Saturday, November 16, 2013

Renting Adapted Cars in Specific Countries

Last update: 6/2019

International Data-Bases

Some lists cover items from different countries and continents, therefore they are listed here. Naturally, some of them tend to bring more details on services near the author's residence.
MIS (Mobility International Schweiz) is a Swiss example for such a list. Most of it is in German, some items are in English.
Another example is It has many links to accessible van-rental companies mainly in USA but also in Canada, Europe, Australia and New-Zealand.
The Open Directory Project (DMOZ) contains a list of Rental Vans and Hand-Controls. Some links there offer also cars with hand-controls. Note that this item is classified under "society"... The DMOZ project was closed on March 2017 and it`s content is considered "archive".
Accessible Van Rentals in Access Travel Center lists many van-rental companies and branches in the USA. They also list some international services.


Comment from founder of accessab site:
From: Carol Randall

Our research has indicated also that hand controls in Europe definitely can still be a problem. For what it's worth many Americans travel with portable ones but even then they often have to use them without the knowledge of the rental company which is not the best situation. Are hand controls available on rental cars in your country.
Currently we do provide what information we have on companies and locations that do make them available in our database under transportation. We also have a ''What's News'' page and would be happy to include an article or information that you feel would be useful in a future edition. We try to change them every month to five weeks.

Thank you for taking the time to give us your input.

Carol Randall
Access-Able Travel Source

The 2002 brochure of Hertz-Europe said (link removed):
... hand controls are available at participating locations at an additional fee.
No list of ''participating locations'' is given but it sounded promising. The brochure was intended mainly to the American customer.

The current EU policy on disabled parking may be found in Council Recommendation on a parking card for people with disabilities (1998).

A company serving disabled travelers in some EU contries is Accessible Europe (Tourism 4 All). It rents adapted vans (through other companies) but at least in some locations the vans come with a driver and a planned tour. They say (Oct 2014):
Hand controls cars are a little easier to rent than accessible vans!
Some of the big rental companies advertise to have hand controls cars to rent
but when requested they are almost unavailable!
The alternative choices are again small private companies with 1 or few hand controls cars.
The main problem with hand controls cars is:
in each Country the hand controls come from different factories and they are quite different.
Many times the disabled driver is not able to adapt himself to different than need hand controls.

A database was brought to my attention by Dave Davis (RTG newsletter):
Printable travel guides by the European Comission. They contained comprehensive info sorted by countries, including addresses of car-rental companies.
It was a huge database, but removed (or moved to a hard-to-find location).

The situation described above can be summarized as discrimination against person with disabilities.

While most customers can get essential information and services through Internet sites or travel agents, the disabled customer has to conduct an "academic" research before every trip abroad. Since 2007 most UN members (practically all EU members) signed and ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It states, among other things:

Recognizing the importance of accessibility to the physical, social, economic and cultural environment, to health and education and to information and communication...
Discrimination on the basis of disability” means any distinction, exclusion or restriction on the basis of disability which has the purpose or effect of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal basis with others, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field...

Article 3: General principles
(b) Non-discrimination;...
(e) Equality of opportunity;
(f) Accessibility;...

Article 4: General obligations
(h) To provide accessible information to persons with disabilities about mobility aids, devices and assistive technologies, including new technologies, as well as other forms of assistance, support services and facilities;...

Article 9: Accessibility
1. To enable persons with disabilities to live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life, States Parties shall take appropriate measures to ensure to persons with disabilities access, on an equal basis with others, to the physical environment, to transportation, to information and communications, including information and communications technologies and systems, and to other facilities and services open or provided to the public...
(b) Ensure that private entities that offer facilities and services which are open or provided to the public take into account all aspects of accessibility for persons with disabilities;
(c) Urging private entities that provide services to the general public, including through the Internet, to provide information and services in accessible and usable formats for persons with disabilities;
(e) To ensure that persons with disabilities have access to services from those involved in the organization of recreational, tourism, leisure and sporting activities.

