Best Portable Hand Controls for Disabled Drivers: Our Top 5 Picks

Even with some functionality concerns, you can enjoy driving. Equip your car with the best portable hand controls for complete freedom on the road.

It wasn’t that long ago that physically handicapped people weren’t able to drive cars, but modern technology has changed that. With the use of portable hand controls for disabled drivers, those facing challenges can drive once again.

Many people pay a mobility expert to install permanent hand controls in their vehicle, but that’s a hassle. Instead, you could consider the benefits of portable hand controls. With no equipment attached permanently to the vehicle, anyone can drive it. Plus, you can move your equipment to other vehicles, even your golf cart, for a fun day on the course.

We offer in-depth portable hand control reviews, so you can find the right equipment for your needs.

Portable hand controls - handicap parking

What are Hand Controls for Cars?

The portable hand control is a special device meant for drivers with physical impairments. Instead of using the regular foot pedals, this equipment replaces the acceleration pedal, parking brake and brake pedal with hand controls instead.

Here’s a video illustration of how hand controls work.

You can have hand controls professionally installed in your vehicle or opt for these portable options. With a portable option, the controls can be used in any vehicle.

Best Car Hand Controls: Buying Guide

It’s not easy to find portable hand controls if you aren’t sure what you are looking for. With so many models available, it can be challenging to navigate the qualities, features and specifications.

We review some of the top considerations when buying a new automobile hand control.

Reputable Brand

The market is saturated with companies trying to sell hand controls. Some of these are companies that have no or little reputation. Your on-road safety is paramount to anything else, so you don’t want to take any chances.

Stick with the name-brand companies that have years of experience. You also want a company that offers a warranty and a customer service team for support.

Installation

Are you looking to install the hand controls yourself? You want something that’s as simple as possible. Read through the customer reviews to determine how long the installation takes.

Reputable brands are going to supply a detailed instruction booklet. They will also supply a customer service line to use if you run into trouble.

If you choose portable hand controls, installation shouldn’t be an issue. However, if you want a permanent solution, you will need to visit a mobility expert in your area.

Weight

You can have the vehicle outfitted with permanent controls that stay-put. However, these are often more difficult to install and add some weight to the vehicle.

Instead, consider the benefit of portable hand controls that pack away in a bag when you aren’t using them. With a collapsible set of controls, you can decide when you want to drive.

Compatibility

First and foremost, permanent hand controls must be compatible with your vehicle. After all, the set is going to do you no good if you can’t use it in your vehicle. If you drive a Chevrolet, don’t look for models that only work with Japanese cars.

If you prefer, look for a universal fit and portable model, such as the ones we review. These can be used in almost any vehicle and are simple to remove.

Additionally, the portable hand controls need to accommodate your challenges. Make sure the set is adjustable to fit your needs. With an adjustable strap system, you can connect easier with the pedals.

Construction

If you purchase hand controls that are made of sub-par materials, they are going to wear out quickly, especially in hot and humid climates. You want a set that is durable and won’t break easily, even after repeated use.

It’s our suggestion to spend a little more and get hand controls made of either stainless steel or aluminum.

5 Best Portable Hand Control Reviews

1. Freedom Staff 2.0 Review

Freedom Staff 2.0 Handicap Driving Hand Controls Upgraded Version

Freedom Staff is the top name in the business, ensuring you get precisely what you want from a quality manufacturer. With these portable hand controls, you can get rid of the set that only works with particular vehicles.

The simple design allows you to transport them to other vehicles or remove them for other drivers. Even with the portable design, you will be amazed at the durable construction. The aircraft-grade aluminum combined with stainless steel ensures the set doesn’t wear-out.

Even still, it is remarkably lightweight at just 4.1 pounds. The best part is the steering wheel knob that lets you control the wheels with one hand while focusing on the rest of the car with your other hand. However, left-handed users might have trouble with this design.

To accelerate, you will pull the lever back towards you. Braking requires you to push the lever into the floor. With detailed instructions, you can get this set installed without much hassle, allowing you to get back on the road faster.

