Maintaining your mobility: How to purchase a mobility car

how to purchase a mobility car
Maintaining your independence when you have a disability or illness that makes it hard for you to get about can be disheartening.  Before the not-for-profit Motability Scheme was launched in 1977 many people were housebound and reliant on others for transportation. The scheme has now delivered over 4.5 million cars, powered wheelchairs and scooters across the UK.
We’ve looked in to the process of purchasing a mobility car and hope you find the following helpful.
Are you eligible?
Before you can even consider applying you will need to check if you are eligible. Only if you have been awarded the enhanced rate of the mobility component of the personal independence payment (PIP) can you apply.
The rules around this do change periodically so it is worth checking the Citizens Advice website to check the latest rules.
If you fit the criteria you will then be invited to the assessment centre. At the assessment centre they confirm you are eligible and run through the various options of what would need altering on the car.
Visiting the Motability dealer
At the assessment centre you will be provided with instructions to take to your nearest dealer that offers Motability vehicles. Don’t forget your driving licence and certificate of entitlement from the Department of Work and Pensions. The instructions indicate what will have to be adapted and included on your car. Once your car has been tailored to your needs you will then need to receive training on how to drive the car with the adaptations.
There are more than 4,500 approved Motability dealers throughout the UK and their website can be used to help identify your nearest one.
Through the Motability scheme you have more than 2,500 cars to choose from. However, depending on the car you choose, the alterations and whether you choose to buy or lease, you may be required to contribute towards the cost of it and the monthly fee taken from your mobility allowance.
Should I buy or lease?
According to various websites on this subject, more than 90% opt for a lease. This contract includes your car insurance, personal accident cover, breakdown cover and various servicing and maintenance options. Obviously, the finer details of what is included will have to be discussed with your dealer.
The less common option is to buy the car yourself. This is a lot more time consuming as you will have to negotiate a price with the Motability dealer, arrange and pay for insurance, breakdown cover, tax and maintenance.
Things to remember
As with all such schemes there are things to be aware and take note of. Some of the key ones that we came across are listed below. Some may seem obvious but better safe than sorry.
  • Annual mileage limit
This is actually a generous 20,000 mileage limit on both the three and five year agreements.
  • Damage liability
At the end of the agreement period any significant damage will have to be repaired or paid for by the hirer. Normal wear and tear is expected.
  • Other drivers
Even if you are unable to drive the vehicle you can nominate up to two family members or friends who can. Obvious restrictions apply such as they must not have any driving convictions, disqualifications or points on their licence within the last five years. Restrictions also extend to young drivers and provisional licence holders.
  • Purpose of journeys
Again, it might sound obvious but the vehicle must be used by, or on behalf of, the disabled person. It’s also worth clarifying that as long as the disabled person gains from the use of the car they don’t actually need to be in the vehicle. For example, a nominated driver can use the car to collect shopping or prescriptions on behalf of the disabled person.
Now you have your ‘on the road’ freedom we wish you lots of happy motoring!