For many disabled people, having access to a car is essential for getting around on a day-to-day basis. No one wants to feel trapped in their immediate environment, and even just the knowledge that there is a vehicle waiting outside can offer peace of mind that routine tasks like shopping will be relatively hassle-free. However, as we all know, the cost of motoring is only continuing to rise.
It's for this very reason that the Motability charity was set up by the government in 1977: to ensure that disabled people can stay mobile. Today, more than 500,000 people take advantage of the initiative, which allows eligible applicants to lease a car – or scooter or powered wheelchair – using their government-funded motability allowance. Honda is just one of many manufacturers who offer motability cars. What follows is everything you need to know about the scheme.
Anyone who receives one of three benefits – the Higher Rate Motility Component of Disability Living Allowance, the War Pensioners Mobility Supplement or the Armed Forced Independence Payment – can partake of the scheme. The Motability charity will be able to advise further on eligibility, so it's best to contact them directly if you have any specific questions.
A typical agreement last three years. To get things up and running you'll need to exchange your allowance and may also need to make an Advance Payment. Take out a motability car with Honda and you'll be provided with maintenance, servicing, insurance and breakdown cover, all provided by the RAC. A few months before your three-year lease is up you'll be contacted by the Motability charity to discuss your options. Provided you're still eligible, you'll receive a brand new car again.
You will have to cover petrol and consumables, such as screenwash, yourself. Meanwhile, some optional extras such as leather seats are not included, nor are some adaptations, which can incur an additional payment. Insurance excess payments and fines will also be your responsibility.
No, you can nominate up to two people to drive the car for you. These people must be listed on your Certificate of Motor Insurance and must always use the car for the benefit of the disabled person. Although this means that the disabled person does not need to be present in the car during every journey, all parties need to sign a Statement of Responsibilities agreeing not to misuse the car. This covers not using the car for the benefit of the disabled person, driving while banned or uninsured or using the vehicle for unauthorised business reasons, such as running a taxi or delivery service. Misuse of the vehicle can result in the agreement being cancelled and leave you liable for the cost of repairs or drop in sales value, so it's important to stick to said rules.
Honda offers a wide range of motability cars, which at present comprises a range of Jazz, New Civic and CR-V models. Why not find your local Honda Motability Dealer, where you can discover more about the range and speak to specialists about the vehicle that might suit you best?
The Motability charity will be able to deal with general enquiries about the scheme and whether you may be eligible. Meanwhile, if you want to know more about the Honda range of motability cars, why not get in touch with their Contact Centre at 0845 200 8000?
(This is a guest article from Motability.co.uk)