all service personnel will be familiar with, and it’s the same with motor racing. No wonder Mission Motorsport is proving such a success on the track and off it. ■ FIND OUT MORE Mission Motorsport www.missionmotorsport.org team@missionmotorsport.org 03330 338 338


s e v i l g n i g n t r cha o p s r o t o m h g u thro


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Thrill seekers Ever dreamt of whizzing round a track at high speeds? It’s more accessible than you might think


here are dozens of performance car experience days all across the UK. However, if you are a disabled driver, these days can very quickly turn to disappointment as many will only accommodate disabled drivers with passenger rides. Don’t be downhearted, however, as the chance to drive on-track is available. A frustration with only being offered passenger rides is exactly what spurred on Steve Gill and friend Matt Mason to develop their own track day experience for disabled drivers. They started out with an adapted kart to give drivers a taster of high performance driving thrills and that led on to a Renault Megane they use for autosolo courses. The Megane has been adapted too, and autosolo competitions are a great introduction as they require no reversing. MAKE THE MOST However, under the banner of Baron Motorsports, Steve and Matt then developed their potent Volvo S60 T5 that is capable of 155mph. This is a fully track-prepared car, but it also has hand controls for disabled drivers to make the most

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of its performance on a track. A two-hour performance driving course in the Volvo costs £220 and the sessions are held at the Knockhill Circuit in Fife, Scotland. Included in the course are oneto-one tuition with a qualified race instructor, pre-track briefing, demonstration laps and two 10-lap stints. At the end, there’s a debrief to make sure you get the most from the experience. Anyone who fancies the Baron Motorsports experience will need a full driving licence, but the team is working on dual controls and a slide board to make entry and exit easier for those taking part in 2016. VARIETY Another dual control option comes from Speed of Sight, which organises track days for disabled drivers throughout the year. The charity uses a variety of cars for its events, with everything from an open-top, low-slung two-seat sports car to off-road buggies. This means you can try out different forms of performance driving and all of the courses have been devised by Mike Newman, a six-time Guinness World Record holder and the fastest blind man in the world on land and water.

Above Baron Motorsports’ adapted Volvo, and (inset) the car’s interior

If you fancy driving your own car on a track day, it’s best to check your insurance beforehand and with the circuit that they will accommodate cars with adapted controls if you have them. If this doesn’t sound like your thing, an alternative is to contact the British Motor Sports Association for the Disabled (BMSAD). The BMSAD aims to help any driver with a disability to compete in whichever form of motorsport they choose. This can be circuit racing, rallying, hill climbs and sprints, karting, drag racing or motorcycling. As well as guiding you through gaining a racing licence, the BMSAD also helps competitors choose the right car to compete in and the best adaptations for the vehicle. They even help organise a competition to win a season’s racing so you can take your track daydream and turn it into a racing reality. ■

FIND OUT MORE Baron Motorsports www.baronmotorsports.org.uk Speed of Sight www.speedofsight.org BMSAD www.bmsad.co.uk


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Parking sussed There’s nothing better than having the freedom to get out and about in the car, whether it’s a quick trip to the shops or a scenic drive around the country. The Blue Badge scheme might make getting from A to B that little bit easier – but how does it work? We’ve answered a few of your most frequently asked questions

WHAT IS THE BLUE BADGE SCHEME? The Blue Badge scheme gives parking concessions to drivers and passengers across the UK who have restricted mobility, whether they are wheelchair users, unable to walk short distances or registered blind. Blue Badge holders are entitled to free parking at on-street parking meters, at pay and display machines and in designated disabled parking bays. Badge holders aren’t restricted in how long they can park in these bays and are able to park on yellow lines for up to three hours, providing there is no loading or unloading in operation. AM I ELIGIBLE? You are automatically eligible to join the Blue Badge scheme if you receive the Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance or receive Personal Independence Payment for being unable to walk further than 50 metres. You are also eligible if you are registered blind, receive War Pensioner’s Mobility Supplement or have received compensation from the army and are certified to have a mobility-limiting disability. Your local authority has the final say on eligibility and so you may be asked to have a mobility assessment with a doctor or occupational therapist. If you have a permanent disability or debilitating condition, its impact on your ability to walk is key to securing eligibility to the Blue Badge scheme.

