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Thread: The Big Event - EventCity, Manchester (Fri 16 May - Sat 17 May)

  1. #21
    Senior Member Lighttouch's Avatar
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    I know of at least one other person going to the event today. It's far too hot and sunny to be indoors. I was socialising at the cycling track early this afternoon. Chilling wine off for tonight - rather naughty!

    Here's a couple more pictures. One in the Renault area. Can't remember the model name but you could tell it was from Renault's stable.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here's a panoramic shot of a bit of one of the halls. They were like aircraft hangers!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Big-event-hall.jpg   big-event-hall-2.jpg  
    Last edited by Lighttouch; 17-05-14 at 15:05.

  2. #22
    Senior Member catlover's Avatar
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    I am just leaving. Had a good time and took 3 test drives. Ended the day by getting coffee spilt all over me and my scooter so not a great end but hasn't spoilt my day. Took some photos and will post more later

  3. #23
    Senior Member Lighttouch's Avatar
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    The next step is to contact Access to Work. Tell them that you have identified a car that meets your access needs. They will want to know the cost of the 'advance payment' and any other addition fees to meet your access needs e.g. reversing sensors, automatic, etc.

    Explain to them how this vehicle, and no other, meets your access needs.

    They will ask you to explore other ways of financing the deposit through, let's say. motability finance - who base their criteria on 'means testing' - Access to Work don't look at your income or savings but just your access needs.

    The next thing you need to establish is how much Access to Work will contribute. They actually put the shoe on the other foot be asking you how much can you afford to contribute. It's a paper exercise that can be OK'd over the phone. Offer a £200 deposit and they will rip your arm off.

    Once agreed with AtW you can concrete the deal with the car franchise.

    If you agree a deal with a franchise before getting AtW to agree the offer is taken off the table.

    Good luck.

    PS Photos. I take mine into Photoshop. auto colour, resize to 6 inches wide at 72dpi and save them suitable for the web which dramatically reduces the file size and they'll get published quicker.

    If you want them resizing let me know.

  4. #24
    Senior Member catlover's Avatar
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    I can't view any of your photos, Lighttouch. I just get a link saying click here to view larger version but when I do that I just get a blank window.

    I will have to report back tomorrow as my back is killing me tonight. Way too much walking today despite the scooter. Even with the buggies providing transport to the entrance there was still a walk of about 30 metres to the actual entrance which was a bit much for me. Although I suspect it is the getting in and out of cars all day that has done me in. Well, that or the member of staff who crashed into the back of me with a trolley full of coffee and refreshments. Apparently he didn't see me because I was "low down"... Fortunately the coffee was lukewarm and not hot as it went all over my legs and the scooter. When I got home I discovered it had got into my bag and much of the contents were sodden. Oh well, I had a good time despite that. I think my car of the day is the Peugeot 2008. Disappointment of the day was the Skoda Yeti - I still have a yearning for one but I have a feeling the interior is just not going to be right and nobody from Skoda seemed to be interested in showing off the car so I still don't know how the rear seats fold down. I wonder whether that is a reflection on skoda customer service in general. Customer service award goes to Honda man who was very keen to show off the Honda Jazz (a car that really is a Tardis!) and shared my frustration at the lack of cars with hand controls. He said he was fighting to get hand controls fitted on a Jazz so that the likes of myself could test drive and said he would not give up but it would help if us customers made a fuss about it to motability too.

    Refreshments were poor but that was to be expected as they always are at these sort of venues, especially for myself who requires a gluten free diet. Pricey too - £1 for a Snickers bar! But I will say they had the poshest portaloos I have ever seen. Looked normal portaloos from the outside but were well posh inside!

    I took a few photos so will try to post one or two tomorrow. That's photos of cars not of the portaloos

  5. #25
    Senior Member Lighttouch's Avatar
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    I saw the porta loos from a distance - was well impressed. However, I used some accessible permanent loos. Was well impressed with the size. You could have taken an electric scooter inside, closed the door, and turned the scooter in a circle without hitting anything.