Features

  • Fit: Universal
  • Material: Aluminum and Stainless Steel
  • Weight: 4.1 Pounds
  • Adjustable Bar Height
ProsCons
Fits all vehiclesNot ideal for left-handed drivers
Completely adjustable 
Easy to install 
Durable construction 
Freedom Staff 2.0 Handicap Driving Hand Controls Upgraded Version
  • Converts Any Vehicle, From Large Truck, to Rental Car, to Golf Cart Into A Machine That Can Be Safely and Easily Driven With Only Two Hands
  • Universal - fits most vehicles
  • Has Steering wheel knob for 1-hand steering
  • Adjustable and customizable to your preferred lenth/height and vehicle
  • Aluminum and Stainless steel for non-rust lightweight durability

2. QuicStick Car Portable Hand Controls Review

QuicStick Car Portable Hand Controls Disabled Driving

If you want something a little cheaper, you could go with a different brand. Even though this isn’t a Freedom Staff model, it still gets exceptional customer reviews, proving it can run with the big boys. The pre-assembled kit makes it easy to use in any vehicle. Plus, the company provides a 30-day money-back guarantee for complete peace of mind.

You also get a handy travel bag for more portability. With the unique T6 aluminum construction, you have protection from corrosion and rust while the weight remains as light as possible. In fact, it provides an effortless steering motion, perfect for anyone with limited strength. However, some left-handed users are also struggling to use this model.

With the thumb control, you can simply push, pull or release the button to drive your vehicle. There are no major movements you need to make, thereby allowing you even more freedom to get to the places you want to go.

Follow the detailed instructions for a simple installation without the help of a professional.

Features

  • Fit: Universal
  • Material: T6 Aluminum
  • Weight: 2 Pounds
  • 30-day Money-back Guarantee
ProsCons
Lightweight and compactHard to use left-handed
Simple installation 
Effortless steering 
Thumb controls 
QuicStick Car Portable Hand Controls Disabled Driving
  • 30 Day Money Back Guarantee + Free Travel Bag+Wheel Knob
  • Comes pre-assembled – No tools needed
  • Quality T-6 aluminum construction
  • Adjustable for any driver and virtually all vehicle types
  • Fast installation and removal with quick connect hardware making it great for traveling, long road trips or every day commute

3. Liberty Staff Portable Hand Controls Review

Liberty Staff Portable Hand Controls For Vehicles, Cars, Disabled Driving - Updated Version

From the Freedom Staff brand, this other option is a top choice. But, you don’t have to take our word for it; just look at the exceptional customer reviews. However, if you aren’t happy with it, the company provides a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you have nothing to lose.

This kit works with any vehicle as long as you follow the handy installation instructions. In just ten minutes, you should be set up and ready to go. The adjustable bar height allows you to be comfortable while driving. You won’t have to strain any longer to use the controls.

There is a steering wheel knob with this set, but many users choose not to use it because it can be difficult to operate. Still, the simple push/pull system ensures you have more mobility despite your challenges.

This set is made from stainless steel and aluminum, helping it to be durable yet still lightweight for complete portability.

Features

  • Fit: Universal
  • Material: Stainless Steel and Aluminum
  • Weight: 3.26 pounds
  • Adjustable Bar Height
ProsCons
LightweightSteering knob difficult to use
Durable construction 
Completely adjustable 
30-day money-back guarantee 
Liberty Staff Portable Hand Controls For Vehicles, Cars, Disabled Driving - Updated Version
  • HANDICAP DRIVING MADE EASY-These disabled driving hand controls are simple to install and easy to use.
  • PORTABLE HAND CONTROLS-These handicap driving hand controls can be installed into any vehicle (car, truck, golf cart) in just 10 minutes! You are not restricted to having driving controls in just one vehicle.
  • STEERING WHEEL KNOB INCLUDED-One-handed steering is simple with these vehicle hand controls.
  • FULLY ADJUSTABLE-Handicap hand controls are easy to use no matter your height or size. These adjustable hand controls for cars can be adjusted to your preferred length.
  • RELIABLE AND WELL MADE-Aluminum and stainless steel make these automobile hand controls a drive assist product you can depend on. We also back it up with our 100% money back guarantee!

