Category Archives: Advice

Is a Thatched Roof Property Suitable If You Have a Disability?

Thatched roof properties have a unique style and character that’s impossible to replicate and are often located in very desirable areas, which is why so many people dream of owning one.

If you’re considering buying a thatched roof property and have a disability then you might be worried that it won’t be suitable.

Below are some of the main things to consider with a thatched roof property –


If you have a disability that limits your movement then accessibility is going to be an obvious concern. There are a lot of thatched roof properties that are bungalows, which of course removes the worry of getting up and down the stairs. Most properties are also easily accessible via the front or back door so there isn’t anything in particular that would pose a concern compared to a regular property.

There are also steps you can take to improve accessibility, such as getting bifold blinds rather than curtains. If you suitable doors, then it’s also important to pick the right bifold door blinds.

Roof maintenance

If you have a thatched roof property then you’d need to make sure the roof is properly maintained. Although the roof itself will last a long time, it will need to be inspected/repaired every 8-10 years. For this reason it’s important to find out when the roof was last inspected when purchasing a thatched property.

Is the property listed?

There are some thatched roof properties that are listed buildings. A listed building is one that is considered to be of significant historical or cultural value. The reason it’s important to know if a property you’re considering is listed is because it will affect whether you’re able to have any structural work carried out on it. If you wanted to have work carried out that would affect the exterior appearance or structure of the property then you’d need to obtain permission from the local council.

Getting the right type of insurance

When you have a thatched roof property, you’ll need to get the right type of insurance. Regular home insurance usually isn’t suitable due to the cost and expertise required to repair/replace a thatched roof. Because of this you’ll want to get quotes from a site such as Thatch roof home insurance.

Chimney cleaning

Having the chimney cleaned regularly is vital when you have a thatched roof property. One of the biggest hazards of owning a thatched roof home is the risk of fire. If a fire were to break out due to to a poorly cleaned chimney then it can spread extremely quickly and cause total damage.



Taxi Accessibility Explained

Getting a taxi is something that most people take for granted. However if you or somebody you know has a disability that means you require special accessibility measures to use a taxi or minicab then it’s useful to know what your rights are when it comes to taxi accessibility.

The laws regarding taxi accessibility tend to vary depending on which part of the country you’re in and whether or not you live in a major city. In most major cities, any licensed taxis must have wheelchair accessibility.

In London, all black cabs are wheelchair accessible. In addition to this, many new cabs also come with an intercom so the driver is better able to communicate with hearing aid users.

Of all the methods of transport available if you’re disabled, a taxi is the most convenient so it’s reassuring to know that in most cases, you’ll be able to order a taxi or minicab that comes with wheelchair access.

What if you have an assistance dog?

If you have an assistance dog then it shouldn’t be a problem for it to enter the taxi. The only real exception to this is if the driver has an exemption certificate, for example if they’re allergic to dogs.

If you’re calling for a private hire taxi then you should always mention that you have an assistance dog so they can ensure that a driver who accepts them is sent to you. If you’re looking for a taxi on the street then you should look for an exemption certificate, which should be clearly displayed on their vehicle windscreen.

It’s worth knowing that under no circumstances should you be charged extra for travelling with an assistance dog and trying to do so can result in a heavy fine for taxi drivers.

Although you’re entitled to travel in a taxi with an assistance dog, it’s your responsibility to ensure that the dog is clearly identifiable as an assistance dog or that you have the correct documentation with you. Many taxi drivers may not insist on this but it helps to avoid any problems.

Another thing you must ensure when travelling in a taxi with an assistance dog is that it remains on the floor at all times and doesn’t cause any damage to the vehicle. If any damage were to occur then the taxi driver or taxi firm could ask you to pay for it.


Author: taxi fleet insurance

Common Challenges Disabled Motorists Face

Disability brings with it a lot of challenges, not least of which is driving.

There are many common challenges that disabled people face on the roads every day. Below are some of the most common.

Disabled spaces

The Blue Badge Scheme helps disabled drivers in a number of ways, with the most obvious being access to disabled parking spaces. Depending on the severity of the disability a person has, if they’re unable to find a disabled spot then they might not be able to carry out the task they left the house for.

Unfortunately there are people who will park in a disabled space even if they don’t have a disability. Even those that are able to produce a blue badge are sometimes not genuine. For example they might have a badge that’s stolen or fake; or they could be using the badge of friend or relative.