The author urges the authorities in the EU and the individual member states to enforce the principles listed above on the car-rental companies and the travel agents.

For practical info on specific countries - see below.


The most established service for disabled drivers in Europe seemed to be in the UK. Since (approx.) 2013 it is focused on UK services to UK citizens with disabilities.
  • On June 2018 we are informed that AVIS offers rental cars with hand-controls in the UK. The site says that they fit the LYNX hand-controls and it is free of charge.
  • A very informative site seems to be Adapted Vehicle Hire. They offer cars of all significant classes with hand-controls, left gas pedal, elevator and other adaptations. Their offices are in Greater London and Lancashire. Their site contains a list of links to sites on travel with wheelchair.
  • Rental and breakdown services are arranged by Lynx (the maker of a portable hand-controls system).
  • Wheelchair-Travel rents vans and cars with hand controls or left gas pedal.
  • ''Atlas Conversions'' provides rental cars with hand-controls and vans for transporting wheelchair users who can't drive. Click ''vehicle hire''.
  • A US based travel agency Undiscovered Britain says it is specializing in the disabled and/or mature traveler. Unlike other agencies, it caters to independent travelers and provides vehicle rentals with wheelchair lifts and/or hand controls.
  • If you are interested in the English island of Jersey You'll find a comprehensive Disabled Access Information page, including self drive cars with adapted hand controls (a local company).
  • With some companies beware of strange requirements, like passing a ''test'' before returning the car... Taking a rented car to Europe or Ireland may require special insurance / permission.


Adapted cars and vans are offered by Motability Ireland. On October 2008 we are informed that Enterprise offers cars with hand-controls in it's internet site. Below the booking form there is a small link "hand controls". Clicking it shows the text:
"Enterprise Rent-A-Car is committed to providing specialised options for our customers with disabilities. A mininium of two business days notice is required to reserve a car with Hand Controls. For more information or to make a reservation contact your local branch."
At the time of writing it seems impossible to complete reservation of a car with hand-controls using the Internet form. The site may not work with old operating systems.


To the author's knowledge, Germany is the best country to rent cars from in Western Europe. It's central location enables driving to any other Western-European country in 1 day or less. Notice restrictions on taking rented cars to Eastern Europe.

Europcar offered cars with hand-controls in it's site. Recently they removed hand controls from their list of special equipment on the English web page. Europcar still rents cars with hand-controls (their standard was a rotary right-hand system) and other adaptations. One must contact local (e.g. airport) offices directly (by Fax or Email). There is a problem with some overseas reservation offices of Europcar, refusing to serve drivers with special needs even when cars are available. In reply to a question in Feb. 2015 the answer is:
Please try this link regarding cars for disabled persons: . There are 6 locations in Germany. You can use the e-mail addresses for any further requests.

Van and car rental is offered by Paravan. They are located in Pfronstetten-Aichelau (south of Munich), so you should verify delivery to airport and service outside Germany. In reply to a question in Feb. 2015 the answer is:
As we mainly need wheelchair accessible vans, we are using these cars also for customers that need hand control (such as Chrysler Voyager or KIA Carnival. From time to time we also do have sedans with hand controls, but I can not name brand and model. Depending on model and equipment, there is no “General Pricelist”. Our rental car fleet is changing continously, and every customer has different needs. When we receive an inquiry we will check which car is available for the requested period.
For inquiries we kindly ask yo to cpomplete attached form in order to check availability.

See also their English language page on car hire. We may understand that Paravan specializes on replacement vehicles (e.g. after accident) and that they colaborate with AVIS.

Van rental is offered by Grimm-WohnMobile. They have (April 2006) adapted towed caravans. There is no English version, but on Feb. 2015 we may find price list for renting adapted 3500 Kg caravan.

Menzel is a German travel agent specializing in services to disabled travelers in southern Germany. Phones: +49-62237052, +49-627191091/0, Faxes: +49-622371807, +49-627172942 (two branches).

