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Thread: Driving aid - steering wheel spinning knob

  1. #1
    Senior Member Lighttouch's Avatar
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    Driving aid - steering wheel spinning knob

    Well, to aid driving my friends put me on the spot and tried to buy me a steering wheel aid in the shape of a spinning knob.

    Now you wouldn't be surprised as to how many jokes can be made from this device.

    Now fitted by a friend I'm not sure how I drove safely without it - I feel like I'm able to turn the car around on a sixpence with one hand. http://www.alfredbekker.co.uk/drivin.../#!prettyPhoto

    Strange as it may seem if you wanted to buy a brand new vehicle you'd be VAT exempt if you just added a steering ball for £25 as this is considered to be an adaptation.

    What adaptation have you added that's made a world of difference to your driving experience.

    spinning-knob.jpg

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lighttouch View Post
    Strange as it may seem if you wanted to buy a brand new vehicle you'd be VAT exempt if you just added a steering ball for £25 as this is considered to be an adaptation.
    Not any more, I'm afraid. The rules on VAT exemption for motor vehicles were replaced with a much narrower exemption in 2012. Only vehicles permanently and substantially adapted to carry a wheelchair (with or without the user sat in it) for a habitual wheelchair user are now VAT exempt.

    Full details can be found in VAT notice 1615.

  3. #3
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    Yep Flymo is correct, the rules had to be changed as too many people were getting away with VAT exemption and then 'would you believe it' selling the car on for a profit!

    I have been using a knob similar to the one shown since i've had my CMax and I love it - mine has a quick-release mechanism so others can use the car without having the knob in the way.

    Actually, on the day of collection I was meant to meet the installation company at the Ford dealership in the afternoon, I was at work in the morning and I got a call from the dealership saying they had got their early and where would I like the knob fitted?

    Well I suggested a 2 o'clock position would suit most right handed drivers, and so as long as the instruments remained visible that would be fine. Excitedly I arrived at the dealership to be shown that the knob had been positioned right in the line of site for the speedometer!

    The dealership suggested that the installers could return the next day and re-position it, I suggested that the engineers shouldn't be allowed to call themselves engineers without using any common-sense!

    When I got home I re-installed it myself at the 6 o'clock position, and actually it's far preferable as I can rest my arm on my lap instead of suspending it in the air.

    Paul (I have a MEng degree in Aeronautical Design Engineering)
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    Senior Member Lighttouch's Avatar
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    Hi Paul, yes I was led to believe that people were buying a Ferrari or other very expensive sports cars then just fitting a steering knob to save £10ks then selling it on and pocketing a large sum . . . the tax man wouldn't like that!

    Yes I bought this steering knob online. It comes with a bracket and a quick release button to remove the mushroom knob for any non-disabled drivers.

    Im a right hand driver and I asked my engineer to fit it there - it doesn't get in the way of the dashboard as on a Scenic the dashboard is digital and to the left sde of the steering.

    The actual unit came with two flat brackets that you needed to shape around the steering wheel. The supplied bolts weren't long enough so my resourceful engineer friend sourced two bolts and nuts to complete the job.

    It's strange as I know a number of academics who seem to lack that common sense touch. It's what this country needs - people who can simply solve practical problems effortlessly by thinking things through before starting a job.

    My next simply adaptation will involve being able to operate a left hand indicator using my right hand - I've got the aparatus but will leave it a week before asking another favour!
    Last edited by Lighttouch; 30-03-14 at 21:43.

  5. #5
    Senior Member catlover's Avatar
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    I use a steering ball as I drive with hand controls and have found that non disabled people driving my car (mobile mechanic etc) love it so I wouldn't worry about removing it for non disabled drivers. The dealer who drove my car to me when I bought it waxed lyrical about the fun he'd had using it on the drive to me!

