Hand Controls for Disabled Drivers Cost

Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff

Hand controls are devices designed to help allow those with a disability to drive safely and regain their independence.  These parts can be paired with all sorts of steering wheel setups, in different configurations, allowing a driver to operate the gas pedal and brake while operating a lever, usually by pulling or pushing.  Typically mounted beneath the steering wheel, it often attaches to the pedal itself and can be installed in a car, truck, minivan or SUV, as long as space allows it.

Whether it’s a pedal extension, spinner knob, steering aid, turn signal crossover and/or pedal guards, these devices, designed for a variety of disabilities can greatly range in value, depending on what you need for your circumstances.

For the most part, standard drivers are not able to install hand controls without a rehabilitation specialist prescription.

Hand Controls for Disabled Drivers Cost
Mercedes steering wheel” (CC BY 2.0) by markhillary

Cost of hand controls for disabled drivers

In most states, as we indicate below, you will first need a prescription from a local specialist before you install hand and/or foot controls in your vehicle.  At this doctor appointment, he or she will run a series of tests, generally testing your overall physical functions, your vision, perception, motor function, reaction time, attention and how well you perform behind the wheel.  With all of this information, your specialist will then be able to determine which controls are needed and if you are even a candidate to drive behind the wheel.

The cost of hand controls greatly depend on the type of device you need, the installer you choose, the brand of the device installed and the complexity of the install.  From what we researched, if you wanted a device installed inside of your current vehicle, most controls, including the professional installation, would range anywhere from $1,600 to $5,800+.  This is just a quote for the hand controls and would not include additional accessories if needed.  Most of your basic designs can be closer to the $1,600 range, while your advanced engineered controls can be north of $3,000.  The higher-end devices, from what we saw, would often have a better fit and a nicer quality finish, blending in well with the car interior.

These quotes, however, are designed more for a car with an automatic transmission, and if you have a manual transmission, the parts can be installed; however, experts note you should be prepared to pay at least 30 to 50 percent more on average.

With a variety of options online, we broke down the costs, including installation, in our table below:

Type of DeviceDescriptionAverage Price (includes professional install)
Push RockThis type of system allows the driver to accelerate and brake while using the handle in a vertical position. Pulling the handle back, for instance, accelerates, while pushing forward, brakes.$1,600 to $5,800+
Right AngleA right angle system allows the driver to push either downward toward the lap to brake or accelerate while pushing at a right angle.$1,600 to $5,800+
Push PullUsing less strain with the fingers and thumb, pushing the lever down allows the driver to brake, while pulling up allows the driver to accelerate.$1,600 to $5,800+
Right HandThe right-hand system is designed to mount near the ground, looking similar to a shifter. Operated with the right hand, when pulled, the car accelerates, but when pushed forward, it brakes.$1,600 to $5,800+

On Amazon.com, for instance, we were able to find controls that ranged anywhere from $175 to $300, but unlike the parts included in the table above, these devices were considered to be portable and designed for as a temporary option.  Disabled drivers often choose this route if they find the professionally installed methods to be too expensive.

At AMS Vans, for instance, their hand controls start at $1,320, while another company we found online, MC Mobility Systems, says their controls start at $1,650, a quote which includes the equipment and installation.

Top hand control brands on the market

Guidosimplex USA:  Allowing the driver to place both hands on the wheel, the natural “push” allows the driver to brake, with up to 11 secondary controls available at the driver’s fingertips — even a clutch for manual transmission setups.  All controls are designed in a way to match the car’s interior.

Menox:  Compatible devices, designed for both right and left-handed drivers.  All products are rust-free coated, lengthening its lifespan and durability when compared to other brands.  This was the first brand to receive a TUV product approval in 2003.

MPS:  Designed in 1968 by a driver with a disability who was frustrated with the options at the time, this smooth and effortlessly driver aid has become one of the best sellers on the market today.

Sure-Grip:  The leader in the U.S. and Canadian market, the Sure-Grip company was constructed in a way to help even those with the highest level of disability.  These controls require very little hand strength when compared to other brands and are designed in a way with a unique vertical level that allows the driver to operate a two handle contract with the steering wheel — a design no other brand on the market offers.

Veigel Automotive:  This uniquely designed hand control integrates perfectly with your car’s interior and is extremely easy to use with unmatched design and execution.

Tips to know

In some states, a prescription from a doctor, most often a driver rehabilitation specialist, will be required before a device is installed in your vehicle.  For example, in Ohio, you need a prescription via a driver rehabilitation specialist, and on this prescription, they will note exactly which devices you need or an endorsement on your driver’s license to install the necessary devices.  These guidelines, as indicated by the state, will protect the driver themselves and others on the road to ensure the person in question is qualified to receive the necessary controls.  These specialists, working with people of all ages and abilities, will help evaluate your circumstances, train you with the new devices and even explore alternative transportation methods if necessary. Talk with your local DMV to know the exact steps you need to take to legally have the devices installed.

As long as there is enough room beneath the steering wheel, these devices can be installed, and in fact, according to AMSVans.com, some manufacturers may even offer to assist you with the installation costs.

To purchase hand controls which are installed by a qualified installer, they can only be purchased by dealers who are certified by the manufacturer of the hand controls.  When you find a brand you like, such as one of the brands mentioned in the bullet points above, you should be able to either find a dealer either via the brand’s official website or by calling the customer support line.

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