Girl next to carIf you are currently receiving the higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or a War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement, then you could be entitled to apply for the Motability Cars Scheme, exchanging your weekly benefit for the lease or hire purchase of a brand new disability vehicle.

With ‘nil’ advance purchase schemes available, this could save you money in the long run and afford you or the disabled person you care for the independence to travel freely, without having to rely on local council support schemes, which can normally only provide social day care transport.

Motability is an independent charity providing specially adapted disability cars for disabled people and their carers at affordable prices. Adaptations to Motability cars are made at manufacturing centres by specially qualified production and engineering staff according to the specifications and needs of each user.

Modifications And Additional Features Can  Include:

  • Lowered floors
  • Adjusted door opening angles
  • Ramps (often these come as standard)
  • Special mirrors
  • Extra storage space for wheelchairs
  • Wheelchair restraints and hoists
  • Push-pull handles and winches

There are over 4,000 types of car available on the scheme, with over 300 of these available at ‘nil’ advance purchase and hundreds more at less than £500. A ‘nil’ advance purchase means that a basic package is covered by your weekly allowance: this is paid directly to Motability. Cars not under the ‘nil’ advance payment scheme require an upfront payment to cover the difference between the cost of the car and your allowance, and vary according to the adaptations required to the vehicle.

Even if you don’t take one of the ‘nil’ advance purchase cars, Motability provides all inclusive packages, which means that there are no hidden costs or unexpected charges.

The Motability Scheme Covers You For:

  • Insurance, servicing and maintenance
  • Full RAC breakdown assistance
  • An annual tax disc
  • Tyre and windscreen replacement
  • 60,000 mileage over three years

In terms of value for money, the lease option is the most sensible choice and the most popular amongst users of the scheme. Lease of a brand new adapted vehicle is on Contract Hire and can be for three or five years. New and used Motability cars are also available on Hire Purchase, with payments over a term of two to five years. It is worth looking at the budget you have, the benefits you are receiving and making calculations according to how long you will need the vehicle for, whether the needs of the disabled user are liable to change in the future, and what exactly you expect out of a Motability car.

If you do decide that leasing is the way forward, then there are ways to make sure you get the most out of your money, even if you need to make extra payments on specific modifications.


Peter has received many accreditation's including many from the Times Online. As founder of You Could Save (2005) , What Stationers (2007) and more recently, Peter Millikin (2018). Peter regularly helps consumers and national organisation ‘save money’. He believes that the only successful way to bring people together online is to provide an open marketplace where people can all work together in a friendly, unbiased environment.

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