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How the Motability scheme works

Find out whether you're eligible for the Motability scheme, how you can order your car, and what's included in your regular payments.

What is the Motability scheme?

With the Motability scheme, you can swap your Motability allowance for a lease agreement on a new vehicle. This could be a car, a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) or a powered wheelchair.

Am I eligible for the Motability scheme?

You can apply for a Motability vehicle if you’ve been awarded:
• Disability Living Allowance (DLA) with higher rate mobility component • Personal Independence Payment (PIP) with enhanced rate of mobility component • Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP) with mobility allowance • War Pensioner’s Mobility Supplement (WPMS) When you apply, you’ll need at least 12 months left before your benefit ends. You can check your benefit decision letter to confirm how long you have left. Use our free Motability Eligibility Checker to see if it’s suitable for you. If you’re eligible, it’s well worth looking at the Mobility scheme as an option. You can find eligible cars on Auto Trader by following this link, or by adding “motability” as a search term at any time.
Moving from DLA to PIP
You can’t currently apply for a Mobility vehicle if you’re getting DLA but have received a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) saying you need to apply for PIP.
If you already have a Mobility vehicle and have received this letter, you won’t be affected. If you’re moving from DLA to PIP and no longer qualify for the enhanced rate mobility component, you’ll have to return their vehicle within eight weeks of their DLA payments stopping. Your allowance will be refunded. Visit Citizen’s Advice for more information.

How does the Motability scheme work?

The Motability scheme is simple. You’ll choose an eligible car, and you just exchange your eligible Motability allowance (or part of it, if the car you pick is cheaper) for a car lease. Your payments will include insurance, road tax and repairs all in one.
The car you lease can also be adapted to suit your requirements. Adaptations can be made for driving, access, or storing mobility aids as needed. Even if you don’t drive, you can still apply for a Motability vehicle and choose up to two people to drive on your behalf. Your Mobility scheme will usually last around three years and cover 60,000 miles (20,000 miles per year). If you go over this mileage, you’ll usually pay extra per mile (around five pence per extra mile) at the end of the term. When the scheme ends, you’ll simply return the vehicle like you would with a regular lease contract. Learn more about Motability on Auto Trader.

How to order a Motability vehicle

To start, just choose an eligible car, and work out which adaptions need to be made, if any. The Motability scheme is only available on new cars, not used.
There’s plenty of choice, and practically any vehicle under the price of £35,000 can be applied for via the scheme. Click here to find eligible vehicles on Auto Trader. For the monthly prices, simply ask the dealer or visit the Motability site. You’ll need to place your order at the dealership. Most franchise dealerships in the UK have trained Motability specialists on site, who can help you place your order and talk you through the steps. You can contact the dealership ahead of time to book your appointment, using the contact details on Auto Trader adverts. Once you’re happy, the dealership’s specialist will submit your application and complete the order for you. They’ll also arrange the delivery day, and let you know what to bring when you collect your new car.

Paying for a car using the Motability scheme

You’ll pay every four weeks, directly out of your benefits. These payments cover the cost of the car, plus insurance and many other running costs (see the list below). You’ll just have to pay for your own fuel.
Usually, payments are deducted from your Motability allowance and go directly to the Motability Scheme. This will be handled by your benefit payment agency. Some cheaper cars may be covered entirely by the allowance, but if the car costs less than your mobility allowance you can claim whatever it left over back. This will be paid to you by your benefit payment agency. If you choose a more expensive car, you will need to make an advance payment. This advance payment covers the cost between your Mobility allowance and the total cost of your lease, and is made as a one-off, non-refundable payment. If you need financial support making this advance payment, there’s more information on the Motability charity website.

What is included in the Motability scheme?

The Motability scheme payments cover the vehicle itself, plus any adaptations.
Your monthly payments will also cover: • Insurance, including tyre and windscreen replacement cover • Breakdown cover • Vehicle tax • Servicing and maintenance, including MOT You’ll pay separately for the fuel you use.

FAQs

Can I use the Motability scheme vehicle for a used car?

No, the Motability scheme is only available for new cars.

Can I use the Motability scheme vehicle for work?

Under some circumstances, you can use your vehicle for work. You’ll need to get permission from RSA Motability, and ask for a ‘Business Use Application Form’.
You won’t be permitted to use a Motability vehicle for some jobs, like taxi services or deliveries.

Can I apply for the Motability scheme on behalf of someone else?

You can help an eligible person apply to the Motability scheme and choose a car, but you cannot apply on their behalf. Only those who have been assigned the eligible levels of Motability allowance can make the application.
You can apply for a Motability vehicle for a child aged three or over (provided they meet the criteria). You can learn more about that on the Government website.

I’m a carer, can I drive a Motability vehicle?

A Motability vehicle can be driven by the applicant, plus up to two more people. Named drivers must be listed on the Certificate of Motor Insurance.
The Motability terms and conditions specify that “the car is used by, or for the benefit of, the disabled person”. Named drivers can use the car for shopping and activities that benefit the disabled customer – you wouldn’t be able to drive it around for yourself.

Learn more about the Motability scheme on Auto Trader

You can learn more about the Motability scheme and its eligibility criteria on our Motability page.

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