    As you know - we were all asked to sign a disclaimer if we were involved in any accidents so the organisers didm;t need to pick up any insurance claims when using a scooter.

    Sorry to hear about your little accident.

    When returning to the car I asked if an 'event' person could escort me back to the car as I drove the scooter - no problem. You only get what you ask for.

    Look forward to seeing your photos of cars not portaloos!!

  6. #26
    Senior Member Lighttouch's Avatar
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    Re Photos
    Admin will need to approve pegs before adding them to the thread.. It 'll be Monday before they are formatted.

    If you click on the photo I sent earlier and you get a clear window. Panic not. Your Internet Service Provider broadband has slowed down due to heavy " traffic" and perhaps a slower broadband width.

    Just wait a " we while " the picture will appear .

    Enjoy your day

  7. #27
    Senior Member catlover's Avatar
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    I've not sorted any photos out yet but will try to do so. I generally resize photos I take with my camera before uploading to the internet but am never quite sure how to resize them on my phone.

    Anyway, just to add to my post yesterday - I enjoyed the day although I still have little idea of what car would be ideal for me! The event was very well organised and there was always someone nearby happy to help. I arrived at about 9.10am but the car park was already filling up. I parked in the car park for blue badge holders and there was one comment/criticism that could be heard from all around - spaces not wide enough for people to get out, especially if they had wheelchairs. An inevitable problem and not Motability's fault as there are only half a dozen parking bays actually designated for disabled parking and the rest are normal width. Fortunately I was early enough to park so that there were empty bays either side. A golf buggy collected me from where I'd parked and took me to the entrance. Although that was actually about 30m from the entrance and I struggled with the distance but once I got inside I was able to collect my pre-booked scooter and there were chairs to sit on whilst waiting. There was also someone handing out welcome packs containing a guide to the event, various motability guides, A Rough Guide to Accessible Britain and a copy of Posability magazine.

    Once inside the actual hall I headed straight for the desk to book a test drive. I was told you could only book 2 test drives at a time but could come back after 1pm to book more for the afternoon. The lady at the desk did say that there wasn't really anything stopping me from having those 2 and then coming back to book 2 more but I got the impression they would prefer I didn't do that. So I thought I'd go back and hopefully book a couple more for the afternoon. One of my main reasons for going to the event was to test drive as many cars as possible as I drive with hand controls and test driving cars is not something I generally get a chance to do. I got booked in to test drive the Peugeot 3008 at 10am and the Vauxhall Meriva at 10.30am. I only had a short time to browse before heading to the test drive area. It was very hot and I actually caught a bit of a tan just in the time it took me to wait for them to bring the car around! Really! Although it was a lovely day weatherwise I was actually quite glad to be in an air conditioned hall for most of it and it made me realise that air con is a must in my next car! So - the Peugeot 3008 was first up and I had chosen that car fairly randomly because I just wanted to have a go at driving a larger car. The traffic was light so I was able to do the longer test drive route which took about 20 mins and I was rather smitten with the 3008. It was lovely inside - felt very luxurious - although it did feel very big and I think it may be just a bit too much car for me. The dashboard seemed enormous and the pop up screen quite a way a way. As the test drive instructor pointed out, I don't need to touch that but I did have visions of my blue badge sliding down beyond my reach! Once I got used to the way it drove, I really enjoyed that drive though. I'm not sure what engine size it was or what spec but I think it was a diesel. I found the hand controls way more responsive than the ones on my car so combined with the, no doubt, bigger engine I tended to shoot off and break sharply to begin with. It was a tad scary to begin with as the instructor hadn't explained where everything was so I suddenly found myself out on the road with this huge (to me) car and not knowing exactly what I was doing! But I enjoyed the test drive and the 3008 suddenly became a real contender. The Meriva test drive was a bit of an anti climax after that. Nice enough car and drove well but it didn't excite me in the way the 3008 had. I don't like the doors either. They way the rear doors open - hinged on the opposite side to the front - would not work for me as I would need to use the rear seat as boot space when I have a scooter in the back so that door opening would not work for me. I think I need to stick to cars with "normal" doors. I looked at the ford B max later on and the rear door on that slides backwards but I found the action required to open it hurt my back. I couldn't be doing that every day.