This type of abuse of the Blue Badge Scheme can make the life of genuinely disabled people much more difficult.


Refueling can be another challenge that comes with being a disabled driver. For those who have a disability that means they require assistance with refueling, this can often be a challenge, especially for smaller petrol stations that might only have 1 or 2 people working there. A lot of petrol stations don’t have any clear instructions on how a disabled person should get the attention of a staff member either.

Getting insurance

Getting insurance at a reasonable price can be an issue for disabled drivers too. Unfortunately a lot of insurance providers instantly make the assumption that those with modified vehicles are more likely to be involved in accidents that require a claim.

There are a couple of ways to get round this problem though –

  • Shop around – One of the best ways to avoid overpaying for car insurance is to shop around. Thankfully it’s very easy to get private hire vehicle  insurance quotes now due to the number of insurance comparison services out there who can also offer monthly instalments. By getting a lot of quotes it ensures that buyers can make an informed decision when it comes to their insurance.
  • Motability scheme – The Motability scheme allows people with a disability to lease a car where the tax, insurance and servicing is already taken care of. This is obviously a big advantage and the wide selection of vehicles available on the scheme means it’s suitable for a wide variety of people.

A Guide to the Blue Badge Scheme

The Blue Badge scheme provides disabled motorists with a number of concessions throughout the UK. These are mostly related to parking but also include things like tax exemption and exemption from being clamped on public roads.

Parking concessions

One of the main parking concessions that Blue Badge holders benefit from is the ability to legally park in disabled spaces. Disabled parking spaces are extremely common in the UK and are found in a wide range of places, from football stadiums and arenas to supermarkets and shopping centres.

The other major parking concession for Blue Badge holders is the ability to park on roads with single or double yellow lines. In England and Wales, Blue Badge drivers can park on roads with yellow lines for up to 3 hours; there is no time limit for parking on such roads in Scotland.

On roads where there are parking meters or pay and display machines present, Blue Badge holders can park for as long as necessary. The exception to this is when there is a notice stating that there are specific time limits for Blue Badge holders. In such cases it’s necessary to display both your Blue Badge and a parking disc to show what time you arrived.

Additional concessions

Below are some of the additional concessions that Blue Badge holders can benefit from.

  • Road tax – In the majority of cases, if you hold a Blue Badge then you will not have to pay road tax. Even if you don’t currently hold a blue badge but have a disability then you might be eligible for tax exemption.
  • Insurance – disability cannot be used as a rating factor for all types of of insurance including
  • Tolls – If you’re a disabled driver then you might be exempt from having to pay the full fare at toll crossings in the UK. Visit for full details.
  • Wheel clamping – Providing your vehicle is displaying a valid Blue Badge, it cannot be legally clamped on public land.

Getting a Car As a Disabled Person

Choosing the right vehicle

When you have a disability it’s extremely important to get a vehicle that’s suitable for your needs. How much your car needs to be adapted will depend on the extent of your disability. In some cases, simply being a car with automatic transmission is enough since they’re much easier to drive and frees up your left hand from constantly changing gears.

If your disability is more severe then you might have to have your vehicle extensively adapted, including things like hand controls for operating the vehicle and having the pedals shifted to suit your needs.

Of course not all disabilities require you to have a car adapted or even purchasing a particular type of vehicle. There are disabilities that don’t manifest themselves physically to a point where it would impair your ability to drive a regular car.

motability scheme

The main organization that provides vehicles for disabled drivers is The Motability Scheme. If you receive financial support for your disability then you can use it to lease or purchase a vehicle from Motability. Motability provide a range of cars, scooters and powered wheelchairs.

There are certain criteria you must meet in order to be eligible to get a vehicle from Motability.

You are also able to get a Motability vehicle and pick somebody else to drive it for you, as well as being able to claim a vehicle for your child.

Getting a vehicle through the Motability Scheme comes with some fairly substantial benefits. These include –

  • Vehicle insurance (convicted drivers such as drug driving insurance may cost more) of  is included as standard, including tyre/windscreen replacement cover
  • Breakdown cover is also included
  • Vehicle tax is already paid for

Car Tax

If you have a disability and choose to get a vehicle outside of the Motability Scheme then there’s a possibility that you won’t have to pay car tax on it.

Check out this page for information on how to apply for free vehicle tax or to renew your current vehicle tax exemption.