If you have mobility problems and need access to a vehicle for transport, it is not as easy as just heading to your nearest local leasing firm for mobility vehicle hire. Your requirements are likely to be more complex than they can cater to. The best solution is to take advantage of the government’s Motability Scheme.
This blog lays out what the scheme involves, how you can benefit from it and what to look for in a vehicle provider when looking for used wheelchair accessible vehicles. In a nutshell, the Motability Scheme works on a Personal Contract Hire (PCH) basis. This is a form of long-term rental agreement, where you have ongoing access to the vehicle as if it were your own, but without actually having full ownership of it. For the duration, though, the maintenance and running costs are covered by the agreement, which can save you money and hassle. This includes access to a new vehicle every three to five years, specially adapted for your requirements. Insurance is included for two named drivers; and servicing, maintenance and repair can be carried out by your Motability dealer. You’ll also receive breakdown assistance and replacement of tyres and windscreen if needed at no extra cost. You can check your eligibility for the Scheme on the Motability website, but broadly speaking, you must be receiving the higher rate component of the Disability Living Allowance; the enhanced rate of the mobility component of the Personal Independence Payment (PIP), or the War pensioners’ Mobility Supplement.
The next step is to source your vehicle! There are over 4,500 dealerships across the UK who work with Motability to provide suitable WAV vehicles to those who need them. Each of these has specialists who can help you make your final decision. It’s usually worth visiting a couple of your local approved dealers, to ensure you benefit from the maximum choice available to you. Take the time to talk to the representative from each company: you need to be sure that they are knowledgeable about the scheme and the wheelchair accessible vehicles they have available; and also that they will also take the time to learn more about you, your needs and requirements. You may want to look for a company that will come to your home to demonstrate one or more particular models; but if you visit their premises, make sure you take the mobility aids you use regularly – such as your wheelchair or scooter – to ensure the vehicle you choose will accommodate them. Check on the Motability website that your dealer is approved for mobility vehicle hire by the Scheme and on the dealer’s own website that they have certification with the VCA (the Vehicle Certification Agency), which guarantees that the seller is authorised to test and type approve vehicles.
Taking out any form of mobility vehicle hire agreement is a big commitment; but it can also be essential to you, to improve your quality of life and independence. Never be afraid to do your research and ask plenty of questions to ensure you get the vehicle you deserve.