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For example, if your condition is myalgia, asthma or autism and doesn’t directly affect your ability to walk short distances, you are unlikely to qualify. If, however, this condition prevents you from walking, you may be able to secure a badge. You may also be eligible if you have a severe impairment in your arms and can prove that you drive regularly. IS MY CHILD ELIGIBLE? Disabled children are eligible members of the Blue Badge scheme from age three and upwards, unless the under-three’s condition means that they must be accompanied by bulky medical equipment that is difficult to carry, or if they need to be near a vehicle at all times to ensure easy access to hospitals. If your child is under three, doesn’t require bulky medical equipment but has a highly unstable condition such as severe epilepsy, they may be eligible. HOW DO I APPLY? If you think you might be eligible for the Blue Badge scheme and would like to apply, you should contact your local authority for an application form. You can also apply online at www.gov.uk/applyblue-badge. Your local authority will decide whether you are eligible for the badge and may advise that you need assessment to prove your disability. If you feel you have been unfairly deemed ineligible for the scheme you can ask them to reconsider the application. ■


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Making a change Unfortunately, a car straight from the manufacturer isn’t going to meet the needs of every driver or passenger, but luckily, there are options out there to make the driving experience more accessible

40 enable motoring | Issue 1



ver the last few years, motoring has become more accessible than ever before. There’s a number of gadgets and gizmos on the marketplace that can help anyone who is able to get behind the wheel, or to make the motoring process more comfortable as a passenger. “There’s probably three broad categories of adaptations,” explains Graham Farrant, WAV and adaptations account manager at Motability Operations, the organisation which oversees the Motability Scheme. “One is driving controls – how you actually operate the vehicle. Then there’s two other broad categories. One is adaptations that help you get in and out of the vehicle, and the final category is stowage adaptations, to enable somebody to stow a wheelchair or a mobility scooter in the vehicle so they can travel with it.” OPTIONS Whether you’re a driver yourself or a passenger, there are lots of ways to change your car to make it as comfortable and as safe as possible for your needs. Hand controls, electric accelerators, steering aids, swivel seats, boot hoists – the list goes on. While most vehicles can be adapted in some way, not all adaptations are suited for every car, so if you’re in the market for a new motor, always think about any changes you might need before signing on the dotted line. “Historically, customers have gone into a car dealership, chosen a car that they like, and found that the adaptations they need aren’t necessarily suitable,” points out Graham’s colleague Scott Michael, conversions and adaptations relationships manager. “It’s really important at the very early stages that they’re aware of and thinking about the adaptations they might need either now or, depending on the nature of their condition, in the future.” Adaptations can go beyond clever add-ons – companies across the country are carrying out more substantial conversions to make it possible for wheelchair users to travel from their wheelchair, rather than transferring from their chair to the car seat. These are known as wheelchair access vehicles or WAVs, and are very different from standard adapted cars. DIFFERENT SOLUTIONS “With wheelchair access vehicles, you’ll


in terms of what would work for them. “With adaptations it’s vital to get early advice from an adaptations installer,” Graham says. “Many cars would not be suitable to adapt. A lot of customers seem to have this vision unfortunately that the vehicle is a TARDIS-like environment and anything can fit in it! It’s really important to get some early advice on the type of vehicle, based on your personal mobility needs. Our installers are really good at that, because they’re working on cars on a daily basis.”