Thomas Beker, is a disabled travel agent specializing in services to disabled travelers.

Germany has a very sophisticated rehabilitation industry. A problem with it is that most of their URL's are in the German language without translation. Therefore they will not appear in search engines under English terms and ordinary web-surfers will not be able to contact them. You may try the free translation services of Google.


When looking in the interenet in English, notice their special terminologies:
Adapted cars and busses:
Individual cars
Manual accelerator and brake
Adapted Driving

*. Handynamic offers cars with hand-controls and wheelchair vans (2019). They offer rental vehicles also outside France. See also the Handynamic Youtube channel.

*. Adapted car-rental is offered at Wheeliz. Look for "Hand controls cars" or "Adapted Driving" when starting a reservation (only location and dates required). In 2019 they offer large selection of cars, but some of them old (10 years and more). All cars are privately owned and the system is called "Peer to peer", similar to "Airbnb" for rental apartments.

*. Access in Paris, including car-rental, was reported in Access Project (PHSP). They are oriented towards British clients, so most links are to travel agencies in the UK.

*. Libertans offers van with ramps, no hand-controls.

*. The book ''Access in Paris'' is available freely online. The Intro chapter contains info about hire-cars with hand controls. They mention Hertz offering (in 2019) Ford Focus with hand-controls (category Special).


On August 2000 the author had a very pleasent surprise in Crete, Greece. The Chania branch of Budget agreed to rent an automatic car with permission to install portable hand-controls. The car was a sensible 1500 cc Asian model (not like the more expensive cars the author was forced to rent in some other Western European countries) . Another unique fact was that the rental was arranged through a travel agency in the authors's country collaborating with Club-Tours in Crete. The author wishes to thank them all and hope they will set an example to others.


Hand-controls: "Controles Manuales".

The online reservation page of Hertz offers (in Spanish) hand controls (Controles Manuales). Above link is related to a specific city, but one may find more by focused search in ``Google`` like this:
"Controles manuales" Barcelona

(also for cities outside Spain). See also Special cars ("Hertz UK" reservation in Spain).
From experience, the customer must make sure that the car is automatic. At least up to 1995 they had hand-controls on manual cars (with hand-operated clutch)!
At the time of writing there are no ''hand controls'' (Controles manuales in Spanish) in the ''Extras''. Their online reservation site required filling some personal details before getting general info on available options.

On Sep. 2013 we got the information about 2 local Spanish companies renting adapted cars:
Kurt offer small automatic cars with hand-controls. They operate in Palma.
The 2nd company is Cicar and they offer cars for drivers with ''limited mobility''. Specifically their site offers adapted Opel Astra and Opel Vivaro (van). They operate in Tenerife, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro & all the Canary Islands.
I wish to thank C.W. for the update.

In 2014 the author tried to rent a car with hand controls in Barcelona. The search started 6 months in advance but only one major car-rental company replied. They have only one car, and it was reserved for many months in advance.


On June 2019 we find that Hertz offers cars with hand-controls in Antwerp. The page is not easily reachable from the home-page of Hertz.
See also Rental terms.

The Netherlands

*. Accessible Travel Netherlands is an organization that connects customers with disabilities with the vahicle rental companies. Their site mentions "Hertz", "Multirent", "Freedom Motors". "KAV Autohuur", "Bever" as rental companies that offer vans with a lift or rear ramp.

*. The Internet site of Avis in the Netherlands contains a page called Disability Vehicles. As of Feb. 2019 they say: "car fitted with hand controls in the UK or a Paravan in Switzerland, Germany or Austria" so the customer is expected to rent the car in Germany for usage in the Netherlands.


On June 2019 we are informed that C.I.R. offers small cars with hand-controls and vans with a lift / ramp. Some vans may have special hand-controls but no access with the wheelchair to the driving position.
For rental in Rome it is currently possible to contact Matteo Paonessa.
Notice that currently the Internet site of C.I.R. is in Italian language only. It is possible to read it in other languages using "Google Translate" in some browsers.

