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Your Guide To The Disability Car Allowance

The disability car allowance, also known as mobility car allowance, is an additional benefit to help with the extra costs that many people within the disability community face. 

This allowance is covered under the Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance (HRMC DLA) or the Enhanced Rate Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment (ERMC PIP).

Eligibility criteria

You can get the Enhanced Rate Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment (ERMC PIP) if all of the following applies:

It’s important to note that if you’ve not received PIP car allowance before, you must be under the state pension age.

You might get the Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance if, when using your normal aid, you:

  • cannot walk
  • can only walk a short distance without severe discomfort
  • could become very ill if you try to walk

Or you could also be eligible if you:

  • have no feet or legs
  • are assessed as 100% blind and at least 80% deaf and you need someone with you when outdoors
  • are severely mentally impaired with severe behavioural problems and get the highest rate of care for DLA
  • need supervision most of the time when walking outdoors
  • are certified as severely sight impaired and you were aged between 3 and 64 on 11 April 2011

The application process

After checking your eligibility for the Enhanced Rate Mobility Component of PIP, you can apply via phone, post or online. 

Before you start your application, you’ll need to have to hand: 

  • your contact details such as, telephone number and email address
  • your date of birth
  • your National Insurance number, if you have one (you can find this on letters about tax, pensions and benefits)
  • your bank or building society account number and sort code
  • your doctor or health worker’s name, address and telephone number
  • dates and addresses for any time you’ve spent in a care home or hospital
  • dates for any time you spent abroad for more than 4 weeks at a time, and the countries you visited

You’ll then receive a form called ‘how your disability affects you’ which you will need to complete and return. This is usually submitted within 2 weeks of your initial application and you have 1 month to fill it in and return it. 

Typically you will also need to include supporting documents such as, prescription lists, care plans or notes and information from your doctor or professionals involved in your care.

In some instances, you may be invited to an assessment with a health professional. This is to gather more information and establish how your condition affects your daily living and mobility tasks and what treatments you have previously had and are due to have.

Following this, you will receive a letter that informs you on the decision. If you are awarded the PIP allowance, the letter will also state the date of your first payment. 

Of course, you can challenge the decision if you disagree with it. This is done through a mandatory reconsideration

Unfortunately, you can only apply for the Disability Living Allowance if you’re under 16 as Personal Independence Payment has replaced this for adults. 

How much is the disability car allowance?

If you receive the Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance, you will usually be paid every 4 weeks and will get £71.00 per week. This is also the same if you receive the Enhanced Rate Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment (£71.00 per week, paid every 4 weeks).

What can the allowance be spent on?

Those who receive the enhanced disability car allowance can choose how to spend it, with many people choosing to buy a Motability car or a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle. 

Additional resources and support

For up to date information and applications for the Higher Rate PIP, visit the GOV website. To gain advice and guidance, we recommend contacting Citizens Advice

Once you receive your Higher Rate PIP, you can use your allowance to get a Motability car. Here at Mobility In Motion, we can help you select the right adaptations for your needs and advise on obtaining them on your Motability car. Get in touch with our friendly team of mobility experts.

If you’re looking for more information on the Motability allowance check out our Motability car guide for advice in selecting adaptations and purchasing a vehicle.