    By the time I'd done my 2 test drives, explored the posh portaloos and had a coffee (the latter not as impressive as the former) it was nearly lunchtime. I decided to check out the Skoda Yeti which has been close to the top of my wish list for a while now but I wasn't overly impressed. Unfortunately only a manual was available to test drive so I wasn't able to drive it. I sat in it, checked out the boot etc. but there didn't seem to be any Skoda rep about to question. It was obviously a popular car as every time I went for a look there were lots of other people looking also. Once or twice I glimpsed a woman in the distance who I think may have been the skoda rep but she seemed disinterested in finding out whether anyone needed any assistance. I also had a closer look at the Peugot 3008 and the 2008. I was very impressed with the boot space in the 2008 when rear seats were folded down and thought that maybe that would be better for me than the 3008 provided there was enough room for a scooter in the back. I made a mental note to try and take a test drive in the afternoon in the 2008.

    After lunch I headed back towards the entrance and where the test drive booking desk was. It was about 12.50 so I asked whether I was too early to book afternoon test drives only to be told they were all fully booked! I was rather annoyed as I'd been given the impression that nobody would be allowed to book a test drive for the afternoon before 1pm. I think they just had more demand for test drives than expected but I wish I'd known I would only be able to test drive 2 cars all day as then I might have given more thought to which 2 I chose. They said cancellations were a possibility so the only thing to do was to come back periodically to check. However, I went straight to the actual test drive area and they said they had a couple of cancellations so could fit me in at 3.30 to test drive the 2008. It was only a short drive and the hand controls were so responsive that I think the instructor thought he had a learner with him! He was a tad sarcastic actually, saying after literally 2 mins in the car something about me having difficulty! I am used to having to really push my car to do what I want it to do. I don't think I liked the 2008 as much as the 3008 to drive and it didn't feel as comfortable but I would need a longer test drive to get a better feel for it. It didn't have the electronic hand brake that the 3008 had either and I don't think it is an option with the 2008 at all.

    I looked at lots of cars but there was a limit to how many I could get in and out of before I felt I'd had enough and my back was complaining. One thing I brought away from the day was that I do have problems getting in and out of some of the bigger cars. One of the advantages of using hand controls is that I don't have to worry about reaching the foot pedals so can sit high up and get a good view over the steering wheel. However that made it difficult to reach the handbrake in some cars. I sat in the Citroen C3 Picasso and had to lean over so much to take the hand brake off I had to immediately cross that one off my list. I have added an electronic handbrake to my list of essentials as even when I can reach the handbrake I tend to struggle due to having the seat far forward (necessary to reach the hand controls) so it's an awkward action and an electronic handbrake would help.

    Like Paul I thought the Fiat 500L MPW was lovely but I struggled to get in and out of it. I couldn't try out the Quashqui as there were too many other people there but I soon decided I didn't like it much anyway! I had quite a long chat with the Honda Jazz rep. I was impressed by the space in the boot when rear seats folded down (it would definitely take a scooter) but I have now adapted to the idea of a larger car and I think it is, overall, just too small. He was very keen to get hand controls fitted and said he had really tried to bring a car with hand controls to the event to test drive. Maybe he will have succeeded by the next Motability event.

    One thing I was disappointed with was the range of scooters there. There were not many and most there were quite large ones. Not many smaller to mid size scooters. I had a go on a TGA Eclipse and a larger scooter but apart from the Eclipse there wasn't really anything I was interested in. I do think scooter design is an area that someone needs to take a look at. I think there is room for a scooter that doesn't look like it's been designed for an elderly person (no offence meant to elderly people!). And pleeeease - can we have colour options other than red or blue? I may need to use a scooter but hell will freeze over before I buy one in burgundy red. I also didn't have time to have a proper look at hoists which was a shame.

    I didn't leave until 4pm when it was closing and after dropping off my scooter it took me an age to walk to the edge of the car park where a golf buggy took me to my car. It was a bit galling to realise that even amongst other disabled people I am still the slowest one there getting overtaken by people with crutches and sticks! Oh well, c'est la vie!