On Feb. 2013 we were contacted by ''Italy for All'' / ''Blue Rental'' that currently rent adapted vans and cars. Tha vans have wheelchair ramps, but no hand-controls. The automatic Opel Meriva is currently offered with hand controls. The special ''retro'' door arrangement makes it easier to pull a folded wheelchair behind the driver`s seat.
Accessible camper (RV) rental is offered by Accessible Italian Holiday. Their site offers other vacation services, but not passanger cars with hand-controls.

As part of the initiative ''European Year dedicated to the disabled persons'', Fiat declared the Plan Autonomy Car rental. According to the 2003 report, Fiat Autonomy offers several Fiat Punto 1.2 cars with "Speedgear transmission" for rental in several major Italian airports. The Guidosimplex hand-controls are different from the US and other countries standard systems. Therefore one should verify that the system will be usable for him/her. Notice also their confusing terminology: ''converted vehicles'' instead of ''cars with hand-controls''. Fiat Autonomy is the official URL but the English version does not include the rental info (the main part of the ''Autonomy program'' is leasing and sales of adapted cars and related facilities for local customers). On Oct. 2005 the ''Rates'' page is valid only to April 2004 and lists only the ''extras''.

Europcar is offering a VW Golf for disabled drivers. This page is in Italian only with no link to an English page:
Con Rent Mobility Europcar mette a disposizione una flotta di Volkswagen Golf appositamente allestite per dare una risposta concreta alla voglia di viaggiare dei disabili.

Like in Germany, the question is: why only VW Golf? This is a good car, but station-wagons are much more practical for disabled persons travelling with family and equipment.

AutoService (based in the Genova area) offers a van with special hand-controls. Their rental page is currently in Italian only.


A URL was brought to my attention by D.C. from Irland. It is Adaptcar based in Lisbon. It had no known URL so it's phone and fax were specified:
Tel: +351-21-8123526,
FAX: +351-21-8123516.
D.C. notes that they don't work with credit cards.
It seems that above info was not updated after Sep. 2000, so take care.


Hertz offers Services for the Physically Challenged, i.e. Volvo cars with hand-controls. They say on 6/2019: Hertz is the first and only car rental company in Sweden with rental cars tailored for the physically challenged. We have a solution to offer today: hand controls.
The page is not easily reachable from the menus in the home page of Hertz.


When the author wanted to rent an adapted car for traveling around Scandinavia several years ago, the only option seemed to be to rent it from Germany.


Judging by the number of companies renting adapted cars and vans, it seems that there is no problem there. The policy approaches that of the USA, as can be seen in Australia's Disability Discrimination Act related page. In a case described there they say: A man complained that he was unable to hire a car fitted with hand controls, which he required because of his disability, when he visited a major rural centre. The car hire company agreed to provide a car with hand controls on reasonable notice.
A few randomly selected links are:
  • Budget. They say (2/2010): ... Only at selected locations Budget offers vehicles with Hand Controls.
  • Disability Hire Vehicles. A company based in Sydney offering cars and vans for self-drive. The link may be re-directed to Disability Car Hire.
  • WheelAway offers some vans for rent. No mension of hand-controls.
  • contains tourist info, including cars with hand-controls and adapted accomodations. Direct links are hard to quote and may change, so enter and fill ''hand-controls'' or ''disabled'' in the ''search'' box. On 6/2004 it seems that Avis, Hertz, Campabout, Budget and Sunset have hand-controls on certain cars. The information is not easily accessible from the sites of the companies. Some of them start with the reservation screen which gives no info before the surfer gives personal data.

New Zealand

Since January 2000 the following service is offered by Mobility for Independence. It is unique in the sense that they rent and install hand-controls on rented/private cars. They are considering adding motor home (RV) with lift and hand-controls to their fleet. They use the Monarch hand-controls. When relevant, check if it fits your abilities.
Mobility Motorhomes specializes in rental of motor-home equipped with hand-controls and lift.

