As a disabled driver and wheelchair user, refuelling my car has always been a bit of a challenge, and not the most dignified of experiences.
I always try to make sure that I never run too low on petrol and tend to use the same fuel stations for filling up. I have found that the smaller petrol stations do not always have someone on hand to come and assist me, which can be really inconvenient, especially if I am running low on fuel. Once I am at the petrol station, I have to make sure that I use one of the refuelling points near the forecourt window, so that the staff can see me, which can mean a bit of a wait if the station is busy. I then have to loudly blast my horn to try to catch their attention, whilst frantically waving my blue badge at them.
This always creates confusion and a huge amount of attention from other drivers, wondering what I am doing. I am not one to enjoy attention so I have found this quite hard to do but I have had to just grit my teeth and get on with it. One of my local stations has revamped their forecourt and I can no longer see the staff properly so I have to call them on my mobile, but if the tills are busy, they don’t always answer the phone!
Finally, when the assistants do appear, they are always very helpful and once they have filled the tank, I pay with my credit card. My card is authorised with a signature, rather than a pin, so that the attendant can take the payment without me having to get out of the car.
I recently came across myHailo, a call alert system for disabled drivers needing to refuel their car, which has been fairly recently launched and is being rolled out to petrol stations around the country. Perfect!
So, once I had received myHailo key fob, I went to my nearest Sainsbury’s, who I was delighted to find had signed up to the scheme. This time, I parked at one of the pumps at the rear of the petrol station, turned off my engine and then pressed the button on the fob. A receiver at the front of the forecourt, above the shop, flashed red. I could see that this immediately alerted the staff and with a discreet wave of my blue badge they located me and immediately came out to serve me. As soon as they had received the alert, the receiver then flashed green, to reassure me that they were on their way.
It was a lovely feeling, to not have to blast my horn and create havoc as I normally do and to have such a quick response from the staff was impressive. I would really recommend myHailo to other disabled drivers and also to anyone who is elderly and finds it difficult to get in and out of the car. It is also reassuring that the scheme is endorsed by Disabled Motoring UK.
MyHailo can be purchased for £14.95 and you can check as to whether myHailo is available at your local fuel station by visiting their myHailo zone page. If it isn’t, then talk to your local petrol station and suggest that they install it, or myHailo have a letter that you can print out from their website to hand to them, to suggest the scheme.
By coincidence, I also received a promotion in the post this morning from Shell drivers club, about their new Fill Up & Go App which enables you to pay for your fuel as you fill your tank, without having to go to the tills. Take a look at the video below to see how it works – I have yet to try it.
Life is slowly getting easier for us disabled peeps and it is the little things, like hassle free refuelling of your car that make a big difference. Happy motoring folks
By Katherine, designed2enable.co.uk