I am a dwarf looking to start to drive — Scope | Disability forum
If we become concerned about you or anyone else while using one of our services, we will act in line with our safeguarding policy and procedures. This may involve sharing this information with relevant authorities to ensure we comply with our policies and legal obligations.

Find out how to let us know if you're concerned about another member's safety.

I am a dwarf looking to start to drive

Natalie29190 Member Posts: 24 Listener
Hi All,

I am 27 years old and a dwarf, i stand at 4ft5.

I have been wanting to drive for so long but i know it is not going to be as easy as it will be for everyone else.

I am in receipt of standard daily living PIP and that is all.

I have had a driving assessment in August with QEF in Carshalton, i drove a car which was fully adapted and it was amazing...

I have looked around to see if there is any driving instructors that are willing to teach me and their are none :( the route i have to go down is to buy an automatic car and have pedal extensions and a duel brake fitted so i can take driving lessons in that car and eventually do my driving test, Problem with that is it will set me back over £6000 just to have a car to be able to start to do driving lessons.

That is a lot of money.

Does anyone know of anyone who can advise me or anyone know anyone who has a specially adapted car fitted that i could use, I have searched on google and people with my condition are in receipt of higher rate mobility PIP so they had a car and adaptions paid for them.

Please help 




  • Pippa_Alumni
    Pippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,793 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Natalie29190, this sounds like a tricky situation. You mention that you receive standard PIP, have you tried applying/appealing for the higher level? 

    Our OT is currently away for the Christmas holidays, but perhaps @Jean_Scope will have some suggestions for how to move forwards with this when she's back?
  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,673 Disability Gamechanger

    Welcome to the community, I had a look and found a video of a person fitting their own pedal extenders, 

    As @PippaScope says, have you considered trying to get the higher rate mobility PIP to get yourself a car?

    Senior online community officer
  • Natalie29190
    Natalie29190 Member Posts: 24 Listener
    Hello all, 

    I have looked into pedal extenders and they are roughly £100 each, and would cost alot more to fit. I would also need a dual brake and have that fitted. I do not understand why i am penalised and cannot do the same as everyone else. In the past 2 months i have found no driving instructors that can teach me to drive and half of those have said i should buy my own car and get it all adapted then start lessons.... yes i would if i have a spare £5000.

    I am in receipt of PIP for daily living, I dont know how to get a higher rate for mobility, All i know is that i have searched this situation and people like myself are on higher rate mobility so they have had a car and adaptions done and had no problems. 

    I am lost, annoyed and stuck, again i feel like i am penalised for being what i am... Life is hard enough that it is.  
  • CockneyRebel
    CockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,212 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi Natalie

    Have you looked at the criteria for a mobility award ?
    Do you have difficulties planning and following journeys ?
    Do you have difficulty moving around ?



    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • Natalie29190
    Natalie29190 Member Posts: 24 Listener
    Yes i have looked at the criteria.

    I have difficulties moving around, i do not have problems following and planning routes.

  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,590 Disability Gamechanger

    Disability Rights UK site, PIP section can tell you how to apply for enhanced rate mobility PIP, as can the CAB site.  Or contact Scope Helpline or a local CAB or similar advice organisation.  You might also be eligible for enhanced rate daily living PIP.
  • Natalie29190
    Natalie29190 Member Posts: 24 Listener
    At the moment i live at home with family so things are slightly easier at home, I stand on a chair to cook but have to have someone with me because so many times ive fallen or have to keep getting down to move the chair.

    I worry when i move out.. on top of that i cannot be mobile outside the house as public transport is not so close to me and i keep relying on family and friends and i sense it winds them up.

    I get huge anxiety when out in public as everyone stares and points and laughs and because of that if i need help out in public i feel i cannot ask as everyone stares and it is embarrassing... as i have got older... it has become harder.

    I am going to make an appointment with my CAB office to revalue my claim as at the moment im on PIP standard daily living, and i only just managed that.  

  • Jean_OT
    Jean_OT Member Posts: 513 Pioneering

    Hi @Natalie29190

    Sorry for the delay in responding, it sounds like you have been having a frustrating time.

    Yes unfortunately getting DLA/PIP mobility component at the High/Enhanced rate is the criteria that people need to meet in order to be able to qualify to get a car under the Motability scheme, not that the car is free because the person has to surrender their mobility component in exchange for the car.  So checking to see if you might qualify for the enhanced mobility component of PIP is definitely the right thing to do.

    If Motability isn't going to be an option for you then the only other thing to explore is if you could get some charitable funding towards the costs. Scope has a grant search tool:


    There are a few driving instructors around  who have adapted cars, if there is one in your area with a suitable car you will probably find them listed on this database:


    Obviously it is vitally important that any car adaptations are safe and suitable to the person's needs so I would always recommend that people use to properly qualified and experienced fitter.

    There is an organisation called Driving Mobility that can provide specialist information on all issues related to driving for disabled people:


     Best Wishes



    Jean Merrilees BSc MRCOT

    You can read more of my posts at: https://community.scope.org.uk/categories/ask-an-occupational-therapist

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 31,151 Disability Gamechanger
    Putting in a change of circumstances for PIP is a risky thing to do. Even if you were awarded Enhanced mobility in the future, you would still have the problem of learning to drive and you would have to pay for that yourself. You say there's no instructors in your area, so how would you learn to drive?
  • Natalie29190
    Natalie29190 Member Posts: 24 Listener
    I know it is risky but i will be doing it via Citizen Advice and through my GP.
    I will learn to drive from an instructor in my car if i am able to gain enhanced PIP. Within 75 miles radius there is no driving instructors that have cars adapted to teach me to drive and i have spoken to many and they have stated that if i get my own car and adapted it then they can teach me in that car.... Hence why i mentioned it would cost me me over £6000 just to take a driving lesson.
  • Jean_OT
    Jean_OT Member Posts: 513 Pioneering

    Hi @Natalie29190

    That sounds like a really solid plan. Good luck with it, I hope everything works out for you as being able to drive often really enhances people's independence.

    Best Wishes



    Jean Merrilees BSc MRCOT

    You can read more of my posts at: https://community.scope.org.uk/categories/ask-an-occupational-therapist


Complete our feedback form and tell us how we can make the community better.