On April 2003 I got the following from James in New-Zealand:
''I rented a car through Avis with hand controls (I couldn't find any other operator that was able to help). The controls are the standard (NZ at least) Cullen (push towards dashboard for brake, or floor for throttle).
There are some limitations - the car has to be a category 'A' vehicle (which is the largest available) and they require advance notice of the requirement (a few days).
There is also a minimum number of days (perhaps 5?) that the car needs to be rented - other wise a NZ$250 'fitting' fee applies.
Other than that - the car I rented was extremely new (less than 200km) and satisfactory - although the hand controls were not very well adjusted.''


In 1984 Swissair with ''Budget'' offered Station-Wagon cars with hand controls as a package deal with the flights. The deal was discontinued and renewed several times, it is worth checking with them directly in Switzerland (not through travel agent) when relevant.
On Feb. 1999 I was privately informed that Elite has a car with hand-controls. I even got a positive e-mail confirmation from them:
As per your request , please clarify if the gear (automatic of course) is incorporated to the driving wheel... if yes we have only the Chrysler Voyager 6 seater vehicle (minivan).
As regards set of portable hand control ... what the implication... need special support to fix same... please advise before we can confirm.

But after 3 hours(!) they changed their mind:
As per my mail of this day, I'm really sorry in not giving you the right answer.

And later:
Sorry to insist but unfortunately we never had a hand control vehcile for rent. We can do the needful if you ask for, after authorisation of the local authorities. Costs will depend on the number of time you will rent the car in geneva. The cost to install same in a vehicle will be approx. 3500.- CHF or less . If you have your own kit , which should be one homologated by the Swiss Authorities and to be covered by the insurances.

I brought this lengthy exchange as an example of treating disabled customers as unwanted even in some of the most civilized societies. Please correct me if I am wrong...

Well, maybe... Access-Able newsletter and later RTG brought to my attention the existence of Mietauto. This is a local company that rents ''special'' cars, among them cars for disabled persons. At the time of writing it offers a sensible station-wagon automatic car with hand-controls or left gas pedal (linksgas in German). ''Mietauto'' offer also a vans with a lift, but without hand-controls.


At first I thought that Canada is more or less similar to the USA in automotive and rehabilitation subjects. They even had a company renting RV's (motor homes) with facilities for the severly disabled (it's URL is dead now).
On the other hand, I got a detailed message claiming that the situation in Canada is deteriorating: it is much harder than before to find a rented car with hand-controls, the existing ones have bad systems etc. Confirmation to that story may be found in the magazine Magic Carpet, Autumn 1998.
On June 1999 the following message was received about the situation in British Columbia:
... Most major car rental agencies have cars with handcontrols for rent. You specify which type of vehicle you wish to have and they then have the controls installed in that vehicle. From personal experience, you MUST clarify vehicle type or you may not get the type you want. In BC, hand-controlled cars are available from the Vancouver Airport location only. Most local rental agencies are independently owned and may not have the equipment but it never hurts to try them as well. Another source for rental vehicles is the BC Paraplegic Association. They have accessible cars and vans for rent. You can contact them at:
780 S.W. Marine Drive,
Vancouver, British Columbia,
Tel: (604) 324-3611,
Fax: (604) 326-1229.

Adapted van rental (without hand-controls) is offered by Driving Force.

A natural choice for some cases was to rent a car in USA and travel with it to Canada. Since the events of Sep. 11th and the 2003 Iraq war the USA borders and visa procedures became prohibitive for many tourists, so take care...
See also the book Anyone Can Travel which covers traveling abroad from the Canadian perspective.
Like in other countries, the disabled driver may suffer from the growing number of pure self-service gas stations. A partial solution is available in Nova Scotia.