  8. #28
    Senior Member catlover's Avatar
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    My earlier post was too long!

    Just to conclude:

    All in all I thought it was a great day and I would be inclined to travel to one of the smaller events planned for August in the hope of having another test drive or two. I think there is one in Harrogate or nearby? I don't know what the demand for test drives is usually like at these events but I got the impression the limiting factor was the number of instructors they had available to take people out. That dictated the number of slots available. So maybe they could consider having more people to enable more test drives? For someone like myself who drives with hand controls, these type of events may be the only option for test driving a particular vehicle so it's shame if we aren't able to try out all the cars we want to.

    The day ended on a bit of a sour note as I was sitting there in my scooter, completely stationery, and about to take a photo when I noticed a staff member approaching with a 4 ft high trolley loaded with coffee urns, coffee powder etc. As he got closer I realised he hadn't seen me but I couldn't move in time so he crashed into me, pouring coffee all over me and the scooter. He apologised and said that he didn't see me there because I was "low down"! The trolley he was pushing was about 4 ft high and he was just looking over the top and so didn't see anyone shorter than that. Given the nature of the event, and the number of people using chairs and scooters, I was rather annoyed and it wasn't a great end to the day. I managed to wipe myself and he wiped the scooter but when I got home I found coffee had got into my handbag and a lot of stuff had got wet (my phone was safe thankfully). I think it is my week for things like that as a display board fell on me at work on Thursday when I was just sat at my desk getting on with my work!

    I will try to sort out a few photos when I get the chance. I liked the layout with the flooring painted like a road. Even though it was busy, especially around midday, there was always room to move around. Plenty of loos and lots of places to get a drink but insufficient tables. It was my first time at a Motability event but even though I was there from almost the beginning and stayed until the end, I still didn't have time to see everything!

  9. #29
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    The Renault in the picture you have up there is the Renault Captur - we were very impressed with the boots size.

    It's based on the Nissan Juke so were expecting a Fiesta sized boot but it actually gives a Focus sized one instead! Rear leg room was also much better then the Juke.

    BTW Nissan & Renault share vehicle platforms, engines and factories.
    Motability Car History
    05/09-05/12; Nissan Qashqai 1.5 Diesel Tekna; 36,500 miles; avg 41.1mpg
    06/12-07/15; Ford C-Max 2.0 Diesel Titanium Powershift; 35,400 miles; avg 37.8mpg
    07/15-09/17; Skoda Octavia 1.6 Diesel SE-L DSG; 28,200miles; avg 43.9mpg
    09/17-Present; VW Touran 1.4 Petrol SEL DSG; 11,600miles; avg 35.9mpg (28.6 - 43.9mpg)

    Click here to send me an email with any private Motoring questions you may have. Replies usually within 48hrs

  10. #30
    Senior Member Lighttouch's Avatar
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    Thanks Paul, the name 'Captur' rings a bell - nice car. I've only just noticed that Reddivine was captured on shot at the Renault stand too. lol

    Catlover. Yes I parked in the Blue Badge area. When I've visited similar shows in Birmingham they used their gumption and cars parked in the middle of two adjoining bays giving bags of space around each car. I had no intention of hobbling back to the car so just asked one of the event team to escort me back to the car - no problem.

    Photos - I can edit photos in the camera but only making them brighter and cropping. However, if I click on the photo and say I want to 'message' or 'mail' it then a message turns up asking what size eg medium, small. Go for medium.
    If you wanted more control of sizing and be able to manipulate photos - see Captur photo above then you'll need at least Photoshop Elements and training. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Adobe-Photos.../dp/B00EWH8ATA
    http://www.lynda.com/Photoshop-Eleme...roducttypeid:2


    Car size - bigger is better. I prefer a car with lots of window space and higher up. Electronic handbrakes are a must. Air con is a must too - it also works in the winter when you want to demist the windscreen it happens in seconds once the air con is turned on. Another useful extra is reversing sensors - takes the worry out of parking in tight areas

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