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Great European Holidays for a Motability Driver

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Travelling with a Motability vehicle grants you the freedom to explore at your own pace and subsequently to fully enjoy a stress-free trip. Disability cars are great for the UK, but also broaden your choice of holidays abroad too. This increased autonomy unlocks more than just destinations you may not have previously considered; the safety and peace of mind a break in your own vehicle provide are at the heart of the disability and carers’ services too.

Taking a Motability car to Europe

Motability cars are covered by an insurance that allows you to travel from the United Kingdom across the European Union, as well as to Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

Given how easy it is to reach Europe’s mainland by car, that’s what we’ll focus on here. Whether you’re travelling by ship or train, each option gives you the space – physical and mental – to relax as you wish. There are ferry routes to Northern Ireland and Ireland, Spain, France, Belgium and the Netherlands, while the Eurotunnel goes from Folkestone in southern England to Calais in France – and from there you can drive onward to your preferred destination.

Wherever you decide to go, there’s a stunning array of cultures and activities to discover, food to try and new memories to make. Make sure to bring your VE103 certificate with you – if you’re new to the Motability scheme, allow three weeks prior to your trip to ensure its safe arrival – and check local guidelines regarding Motability driving. With that covered, it’s time to enjoy your trip!

Disability holidays around France

No matter where you go in France, expect a feast for the eyes. The country boasts stunning landscapes, from beachy coastlines to imperious mountain ranges. While it’s tempting to attempt an ambitious road trip to see as much as you can, plan your route ahead of time and stick to what you’re capable of.

Normandy and Paris are each just a few hours’ drive from Calais, your likely arrival point by train or ferry. The small Norman city of Deauville is the perfect spot for a relaxing break, with a day idling along the beachside promenade in fresh sea air the perfect way to clear the mind.

Then there’s the City of Lights itself, full of wonders and romance, which increasingly caters to disabled people too. Seek out the ‘Tourisme & Handicap’ mark on the websites of attractions you wish to attend – each details how they cater to people with physical, visual, hearing and mental difficulties. To avoid crowds at major sites such as the Eiffel Tower or Louvre, head out as early as you can, but be sure to finish the day with an accessible Seine boat tour at sunset for some magical photo opportunities. And if at any point you would like a break from the excitement of the city, you can instead drive a little further to the Seine-et-Marne region. This leafy green site hosts the old royal castle of Fontainebleau, which is free to visit for people with limited mobility as well as personal carers.

Accessibility holidays in Belgium

A smaller, more compact country than France, Belgium is ideal for a quick weekend getaway. Ferries can get you and your Motability car to the port of Zeebrugge, from which Bruges is a short drive away. It also takes around two hours to get to Bruges by car from the Calais Eurotunnel.

Visit Flanders has a fantastic guide to the region, which includes Bruges and Brussels. It highlights attractions suited for those with physical disabilities, mental health issues, autism, learning difficulties, and those with aural and visual impairments. Brussels’ Braille Museum will be especially relevant to the latter group, but don’t forget to stop in at the Museum of Cocoa and Chocolate for a sweet treat before you head home.

Driving a disability car in the Netherlands

Ferries from the UK generally dock in Rotterdam Europoort, from which the cities of Amsterdam, The Hague and Utrecht can all be reached in around an hour’s drive. Most of the Netherlands is situated below sea level, so it’s famous for being one of the flattest countries in the world. For tourists, this might become most apparent when you have to head uphill to arrive at the beach. We recommend The Hague’s Scheveningen, vast golden sands pleasingly free from crowds, and lined with beachside cafes and bars.

Away from the sea, many of Holland’s museums and galleries have excellent accessibility options. The Hague’s Maurithuis museum has been built to accommodate wheelchair users, and disabled people and their carers will each be admitted for free. If you have a physical or sensory disability, try visiting the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam, which offers guided tours and touch sessions.

If you have any questions about the Motability scheme or bringing your vehicle abroad, check out the Motability Explained section of our website.

Find out more about our Motability scheme. If you have further questions or would like to speak with an award winning Specialist about your options in person, use our TrustFord dealership finder to find your nearest dealership and receive free advice from our trained Motability experts.