The Motability Scheme is a fantastic scheme that has helped millions of disabled people in the UK become more mobile. Established in 1978, the Motability Scheme allows those that receive a mobility allowance to exchange this for a lease on a car, wheelchair-accessible vehicle (WAV), powered wheelchair, or scooter.
In order to qualify for the Motability Scheme, an individual must receive either the Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance (HMRC DLA), the Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment (ERMC PIP), the War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement (WPMS) or the Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP).
Individuals can join by first finding the right vehicle for their particular needs and then finding a dealer where you can arrange a viewing and test drive – there are almost 5,000 dealerships in the UK. There are over 2,000 Motability cars to choose from and from a range of respected manufacturers. If the vehicle is suitable, you can take out a lease which will include insurance, maintenance, and breakdown cover.
How do the Vehicles Work?
So, how do these vehicles work? There are many different types available that can allow individuals with a wide range of disabilities to either drive themselves or safely travel as passengers. WAVs have a ramp or electric lift along with high ceilings so that those in a wheelchair can easily access the vehicle, and they can then either be secured in the chair, or the chair can be safely stowed.
Adapted Motability cars are becoming increasingly more common, and there are all kinds of incredible adaptations that can be made. These include hand controls which allow the driver to control the speed of the car by hand, electronic accelerators for those with limited mobility in their legs, and left-foot accelerators so that speed can be controlled with the left foot. There are also various pedal modifications that can be made to make them easier to control and to steer aids like joysticks for those that have difficulty holding and/or turning a steering wheel. There are over 400 adaptations that can be made to make either driving or traveling as a passenger as safe, comfortable, and efficient as possible.
The excellent Motability Scheme helps to change lives for those with a disability or those that care for someone with a disability. There is some genuinely incredible adaptation that can be made to help many individuals to become more mobile and independent, and this only looks set to continue as car gadgets and technology evolve at a rapid rate.