40,000 Motability customers are currently driving adapted vehicles have various different access solutions,” Scott explains. “Smaller vehicles tend to have a fold-out ramp, while larger vehicles might have a tail lift on the back for the passenger to access the vehicle, being lifted up onto a flat floor into the vehicle.” There are far fewer cars which can be converted into WAVs – although there are several different types available through the Motability Scheme – as the emphasis is very much on space. “Most of what the industry adapts for WAV use tends to be the passenger versions of what are essentially commercial vehicles,” Graham explains. “The real issue is that ‘normal’ cars don’t have enough space inside them, particularly the height needed, to fit a wheelchair user inside them. Once you’ve fitted a ramp or a lift to get the wheelchair into the car in the first place, a vehicle based on a commercial type vehicle tends to have a much bigger useable space in it.” EXPERT ADVICE If you’re considering getting a new car and you require adaptations – whether they’re the more basic adaptions or a fully wheelchair accessible car – the best thing to do is to speak to the experts. Conversion companies across the country can offer lots of insight and advice, and Motability’s adaptations experts are also well equipped to answer any queries. Motability also have an agreement with the Forum of Mobility Centres nationwide, who can offer customers more specialist advice

Above One happy Motability customer in their WAV and left, examples of some of the adaptations on the market

MONEY MATTERS If you’re a Motability customer, you can get an adapted car through the Scheme – quite often at little or no extra cost. The Motability Scheme work with over 100 installers nationwide to adapt cars to meet individuals’ needs, and over 40,000 customers are currently driving cars with adaptations. From steering balls to left-foot accelerators to more complex conversions allowing individuals to drive from their wheelchair, there are over 400 different adaptations available to customers on the Motability Scheme. “These days, for most of the common adaptations, it’s not expensive at all,” Graham points out. “Many of our more basic driving controls – for example, mechanical push-pull brake accelerators or left-foot accelerators, there’s no customer cost for those adaptations at all on Motability. Even if you need a vehicle with a hand control, a boot hoist and a steering ball, you’d maybe pay less than £200 for all of those items, on top of the cost of the vehicle. It’s an affordable and accessible programme.” You may also be eligible for support from the Motability charity, who can provide grants to cover the additional cost of adaptations – call the team to find out more. If you need a bit of help to get out on the road, start making enquiries now to see what your options are – get in touch with Motability or a local installer to assess your situation. Who knows? You could be in for the ride of your life... ■

FIND OUT MORE Motability www.motability.co.uk 0300 456 4566 Forum of Mobility Centres www.mobility-centres.org.uk 0800 559 3636

Issue 1 | enable motoring 41




If you’re the daring sort, what about a sports utility vehicle to take you from the office to weekend off-road adventures?

Nissan X-Trail

www.nissan.co.uk/motability With good looks, plenty of room and up to seven seats, the Nissan’s SUV is well worth looking into. ON THE ROAD With the X-Trail, you can choose between a 1.6-litre petrol or diesel, with the diesel perhaps packing a little more punch. You’ve got a choice of front-wheel drive with manual or automatic gearbox,

or four-wheel drive in manual only. It’s got soft suspension to make bumps a breeze, and light steering makes city driving fun. INSIDE Every model has a heightadjustable driver’s seat with armrest, so it’s comfy from the captain’s point of view. The cabin is spacious, with a logical dash and plenty of room of passengers. The 550-litre capacity boot drops to 445 if you add in the third

bench of seats, which are a little cramped, but worth it if you’ve got a big brood. EQUIPMENT On Motability, you can choose from the Acenta, mid-range n-tec or top-end Tekna trims. The Acenta makes for good value, with the basics of air-con, alloys and Bluetooth topped up with rear parking sensors, sunroof, automatic lights and wipers.


NISSAN X-TRAIL 1.6DCI ACENTA 5DR Fuel: Diesel Brake horsepower: 128bhp Average MPG: 60mpg Average annual fuel: £643 CO2 emissions: 135g/km Motability customers: Total allowance + £495 Advance Payment


Issue 1 | enable motoring 43





www.jeep.co.uk/Motability Jeep is the undisputed king of the off-roader – and the Renegade, its first attempt at a smaller SUV, shows why. ON THE ROAD You’ve got a fine selection of engines to choose from on the Motability Scheme,

from a 1.4-litre 138bhp petrol through to the 2.0-litre diesel. You’ll get a six-speed gearbox in the most powerful of the 1.4s, and the smaller petrol engines make for a rather fun ride, while the 138bhp 2.0 diesel is a good car both for in and out of town. INSIDE There’s plenty of room inside the Renegade, and the high

driving position gives you a great view. In the back, two adults can kick back more than comfortably, but beware – the third seat is quite narrow and better for three kids than a six foot tall adult. In the boot, you’ll find 351 litres of room and an adjustable floor. Not by any means the biggest in its class, but still a useful space.

