Your guide to the Motability Scheme – Eligibility, Advance Payments, Service & Warranty

We have compiled this useful guide to the Motability Scheme which covers eligibility, DLA / PIP, contract hire agreements, advance payments, charitable grants and service and warranty throughout the life of your contract.

Many of our customers use the Motability Scheme. Used by over 630,000 people, it provides a simple way to lease a new Motability wheelchair accessible vehicle. When selecting a new mobility vehicles, you can opt for a five-year contract hire agreement which includes insurance, breakdown assistance, servicing and maintenance. You can also apply to Motability for a grant towards the advance payment. Here are the most frequently asked questions which may help you to decide if using the scheme is right for you.

What is Motability?

Motability was established in 1977 and is a not-for-profit organisation providing mobility solutions for disabled people. It covers cars, car adaptations, mobility vehicles and adaptations, powered wheelchairs and scooters. Sirus is a Motability Premier Partner as we meet all of Motability’s customer service standards.

How does the Scheme work?

If you are in receipt of the Higher Rate Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) you can surrender this monthly payment to Motability in return for an adapted car or wheelchair accessible vehicle. All new mobility vehicles are available on a minimum of a five-year lease, whereas standard cars are available on a three-year lease.

What is the difference between Motability and Motability Operations?

Motability is a national charity which may be able to help you to fund the cost of your vehicle, adaptations and/or driving lessons. Last year Motability helped 8,500 Scheme customers and their families to become mobile with £23 million in Charitable Grants. They means test all applications and any help they give is always towards the best value solution to help you cope with your mobility needs. Motability Operations is the not-for-profit organisation which operates the scheme. Motability has never had any role in determining who should receive DLA; that is solely the responsibility of the Department for Work and Pensions. To find out more you can visit the DWP website.

Is Disability Living Allowance (DLA) means-tested?

DLA is a Government benefit to help with the extra costs arising from disability. DLA is not means-tested or taxable and is paid whether the disabled person is working or not. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) determines who is eligible for DLA, based on an application completed by a disabled person, supporting evidence provided by the applicant and, in some cases, a medical assessment carried out on behalf of DWP. Read more on the Motability website.

How do I know if I am eligible to use the Scheme?

To be eligible to join, you need to receive one of the following mobility allowances and you must have at least 12 months’ award length remaining. Please note that the Attendance Allowance cannot be used to lease a car through the Scheme.

  • Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance (HRMC DLA)
    Enhanced Rate Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment (ERMC PIP)
  • War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement (WPMS)
    Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP)

You can use their online checker here.

What is a Contract Hire Agreement?

Most Motability customers opt for this option. This is a very convenient way to run a vehicle as everything is included – insurance, maintenance, servicing, breakdown cover…all you have to do is pay for fuel. At the end of your contract hire agreement, you will simply return the vehicle to Motability. There are options to extend your lease should you wish, as well as bonus payments for the condition of the vehicle.

What is an Advance Payment?

If the cost of the vehicle you have chosen is higher than the amount you will surrender from you DLA / PIP, there will be an upfront payment. All wheelchair accessible vehicles will have an advance payment and this is paid to Motability at the beginning of the term.

Can I apply for funding towards the Advance Payment?

Yes you can apply to Motability (the charity) for help towards the cost of your vehicle. For further information visit Motability Grants website. Many of our customers apply for a grant and receive help towards the vehicle as well as the adaptations.

What service and warranty is included with a Motability vehicle?

All Motability customers receive a warranty for the whole term of the Contract Hire Agreement, so any repairs required which are caused by general wear or mechanical fault are covered. If you have mechanical problems with any aspect of your vehicle conversion, you will deal with Sirus directly. You also receive cover from RAC Motability Assist.

What if my needs change? Can I return my Motability vehicle?

Yes. If you find your vehicle isn’t suitable for you anymore you can speak to Motability about an alternative option.

What should I do next?

Contact Sirus to talk through your requirements – we can assist you with any applications and give you advice on contract hire agreements, the grant process and VAT exemption. Our team of experienced mobility specialists based at head office are here to help you. Just call 0121 505 7777 with any questions you have. We have a range of new drive/upfront,  drive from wheelchair, internal transfer and upfront passenger vehicles available on the Motability Scheme. Find out more about our new vehicles here.

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