Car rental for manual wheelchair users


Where do you start with car rental?  There is a vast amount of information available and so many companies to choose from.  Luckily we have lots of the answers in our Travel Information section.  But what if you are a manual wheelchair user who doesn’t want an adapted car?  Well, perhaps you could benefit from using hand controls.

What are hand controls?

Hand controls are pieces of equipment which once installed allow the foot pedals to be operated by hand.  Usually located close to the steering wheel they allow for the wheel and pedals to be operated in unison.

Portable hand controls are self installable and removable.  They are lightweight, available online and do not require permanent car modifications.

How do you use hand controls?

Our brand ambassador, Aron Andersson recently returned from France where he created a short video with information on hand controls.

Aron explains that he often gets asked the question ‘how can you rent a car when you’re in a wheelchair and can’t drive with the regular pedals?’.  The answer of course is that he uses hand controls.  He goes on to say that you can sometimes get a car with hand controls installed, especially in the USA.  However, in Europe it’s not so readily available and in any case, he finds it better to bring his own hand controls, even if they can be supplied, as he knows they definitely work for him.


Apart from using hand controls, when you hire cars, you also need to check whether the car is exactly the one you want. On the blog from Have wheelchair will travel, they give detail information about what you need to care about when you hire a car.