Regular readers will already be familiar with the Motability Scheme but may not realise that children as young as three years old can benefit from it too.

The Motability Scheme enables disabled people to lease a new car, scooter or powered wheelchair by exchanging their mobility allowance. If you receive either the Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or the Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP), you may be eligible to join the Motability Scheme.

Sensibly the Scheme not only enables disabled people that want to drive through adaptations but it also accommodates carers that help disabled people retain their mobility by driving them to where they want to be. This arrangement also applies to parents and carers of children under the age of 16.


For many families a car is a vital piece of kit and a lifeline to the outside world. The alternatives of using public transport aren’t always feasible when consideration is given to the equipment that disabled children might need and that they are likely to require specialist safety seats when traveling.

It’s certainly worth knowing then, that the Higher Rate Mobility Component (HRMC) of the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) can be awarded from a disabled child’s third birthday. Indeed, for parents and carers keen to get on the road, the application for Motability membership can start three months before that date so that the allowance will start from the birthday,  assuming the eligibility criteria are confirmed – what a wonderful present!

Applications can be made for children above the age of three and in receipt of the Higher Rate Mobility Allowance (HRMC). The application will need to be submitted in the name of the appointee (parent or guardian) who is responsible for the allowance. Currently, children who receive HRMC of DLA can remain on this benefit until they reach the age of 16 as long as they continue  to meet the eligibility criteria. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will write to existing claimants before their 16th birthday to inform them when their DLA will end and how to claim for Personal Independence Payment (PIP). According to Motability, the DWP currently have no plans to introduce PIP for people under the age of 16.

Motability enquiries,

Tel: 0300 456 4566