If you care for someone with a disability, the Motability Scheme could help

If you care for someone who is in receipt of a higher rate mobility allowance, you may not be aware that the Motability Scheme’s worry-free mobility package is designed to help.

The Motability Scheme supports families in staying mobile by offering a unique, all-inclusive leasing package for brand new cars from all the major manufacturers. If you care for a child or someone who doesn’t drive, you can be added as a named driver instead. And as well as standard cars from a range of manufacturers, adaptations, Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles, scooters and powered wheelchairs are available too.

How does it work?

Watch our quick animation to find out! If anyone in your household is in receipt of a higher rate mobility allowance such as DLA or PIP, they can exchange this to lease a car or scooter. As a carer, you may be able to do this on their behalf—for example, as a parent of a disabled child. There are three ways carers can help: as a named driver, appointee or nominee.

1. Becoming a named driver

Some Scheme customers don’t drive or simply choose to have their spouses or friends as named drivers for convenience, so they can take a break from driving once in a while! Up to three named drivers are included as part of the lease.

There are a few rules about who can drive a Scheme car to bear in mind, such as the ages of the drivers, how far away they live from the customer and they must not have any serious driving convictions, disqualifications or endorsements within the last five years.

Wheelchair user with car

Not all of our customers drive, so friends and family can be added as named drivers

In terms of how named drivers should use the car, it must be for the benefit of the disabled customer, but this does not mean that they need to be in the car for every journey — the car can be used for shopping and other routine activities that supports the household.

Customers can also add a temporary driver for up to 30 days at a time. This is very useful if you are being visited by friends or relatives or going on holiday.

2. Becoming an appointee

Appointees are assigned by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or Veterans UK and are solely responsible for collecting benefits for the disabled person, as well as deciding how they are used. The appointee is often a family member and may be needed in situations such as with disabled people under 16 years old, or those who are severely disabled. You can find more information on the DWP website.

An appointee can apply to join the Motability Scheme on a disabled person’s behalf and will then be legally responsible for the lease agreement. It’s the appointee’s responsibility to ensure that the Scheme car is used for the right purpose and that the disabled person has full access to it.

Appointee with disabled person

Appointees can apply to join the Motability Scheme on a disabled person’s behalf 

3. Becoming a nominee

A nominee is one or more persons nominated to act on behalf of the customer. Nominees can make minor changes to customer details, such as changing the address, but they are not legally responsible for the lease in the same way an appointee is.

A Motability Scheme customer’s agreement will never be discussed with anyone else unless they have an appointee or a nominee who is named on the lease agreement. If the customer has a progressive condition which may eventually mean they are less able to deal with their own affairs, they may wish to assign an appointee or nominee to act on their behalf.

Useful information for carers

You may find the following sources of information helpful, we’ve also included a list of concessions available to carers:

  • If you’ve recently become a carer for a family member or friend, you may find Carers UK and Disability Rights UK useful for finding advice and support.
  • Unless you choose to tax the vehicle privately, your Motability Scheme vehicle will be covered for tax exemption.
  • You may be eligible for a Blue Badge which allows you to park in marked disabled bays. Although it’s a UK-wide scheme, it is run by local councils, so make sure to check how it applies to you anywhere in the country with this tool.
  • This card from the Cinema Exhibitors’ Association gives one free ticket for anyone accompanying a disabled cardholder to the cinema.
  • Lots of theatres offer discounted tickets for disabled people and their carers — check what concessions the theatre offers when you book.
  • The disabled persons railcard grants both the cardholder and their carer one third off train fares.
  • Some football grounds will allow free admission for carers, but make sure to check their website first.
  • Lots of other attractions such as museums, zoos and National Trust sites offer discounts for carers but don’t advertise them; it’s always worth giving the venue a ring and asking before you go. And don’t forget the Rough Guide to Accessible Britain includes a huge range of accessible family days out across the UK. 

What next?

For more information about carers, visit the Motability Scheme website.

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