EQUIPMENT You’ve got four trims to choose from on Motability, and even the entry level has enough to shout about. Every Renegade has an easy-to-use touchscreen as standard for controlling the likes of Bluetooth and the sound system. As you step up the trim levels, you’ll get a bigger screen and sat-nav capabilities too.


JEEP RENEGADE 1.4 LONGITUDE 5DR Fuel: Petrol Brake horsepower: 138bhp Average MPG: 47.10mpg Average annual fuel: £800 CO2 emissions: 140g/km Motability customers: Total allowance + £195 Advance Payment

Toyota RAV4

www.toyota.co.uk/Motability After a practical car that offers heaps of space? The RAV4 could be the answer. ON THE ROAD There are four different options for the RAV4 through Motability – two 2.0-litre diesels, 2.0-litre petrol and a 2.5-litre hybrid. Most customers will opt for the 141bhp diesel, but keep in mind this is front-wheel drive. For the four-wheeler experience, go for the Scheme’s petrol option. Driving-wise, the RAV4 does the job, but its engines aren’t as powerful as others in its class. INSIDE If space is what you’re after,

44 enable motoring | Issue 1

the RAV4 is for you. The cabin is huge, and you get an impressive 501 litres of boot space too, with the seats folding almost completely flat. For the driver, visibility is good, but you only get adjustable lumbar support if you go for a higher-spec model.

EQUIPMENT The starting point Active model comes with air-con, alloy wheels and electric front windows, but if you want a bit more gadgetry, go towards the Icon, which has a reversing camera, DAB radio, cruise control and dual-zone climate control.


TOYOTA RAV4 2.0D-4D | ACTIVE 5DR Fuel: Diesel Brake horsepower: 141bhp Average MPG: 60.10mpg Average annual fuel: £616 CO2 emissions: 123g/km Motability customers: Total allowance + £1,795 Advance Payment



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Achieving the impossible He was once best known for being a certain Formula 1 driver’s younger brother, but these days, Nicolas Hamilton is making a name for himself for all the right reasons. The racing driver, who is currently competing in the British Touring Car Championship, tells Enable Motoring about breaking into motorsport with a disability


otorsport is pretty much the family business for the Hamiltons. If it has four wheels and goes fast, the Hertfordshire family are into it – and they’re world-famous for it. When older brother Lewis, now 31, first sat behind the wheel of a go-kart aged eight, everything changed for the family. These days, he’s a three-time Formula 1 World Champion – and half-brother Nicolas was more than keen to follow in his footsteps. “When Lewis got into motorsport, it was a family thing,” explains Nicolas, now 24. “We used to go to races together, and it was just something that got us out the house for the weekend. Basically, I grew up at a race circuit. I was constantly at races and seeing Lewis race. It was only natural for me to want to try it.” CHALLENGE But Nicolas faced one challenge that his older brother didn’t – he has cerebral palsy, which causes weakness in his legs. Motorsport requires a lot of strength, both in the torso and lower body, as well as physical fitness. But Nic was still keen to try. “I had a go on a go-kart at the age of seven – that ended quite badly, with a crash in a car park due to not being able to brake, because my legs aren’t strong enough,” he recalls. “It was pretty much a no-go. So I carried on following Lewis, I went to school, I thought I might do something in business or management. And then I found a love for online gaming.”