4. Freedom Staff CHA-720 Review

Freedom Staff Hand Tools CHA-720 Thumb Assist Portable Controls for Vehicles, Cars, Disabled Driving

Our list of portable hand controls wouldn’t be the same without one more option from Freedom Staff. This model takes five minutes or less to get installed because of the simple design. Plus, it contains a thumb-controlled unit. To step on the gas or stop the car, you simply use your thumb.

With the universal design, you can use this set on more than just your car. Consider taking it with you in the golf cart or your large pickup too. Every vehicle can be adapted for your needs. When you are done using it, simply store it in the convenient pack.

With the aluminum and stainless steel construction, you won’t need to worry about corrosion or premature wear either. It’s made to stand the test of time, even after excessive use. Plus, the lightweight model won’t weigh you down when transporting it between vehicles.

While everyone agrees that the durability is top-notch, there have been complaints about the strap system. It appears that it can become loose after a few times.

Features

  • Fit: Universal
  • Material: Stainless Steel and Aluminum
  • Weight: 3.96 pounds
  • Thumb Control
ProsCons
Easy to useStrap system gets loosened
Solid build 
Quick installation 
Use in any vehicle 
Freedom Staff Hand Tools CHA-720 Thumb Assist Portable Controls for Vehicles, Cars, Disabled Driving
  • Quickly convert any vehicle into a vehicle that can be operated with just two hands
  • Adaptability: it’s compatible with any Automatic Transmission vehicle
  • Quick and easy installation: No tools required
  • Safety: redundant chain connection to brake, adjustable for driving comfort

5. QuicStick Hand Controls Review

QuicStick Hand Controls Disabled Driving Handicap Aid Equipment

With the other options we looked at, left-handed people were left without an option, but this provides the perfect solution. With this thumb-operated control, you use your thumb to accelerate, push your hand to stop and use either hand to drive. However, some people with dexterity issues do find it a little harder to operate.

The price on this unit is remarkable considering the effective design. Plus, it includes a travel bag and a 30-day guarantee. Constructed from T6 aluminum, you know the universal controls are built to last. With this set, you can drive far into the future.

Most importantly, the kit only weighs about two pounds. You won’t even notice that as you transport it to your vehicle. With the simple installation, you can go anywhere your heart desires with the mobility you have been missing out on.

Features

  • Fit: Universal
  • Material: T6 Aluminum
  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Thumb Control
ProsCons
Works with the left handRequires good hand dexterity
Corrosion-resistant 
Fast installation 
Universal design 
QuicStick Hand Controls Disabled Driving Handicap Aid Equipment
  • Left or Right Hand Driver/ Gas and Brake Included
  • 30 Day Money Back Guarantee
  • Comes pre-assembled – No tools needed
  • Quality T-6 aluminum construction
  • Adjustable for any driver and virtually all vehicle types

Types of Portable Hand Controls

The majority of hand controls include a steering knob, so your free hand can control the wheels. Here are four types of hand controls to consider.

  • Push/Rock hand controls
  • Twist/Push hand controls
  • Push/Pull hand controls
  • Right angle hand/Push control

Most people opt for the push/pull design. With this type, you push the lever when braking and pull it to accelerate.

Installing Hand Controls for a Car

Once you purchase the set that appeals to you, it might be time to do a search of “hand controls for cars, installation near me.” For most people, the hassle of attempting to install permanent controls isn’t worth saving on a professional hand control installation cost.

If you get a set of portable hand controls, the installation is simple and doesn’t require a lot of effort. Here’s what you need to know.

1. Gather Your Tools

You don’t need a lot of tools to install hand controls. Make sure you have this equipment on hand.

