Motability & me.



On Friday I had another new experience. Ben and I attended the One big event, Motability show in Lisburn. This is an event where lots of car retailers display a range of cars they offer on Motability ( a scheme which helps disabled people have access to cars that can be adapted and more affordable way of keeping disabled people mobile). At the show there was also the opportunity to test drive some automatic cars which isn’t always an option at regular car show rooms, simply because they couldn’t possibly stock every car in automatic. I was also able to test various adaptions that were available.

I have had a Motability car for 6 years now, at first I wasn’t keen but when I realised very quickly after learning to drive that I could not work a regular handbrake due to very restricted shoulder and wrist movement, I realised that Motability would be a way to help me still be able to have the option to drive.

I am well aware that people often look at me and think ‘there’s nothing wrong with her’ , I know that when I park in a disabled bay that people glare because my illness is often invisible and although I suffer a great deal of pain in my lower joints which greatly restricts what I can do in day to day life, my upper joints are often very painful too which restricts my ability to use my crutches and walking stick, don’t get me started on the back pain caused by my walking frame (yea at 29 using a walking frame is just what you want to have to do).

I have said before how I am not very good at showing the reality of my arthritis and I actually haven’t improved much on that as yet, but I will get there. My car however is my life line, it allows me to get places I couldn’t get otherwise. Without it I couldn’t possibly get my kids to school every day and I would no doubt miss school events. I couldn’t get to church or see any friends. I hated driving for so long and now within the last year its given me an independence and a freedom and helped me take back some of my own identity.


Even with this knowledge in mind and also knowing that my car is now in its renewal period I really dreaded going to the Motability show. I knew that there would be a lot of older people there. Don’t get me wrong, I love older people but being at an event when you are so much younger than everyone else makes the reality of this condition kinda slap you in the face, also the knowledge that because of this condition and the nasty medication that comes with it that might not get to the age of some of those older people makes me feel massively sad.

I needn’t have worried however because yes there were more in the older age bracket than younger but there were also people around my ages and all sorts of people all with their own stuff going on. Most importantly all the staff where incredibly friendly, they couldn’t do enough to help. The test drive was smooth and the staff member who took us out was fab, there was no feeling of being an inconvenience (I have experienced that before in dealerships when they discover your a Motability customer , not often but it has happened.) This man was super friendly, knew so much about the car, didn’t rush us, let us drive for as long as needed and suggested any other cars we could try which where similar.

The thing that really helped with the Motability big event was that it never felt like you where getting a sales pitch, I certainly never felt an inconvenience and instead of feeling broken, useless and disabled I came away feeling empowered, having made an informed decision on the car I loved and was excited to drive.

Its not all sweetness and light, I will never love that my joints make driving more difficult. I don’t love that I now NEED an automatic car because my knee just wont hold out any more. I do love that in providing this service Motability have given me a feeling of control and freedom.


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