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Getting a Motability car

This advice applies to England

If you receive a benefit because you have a disability or illness that makes it hard for you to get around, you can use it to pay for a vehicle from a charity called Motability.

You can choose from lots of different vehicles, for example cars, mobility scooters or powered wheelchairs.

You’ll only be paying for the lease of the vehicle - it won’t belong to you. If you stop receiving your benefit, you’ll have to return it.

Check you’re eligible

You can get a Motability car or vehicle if you’ve been awarded:

  • the higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for 12 months or more
  • the enhanced rate mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for 12 months or more
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP) or War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement for 12 months or more

If you don’t drive, you can still get a Motability vehicle and choose someone else to drive it. You can choose up to 2 people to drive on your behalf.

Claiming on behalf of a child

It’s possible to claim for a Motability vehicle for a child who is aged 3 or over.
Read more about the Motability help available on GOV.UK.

If you’re moving from DLA to PIP

If you’re moving from DLA to PIP and don’t qualify for the enhanced rate mobility component after you’ve been reassessed, you’ll have to return your vehicle.

You should return your vehicle within 8 weeks of your DLA payments stopping - or 26 weeks if you joined Motability before 2014.

You might be entitled to a one-off payment from Motability when you return your vehicle, depending on its condition and when you joined Motability.

You can find out from Motability about returning your vehicle and the payment, known as 'transitional support'.

If you think you’ve been given the wrong amount of PIP, you can challenge the decision. Some PIP decisions are overturned on appeal, so you might be able to get another vehicle.

Paying for your vehicle

Your benefit will go directly to Motability each month to pay for your lease. How much of your benefit will go towards your vehicle will depend on which one you choose.

You’ll probably need to make a payment upfront if you choose a more expensive vehicle. You might be able to get some help with this payment, depending on your circumstances. There’s more information about getting extra financial help on the Motability charity website.

What you’ll get

As well as your vehicle, you’ll get:

  • insurance, including tyre and windscreen replacement cover
  • breakdown cover
  • vehicle tax

You won’t be insured to use your vehicle for business - for example as a taxi or to deliver things. You’ll need to get permission to do this by contacting RSA Motability, either in writing or over the phone. Ask for a ‘Business Use Application Form’.

RSA Motability
Motability Operations
City Gate House
22 Southwark Bridge Road
Telephone: 0300 456 4566
Textphone: 0300 037 0100
Monday to Friday, 8am to 7pm, 9am to 1pm Saturday
Calls cost 12p per minute from a landline, and from 3p to 45p from a mobile

How to find a Motability vehicle

You’ll need to show evidence that you’re eligible for the scheme. It’s worth getting this ready before you start looking for a vehicle.

You’ll need:

  • your ID - such as a driving licence or passport
  • your certificate of entitlement from the Department of Work and Pensions

You should follow these steps to get a Motability vehicle:

1) Find a dealer

You can find a dealer near where you live on the Motability website.

You can also call the Motability helpline. It can take a while to get through between 9am and 11am on a Monday, so it’s worth calling outside of this time if you can.

Motability helpline
Telephone: 0300 456 4566
Monday to Friday 8am to 7pm, Saturday 9am to 1pm
Calls cost 12p per minute from a landline, and from 3p to 45p from a mobile

2) Visit the dealer

Once you’ve found a dealer, ask for an appointment with their Motability specialist. You can ask them to visit you at home or help arrange your transport to and from the dealership, if it’s hard for you to get there.

You’ll be asked to do a questionnaire to help find a vehicle that suits you best.

Let your dealer know if you think your vehicle needs to be adapted. Motability offer some adaptations for free - you can check if the adaption you need is available on their website.

If you use a wheelchair or mobility aid, take it with you to make sure it fits in the car.

If you’re not happy with the choice of vehicles the dealer has to offer, it’s worth contacting another - they might have other options.

3) Order your vehicle

Once you’ve found the right vehicle, you can order it at the dealership.

You’ll need to show:

  • your certificate of entitlement from the Department of Work and Pensions
  • a form of identification, such as a passport or driving licence
  • proof of address, such as a council tax bill or bank statement from the last 6 months

About 2 weeks after ordering your car you’ll get a confirmation letter in the post. Keep it safe - it contains your Personal Identification Number (PIN). You’ll need this when you collect your vehicle.

4) Collect your vehicle and sign the lease

You’ll sign your lease agreement by entering your Personal Identification Number (PIN) at the dealership.

It’s worth asking for your vehicle to be delivered, or if someone else can pick it up, if you can’t get to the dealer easily.

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