Left: Nic getting ready to race and, below, speaking at a charity event

Before long, Nicolas was making a career out of online racing games, where his disability didn’t matter. Lewis stepped in to suggest that it might be time to give the real thing a go. At 19, Nicolas got behind the wheel of a car for the first time at the iconic Silverstone Circuit, trying out a Renault Clio with over 100 other drivers on the track at the same time. “I didn’t know anything about driving for real,” he says with a laugh. “There’s so many different characteristics you need to think of in a car. It’s about warming up the tyres, preparing the car before you go for qualifying laps or racing laps. That’s the sort of stuff I didn’t really know at the time.” HOOKED And from then on, he was hooked. He discovered that with minor adaptations – wider brake and accelerator pedals, a hand clutch and higher seating – he was able to get out and drive like anyone else. Next, he had to work on his fitness to prove to the Motorsport Association, the governing body, that he had what it takes. “The first time I decided I wanted to race, I was in a wheelchair,” he says. “I’d been in a wheelchair for five years, hadn’t walked much and my legs were deteriorating. Training was really difficult. I turned up for my first training session and sat on the leg press – building your leg strength for braking is very important. I could only press 20kg with both of my legs. If you go to a gym, you’ll realise that’s the first number in the stack – it’s nothing. I had to work my butt off to make my legs as strong as possible. I went from 20kg to 120. That was the hardest part. To turn your condition from a disabled condition to

an able-bodied condition, to be able to race.” When he got his license approved, there was no stopping Nicolas. Working hard to secure sponsorship – he refused to take any help from Lewis – he made his debut in the Renault Clio Cup in 2011. At first, he was reluctant to let his disability be the focus of his achievements, instead hoping the public would focus on his racing ability. CHANGE However, after appearing in the BBC documentary Racing With the Hamiltons, all of that changed when his story struck a chord with thousands of people. “It got to the point where it’s not as much about me any more,” he admits. “It’s about how I’m perceived. The fact I was told I wouldn’t walk and now I’m a fully fit racing driver – I’ve proved everybody wrong. That’s what I want to focus on in the future – to keep it inspiring.” Alongside his racing career, Nicolas now does a lot of public speaking, and he’s also an ambassador for disability charity Scope. But that’s not to say his driving is taking a back seat – last year, he became the first disabled driver to compete in the British Touring Car Championship, racing in an Audi S3. But with so many firsts behind him, and an ever-growing reputation in the sport, what is the end goal for Nic? “To be a successful role model for a lot of people,” he says. “In terms of a sporting ambition, I always said I wanted to drive in DTM, which is basically the Formula 1 of touring cars, a German championship that goes worldwide. But for me, my end ambition is to carry on and create something so that when people get up and do something, they think of me – I’ve inspired them to do it. From when I was born and told I wouldn’t walk to now, sitting here, telling you that I’ve achieved so much as a racing driver and this is what I’ve do, and these are the people I’ve reached and inspired – that’s what it’s about.” ■

find out more Keep up to date with Nicolas at www.nicolashamilton.com

Issue 1 | enable motoring 47


COVER YOURSELF So you’ve picked the best vehicle on the market to suit your needs, now what? We speak to Fish insurance about the importance of a great policy to protect you and your car


hen you’re out on the road, staying safe goes beyond a good grasp of the Highway Code and a seatbelt. Finding the best insurance policy safeguards you in case you have an accident and gives you peace of mind when you’re behind the wheel. Disabled drivers once struggled to get competent car insurance, with many insurers unable or unwilling to accommodate policies for adapted cars. Nowadays companies are much better prepared to deal with the needs of disabled customers, and there are specialist insurance companies tailored specifically for people with disabilities. Fish Insurance is one of these companies. With 40 years’ experience of creating insurance policies for disabled people, Fish ensure that each customer is covered for everything from mobility equipment to adapted car breakdown cover. GREATER CONTROL “For many disabled people, a car is absolutely essential in allowing them to take greater control over their day-today lives,” says John Garrard, managing director of Fish Insurance. “The key to the car is also the key to independence. As for anyone, it enables the everyday,