Thanks to ''Drift'', I got the link to hand-controlled vehicles for disabled travellers in Namibia, Southern Africa. They offer a sensible car with extra equipment needed to travel there. The author has no personal experience, but if it is as it looks in their page, they should be an example to much richer countries in the west!

South Africa

In April 2004 I had personal experience of renting from Europcar through a travel agent. Europcar installed right hand-controls (gas down, brakes forward) for each rental, so they charge a certain fee for the installation. They say the demand is very low, so they can't have a car with permanently-installed system. The only automatic classes in Europcar were D (Toyota Corolla 1.6L or equiv.) and F (Toyota Camry or VW Passat or equiv.). In certain locations only one of them was offered.
Note also availability in Avis
If you have a LYNX system, it is possible to use the company's services to rent a car with permission to use the system.
The official S.A. consulate site in N.Y. said:
The larger car rental companies can provide vehicles with hand controls. This sentence was quoted exactly in some of the following URL's.
Southern African Places.
Cape Info.
The Great Karoo (click ''tourist tips'').

It is very interesting to observe that in Southern Africa this service for disabled drivers is more developed than in most European countries!


We are informed that the authorities in Cyprus are reluctant to enable car-rental with hand-controls. There are companies that specialize in vacation services to customers with disabilities, including adapted van and small pick-up truck rental (with or without drivers). One of them is Cyprus Disability Hire.


On March 2005 the accessibility part of the law of equal rights to people with disabilities was accepted by the Israeli parliament. A simplified translation of the article on car-rental says:
''A company that owns at least 100 vehicles for rental will have at least 2 vehicles adapted for driving by a person with disabilities, and at least 2 additional vehicles adapted for transportation of a person with disability. A company that rents buses and other vehicles will make accessible vehicles available at a price identical to a non- accessible vehicle rental.''
Final signature of regulations is expected in mid-2012, implementation (hopefully) near Q1 of 2013.
There is no mutual recognition of "disabled badge" (parking permit) between Israel and other countries. The ''UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006)'' was signed and ratified and there is a need for a reform of criterions for getting the local badge. Of course, negotiations among countries or a UN decision are required to complete the process.

''FreeWay'' offers automatic cars and vans with hand controls (since 2015). Their Internet site shows vehicle types but no rates and other important details.

''Eldan'' offered 1600 cc automatic cars with left or right-hand controls. You may need to reserve about 10 days in advance to allow installation of system. At the time of writing their Internet site does not contain this info.
''Israel 4 All'' specialize in travel services to persons with disabilities. They say: ``We have different options to rent vehicle for self drive of the wheelchair user...`` but there are no details on vehicle types, hand-controls etc.

An Israeli company specializing in RV rental abroad is Bandana. At the time of writing they offer only a very large RV with hand-controls in USA.

For Israeli travellers abroad, MILBAT is arranging rental of portable hand-controls at the destination airport. It also gives information services about access and accomodations.


Last but not least, availability in the USA seems to be the best. The major international companies have cars with hand-controls in most big cities.

  • INSURANCE in the USA: with special vehicles like adapted vans and RV`s, don`t take it for granted. You may need to buy insurance from an insurance agent because the vehicle-rental company can`t or refuses to sell insurance. They even refuse to direct the client to an insurance company / agency. All the relevant details must be sorted before ordering the vehicle. Regulations may differ from state to state. This American system of separating the insurance service from the vehicle rental service poses a severe problem to a disabled non-American visitor who comes to the USA for several days.
    '' Insurance4carhire'' is a company offering insurance for car-rental in selected locations and selected clients. We say ''selected'' since they write in the page What`s not covered:
    Policyholders who are not residents of a European Economic Area country.
    That line means that residents of some countries that are allies of the USA are considered ``high risk``, much like the requirement to issue visa to the USA after a long procedure and investigation.
    Wheelerz offer adapted vans and scooters for rental. About insurance they said (previously): Our insurance policy generally provides secondary coverage. If the rental vehicle is involved in an accident, the renter is primarily responsible for liability and repairs to the rental vehicle. There are travel insurance resources for other kinds of coverage. On March 2013 it seems that they offer more comprehensive insurance programs, we didn't check the rates.

