If you’re a disabled driver, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by an apparent lack of support. However, there are numerous ways to seek assistance, particularly in the form of the Motability Scheme. You know what?! I didn’t know about this until I actually took the time to look for it. Today, I want to try and educate any disabled readers about this program and what it can do for you.
We’ll also take a brief look at additional support for disabled drivers that you might not know about. So, what are we waiting for?! Let’s go!
Image – Disabled Sign
In The First Instance
Disabilities can be a lifelong thing, or they can strike suddenly. They can also get worse over time, so it’s important to inform the relevant authorities if this is the case. In the UK, you can contact the DVLA at https://www.gov.uk/contact-the-dvla if you need to inform them of any changes. They’ll put measures in place to ensure that they can determine whether it’s safe for you to drive. This might include a trip to the doctor, and it might also include an assessment of some sort.
If you’re fit enough to drive, but you suffer from a disability, you’re probably eligible for a Blue Badge. This is a badge that you can display on your car to allow you to park in disabled spaces. You’ll benefit from reduced walking distances and easier accessibility in general. You’ll have to apply for this, though – you won’t just be given one out of the blue.
You might not be eligible for road tax if you’re disabled, and you can also apply for road kerb assistance if necessary. All of this information can be found on the DVLA website.
Image – On The Road
The Motability Scheme
So, what is the Motability Scheme? It’s a way of leasing a vehicle that is tailored and adapted to suit your needs. This isn’t just about cars, either. Scooters and powered wheelchairs are also available for consideration. The scheme works by exchanging your mobility allowance in the process.
What do I mean by ‘tailored and adapted’? Well, in some cases, you’ll get adjustments to your vehicle fitted for free to make the journey easier. Another huge benefit of the scheme is that you don’t have to worry about all the extra bits. Insurance is taken care of on your behalf. Maintenance is carried out on a routine basis, and full breakdown assistance is also part of the deal. You’ll also get a new car every three years as part of the scheme.There are a bunch of additional benefits that might be available to you based on the offer.
If you’re wondering how to join this scheme, you’re going to need to fit into a specific category. In particular, you need to be receiving one of a selection of mobility allowances. They are as follows:
- Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance
The DWP provide this allowance, and you must have “at least 12 months’ award length of the HRMC DLA remaining” to apply for the scheme.
- Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment
This works in a very similar way to what we mentioned above. The DLA has slowly begun to be replaced by the PIP allowance structure.
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
If you’re receiving this payment from Veterans UK, you’re also eligible for the scheme.
- War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement
As with the Armed Forces Independence Payment, this is provided through Veterans UK.
What’s the next step if you want to take advantage of the Motability Scheme? It’s time to get out there and get yourself a vehicle! Firstly, you’re going to want to find a dealer that offers the Motability Scheme. You’ll find this online at websites like www.nissanretail.co.uk, and you can always call the dealer in question too.
It’s likely that you’ll be presented with a range of attractive options. Make sure you pick a car that is suitable for your needs and discuss any adjustments you might require in depth. The whole point of the scheme is to tailor itself to your needs, so if you need help, all you need to do is ask.
And that’s it! From this moment onwards, you’ll be given a bunch of contact options in case anything goes wrong. Keep in mind that once you’ve entered into a contract, you’re bound to it. The Citizens Advice website states that a sympathetic request to cancel may be considered. For reasons beyond your control, it’s worth getting in contact and explaining your situation. In general, though, keep in mind that this is a contract, and you can’t just leave it.
Those are the basics of the Motability Scheme. Hopefully, you’ll find that you benefit from it. I’d love to hear if you’ve had success with it (in the comments box!).
Image – Motorized Wheelchair
There’s a range of support out there for disabled drivers, and a simple Google search will uncover much of it. Firstly, there’s the Disabled Motoring UK website – a charity that supports disabled drivers. http://www.disabledmotoring.org/ gives you access to a tonne of resources that might be useful. You can make donations, buy from their shop and opt for full membership.
The gov.uk website can provide effective information for those who are looking to seek financial support. We’ve mentioned some of the benefits like tax exemption, and more possibilities are also detailed there.
You can also find companies out there that specialise in making tailored adjustments for vehicles. If you’ve already got your own vehicle, and you aren’t interested in the Motability Scheme, this might be for you. The options on offer include left foot accelerator pedals and easy-release handbrakes.
So, if you’re disabled, and you’re concerned about driving on the UK’s roads, reach out for help. The internet contains all sorts of useful resources that might just get you back behind the wheel. We hope you’ve found this article useful – let us know your comments in the box below!