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Getting an accessible car or other equipment in Scotland

This advice applies to Scotland

You can get an accessible car or other equipment if you have a child aged 3 or over who gets Child Disability Payment because of a disability or illness that makes it hard for them to get around. You can also get a car or equipment if the child is terminally ill. 

You can choose from lots of different vehicles, for example cars, mobility scooters or powered wheelchairs.

You’ll only be paying for the lease of the vehicle or equipment – it won’t belong to you. If the child stops receiving Child Disability Payment, you’ll have to return it.

Check you’re eligible

You can get a vehicle from the accessible vehicle and equipment (AVE) scheme if you're getting the higher rate of mobility component of Child Disability Payment for a child.

Child Disability Payment is replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children and young people in Scotland from 26 July 2021.

You usually have to have at least 12 months left before your next Child Disability Payment review to get a vehicle from the scheme. Your application will still be considered if there is less than 12 months left.

Children who are terminally ill have no end date on their award.  

Read more about the Child Disability Payment.

If your DLA is changing to Child Disability Payment

If your DLA is changing to Child Disability Payment, you’ll be able to keep any vehicle that you already lease from Motability. You’ll be able to keep it until the end of the lease unless your circumstances change and you're no longer eligible for the scheme.

When your DLA transfers to Child Disability Payment, Social Security Scotland will start paying Motability for your vehicle. You won't need to do anything. Social Security Scotland will let you know when your DLA transfers to Child Disability Payment.

Paying for your vehicle

The mobility component of your Child Disability Payment will go directly to the accessible vehicle and equipment scheme (AVE) dealer each month to pay for the lease.

The amount of the payment that goes towards the vehicle depends on the cost of the one you choose. If the cost is less than your mobility component, the rest of the component will be paid to you along with any care component that you get.

You might need to make a payment upfront if you choose a more expensive vehicle. 

You might be able to get some help with this payment, depending on your circumstances. There’s more information about getting extra financial help on the Motability charity website.

What you’ll get

As well as your vehicle, you’ll get:

  • insurance for 2 named drivers
  • tyre and windscreen replacement cover
  • breakdown cover and roadside assistance
  • vehicle tax
  • servicing and maintenance
  • adaptations if needed - find out about the adaptations that Motability offer

If you want to use your vehicle for work, you’ll need to get permission from RSA Motability. You might be allowed to use your vehicle for certain kinds of business activity, for example if you’re a travelling salesperson. You won’t be allowed to use your vehicle for other kinds of work - for example as a taxi or to deliver things. You can contact RSA Motability either in writing or over the phone. Ask for a ‘Business Use Application Form’.

RSA Motability
PO Box 40
New Hall Place
Old Hall Street
L69 3SD

Telephone: 0300 037 3737 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 7pm, Saturday 8am to 4pm)

How to find an accessible vehicle

You can only get a vehicle from certain dealers. They need to be part of the accessible vehicle and equipment (AVE) scheme. At the moment, Motability is the only accredited provider.

You’ll need to show evidence that you’re eligible for the scheme. It’s worth getting this ready before you start looking for a vehicle.

You’ll need:

  • your ID - such as a driving licence or passport
  • your certificate of entitlement from Social Security Scotland

You should follow these steps to get an accessible vehicle, power assisted wheelchair or scooter:

1. Find a dealer

You can find a dealer on the Motability website.

2. Visit the dealer

Once you’ve found a dealer, ask them for an appointment to discuss the accessible vehicle and equipment (AVE) scheme. You can ask them to visit you at home or help arrange your transport to and from the dealership, if it’s hard for you to get there.

The dealer will help you find a car, power assisted wheelchair or scooter that suits you best.

Tell your dealer if you think your vehicle needs to be adapted. The AVE scheme includes some adaptations for free. You can check if the adaption you need is available on Motability's website.

If the child or young person uses a wheelchair or mobility aid, take it with you to make sure it fits in the car.

If you’re not happy with the choice of vehicles the dealer has to offer, it’s worth contacting another one – they might have other options.

3. Order your vehicle

Once you’ve found the right vehicle, you can order it from the dealer.

You’ll need to show:

  • your certificate of entitlement from Social Security Scotland
  • a form of identification, such as a passport or driving licence

If you’ll be driving the car you’ll need to show your driving licence.

About 2 weeks after ordering your car you’ll get a confirmation letter in the post. Keep it safe - it contains your Personal Identification Number (PIN). You’ll need this when you collect your vehicle.

4. Collect your vehicle and sign the lease

You’ll sign your lease from the dealer. 

The dealer will send a copy of the lease to Social Security Scotland. Social Security Scotland will then pay some or all of your mobility component to the dealer as agreed in the lease.

It’s worth asking for your vehicle to be delivered, if you can’t get to the dealer easily.

If your circumstances change

If your circumstances change, and the higher rate mobility component of your Child Disability Payment stops, you’ll have to give back your AVE vehicle or equipment.

If you made an advance payment before you got your vehicle, you might get some of this back. It will depend on how long you’ve had the vehicle.

If you disagree with a decision to reduce or stop your Child Disability Payment, you can challenge it. You can keep a vehicle for up to 8 weeks after your Child Disability Payment stops. 

Read more about challenging a Scottish benefit decision.

Get  help with the accessible vehicle and equipment scheme

If you need help with the accessible vehicle and equipment (AVE) scheme, get advice from a Citizens Advice Bureau.

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