The car (and the possibility to drive it) is among the “stronger” symbols of autonomy and freedom of movement. But is it possible to drive even with a physical disability? The answer is yes, with the appropriate adaptions. Are you thinking about KITT, the “supercar” of the well-known 80s’ TV series? No, there’s no need to go that far!
Waiting for the sale of self-driving cars (hopefully, improved under a safety perspective…), if you want to drive, you still need a driving licence, that, in case of disability, is “special”. How to get it?
- First, you need to undergo an examination at the Local Medical Commission, in order to verify you are eligible to drive. Together with the doctors, the Commission includes DVLA engineers and, if needed, other technicians. During the examination, you can also be assisted by a trusted doctor and, of course, you must show the documents about your disability.
- If the Commission has expressed a positive opinion and released the eligibility certificate (where are listed also the adaptations your car needs, to be able to drive it), you’ll have 90 days to get the learner’s permit. On the contrary, in case of negative opinion or if you don’t think the advised adaptations are needed, you have a month to file an appeal.
- Once you have obtained the eligibility certificate and the learner’s permit, you can get ready for the driving test using a properly adapted car (or a driving simulator). During the test, the DVLA engineer can confirm the advised adaptations (e.g. automatic drive, manual break and accelerator, etc.) or suggesting other.
- On your driving license, you’ll find the European codes corresponding to the definite adaptations and your handicap.
The “special driving license”, usually, lasts for 5 years (it can be renewed more frequently, depending on the conditions of the driver), presenting (better in advance) to the Province Medical Commission a medical certificate, on the appropriate form, and a copy of the existing license, booking an appointment for the eligibility examination.
Let’s pass to the economic side of the story. Disabled people (or the relatives they are fiscally dependants of) can buy their cars benefiting from specific fiscal facilitations:
- 19% Irpef deduction on the cost of the car
- favoured VAT rate at 4% (instead of the ordinary one) for the car and its optional accessories (if any)
- exemption from paying the car tax and the transition tax on transfers of property
You can benefit from all of these facilitations for one car at a time and, in particular, you can benefit from the favoured VAT rate only to buy a car every 4 years (provided that the previous car has been demolished and, hence, cancelled from the public automobile register.
Is everything clear? Enjoy your driving!