    As I also have the hand controls, the steering ball is operated with my left hand and I was told they always fitted it at the 10 o clock position for right handed drivers unless otherwise requested. where the left hand would naturally hold the wheel. the hand controls are at 2 o clock
    Last edited by catlover; 31-03-14 at 06:27.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Flymo View Post
    Not any more, I'm afraid. The rules on VAT exemption for motor vehicles were replaced with a much narrower exemption in 2012. Only vehicles permanently and substantially adapted to carry a wheelchair (with or without the user sat in it) for a habitual wheelchair user are now VAT exempt.

    Full details can be found in VAT notice 1615.
    It also clearly states
    A motor vehicle seating no more than 12 people may qualify for the relief
    if it is designed or permanently and substantially adapted:
    • for the carriage of a disabled wheelchair user, or
    • specifically to allow a wheelchair to be carried on or in the vehicle.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Lighttouch's Avatar
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    That's interesting as I carry a manual wheelchair in the hatchback so maybe I'd qualify for VAT exemption - not that I plan to change my car until after PIP assessment. I can get it out and put it together myself but can't propel it forward with just one functional arm. I need a pusher. On Tuesday morning I'll be cycling at the track on a trike before heading to the Trafford Centre shopping mall.

    Can you believe I dropped and smashed the mantlepiece clock after turning it on an hour - expensive mistake but I might just as well hire an electric scooter from shopmobility as the Trafford Centre is enormous - https://uk.images.search.yahoo.com/s...tre+manchester
    Last edited by Lighttouch; 31-03-14 at 20:33.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flymo View Post
    Not any more, I'm afraid. The rules on VAT exemption for motor vehicles were replaced with a much narrower exemption in 2012. Only vehicles permanently and substantially adapted to carry a wheelchair (with or without the user sat in it) for a habitual wheelchair user are now VAT exempt.

    Full details can be found in VAT notice 1615.
    This was the main change in response to the abuse that was taking place:

    The relevant VAT legislation does not impose any specific limit on the
    number of vehicles that you can buy VAT-free. However, frequent purchases
    may contravene the ‘domestic or personal use’ condition.
    If you frequently purchase zero-rated motor vehicles, this may be considered
    indicative of a business activity for VAT purposes. As well as the vehicles
    not being eligible for VAT relief, you may be liable to VAT registration
    (subject to prevailing VAT turnover limits) and have to account for VAT
    on the sale of these vehicles. You may also need to consider whether
    a personal tax liability is generated in respect of any profits from these
    sales and/or whether such activity may be in breach of any benefits that
    you may be receiving. If at the time of purchase you intend to dispose of the vehicle(s) in
    order to profit from the VAT relief, zero-rating is not appropriate
    as this is not personal or domestic use of the vehicle.

    As far as I can tell a steering ball would still be an eligible adaption but you might have difficulty persuading a car dealer to accept it as most appear to have really tightened up on who they are prepared to sell a VAT-exempt vehicle to. Some dealers now require a doctors letter to prove the purchaser is a wheelchair user.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Lighttouch View Post
    Well, to aid driving my friends put me on the spot and tried to buy me a steering wheel aid in the shape of a spinning knob.

    Now you wouldn't be surprised as to how many jokes can be made from this device.

    Now fitted by a friend I'm not sure how I drove safely without it - I feel like I'm able to turn the car around on a sixpence with one hand. http://www.alfredbekker.co.uk/drivin.../#!prettyPhoto

    Strange as it may seem if you wanted to buy a brand new vehicle you'd be VAT exempt if you just added a steering ball for £25 as this is considered to be an adaptation.

    What adaptation have you added that's made a world of difference to your driving experience.

    spinning-knob.jpg
    Driving long distances as i do i wanted something better than steering balls and got one of these

    http://www.lodgesons.co.uk/products/...Grip-hand.aspx

    Very ergonomic to grip and because of the larger surface area you can adjust your grip for comfort unlike the balls.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Lighttouch's Avatar
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    Hi Samiel,

    Looks great. I see that all these steering aids appear to be inter-changeable. I have a tendency to still use the normal steering wheel when traveling on standard roads. I only take hold of the mushroom when approaching corners or as needed.

    I wouldn't be surprised if that hand control would slot into my steering wheel bracket. It looks like a universal type metal prong or peg.

    Thanks for sharing.

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