Motability Explained

Motability is a government-backed scheme that helps people with disabilities lease a car, scooter or wheelchair.

The scheme currently helps 600,000 people in the UK and has helped those that might not be able to afford a car, which would seriously impact on their standard of living, get back on the road.

The scheme was launched in 1978 and was aimed at youngsters at first, but now has expanded to cover those of all ages and a wide range of disabilities. It is a joint initiative between the government, four major clearing banks, the motor industry and insurance companies to help people with disabilities and keep them mobile. This would allow disabled people to live full lives and get to work, leisure facilities and ensure they did not suffer isolation.

By Royal Appointment

The registered charity, which boasts the patronage of Her Majesty the Queen, has provided more than 3 million cars, scooters and wheelchairs since its inception.

In 2006, when the scheme passed the 2 million vehicles mark, Lord Goodman said:

“Family life revolves around the disabled person so if you make someone mobile you don’t help two million, it’s more like six to eight million.”

Motability is open to those who receive the following:

  • Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance
  • Armed Forces Indepence Payment (AFIP)
  • War Pensioner’s Mobility Supplement.

Participants choose a new car every three or five years with insurance and additional costs, including servicing, breakdown cover and even tyres are all covered by a single monthly payment.

Contract Thriller

The Department for Work and Pensions then pays this directly to Motability Operations. At the end of the contract period the driver can take another vehicle and can also opt to buy the outgoing car, scooter or wheelchair direct for their own use. They can even buy it for a friend.

While Motability offers more than 450 vehicles and all essential modifications are generally covered, the customer can opt to pay an additional amount for non-essential upgrades to the specification. Customers can also opt for a larger car, or more prestigious model, as long as they cover the additional cost themselves.

An Expensive Drink

Royal and Sun Alliance provide insurance and to be eligible for the scheme drivers must have nothing more than a minor endorsement on their license in the previous five years. A drink driving conviction generally disqualifies a driver from receiving Motability assistance, but minor speeding offences should not be a barrier.

RAC breakdown cover is included in the scheme that Lord Stirling, the founder, considered his greatest ever achievement.

And with more than 600,000 people living fuller and happier lives as a result of the scheme, it’s hard to argue with his assessment.

Motability has changed lives throughout Britain and will continue to help people with disabilities stay free and active. You can apply for Motability assistance through many car dealerships such as Mini, so if you might be eligible then it’s time to find out more.

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Mother of three grown-up daughters I am the ultimate multi-tasker and am passionate about my role as Silversurfers Website Editor and Social Media Manager. Always on the lookout for all things that will interest and entertain our community. Fueling fun for the young at heart!

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