The purchase and adaptation of a car can prove to be an expensive exercise. Motability, a not for profit organisation, operate the Motability Scheme, which enables disabled drivers to either purchase or lease a car at a price which is affordable.
If you are in receipt of the War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement or the higher rate of the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance, the Mobility Scheme can assist you in the purchase or lease of a car. If you are unable to drive, it is possible for you to apply for a car by putting forward the names of two people who would be willing to act as your driver.
It is possible to change nominated drivers during the lease and it is also possible to add a third nominated driver for a little extra cost. If one of your nominated drivers is under 25, there are restrictions on what type of vehicles they can be insured on and an insurance excess will apply. If you have a child aged three years or over, and who is entitled to claim the higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance, you can also apply for a car through the Motability Scheme. You simply turn part, or all, of your allowance into the car of your choice. There are no waiting lists, no credit checks and there is no assessment required.
The person in receipt of mobility allowance does not always have to be in the car when it is in use. Someone doing your shopping or general errands can also be of great benefit to you.
Contract Hire Scheme
The contract hire scheme allows you to lease a car, that has been supplied by a Motability accredited dealer, for at least three years. Although you will need to pay for the fitting and removal of any modifications, insurance, servicing and roadside recovery are included in the cost along with free replacement tyres and window or windscreen replacement at no extra cost. This policy continues right to the end of your three year contract, with a seamless transfer to your new car. You are able to apply for this if you have at least 12 months of your Disability Living Award remaining. If, during the full length of your chosen scheme, your award is not renewed the car has to be returned.
Motability updates their car prices every quarter and, even if the price rises before you collect it, you only pay the price that was quoted at the time of ordering. Depending on what car you have chosen, it may not even be necessary to make an advance payment.
A hire purchase scheme is also available to enable you to purchase the car of your choice, whether it be a new or second hand car. If you chose this option you are responsible for negotiating the purchase price of the car with your chosen dealer and also for ensuring the car is covered by insurance. The hire purchase term can last between three and five years, after which you will own the car.
If you have financial difficulties that may make paying for a car, or having it adapted, difficult, it may be possible for Motability to offer a grant through their charitable fund or through the specialised vehicle funds that they administer on behalf of the government.