  • Screwdriver
  • Wrench
  • Included instruction manual

2. Remove Existing Controls

If you currently have equipment installed in your vehicle, you need to remove it before moving on. Depending on the new system you’ve purchased, you might be able to keep some of the older parts intact.

3. Plan the Installation

You must plot out the precise location for the hand controls. Make sure they are going to be in a place that is easy to use. After all, you don’t want to remove the controls once they are installed.

4. Reference the Manual

Every model requires its own installation instructions. Read through the manual carefully to finish the installation.

Here’s a helpful video illustrating the installation of Freedom Staff hand controls.

FAQ

How do hand controls work on a car?

Car hand controls use a special lever system, allowing people who couldn’t drive a regular car more control and freedom. Some levers are attached to the floor of the vehicle and the wheel. Various motions cause the car to accelerate or brake when needed.

Can hand controls be used with a manual transmission?

Handle controls can only be mounted in automatic transmission vehicles because the equipment controls the gas and brake.

Can a non-handicap person drive the car with the equipment installed?

The equipment occupies a good portion of the driving area and is not meant to be used by a non-handicapped person. You would need to remove all of the equipment to drive the same vehicle.

Can I take a driving license test with my mobility equipment?

You can take a driving test specifically designed for the impaired. However, your vehicle must meet certain conditions.

Does Medicare pay for car hand controls?

The federal program will help pay for some vehicle modifications under certain circumstances. It depends on how disabled you are and what your practitioner recommends.

Conclusion

There’s no reason to let a disability stop you from enjoying time on the road. With our choice of the best portable hand controls, you can find the model that suits your needs. Get back behind the wheel and create some new adventures.

Check out the summary of our top 5 picks:

Freedom Staff 2.0 Handicap Driving Hand Controls Upgraded Version
  • Converts Any Vehicle, From Large Truck, to Rental Car, to Golf Cart Into A Machine That Can Be Safely and Easily Driven With Only Two Hands
  • Universal - fits most vehicles
  • Has Steering wheel knob for 1-hand steering
  • Adjustable and customizable to your preferred lenth/height and vehicle
  • Aluminum and Stainless steel for non-rust lightweight durability
QuicStick Car Portable Hand Controls Disabled Driving
  • 30 Day Money Back Guarantee + Free Travel Bag+Wheel Knob
  • Comes pre-assembled – No tools needed
  • Quality T-6 aluminum construction
  • Adjustable for any driver and virtually all vehicle types
  • Fast installation and removal with quick connect hardware making it great for traveling, long road trips or every day commute
Liberty Staff Portable Hand Controls For Vehicles, Cars, Disabled Driving - Updated Version
  • HANDICAP DRIVING MADE EASY-These disabled driving hand controls are simple to install and easy to use.
  • PORTABLE HAND CONTROLS-These handicap driving hand controls can be installed into any vehicle (car, truck, golf cart) in just 10 minutes! You are not restricted to having driving controls in just one vehicle.
  • STEERING WHEEL KNOB INCLUDED-One-handed steering is simple with these vehicle hand controls.
  • FULLY ADJUSTABLE-Handicap hand controls are easy to use no matter your height or size. These adjustable hand controls for cars can be adjusted to your preferred length.
  • RELIABLE AND WELL MADE-Aluminum and stainless steel make these automobile hand controls a drive assist product you can depend on. We also back it up with our 100% money back guarantee!
Freedom Staff Hand Tools CHA-720 Thumb Assist Portable Controls for Vehicles, Cars, Disabled Driving
  • Quickly convert any vehicle into a vehicle that can be operated with just two hands
  • Adaptability: it’s compatible with any Automatic Transmission vehicle
  • Quick and easy installation: No tools required
  • Safety: redundant chain connection to brake, adjustable for driving comfort
QuicStick Hand Controls Disabled Driving Handicap Aid Equipment
  • Left or Right Hand Driver/ Gas and Brake Included
  • 30 Day Money Back Guarantee
  • Comes pre-assembled – No tools needed
  • Quality T-6 aluminum construction
  • Adjustable for any driver and virtually all vehicle types