Am I eligible for a Motability car?

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Q. I was in receipt of Disability Living Allowance and I am being transferred to Personal Independence Payment, will I be eligible for a Motability car?

A. 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.

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.

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. This is known as ‘transitional support’. For more information on how much transitional support you could be eligible for contact your local Citizens Advice.

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

Your benefit will go directly to a charity called 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.

As well as your vehicle, you’ll get: insurance, including tyre and windscreen replacement cover;breakdown cover; vehicle tax

How to find a Motability vehicle

1) Find a dealer: You can find a dealer near where you live on the Motability website or by contacting the helpline: www.motability.co.uk

Motability helpline: Telephone: 0300 456 4566, 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. 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.

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 containing 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 a lease aby entering your Personal Identification Number (PIN) at the dealership.