The bus

Ordered!
Mercedes Benz Vito 113 CDI extra long
3.2 TONN
5.28m long
2.25m wide
Turning circle 12.5m in diameter
136hk.
5 seats, with the option to remove one when the wheelchair comes.
The bus

This is a bus, not a car!

It’s probably the most important piece of equipment we will have.

It’s not our car, it actually belongs to social security.
We have to insure it, we have to maintain it, but we also have to deliver it back in 12 years.

I used to have a guilty conscience when I first found out about the scheme for cars for wheelchair users in Norway.
That’s until I saw the tax the government puts on new cars.

The bus costs 698,000 nok. ($120,000US)

Price of the actual car- 339,000 nok. ($60,000US)

Tax- 314,000 nok. ($55,000US)

We pay- 185,000 nok ($32,000US)

Depending on how you look at it, social security pays the rest- 513,000 nok ($89,000US)
Or the government removes the tax and social security pays- 154,000 nok ($25,000US)

Not too long ago the Norwegian government gave all electric car buyers an incentive-
No import tax, no road tax, no toll road fees and no ferry charges until 2017.

And we all like tax incentives don’t we?

As a result you can’t take a drive without seeing a Nissan Leaf, or more recently a Tesla Model S.

Excursion at kindy
Excursion at kindy

So I guess you could say the government is very kind.
Which they are.
But then again when you have a bank account with so many 0’s on the end of it you don’t even have a word in your language to describe that number, you can probably afford to look the other way when there’s a genuinely good reason to support individuals.

For us, it would not be possible to give Jennifer the quality of life she needs without the financial support of the government.

All I need to do is look around our house and count the cost of her equipment, the chair, the standing frame, the pram, her AFO’s, her medicines, her feeding equipment….
And there’s more to come.
For average wage earners, it would not be possible.
It’s hard enough everyday, without the financial worry too!

Trampoline
Trampoline

The bus is now ordered.
When it gets to Norway, it will be driven to the fitters where they will fit;
A ramp
A special seat in the back which turns outwards to the sliding door so Odrun and I can lift Jennifer easily into the car while she’s still small enough.
A wheelchair mount so we can drive her wheelchair directly into the car, fasten it and drive off.

About 8 to 10 months and we’ll have the bus at home.

Like everything we included Emma when we ordered it, and she got to choose the colour.
If there was a shade of pink to choose from I’m sure we’d have a pink bus!
She chose red in the end 🙂

Things have fallen pretty quickly into place here in Bergen, really, when you think that we’ve only been here a year.

When I think of everything that’s happened in the last year since we moved here….

Finally living a some what normal life, despite Jennifer having had 32 appointments already this year, things are finally starting feel stable.

The bus, just another one we can cross off the list!

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