Toyota had a record number of test drives this year at last week’s Mobility Roadshow, with over 500 visitors taking the opportunity to test its wide range of vehicles and adaptations on the famous Donington circuit. Six Toyota cars – Corolla and Yaris, both in standard and Verso form, and RAV4 – were fitted with hand controls. Also available to view on the Toyota stand were the Avensis, Avensis Verso and Previa MPV, where special guest, Simon Weston OBE, was on hand to discuss mobility concerns and vehicle choice with visitors.
“I thoroughly enjoyed myself,” said Simon afterwards. “The show was hugely impressive, and being at Donington had an edge of romance. You could sense that the atmosphere was right, everyone was so cheerful. I spoke to lots of visitors on the Toyota stand about the type of car they were looking for.”
Simon had recently been driving the Corolla Verso 2.0-litre T Spirit diesel. “I was really impressed with the Corolla Verso. It is a versatile car without a doubt. You can take out two back seats and still end up with three seats with space to put a motorised buggy in and the facility to fasten it down.”
Simon said that finding and accessing stowage space for wheelchairs and buggies had been a primary concern among visitors to whom he spoke at the show. He added that many of today’s Toyota vehicles had suitably large hatchback entrance and exits, wide doors and low lips to aid accessibility.
A technician from Specialised Vehicle Options (SVO) was on hand to demonstrate the wide variety of aids and adaptations available for Toyota vehicles, including an ingenious swivelling driver’s seat installed on a Yaris Verso. “That would be invaluable for someone who has manoeuvrability problems and can’t move their back or neck too much,” said Rob Pithouse of SVO.
“Strangely enough, this year people were asking me things like, will the car take fishing rods?” Simon Weston commented. “That tells you everything about disability, because even with their problems people are looking to enjoying their leisure time as much as anyone else, and make the most of their vehicles.
“There are eight million disabled people in this country and at least three people on average in a disabled household, The Mobility Roadshow is a fabulous one-stop shop.”
Most Toyotadealerships have Motability specialists trained to advise customers on suitable vehicles and to make suggestions about adaptations. Customers should contact their local dealer for more information on the Toyota Motability scheme, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the Toyota Call Centre on 0845 275 5555 or visit the Toyota website: www.toyota.co.uk
For further information on adaptations and controls please contact Rob Pithouse at Specialised Vehicle Options (SVO) on 01249 815141 or visit the SVO website: www.specialisedvehicleoptions.com
Notes to Editors
- All the Toyota models at Donington are available through Motability, the charitable body which assists those who qualify for Higher Rate Disabled Living or War Pensioners’ Mobility allowances to obtain vehicles on contract hire, or buy them on hire purchase at special rates. Apart from the zero-deposit Corolla, Motability customers can, for example, obtain a Yaris automatic on three-year contract hire with only a £500 deposit, or a Yaris Verso with £1000 down.
- Toyota Motability Contract Hire includes routine servicing and maintenance, fully comprehensive insurance and RAC membership including Roadside Assistance and Home Start and loss of use cover throughout the hire term. Under the HP scheme there is no limit to mileage or to the type of adaptations that can be fitted, and RAC membership is included for one year.