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Motability is a national charity, set up on the initiative of the Government in 1977, to assist disabled people with their mobility needs. They direct and oversee the Motability Scheme which enables disabled people to obtain a car, powered wheelchair or scooter simply by using their government-funded mobility allowances.
In the UK, over 1.7 million disabled people qualify for the Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance and over 17,000 qualify for the War Pensioners' Mobility Supplement. What a disabled person chooses to do with that money is entirely up to them. Currently, some 430,000 disabled people have chosen to have their allowances paid to the Scheme to meet the cost of having a car through contract hire or hire purchase schemes.
Motability, the charity (registered charity no: 299745), has overall responsibility for the Motability Scheme:
They direct and oversee the Scheme.
They raise funds to provide financial help to Scheme customers who would otherwise be unable to afford the type of car and any adaptations that they need.
They administer the Government's Specialised Vehicles Fund which provides financial assistance for customers who need to travel in their wheelchairs.
They provide Technical Services to customers and the adaptation and conversion industry.
The Motability Car Schemes are administered on a contract basis by Motability Operations, a not-for-profit private company owned by the major banks.
Since 1978, some 2 million cars have been provided through the Motability Scheme. Today the Scheme purchases over 5% of all new cars sold in the UK.