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Driving Centre

Our Driving Centre offers driving ability assessments to people with disabilities to ascertain which type of vehicle would best suit them and to determine if they would benefit from any adaptations to the vehicle, in order to drive safely. We also offer assessments to those who are concerned about whether they have the cognitive ability to drive in safety, perhaps following a head injury or Stroke. The Centre has achieved full accreditation as a member of Driving Mobility.

We have seven dual-controlled vehicles, some of which are specially adapted. The adaptations include hand controls, lightened power steering, left foot accelerator pedal and remote controls that enable people with the use of only one arm to steer and operate the secondary controls such as the indicators etc..

The Centre's Department Manager is David Wooder and he is joined by a team of six driving assessors. As a team they have a large variety of specialist skills, knowledge and qualifications working in physical, cognitive and behavioural disciplines. 

Contact The Driving Centre Team on 01707 384263 or by filling out our Contact Form.


Driving Assessment

motability logo dvla logo

If you are looking to gain greater independence, freedom and choice, we can help you.

If you are considering learning to drive for the first time or returning to driving following a break or even if you’re currently driving but are experiencing difficulty, we can help you take the first step in becoming a safe and reliable driver and to gaining or re-gaining your independence.

We provide driving assessments at The Woodside Centre in  Welwyn Garden City every week day. We also offer outreach services in Dunstable and Hillingdon one day per week .

If you have a physical disability, the assessment will help you to ascertain which type of vehicle will suit you best and which adaptations will enable you to control the vehicle safely.

Alternatively, if you have a medical condition, or perhaps have had a head injury, which may cause cognitive difficulties such as slowed reactions, memory loss or problems with concentration, our assessment will determine whether you have the ability to continue or return to driving in safety.

Following your assessment, you will receive a written report containing our recommendations and advice, which will be recognised by other mobility organisations such as Motability and the DVLA.

For details of our current fees, please contact us on 01707 384263 or e-mail driving@hadnet.org.uk.

If you are a Healthcare Professional and wish to refer a client for an assessment, please use the form below.

DRIVING ASSESSMENT REFERRAL FORM


Related News: "Guy flew from Inverness to have driving assessment!"

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Transfer Assessment

We can help you with advice and assessment on products that can make it easier for you to get in and out of your car. For example, this ‘Autoadapt’ ‘Turnout’ seat, pictured in figures two to four, can make transferring from a wheelchair easier. 

This ‘Kivi’ ‘Thigh Raiser’, pictured in figure one gently raises you until you are in a near standing position.

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Scooter Assessment

We can offer you advice and assessment on choosing the correct and most suitable mobility scooter to suit your needs. We have a range of class two and three scooters that you can try out at our centre, where we can also provide training in safe scooter driving. We also offer advice on DVLA registration, insurance, storage and servicing. We can provide you with all the help you need to remain mobile and independent!

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Contact Us

Contact The Driving Centre Team on 01707 384263 or by filling out our Contact Form.

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FAQs

“Can I take a driving assessment in my own car?”
Unfortunately, some of the clients we see are not suitable for driving, and make serious mistakes whilst on the road. We therefore only use our own, dual-controlled vehicles for the assessment. We have a range of vehicles available, including manual and automatic transmission, and vehicles adapted to help you overcome a disability; for example fitted with hand controls to control acceleration and braking, or a left foot accelerator pedal. We will not expect a perfect drive during the assessment, and you will be given as much time as you want to familiarise yourself with the vehicle and the controls.

“Do you fit vehicle adaptations?”
No, but we can give you details of suitable, local installers.

“Can you provide food while we wait for our relative who’s having a driving assessment?”
No, but we do have a patio area where you can eat your own food, weather permitting, and a microwave oven that you can use to heat pre-prepared food of your own. We can, of course, provide hot and cold drinks while you wait. 

“Do you provide driving lessons?”
We can provide tuition to novice drivers who are learning to drive for the first time, or experienced drivers who require familiarisation lessons using new controls. There may be a waiting time to provide lessons, but all Instructors are Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency approved, and specialise in teaching people with disabilities.

“Do I have to live in Hertfordshire to have an assessment?”
No – we welcome referrals from all areas. Our farthest travelling client to date, was a man who travelled from Inverness for a driving assessment and who is now back on the road, enjoying his independence again. We also have an office at the Disability Resource Centre in Dunstable where we can provide assessments for those clients travelling from the Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and the Northamptonshire area. If you are in the Middlesex, Berkshire or Buckinghamshire areas, we also offer assessments from our centre in Hillingdon.

“How do I Join the Motability Scheme?”
Anyone aged 3 or over who currently receives either the Higher Rate of the Mobility Component of the Disability Living Allowance (DLA), the Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of the Personal Independence Plan (PIP), the War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement or the Armed Forces Independence Payment, and has at least 12 months’ award remaining, is eligible to lease a car from Motability.
This includes a parent/guardian who can order a car on behalf of a child aged 3 or over who is receiving the ERMC of the DLA and non-drivers who can name up to 2 other drivers.

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Links

  • 'Driving Mobility'
  • Motability
  • DVLA
  • Driving Aids & Lifting Aids for Disabled Drivers - Brig-Ayd Controls or DS&P Mobility Electronics
    Brig-Ayd Controls and DS&P manufacture and install hand controls, wheelchair lifts, steering knobs, wheelchair ramps, throttle and brake controls, driving aids for disabled drivers and specialise in car conversions for the disabled motorists and passengers.

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The Driving Centre Team

Our Team

Sean Lawrence

Department Manager. Sean Lawrence
Sean qualified as an Approved Driving Instructor age 22, at the time the youngest in the country. He worked as a Driving Instructor until 2008, joining HAD as a Driving Assessor. In June 2016 he achieved a grade A in his DVSA standards check. Sean took over the Manager's role in October 2017.


Matt Miller

Senior Assessor. Matt Miller
Matt has worked for HAD for 14 years, establishing the Driving Centre in its current form, managing it until 2008. He is currently the Senior Assessor and Staff Trainer.



Assessor. Mark Thackeray

Mark qualified as an Approved Driving Instructor in December 2012. Prior to working as a Driving Assessor, he worked in HAD's Equipment and Transport departments. In July 2016 he achieved a grade A in his DVSA Standards Check.


Julie Richies

Administration Assistant. Julie Richie

Julie has been with HAD for approximately three years. She joined the Driving Centre in 2011, and is responsible for taking bookings and administration.


 Jonathan Hill

Occupational Therapist. Jonathan Hill

Jon has considerable experience as an occupational therapist. He has worked at HAD for the last eight years and joined the Driving Centre in 2012, providing clinical input to driving assessments.


Chris Bellia

Occupational Therapist. Chris Bellia

Chris has considerable experience as an occupational therapist. She has worked at HAD for the last eight years and joined the Driving Centre in 2012, providing clinical input to driving assessments.