What is the Motability Scheme?

How the Motability Scheme works

Exchange your qualifying mobility allowance for a brand-new car, Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAVWheelchair Accessible Vehicle), scooter or powered wheelchair, so you can enjoy more freedom and independence.

The Motability Scheme offers an affordable way for disabled people to lease a new car, wheelchair-accessible vehicle, scooter or powered wheelchair.

Since it began in 1978, the Motability Scheme has helped millions of disabled people and their families.

Who can join the Motability Scheme?

The Motability Scheme is available to anyone who receives one of the following allowances, with at least 12 months remaining:

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

Carers and parents can drive on behalf of the disabled person. This means that parents of children aged three and above, and non-drivers can apply to join. The vehicle must be used by, or for the benefit of, the disabled person.

If you have not yet been awarded one of the above allowances, you will need to have this before you can apply to join the Motability Scheme.



Adaptations are devices that can be fitted to a vehicle so that driving is safer and more comfortable, and getting in and out of the car is made easier. There are a number of adaptations available, many for no extra cost, that could improve your motoring experience, including adaptations to help with:

  • Speed and steering
  • Signalling and safety
  • Stowage
  • Seating and access

If you think you may benefit from an adaptation in your new car, Motability's Managed Adaptations Programme offers a wide variety of options that could make your driving experience more comfortable. The Programme takes away the hassle of organising adaptations by managing the process for you from start to finish.

Examples of adaptations you may wish to have on your vehicle are:

Push/Pull hand control

If you are unable to use the foot pedals in your car, a push and pull device will enable you to control the speed with your hand.

Operation: Push the lever forward to apply the brake and pull it backwards to apply the accelerator.

Radial accelerator

Similar to the push and pull control, the radial accelerator can help you control the speed of your car if you are unable to use the foot controls.

Operation: To accelerate, push downwards on the lever in a slight radial action, pushing the lever away from the body to brake.

Steering wheel ball

If you have difficulty holding or turning a steering wheel or have the use of only one hand, having a steering wheel ball fitted means you will have more control when steering your car.

Operation: Simply hold the ball, making sure your hand is comfortable, and use it to turn the steering wheel in the direction you need.

Left foot accelerators

If you are unable to use your right leg, you could use a pedal transfer to switch the accelerator to the opposite side, enabling you to control the speed with your left foot.

Operation: For a twin flip accelerator, you pull down the pedal required and the other pedal flips up automatically. You can then use that pedal while the other is safely folded up out of the way. Floor mounted left foot accelerators operate with a guard to cover the pedal not in use.

Easy release hand brake

If you have limited strength or flexibility in your arms an easy release handbrake device will reduce the effort needed to apply and release the hand brake.

Operation: This will depend on the type of device you choose. Some are operated by buttons and some by a small lever.

Infrared controls

If you have limited movement in your upper body, infrared controls can bring everything to your fingertips. They make it easier to manage certain functions in your car, which make it safer or more comfortable to drive.

Operation: This is a simple keypad, which is often attached to the steering wheel. You simply press the button of the function you need.

Wheelchair stowage: electric boot hoist

If you cannot lift your wheelchair into your boot an electric hoist will solve this problem by easily taking the weight and manoeuvring into the boot of your car.

Operation: This will depend on the model but most are similar in operation. Once you have attached the wheelchair, use the electric keypad to lift and move the wheelchair into the boot.

Rooftop wheelchair stowage

If you need your boot to store other things such as luggage, equipment or even the dog, you might want to store your wheelchair in a rooftop box.

Operation: This will depend on the model but most are similar in operation. Once you have attached the wheelchair, a hand-held control operates the lifting, folding and storage of the wheelchair.

Swivel seat

If you have limited body movement or stiff legs a swivel seat can help you get in and out of the car more easily. They can also increase driver and passenger comfort.

Operation: A remote control operates the chair as it turns out to face the driver or passenger, allowing plenty of space to sit down on the chair. Use the remote control to then move the chair round into the required position.

For more information on the adaptations available, many of which are free of charge, please contact us.

Finance Disclosure

Desira Group PLC is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. FRN : 687521. We are a Credit Broker not a Lender and can introduce you to a limited number of lenders. Desira Group PLC is an Appointed Representative of AutoProtect (MBI) Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for insurance distribution purposes; FRN: 312143. We will receive a fixed commission calculated by reference to the vehicle model or amount you borrow, for introducing you to a lender but this does not affect the interest charged on the agreement, all of which are set by the lender. Our FCA permitted business is arranging General Insurance and Finance Products. You can check this on the FCA Register by visiting www.fca.org.uk