Getting an accessible car or other equipment in Scotland
You can get an accessible car or other equipment if you:
- get Adult Disability Payment because of a disability or illness that makes it hard to get around
- get Adult Disability Payment because you're terminally ill
- have a child aged 3 or over who gets Child Disability Payment because of a disability or illness that makes it hard to get around
- have a terminally ill child who gets Child Disability Payment.
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 or equipment – it won’t belong to you. If you stop getting Adult or Child Disability Payment, you’ll have to return it.
Check you're eligible
You can get a vehicle from the Accessible Vehicle and Equipment (AVE) scheme if you get:
- the enhanced rate of the mobility component of Adult Disability Payment
- the higher rate of the mobility component of Child Disability Payment.
Adult Disability Payment is replacing Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in Scotland.
Child Disability Payment is replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children and young people in Scotland.
When you apply to the scheme you must have at least 12 months until your next Adult or Child Disability Payment review, or you have an indefinite award.
If you are already an AVE scheme client, you can apply for a new vehicle or equipment and do not need to have at least 12 months until your next award review.
If your Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is changing
If your DLA is changing to a Scottish benefit, you'll be able to keep any vehicle that you already lease from Motability. You'll be able to keep it until the end of the lease unless your circumstances change and you're no longer eligible for the scheme.
When your DLA transfers to a Scottish benefit, Social Security Scotland will start paying Motability for your vehicle. You won't need to do anything. Social Security Scotland will let you know when your DLA transfers to a Scottish benefit.
Paying for your vehicle
The mobility component of your Adult or Child Disability Payment will go directly to the Accessible Vehicle and Equipment (AVE) scheme dealer each month to pay for the lease.
The amount of the payment that goes towards the vehicle depends on the cost of the one you choose. If the cost is less than your mobility component, the rest of the component will be paid to you.
You might 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 website.
What you'll get
As well as your vehicle, you'll get:
- insurance for 2 named drivers
- tyre and windscreen replacement cover
- breakdown cover and roadside assistance
- vehicle tax
- servicing and maintenance
- adaptations if needed - find out about the adaptations that Motability offers.
If you want to use your vehicle for work, you'll need to get permission from RSA Motability. You might be allowed to use your vehicle for certain kinds of business activity, for example if you're a travelling salesperson. You won't be allowed to use your vehicle for other kinds of work, for example as a taxi or to deliver things.
You can contact RSA Motability either in writing or over the phone. Ask for a 'Business Use Application Form'.
PO Box 40
New Hall Place
Old Hall Street
Telephone: 0300 037 3737 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 7pm, Saturday 8am to 4pm)
How to find an accessible vehicle
You can only get a vehicle from certain dealers. They need to be part of the Accessible Vehicle and Equipment (AVE) scheme. At the moment, Motability is the only accredited provider.
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.
- your ID - such as a driving licence or passport
- your certificate of entitlement from Social Security Scotland
You should follow these steps to get an accessible vehicle, power-assisted wheelchair or scooter:
1. Find a dealer
You can find a dealer on the Motability website.
2. Visit the dealer
Once you’ve found a dealer, ask them for an appointment to discuss the Accessible Vehicle and Equipment (AVE) scheme. 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.
The dealer will help you find a car, power assisted wheelchair or scooter that suits you best.
Tell your dealer if you think your vehicle needs to be adapted. The AVE scheme includes some adaptations for free. You can check if the adaption you need is available on the Motability website.
If you or your child uses 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 one – they might have other options.
3. Order your vehicle
Once you've found the right vehicle, you can order it from the dealer.
You’ll need to show:
- your certificate of entitlement from Social Security Scotland
- a form of identification, such as a passport or driving licence.
If you'll be driving the car, you'll need to show your driving licence.
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 from the dealer.
The dealer will send a copy of the lease to Social Security Scotland. Social Security Scotland will then pay some or all of your mobility component to the dealer as agreed in the lease.
It’s worth asking for your vehicle to be delivered, if you can’t get to the dealer easily.
If your circumstances change
If your circumstances change and either of the following rates stops, you’ll have to give back your AVE vehicle or equipment:
- the enhanced rate of the mobility component of your Adult Disability Payment
- the higher rate of the mobility component of your Child Disability Payment.
If you made an advance payment before you got your vehicle, you might get some of this back. It will depend on how long you’ve had the vehicle.
If you disagree with a decision to reduce or stop your Adult or Child Disability Payment, you can challenge it. You can keep a vehicle for up to 8 weeks after your Adult or Child Disability Payment stops.
Read more about challenging a Scottish benefit decision.
Get more help
Get advice from a Citizens Advice Bureau if you need help with the Accessible Vehicle and Equipment (AVE) scheme.