Your guide to Motability adaptations: Steering aids

If you're leasing a car through the Motability Scheme and have difficulty holding or turning a standard steering wheel, there are a number of simple solutions available that may well help you...

Your guide to Motability adaptations: Steering aids

The Motability Scheme is a way for those who are eligible for a disability allowance to exchange it towards leasing a new car. The scheme also offers around 500 different mobility adaptations for your new car, many of which are available for free when fitted at the start of your lease. It’s all about allowing all drivers to maintain their independence and feel comfortable and confident behind the wheel.

Steering aids are designed to make driving more comfortable for people with a range of disabilities and impairments. For example, a steering wheel ball can be fitted to help give a driver with limited strength or movement in their upper body more control when steering the car. 

If you have hand controls, such as a push/pull accelerator lever, fitted to the car a steering ball is often essential as it will enable you to steer the car with one hand while operating the hand controls with the other.

Common types of steering balls currently on the market include ball and mushroom grips, which are rounded handles fixed directly to steering wheels. Many can be easily attached and removed. Below are the different grip styles available to drivers.

Standard fixed
These include the ball and mushroom-style grips. The balls are permanently attached to the steering wheel in a comfortable position, and allow the driver to turn the wheel easily with just one hand. 

Standard quick release
Although a fixed grip does not restrict another driver driving the car, some people prefer to be able to remove it. The quick release option is ideal: they are aimed at users who share their car with a non-disabled driver. The grip can be easily installed and removed, and is light and easy to stow away in a glove box or cubby hole.

For people with more challenging mobility issues in their hands and arms, specialist grips can be used. These include a peg system – which the driver can either hold or strap themselves on to – and what is known as a tri-grip, or tetra-grip, system. The tri-grip setup works a lot like the peg, but adds two additional pegs that the driver’s arm can lever against to turn the wheel.

Getting a steering aid fitted
Dealers are all aware of adaptations available and will have a local installer that they use already. You can also find details of your local installer on by visiting the Motability site

To read all of What Car?'s Motability guides click here

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

Also consider