Although Motability vehicles are actually leased to people who are in receipt of a Higher Rate Mobility Allowance - such as the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) - it is not always the case that they can drive themselves independently.
Some Motability customers do not drive at all; others may want to share driving responsibilities for a variety of reasons. This is why every Motability lease includes the option to have two fully insured named drivers at no extra cost, with the possibility of adding a third driver and even the ability to register temporary drivers for up to 30 days (in certain circumstances).
What Does A Named Driver Do?
The purpose of being a named driver is to better support the person with a disability in their daily life, which might range from running errands and doing the shopping on their behalf to taking them to appointments or visits to family and friends.
Around two-thirds of the people who qualify for a car through Motability are able to drive the car themselves, though many welcome a named driver to share the driving with. A non-driver might be entirely dependent on named drivers for all their travel needs. Being able to add further names temporarily to the insurance can be useful for family and friends when travelling, perhaps on holiday or when a named driver is unavailable to help.
What’s Covered By The Motability Insurance Policy?
The insurance for all named Motability drivers is pretty comprehensive, covering the loss of the vehicle (theft), damage to the vehicle, accidental damage, fire or theft damage, repair or replacement glass, cover for agreed adaptations, plus much more. It is provided by RSA Motability, who have been the insurer of Motability drivers since 1995.
We recommend that you discuss the terms of the insurance cover when you visit your local Motability specialist.
Can I Be A Named Driver?
To be a named driver you must agree to follow the Motability Scheme guidelines and consent to being checked against the DVLA driver licence database.
It goes without saying that you need to be a qualified driver with a recognised driving licence to be an insured, named driver. It shouldn’t matter if you have points on your licence, but this will need to be disclosed at the time of application.
Are There Any Age Restrictions?
Some age restrictions do apply to certain types of vehicle. For example, if you are under 25, you can only drive a car with an engine that has a power output under 120 BHP and an ABI insurance status of 16 or less. Furthermore, only one named driver can be below the age of 21. These rules do not apply to Wheelchair Access Vehicle (WAV) drivers.
Can I Be A Named Driver If I Don't Live With The Disabled Person?
Whilst named drivers often live with the person being cared for, this isn't always the case. Motability prefer that named drivers live within a 5 mile radius of the address of the person the car is for, although exceptions can be made by personal arrangement with the insurer (RSA Motability).
How Can The Motability Car Be Used?
For obvious reasons, the vehicle must be used exclusively for the benefit of the disabled customer's care needs and there are tight regulations in place to prevent abuse.
Becoming A Named Driver
A named driver can be added at anytime during the 3 year lease (or 5 years for WAV's). Although this decision is most often made at the outset when the lease is being arranged with the Motability dealer, changes can be made at a later date.
Whilst it may be more convenient for all the people who want to be named drivers to go to the Motability dealership when the Motability lease is agreed, this is not a requirement. As long as a Driver Fair Processing Form has been completed and a copy of the driving licence is included, it’s fairly simple to be added as a named driver.
Being added to the lease at a later time is no problem either: if you want to be added RSA Motability would simply need to speak to you to confirm your identity, ensure that you meet their criteria and check your driving licence details, but this is all standard procedure.
Some named drivers have additional responsibilities if they are also known as an 'an appointee' or 'a nominee'. These are both separate to having named driver status.
Worry-free Driving With Motability
Whatever car you end up choosing, comprehensive insurance, RAC breakdown cover, servicing and maintenance, annual road tax and tyre and windscreen cover are all included for the duration of the agreement, and at the end you get to choose another brand new Motability car.
The Motability Scheme supports families, friends and carers who want to maintain the mobility of people with a disability; becoming a named driver is just one way of helping you to do this!