Wheelchair adapted vehicles

2 weeks ago someone drive into my car as I was happily pottering along a road near to where I live. As she refused to sign the constat amiable, it seems the accident may be written off as 50/50
So this means we need to look at a replacement.
Our options are varied and I’m not sure if the best way forward.
My daughter’s OT has suggested we get a wheelchair vehicle. We have had a couple of these in the past and although my vito was ideal size wise, it was a manual and I now need an automatic car.
The do love we had was a hateful beast! It hated to drive up slight inclines or over bumps in the road and it made me hate to drive anywhere!
If we do go wheelchair adapted, then they seem so much more expensive with much higher mileage in France. If I buy one in the uk and import it, will I be charged VAT as it is specifically for someone with a disability? I know in the uk we used to fill in a vat exemption form for our daughter’s equipment.
Does anyone know of EU based wheelchair car sites?
Perhaps ones which don’t want me to share lots of details to then receive phone calls I struggle to participate in? It needs to be a second hand car as we can’t afford a new car suitable.
I understand that the mdph will pay 5k towards adaptations to a car we purchase, but not sure if the car has to be new or if we can buy a second hand car to have adapted.
Sorry for the muddled questions. I am rather tired and my brain is functioning particularly well right now!

Are you sure about the 50/50 thingy… it seems so unfair to me… if the other person refused to sign the document.

@fabien can you throw some light on this please.

I agree about the 50/50 thing sounding wrong but I’m sure Fabien will clarify things.

Re wheelchair vehicles - our little local garage does them (adapts them? I’m not sure) but if you have a nice local garage they might look out for a second hand one for you? Just a thought…

I think I’m right in saying you should give all the information to your Insurers without delay.

hopefully you’ve got all the details of the driver/car etc etc so do the constat amiable (by yourself) and get it to your insurers now…

It is with the insurers. However when someone doesn’t sign the constat amiable, it seems to be usual for the accident to be decided as 50/50.
I think it’s an atrocious system - oh I caused an accident, I know, if I don’t sign, there’s a really good chance I’ll get away with it!
The assessor is visiting the yard it’s being kept in on Tuesday, so I guess we will know his decision soon!
The ins agent has sent lots of photos and we are hoping the obvious damage to the side of my car and the front of the other car will swing it in my favour, along with the photos of the cedez le passage sign she ignored!
Unfortunately although my car was very valuable to me, it’s a 2007 rhd car and I will get very little back, even if it does miraculously go in my favour!
This means the replacement car is going to need to be cheap!
The second hand W/C cars seem to be way out of my price range.
My husband would much rather we bought a family car and add a hoist to lift her into the back seat. She much prefers travelling seated in the car than in her wheelchair. My husband is also sure she would be safer in a seat if we were ever in an accident! (Think mine has affected both of us!)
If we buy a car without adaptations, we can have up to 5k funded and we’d just pay the rest!

Any good?

Volkswagen Disabled Vehicles for sale | eBay

Unfortunately without a “constat” this is 50/50 by default indeed. The “constat” is not a legal requirement and the other party is not forced to sign it BUT it is illegal for the other party to refuse to provide you with their details (name, postal address and insurance details, mostly the company name and policy number). If they didn’t provide you with that this is a legal motive to file a formal complaint with the gendarmerie. You can send that complain (main courante or proces verbal “PV”) to the insurance company which may turn the odds in your favour.

Basically, you don’t have to agree on the circumstances but you should be able to fill in a constat with the other party’s details. Worst case scenario they don’t sign your constat if they disagree with it but they cannot withheld information from you and if they do then you send the insurance company the constat + PV from the gendarmerie and this may change things. If you have eye witnesses make sure you also include a statement from them as this could change the outcome radically.

Hope that helps?


Thanks for this info Fabien… I shall keep this in mind for future reference. (hoping never to need it)

Actually it’s funny because that’s something I “like” to say. It’s kind of a paradox but I’m selling things that I wish my clients will never have to use… or maybe that’s only funny because it’s an insurer joke and I’m an insurer? :thinking: :joy:


So, hang on - if I understand this correctly, if I have an accident which is my fault then all I have to do is not sign the constat (but not refuse to give details either) and it is magically 50/50?

Ils sont fous les Français.

Oh, so it’s not *automatically* 50:50, if you have witnesses on your side.

What about photos etc - sometimes it is very clear who’s fault it is based on road position.

In theory yes, but if you’re caught lying, cheating or if they can produce evidence that you acted in bad faith then you risk jail time (probation only if no former conviction but still). It is a felony to try to back off from insurance responsibility and law enforcement takes this quite seriously so yes you can do that but the risks are very high… just to avoid 50% of the insurer’s penalty I would say that’s not worth the risks :wink:

Although you are correct on your second statement… we are crazy (fighting for pain au chocolat or chocolatine is a great example :wink: ).

1 Like

We had lots of photos and I suspect that thanks to them, I received a letter to state that it wasn’t my fault!
I am incredibly relieved.


Glad to hear everything worked out in the end and that justice was served.