Vehicle Adaptation and Driving

This document provides details of some of the requirements and schemes available to drivers and passengers with a disability. The Disabled Drivers Association of Ireland (DDAI) and the Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA) have very useful information available on their websites covering a wide range of motoring topics and issues, from driving lessons and assessments to Choosing the Right Vehicle. Visit www.ddai.ie and www.iwa.ie. for more information and advice, and details of services which may be available to you.

Vehicle Adaptation - IVA requirements for special purpose vehicles

Since 29 April 2012, all disabled drivers and passengers buying a new car and entering the VRT/VAT relief scheme will be required to have Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA). These certs are issued by the National Standards Association of Ireland (NSAI) and the certificate is a statement that all adaptations fitted or carried out on your vehicle have been fitted in accordance with the requirements of the IVA scheme. It is important to note that only adaptation companies who are licenced by the NSAI may apply for Individual Vehicle Approval certificates.

On receipt of approval, the licensed adaptor shall attach a 2nd or subsequent stage, plate/label. This plate must be firmly attached, in a conspicuous and readily accessible position. It must be close to the base vehicle manufacturer’s plate, on a part not subject to replacement in use. It must be clear and indelible.

The Revenue Commissioners will not process applications after this date for VRT/VAT relief for new vehicles unless they are accompanied by IVA certificates. Vehicle adaptation companies will liaise directly with the NSAI to obtain the correct documentation and you will not be required to contact the NSAI.

So if you are buying a new vehicle and you wish to avail of the VRT/VAT relief scheme and you are having adaptations carried out on your vehicle, you must ensure that you only have this work carried out with companies who are licensed by NSAI. The NSAI publish a register of licensed adaptation companies on their website www.nsai.ie.

Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers Scheme

The Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers Scheme provides a range of tax reliefs linked to the purchase and use of specially constructed or adapted vehicles by drivers and passengers with a disability. The rules of the scheme are set out in the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers (Tax Concessions) Regulations 1994 (SI 353/1994) as amended.

Under the terms of the scheme, you can claim remission or repayment of vehicle registration tax (VRT), repayment of value-added tax (VAT) on the purchase of a vehicle and repayment of VAT on the cost of adapting a vehicle. In addition, if you qualify under the scheme, your vehicle may be exempt from the payment of annual motor tax on application to a Motor Tax Office, and you may be eligible for a Fuel Grant. An adapted vehicle driven by a driver with a disability is also entitled to exemption from toll road fees.

Full details of the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers Scheme are available on www.revenue.ie

Motor Tax

If you qualify for tax relief under the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers Scheme, you will also be entitled to an exemption from payment of annual road tax.

If your vehicle is being registered in Ireland for the first time, you need to present your Vehicle Registration Certificate to your local Motor Taxation Office. If your vehicle was previously registered in Ireland before you entered the scheme, you will be given a Certificate of Approval by the Central Repayments Office, which you should present at your Motor Taxation Office.

Fuel Grant

Since January 2015, if you qualify for tax relief under the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers Scheme, you are also eligible for a fuel grant under the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers Fuel Grant Regulations 2015 (SI 635/2015).

The Fuel Grant can be applied for online using Revenue’s online service ‘myAccount’ on the Revenue website. The Fuel Grant is be paid at the same rate as the current rates for repayment of excise duty on fuel, and the same annual maximum will apply. In March 2017, this means that the rate for petrol is €0.59 per litre, the rate for diesel is €0.48 per litre, and the rate for liquefied petroleum gas is €0.10 per litre. The annual maximum that a driver or passenger may claim is 2,730 litres, and the annual maximum that an organisation may claim is 4,100 litres per vehicle. If you do not have internet access, you can contact the Central Repayments Office on 1890 60 60 61 between 2pm and 4pm Monday to Friday and request a paper form.

Full details of the Fuel Grant are available on www.revenue.ie

Toll Roads

An adapted vehicle driven by a driver with a disability is entitled to exemption from toll road fees. Toll road operators issue special passes which are recognised by all other toll road operators and which allow such vehicles pass through the tolls without paying. For further information and to obtain a pass, please contact your nearest toll road operator. The contact details for each operator are available on http://tii.ie/roads-tolling/tolling-information/disabled-drivers

Disabled Person's Parking Permit

Disabled Person's Parking Permits or Cards (also known as European Parking Cards or Disabled Parking Badge) are available to people living in Ireland with certain disabilities and those who are registered blind, whether they are drivers or passengers. The parking card can be used by a disabled person in any vehicle in which he or she is travelling. This means that a disabled person who is being driven at different times by different people can bring the parking card with himself or herself and display it in the appropriate vehicle.

The parking card scheme is administered by the Disabled Drivers Association of Ireland (DDAI) and the Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA). For further information or to apply, contact:

Parking Card Section
Disabled Drivers Association of Ireland (DDAI)
Ballindine
Claremorris
Co Mayo
Ph: 094 936 4054 or 01 6600323
Email: parkingcard@ddai.ie
Website: www.ddai.ie/parking-permit

Parking Section
National Mobility Centre
Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA)
Ballingnaggapa Road
Clane
Co Kildare
Ph: 045 893 094 or 045 893 095
Email: maats@iwa.ie
Website: www.iwa.ie/services/motoring/disabled-parking-permit-scheme

Rica - Consumer Guides for People with Disabilities and Older People

The UK research charity Research Institute for Consumer Affairs (Rica) focusses specifically on issues of concern to disabled and older consumers in the UK. It produces a wide range of guides to the usability of all sorts of equipment that we use in our daily lives. Rica has produced a guide to motoring which includes details of cars that are easiest for you to get into and out of, vehicles with space to stow a wheelchair or other kit or equipment, and detailed car measurement data on over 1,000 cars. It also has guides on driving with a particular disability, for example, motoring with arthritis (pdf) or motoring following a stroke (pdf) and a lot of useful information on mobility scooters. For lots more information, visit www.rica.org.uk