Mobility scooters are becoming ever more popular, as more and more people discover they can use one to regain lost freedom and independence caused by a disability. The Motability Scheme is likely to be of particular interest to those who qualify for it. It is available to those in receipt of certain benefits and offers convenience, choice, affordability and peace of mind. We will help you find out the main benefits of the scheme for the end user.
The Motability Scheme is an all-inclusive deal, so you will want to know what that means in practical terms. While the scheme may not be suitable for everyone, this should give you enough information to decide if it is right for you or at the very least if you want to investigate further.
We will also lay out all the qualifying benefits and qualifying criteria, so you can check if you will be able to participate in the scheme. It also includes a few useful links to where you can get more information, just in case there are still any questions you need to ask.
How the Motability Scheme works
The Motability Scheme is operated by a charity called ‘Motability’. This began in 1978 and operates in partnership with the government and representatives of the business sector including banks, car manufacturers and motor insurers. It allows people to exchange certain specific government mobility allowances (see below) for a lease on a mobility scooter, powered wheelchair or car. It is an all-inclusive leasing agreement which takes away much of the worry involved in buying and owning a scooter. For those who qualify for the Motability Scheme, it gives you flexibility, allowing you to chose from a wide range of vehicles, including cars, although we naturally focus on mobility scooters. The scheme includes breakdown cover from Motability Assist, as well as a full routine maintenance program which covers you for all servicing and normal wear and tear. You will be insured against any losses caused by accidents, theft of the vehicle and any legal liability. You are even covered if you lose your keys. It may also be possible to get special adaptations to your vehicle, although this is probably more commonly required for cars. Knowing that everything is taken care of keeps everything simple and gives you peace of mind.
The scheme is a leasehold agreement and your benefit payments go directly to Motability. As such, you never own the vehicle and the scheme does include a new vehicle every three years.
Who is the Motability Scheme for?
The Motability Scheme is for those people with a long-term disability, specifically involving a mobility element. As such it is only available to those in receipt of certain mobility related benefits. Assuming you qualify (see below) the benefits of leasing a mobility scooter using the Motability Scheme are significant. For anyone with a disability, who will need to use a mobility scooter routinely, the simplicity and peace of mind afforded by an all-inclusive leasing scheme is obvious. However, it is possible that a few people who qualify may not wish to take advantage of it. Under the Motability Scheme, your mobility payment is transferred directly to cover the lease. If you are only likely to use a car or mobility scooter very rarely, then it may not be the best choice for you. You may find it works out better to have the money yourself and hire a suitable vehicle for the rare occasions when you will need one. Because this is a leasehold, you don’t own the vehicle. Some people may prefer to receive their benefits themselves and put them towards the purchase of a vehicle they will own outright.
The scheme can only be used to lease either a car, mobility scooter or powered wheelchair. If you already own a car, then you will probably want to use the scheme to add a scooter to your options or vice versa. For anyone who needs both, they may need to look at their options and decide which vehicle to buy and which to lease on the Motability Scheme.
Related: Rules For Mobility Scooter Users
How to find out if you qualify for the Motability Scheme
For the vast majority of potential users reading this article, this will be a very simple question. The Motability Scheme is available to people who are in receipt of certain specific mobility benefits. Your award must have at least 12 months left to run and maybe for any of the following benefits. If you receive the Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA), the Enhanced Rate Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP), the War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement (WPMS), or the Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP), then you should qualify.
With the current changes from DLA to PIP, a small number of people may find they no longer qualify if they are not transferred from the higher rate mobility component of DLA to the enhanced rate component of PIP. If this is an issue, it may be worth getting some help or advice on appealing your award, however, in most cases where the need has been shown, there should be few problems.
If you are still unsure or just need some more official information then you can start here https://www.gov.uk/financial-help-disabled/vehicles-and-transport
If you are not in receipt of any of these benefits but you think you should be, you can get more information from the appropriate government websites. Should you need any further help, your local Citizens’ Advice can usually give you help in preparing an appeal or in making a new claim.
Both DLA and PIP are handled by the Department for Work and Pensions, the website is here, https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-work-pensions
For more information about WPMS go to
For more information about AFIP go to