Ataxia UK
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Told by Consultant 'no' to learning to drive

Consultant has said 'no' to learning to drive in the UK. When I mentioned that if an assessment of driving 'off road' could take place in both an automatic and manual vehicle, would he then be prepared to let me apply for a provisional UK licence did he say 'yes'! Has anyone else experienced this and have they had an assessment? Can you recommend where to get an assessment? Thanks.

4 Replies

That depends: when I wanted to learn to drive I went to an 'assessment centre' who made so many recommendations (steering ball, special seat and harness etc etc) quite frankly it put me off.

Then a few years later I was going through a directory and came across a local driving school that advertised itself as 'disability friendly' - signed up for lessons in an automatic, we soon got rid of the steering ball etc, it took me two attempts but I've been driving for nearly 30 years now.

You have to notify DVLA, the assessment centre will do necessary/basic tests on reaction times etc and make loads of suggestions, but once you get in the car with your instructor you'll find out what you need. I don't know any assessment centres - there used to be one in Surrey called the Queen Elizabeth. I'm sure Google will help.

Good luck.


Thank you for your reply. Can I ask what form of Ataxia you have? We are dealing with atrophy of the cerebellum which may become a stumbling block particularly with the theory test too.


I have an Ataxia of uncertain aetiology (origin) not much help to anyone I'm afraid.. I've found the assessment centre website - best to ask them direct


That's great, really helpful. Thank you.


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