  • Ability Van Rentals.
  • Ability Center Van Rentals, based in Western USA.
  • AVIS Access program: Cars with hand controls and other services mainly in the USA.
  • Mobilty WorksVan rental.
  • Van rental in Maui (Hawaii).
  • Access Aloha (Hawaii) van rental. While reading the form it seems that the renterer is expected to have a personal vehicle insurance policy that covers rented vehicles. They say also: ``Special advance arrangements are necessary for a driver requesting to use hand controls``.
  • Accessible Vans of America.
  • has many links to accessible van-rental companies mainly in USA but also in Canada, Europe, Australia and New-Zealand.
  • Wheelchair Getaways. Various vans with ramps, some with hand-controls. Also usefull links. Note their item on insurance: While Wheelchair Getaways does not offer insurance to our renters, there are several ways to obtain insurance...
  • Van rental in several states.
  • Guidelines for clever van-rental.
  • Travel Accessible St. Louis including adapted car-rental index.

  • In North America one may find even RV's (motor homes) with lift, hand-controls and all facilities. An advatage of RV's is that there is no need to look for accomodations. It has drawbacks also.
  • Cruise America RV rental.
  • Palm RV Centers, Florida. Click ''Ability Equipped RV''.
  • Discount Mobility USA offers adapted van rental (and other services) especially in Florida.
  • Wheelchair Vans of America offers adapted van rental in east coast of the USA. Some vans are equipped with hand-controls.
  • Medical Travel offers adapted van rental especially around Orlando, Florida.
  • Special Needs Family Fun offers family fun and special needs resources. Many links related to driving, special equipment and van-rental in USA. Specifically try driving links and accessible vans.
  • Other examples may be found in the alphabetical index under ''RV''.

  • In the U.S., ADA legislation demands that all car rental companies have to provide rentals to people with disabilities, if they need hand controls, pedal extensions or whatever, they must ''under severe penalty'' provide the rental vehicles equipped as needed to the customer. Practically, at least some companies are reluctant to make permanent installations like left gas pedal since it will damage it's value at resale.
  • More info on the situation in North America may be found in the position paper by Fred Rosen.
  • Access from airport terminal to car-rental office is possible sometimes only by bus. Some of them park the cars far from the terminal and it may be a problem to get wheelchair assistance from their station to the terminal. It seems that ADA requires that these shuttle busses will be accessible. The same document (in alternative link) specifies rental terms, hand-controls type and more When returning car to airport office before flight, allow for delays. Some operators will agree to drive with you to the airport terminal when returning the car, thus saving the boarding to the bus with your luggage etc.
  • scooter rental. For long distances in a city it may help very much those who are able to walk short distances on crutched or wheelchair. Some scooters may fit in adapted vans.
  • In many US cities there are buses and trains which are adapted to wheelchairs. If you stay only in such cities (e.g. New-York), a car will only pose a severe parking problem.
  • SpinLife compiled interesting facts on adapted car rental. It is updated to Jan. 2000 at the time of writing.
  • There seems to be a policy change in major car-rental companies with respect to the Internet (since this site was established). Most information is available only to registered clients. The potential anonymous client can`t do ''window-shopping'' any more. I am sure the companies think it fits their interest (and, maybe, interests of travel agents), but it is bad for the customers.

It will be for the benefit of all future readers if you'll bring to my attention any addition/correction to above information!


  1. The author has no commercial interest in any of the mentioned companies. Their name / links are given only as illustration and service to potential customers.
  2. Some companies may have discontinued or changed services. The author takes no responsibility for consequences of such changes.
  3. The author takes no responsibility for any mis-haps occuring while using the above-mentioned services.

Last update: 6/2019.

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