Guide to Osteoarthritis and driving

At WavsGB our staff meet lots of people every day with many different reasons for needing a wheelchair accessible vehicle. Many of our customers are long term wheelchair users, sometimes from birth, but an increasing number have recently been diagnosed with a condition or illness that has led to them requiring a wheelchair. Sometimes the wheelchair may be a short term solution while they recover or it may be permanent part of their lives.

We’re compiling a number of guides for some common conditions to help decide what type of assistance they may need when it comes to getting around – this guide will be looking at Osteoarthritis.

Please remember these guides are written just to provide some additional and hopefully useful information, for full medical information you should always consult your GP.

Does Osteoarthritis affect driving?

Long before you’ve been diagnosed with Osteoarthritis you’ll have been well aware that something was wrong. Osteoarthritis does cause pain and a great deal of tenderness in your joints, especially when your joints move in a specific way, loss of flexibility and joint stiffness are also noticeable symptoms and all can affect the ability to drive to some degree.

Many people with Osteoarthritis struggle drive as it can become difficult to:

  • Turn your neck fully when looking to pull out at a junction or reversing
  • Turning the steering wheel as far or quickly as you need
  • Pressing the foot pedals as far as you need.
  • Changing gears
  • Applying the handbrake

While some people can drive with Osteoarthritis, it’s important to see your doctor and, if diagnosed, you must declare it to the DVLA

Continuing to drive with with Osteoarthritis

Depending on the diagnosis it may be possible to continue to drive with Osetoarthritis your GP may be able to prescribe a treatment of drugs and/or aids which allow you to maintain a level of mobility and dexterity to help with your driving.

Typically a person diagnosed with Osteoarthritis will choose a car with power steering, an automatic gearbox and reversing cameras to assist and reduce the amount of strength where needed.

WavsGB can also help upgrade your existing vehicle with a range of modern technical and mechanical dexterity aids designed to make your driving easier and safer. They include Push/Pull Driving Controls to enable you to operate the pedals without using your feet, steering knobs for those who struggle to grip the wheel and our SmartSteer wireless driving aid, which puts control of 13 separate functions literally in the palm of your hand.

driving with osteoarthritis

For more information on driving aids click here and give our driving aid partners at Autochair a call.

Severe Osteoarthritis and mobility

Sadly for some Osteoarthritis can lead to need to using a wheelchair. The pain while often manageable with drugs can combine with joint stiffness and loss of dexterity to require the use of a wheelchair to help alleviate the conditions.

Many patients opt of mobility scooters, but the majority start with a standard wheelchair.

Once a wheelchair or mobility scooter become necessary the choice of vehicle becomes important, you can either opt for a wheelchair accessible vehicle or a standard vehicle with modifications to carry the wheelchair or scooter. If the patient has some mobility and can get in and out of their wheelchair then a standard car that can store a wheelchair and help the patient in and out of the car maybe the best option. We can help with wheelchair to car transfer systems and mobility scooter lifts.

..but you need to think ahead…

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease which can unfortunately get worse over time, speaking with your GP or specialist will help determine the prognosis and you may wish to consider a more future proof solution for your next vehicle.

The majority of our customers who suffer from Osteoarthritis choose to buy or hire a Wheelchair accessible vehicle. WAVs are designed to carry a wheelchair with passenger on-board, easily getting into the vehicle using a ramp or lift. WAVs also have passenger seats and can be used almost like an ordinary car.

How can WAVS GB help?

Here at WAVS GB we offer a variety of wheelchair accessible vehicles, which are available to buy or hire short and long term – perfect for those who would like to have access to a WAV but are unsure of their current medical state and do not want to be tied down to a longer-term contract.

Buy a wheelchair accessible vehicle long term

If you have a long term need then purchasing a WAV maybe your best option. We offer finance which is tailored for wheelchair accessible vehicles and our ‘try before you buy’ service is perfect to make sure you get the right vehicle. We also offer a ‘buy back’ service to make it easier to dispose of the vehicle when it is no longer required or you wish to upgrade. If you don’t want the commitment of buying a WAV, or if you think circumstances are liable to change then hiring may be a better option…
Browse WAVs for Sale

Hire a wheelchair accessible vehicle long term

Our Long-Term hire Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle service is perfect for those who are more certain about their medical condition and are ready to hire a WAV for a longer period of time. This provides you with flexibility and peace of mind for the whole family – Click to browse our Long Term Hire Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles available now.
Long term hire

Hire a wheelchair accessible vehicle for a few days

In addition to our longer-term WAV hires, we appreciate that having the increased flexibility provided by short-term hires is perfect for some people. Our short-term hire WAVs allow customers to have No Contract and Instant Return available whilst also reaping the benefits of our Delivery and Collection Service which means we can deliver and collect the vehicle directly from your door.
Daily WAV hire

Both of these options are perfect if you have a special occasion coming up or perhaps a family member moves a bit further away from you. No matter what your needs and requirements are from a wheelchair accessible vehicle, we can cater to your requirements!

Buying or hiring a WAV

At WavsGB we like to be as flexible as we can, we understand that changing the family car to a wheelchair accessible one can be a big, sometimes upsetting decision. Our staff are all trained to be sympathetic, knowledgeable and discrete at all times and our ‘customer-first’ philosophy means we’re happy to bring the car to your home for a FREE demo and if you’re not quite sure about the car you can hire it for as long as you need, if you don’t like it swap it for another or if it’s perfect you can choose to buy it and we’ll include what you’ve paid towards rental off the cost. Whether you buy or hire depends on your circumstances and we’ll be happy to help you with any additional help or advice you need.