I found when helping my cousin that buying and adapting a car can be expensive. The Motability Scheme - run by the independent not-for-profit organisation Motability - gives disabled people the opportunity to own or lease a car at an affordable price.
Motability is the UK's leading car scheme for disabled people, providing worry-free motoring to over 500,000 disabled people and their families. Motability enables people to use their Higher Rate Mobility Component of the Disability Living Allowance, or War Pensioners' Mobility Supplement to obtain a car, powered wheelchair or scooter, through contract hire or hire purchase schemes.
The Scheme is directed and overseen by Motability, a national charity, which also raises funds and provides financial assistance to customers who would otherwise be unable to afford the mobility solution they need.
Motability may also be able to help with funding towards driving lessons for disabled people, aged between 16 and 24, who are in full-time education or allready in receipt of a state benefit such as Income Support or Jobseekers Allowance or income-related employment support allowance.
Even if you do not drive yourself, you can apply for a car as a passenger and propose two other people as your drivers.
You can also apply for a car on behalf of a child aged three or over who is entitled to the higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance.
Through the contract hire scheme you can lease a new car supplied by a Motability accredited dealer for at least three years. Insurance, routine servicing and breakdown assistance are included. You may need to pay for the fitting and removal of any adaptations.
You can apply if you have 12 months or more of your Disability Living Allowance 'award' remaining. If your award is not renewed during the full length of your chosen scheme, your car will need to be returned.
At the end of the period, the car is returned to Motability Operations who operate the car schemes under contract to Motability.
Hire purchase enables you to buy the car you want. This can be a new or used car. You are responsible for negotiating the purchase price of the car with the dealer and arranging insurance cover. At the end of the hire purchase agreement - which can be between three and five years - you will own the car.
Powered wheelchairs or scooters
Motability also offers a hire purchase scheme for powered wheelchairs or scooters.
Financial help and VAT relief
If money is a problem when financing the car or adaptations, Motability may be able to provide a grant through their own charitable fund or the Specialised Vehicle Funds, which they administer for the government.
Disabled people don't have to pay VAT on the cost of hiring a car through the Motability Scheme. The cost of any work involved in adapting a vehicle for a disabled person is also eligible for VAT relief.
Blue Badge map
The Blue Badge map can be used to find:
-Blue Badge parking bays in over 100 towns and cities across the UK
-Red Route parking bays in London
-Petrol stations and their service facilities on major routes in the UK
-Accessible public toilets in over 100 towns and cities across the UK
-Railway stations and their accessibility
-Underground stations and their accessibility in London
-Locations of interest, like town halls, hospitals, museums and tourist attractions
-Parking rules for all councils in the UK
The map features Blue Badge bays, council car parks, taxi ranks and public toilets in 115 towns and cities across the UK. Red Route bays in London are also covered.
In addition, petrol stations along major routes are featured, indicating their services. This includes cash machines, 24-hour-opening, accessible toilets and ServiceCall.
New on the map are railway stations, including their access level. There are three access levels:
In London, underground stations are displayed, including all access information.
Where applicable, there is also information on reductions for disabled drivers on tolls for bridges and tunnels.
Renewing your driving licence at 70 plus
Your driving licence entitlement will expire when you reach the age of 70 and if you want to continue to drive, the entitlement will need to be renewed by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). If you do not receive the reminder application forms to apply for your driving licence, you can use the D1 application form, which is available from DVLA form ordering service, and Post Office branches.