You may have heard of the Motability Scheme, but perhaps are unsure what it is, who it’s for or how it works.

Here are the answers to some simple questions about the scheme.

What is it?

The Motability Scheme enables people with a disability or illness to use their state mobility allowance to lease a car, mobility scooter or powered wheelchair.

It’s intended to help people stay mobile without the expense, worry or stress of owning a vehicle.

Who runs the scheme?

While the scheme involves using state benefits, it isn’t actually run by the government. Instead, the scheme is operated by a company, Motability Operations, which leases the cars on behalf of the Motability charity.

What are the benefits of the scheme?

Cars, mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs are available on a three-year lease with a mileage allowance up to 60,000.

Apart from fuel, the leases are all-inclusive, including benefits such as insurance, servicing and maintenance, full breakdown assistance and replacement tyres and batteries.

Who is eligible?

Over 600,000 disabled people and their families across the UK use the scheme.

To be entitled to use it  you need to receive one of the following mobility allowances and have at least 12 months remaining:

  • Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance
  • Enhanced Rate Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment
  • War Pensioners' Mobility Supplement
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment

How much will I pay?

If you join the scheme, then your mobility allowance will be paid directly to Motability Operations.

How much of your benefit that will go towards paying your vehicle will depend on which vehicle you choose. Some vehicles will be covered by your weekly allowance – if you opt for a scooter or powered wheelchair, you’re likely to have money left over – while others may require an additional upfront payment to cover the cost of the lease.

What choice of vehicles do I have?

If you’re after a car, there are thousands available, from hatchbacks to SUVs and roadsters. You can use the Motability car search tool to see what car you could get under the scheme.

To find a scooter or powered wheelchair, there is a separate search tool.

If I use the scheme to lease a car, can I adapt it?

There are hundreds of adaptations available for Motability scheme cars. These might be to help you drive, stow your wheelchair or scooter, or help you get in and out of your car. Many of these adaptations are free when fitted at the start of the lease.

Can anyone else use the car?

Up to three named drivers are included in the lease. As well as the eligible disabled person, this might include friends, family or carers, but they must live within five miles of the disabled person's address.

The disabled person doesn’t always have to be in the car. Other named drivers can use it for shopping and other routine activities, as long as the disabled customer benefits.

How do I get started?

Once you have an idea of the vehicle you want, you can find your local dealer by using Motability’s Find a Dealer tool. You can then test drive the vehicle before ordering it, and choose any adaptations you might need, with help from the dealership’s Motability specialist.

You’ll need to show evidence that you’re eligible for the scheme. This includes ID, such as a driving licence or passport, and your certificate of entitlement from the Department of Work and Pensions.

What happens when my lease is up?

The leases last for three years. After that, you can return your vehicle or lease a new one for another three years.

To read about how to stay safe on the roads, go to Solved.