48 enable motoring | Issue 1

such as nipping to the supermarket, as well as those life-enhancing journeys – the holidays, family visits and day trips. “A good policy, one designed to serve people with disabilities, will include benefits specific to their needs, such as provision of a suitable replacement car or mobility allowance should their vehicle be off the road due to a claim.” Fish cover the repair and replacement of car adaptations and protect mobility aids as standard with their policies. Breakdown cover is also a standard benefit and they provide a suitable replacement car or mobility allowance of up to £700 during the claim settlement process. Mass market car insurers and brokers tend to focus on standard risks and processes to increase client volume. This means that most insurance comparison sites automatically overlook factors that affect disabled drivers, such as being able to start driving at 16. Mainstream systems may also treat car adaptations the same way as they treat aesthetic or performance modifications for cars. LOWER RISK “In our experience, disabled drivers and their adapted vehicles represent

lower risk,” says John. “This is why Fish discount rather than load premiums for people with disabilities. “Similarly, many car policies typically settle theft and write-off claims through a simple formula of a car’s standard list price less depreciation, and settlements may therefore not cover often costly adaptations.” As always, the key to the right policy is research. If you’re concerned about getting the right policy or want to investigate your options, perhaps steer away from the price comparison sites that might overlook disabled drivers and do your homework on tailor-made policies instead. “Once you’ve thrown away your L-plates, shop around,” says John. “Make sure you include disability insurance specialists on your list, be careful to ensure you’re comparing like with like. A ‘cheap’ quote may not necessarily be the best if the cover and service provided don’t meet your needs.” ■

FIND OUT MORE Fish Insurance www.fishinsurance.co.uk 0333 331 3770


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Ever wondered what your favourite celebs listen to behind the wheel? We found out what some of our favourite car-loving famous folk have on their road trip playlist Damian Lewis Red-haired heartthrob Damian Lewis, Emmy-award winning star of Homeland and Band of Brothers, fondly remembers road trips in his mum’s red Honda listening to Crystal Clear by The Grid. It’s a 90s ambient tune, so a little less predictable than some of the others on our celeb drive time playlist, but Damian says when cruising through the Chilterns, there’s no better song when the sun comes out.

Lorraine Kelly Chirpy Scottish TV star Lorraine Kelly likes 80s classics when she’s behind the wheel, and you’ll find The Cure, The Stranglers, The Smiths and The Jam on her driving playlist. Staying true to her roots, there’s also Scottish favourites The Proclaimers and Human League on there to complete her road trip soundtrack.

Storm Huntley When this CBeebies presenter isn’t Down on The Farm with JLS’s JB Gill or taking calls on The Wright Stuff, she’s zooming about in her beloved BMW with Fleur East’s Sax and Flashbacks blasting from the stereo.

50 enable motoring | Issue 1

Francesca Martinez Self-confessed ‘wobbly’ comedian and actress Francesca Martinez loves listening to The Beatles when she’s in the car and also shares Jodie Kidd’s passion for Mr Marley. Tracy Chapman and Van

Morrison also make it into her drive time playlist, as do Glen Hansard and Ol’ Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra. Hugh Grant Rumour has it that during filming for Bridget Jones’s Diary, Renée Zellweger took pity on Hugh Grant’s rather terrible taste in music and leant him 20 CDs to expand his horizons. That doesn’t shake the floppy haired rom-com king’s favourites though, which are Otis Redding’s Sitting On The Dock of the Bay and Satellite of Love by Lou Reed. Steve Coogan He’s co-star of driving holiday programme The Trip and the man who invented eccentric radio DJ Alan Partridge, but what music inspires funny man Steve Coogan? Croaky vocals and great jazz, as it turns out. Mr Coogan loves Louis Armstrong and We Have All The Time In The World is his favourite. ■



Jodie Kidd Famed petrol-head and supermodel Jodie Kidd might have had a need for speed on the Top Gear track, but when she’s alone in the car she loves nothing better than kicking back to some spaced-out reggae. Yes, it’s Jamaican legend Bob Marley that dominates Jodie Kidd’s CD Player when she’s driving about town, and she even admits to loving a good sing along too.

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Enable Motoring 2016  

Enable Motoring 2016