All you need to know about the Motability scheme UK
So many of us take our freedom for granted, we can simply head to a forecourt, pick a model of car we like (and can afford), get behind the wheel and drive away that day. Without even considering how important this car will become to our life, we use it to get everywhere from commuting to and from work, to picking up the kids from school.
Unfortunately, not everyone has that freedom. For people living with a disability, or with a disability in the family, finding a car to suit their needs can be incredibly difficult. What’s more, disability can affect a family’s earning potential and an adapted car built to accommodate disability can be more expensive than a standard model.
This can leave families somewhat stranded, compounding the difficulty of tasks many of us take for granted. Which is where the Motability Scheme comes into play – a government-back incentive designed to help disabled drivers regain their independence by providing access to allowance-covered cars.
To provide more insight into the Motability Scheme - Chris Adams, Operations Director of car dealership Brindley Group, answers some of the most common questions.
What is the Motability Scheme?
The Motability Scheme helps families affected by disability to lease a new car, scooter or powered wheelchair, giving them greater freedom to carry out everyday tasks. The scheme covers almost all of the costs of owning and running a vehicle, as long as a member of the family is eligible for a relevant allowance.
The scheme isn’t just for disabled people who wish to drive themselves - carers and parents of children with a disability can also apply. This is great for carers and parents of disabled children who need specific models or specially-adapted cars with additional space, increased access or special features.
Whilst some families affected by disability may not require the Motability scheme, it is especially helpful for those who are struggling to afford the vehicle that will really improve their quality of life.
What are the benefits of the Motability Scheme?
The simplicity of the Motability Scheme is perhaps one of its great advantages. If you are eligible for (or already receiving) certain allowances (which I’ll cover later), then these can automatically cover the leasing and running costs of cars, scooters and powered wheelchairs. Not only will your allowance pay for the car, it’ll also cover insurance for up to three named drivers, servicing, maintenance, tyre and windscreen repair. You’ll even get breakdown cover courtesy of the scheme!
Furthermore, it’s possible to get a huge range of different vehicles from top manufacturers as part of the scheme, as well as specially-adapted cars. This is great if you’re a keen petrolhead – you don’t have to compromise on the make and model as part of the scheme.
For wheelchair users, there’s a great range of WAVs (Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles) available – with extended leases of five years. For disabled people with very specific needs, the costs of manually adapting a vehicle can also be covered by the scheme – really opening it up to a greater number of families.
The insurance is also very comprehensive, covering the following:
- Loss of or damage to your vehicle
- Accidental damage
- Fire or theft damage
- Repair or replacement glass
- In-car equipment (such as a radio or CD player) permanently fitted or supplied with the car
- Adaptations and modifications
- Any accessories or tools supplied with the vehicle
- Replacement locks where keys have been stolen and the theft reported to the police
- Driving your vehicle for voluntary or charitable work, as long as you don’t receive a fixed regular payment by the organisation
- Travel to and from your normal workplace.
There is also a generous mileage allowance of 20,000/year – significantly higher than many standard leasing terms! We find this is ideal for families with disabled children who may have to regularly drive great distances for specialist schools and medical appointments.
How does the Motability Scheme Work?
The Scheme works by exchanging all or part of your mobility allowance to lease your chosen vehicle at a price that works for you. The payments are deducted from your allowance every four weeks, before being paid directly to Motability UK by the Department for Work and Pensions.
The standard lease is over three years, or five years if you are leasing a WAV.
It really is that simple! From there, you can pick the make and model you like, and then enjoy the freedom than a Motability vehicle can provide!
Am I eligible for the Motability Scheme?
If you are new to the Scheme, you must have at least 12 months’ award length of your allowance remaining and receive one of the following mobility allowances:
- Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance (HRMC DLA)
- Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment (ERMC PIP)
- War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement (WPMS)
- Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP)
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
It’s worth noting that the Personal Independence Payment is a recently-added allowance that grants eligibility for the scheme. So, if you’ve been declined before, but receive PIP, then you could be entitled to lease a great new car, scooter or powered wheelchair!
Once your lease is completed, you can simply lease a new vehicle – provided you still have at least 12 months of your allowance remaining.
What if my allowance doesn’t cover the Motability Scheme?
If you’re struggling to afford the right mobility solution to meet your needs, then Motability may be able to provide you with some financial aid, including grants that can be put towards Advance Payments for cars, Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs), driving lessons and extra adaptations.
The Motability Scheme is all about helping more people enjoy the freedom of vehicle ownership. So, if you’re concerned that you’re not eligible or can’t afford the vehicle you require – just talk to your local Motability-approved garage. They’ll help you discover what you’re entitled to, and direct you to your perfect car.
Can I add or transfer any adaptations on my Motability vehicle?
You can add multiple adaptations during your lease, but you’ll have to inform Motability’s Customer Services team as well as RSA. When adding adaptations, you’ll need to use a Motability Adaptations installer.
It’s worth noting that many of the most common adaptations are available at no extra cost when fitted at the start of your lease.
In terms of transferring previous adaptations, it depends on whether they’re suited to your new car. Your adaptation installer will be able to advise if your existing ones can be transferred, plus they can point out which cars may be best suited to them. For the majority of cases, there is no extra cost for the transferal of adaptations at the start of a lease.
Can I take my Motability car on holiday with me?
Yes, you can take your Motability car on your holidays, whether you’re travelling throughout the UK or in the majority of European nations. Motability’s insurance cover means you can take your car abroad within the European Union, as well as Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein for up to 90 days over a 12-month period. And, that covers the majority of countries most people would hope to drive to, anyway!
Please note that if you’re planning on going abroad with your car, you’ll have to obtain a VE103 (Vehicle on Hire form) from the RAC. This gives you permission from Motability UK to take the car abroad – you’ll also be offered RAC European Breakdown Cover when requesting a VE103.
We hope that covers off all the questions you may have about the Motability Scheme. If you’re new to the scheme, we hope you’ll have many years of happy motoring in your new vehicle!
Brindley Group are the leading provider of Motability cars in the Midlands. For more information about how you could benefit from the scheme, visit the Brindley Group website.