The eligibility criteria to join the Motability Scheme is the same for people with a disability over the age of 65 as is it for people under 65. To qualify, you need to currently receive one of the following allowances (and have at least 12 months remaining on your award):
- The Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) - currently worth £61.20 a week
- The Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) - currently worth £61.20 a week
- The Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP) - currently worth £61.20 a week
- The War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement (WPMS) - currently worth £68.35 a week
The confusion arises because the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has an upper age limit of 64 for anyone applying for one of these disability-related benefit for the first time.
If you currently receive one of these allowances, you can exchange all or a part of it to pay for the lease of a brand new car or a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) through the Motability Scheme.
If you are 65 or older and you develop care needs because of a mental or physical disability, you can not apply for PIP or DLA. You will instead be asked to apply for the Attendance Allowance. The Attendance Allowance is a tax-free, non-means tested benefit paid to people over 65 to help with the extra costs associated with their disability.
Unfortunately, the Attendance Allowance cannot be used to lease a vehicle through the Motability Scheme. The Attendance Allowance is meant to provide extra money to pay for the care of the claimant, not necessarily their mobility.
So, the short answer is this: if you are still in receipt of one of the qualifying mobility allowances when you reach 65, you can lease a Motability vehicle.