Islington disabled single father stuck with no car

A disabled single father-of -three has been left distraught after his mobility car – which is vital for him to get about – went up in flames and the provider refused to replace it.

Gunay Ozcan, 40, who lives on the Barnbury Estate, off Copenhagan Street, Barnsbury, has severe arthritis and back problems which make it difficult for him to be mobile.

He relied on his VW Golf, part of the Motability scheme which deducts a fee for the car from his benefits, to go shopping and give lifts to his three children, whom he has looked after on his own for the last five years.

But since his car burnt out in December last year, which he was told by the fire brigade was due to a wiring fault, Motability have refused to replace it, telling him he must wait three years to get back on the scheme.

Mr Gunay said: “It’s been awful for us. Life is very hard for a single dad with three children. Losing my car is just devastating for me. They have taken my life away, it’s like having my legs broken.

“I just want to get on with my life, but every day I am struggling. My back problem gets worse every day and it’s excruciating just to walk to the shops and get food for my children. I cry myself to sleep at night because of it. I don’t know how we will manage.”

‘Let down’

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Mr Ozcan has made three minor claims over the last two-and-a-half years, but thinks the fire – which was beyond his control – is the reason he has been kicked off the scheme.

“I know its because the car burned out,” he said. “I had two small bumps, which I held my hands up and admitted to, then someone hit my car and drove off, so I had to claim for that as well. That wasn’t my fault and nor was the fire. They know it was an electrical fault, so why are they doing this to me? I feel really let down and it’s just not right.”

A spokesman for Motability said: “In some cases, we are unable to provide a vehicle where a customer’s claims history fails to satisfy our insurance criteria. Where a customer is not eligible for the contract hire scheme, we will work with them to try to provide a suitable solution to keep them mobile, such as offering the option of hire purchase.”