I heard on May 21 that my (re)application for DLA was successful. For the first time I have been awarded an "indefinite award". This means that I am eligible for a Motability car for the first time (this is a simplification of a complex situation). I am finding my Citroen ZX more and more uncomfortable to drive (or rather mostly be driven in!), even a shortish drive leaves me so sore that I have to spend at least a day in bed to recover.
My chiropracter recommended something like the Citroen Berlingo, so a while ago I started reading up on it and looked online to see if I could find a second hand one. After reading some reviews of the Berlingo I realised that the Toyota Yaris Verso would be another possibility. Friday John phoned up to ask Motability dealerships if we could arrange test drives, Toyota people said to arrive after 2.30pm, and Citroen ones said to just turn up any time. So Saturday afternoon we set off to test drive the Verso and the Berlingo.
Took us rather longer than expected to get through town, as the Mersey River Festival was on. Traffic was backed up and very all along the dock road, not helped by all the road works due to the new buildings going up at Chevasse Park for the Grosvenor Estates.
We went to see the Verso first. I really liked the seating - the thing that really impressed hubby was that I didn't even ask for my lumbar roll (which he was carrying). We weren't able to test drive it, as it was sold and being picked up on Monday (guess we were really lucky they had one there!). But we were able to test drive a Yaris as engine, gear box, suspension etc are the same.
The Motability Specialist was very pleasant and helpful. He found us a really bumpy and lumpy bit of road so I could get a sense of if I could take the ride - have back probs so needed to check that out. I didn't drive myself as currently am having rather a bad patch. Hubby loved the car though, and thought it was super to drive. All other folks at the dealership were very pleasant too, offered us drinks while we waited for disability specialist to finish a test drive he was on.
The dealer we went to does home pick up for service, and provides courtesy car. The chap we spoke to we liked and felt we could trust - he kept emphasising that it was really important to be certain that it was the right car for me as we would be stuck with it for 3 years if it wasn't (if you see what I mean!).
Afterwards we hoped to try out a Citroen Berlingo. Hubby had phoned on Friday afternoon to ask for appt for test drive and was told to just turn up any time on Saturday. Chap there only spoke to hubby (and this would be "my" car) and gave his card to him. He tried to get us to have a Picasso instead. Tried seating in both Picasso and Berlingo, while Berlingo seat more comfy feeling to me we thought it might be useful to try both. Asked for test drive but were told to come back Tuesday or Wednesday, despite the fact that we had already tried to arrange an actual DRIVE prior to visit. Everyone seemed very off hand too, not particularly helpful, and didn't seem to have a clue about disabled needs. Needless to say we won't be going back there.
Rather than just rushing into things like a headless chicken, I posted on the Motoring Board at Yourable.com to ask for advice. Two further suggestions that have come from there are the Vauxhall Agila and Renault Modus. Hubby will now try and get an afternoon off work so that we can try and see and maybe test drive them too.
We may seem to be rushing rather, but the prices for Motability cars change the end of June (they are updated quarterly). At the moment my benefit (£42.30 a week for the mobility component of DLA) would cover any of my possible choices, things might change at the end of June. I think it's a good deal - brand new car for 3 years, taxed and insured, and all servicing included. At end of the three years you hand it back, and can choose another, assuming you are still in receipt of the higher rate mobility component of DLA of course.
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Posted by Maggie at 1:35 pm