Motability has admitted that up to 100,000 disabled people could have to hand back the vehicles they lease under its car scheme, because of the government’​s cuts and reforms to disability living allowance (DLA).

Motability currently has about 600,000 customers, who all use their higher rate mobility component of DLA to lease a vehicle.

But the government’​s reform of working-age DLA, which will see it replaced by a new personal independence payment (PIP), will involve cuts of 20 per cent to spending by 2015-16, with an estimated 500,000 working-age disabled people losing their right to DLA/PIP.

Disabled people will only continue to be eligible to lease a vehicle through the Motability scheme if they are awarded the PIP enhanced mobility element.

Motability admitted for the first time this week, during a workshop at a conference organised by Disability Rights UK, that an estimated 100,000 of its customers –​ based on government forecasts –​ could lose their eligibility for the scheme over the three years to 2016.

Neil Coyle, director of policy and campaigns for Disability Rights UK, said afterwards: “​For Motability to be raising concerns now clearly means disabled people using Motability schemes need to be ready for significant change, and many will lose the ability to get around.”​

He said government figures suggested that an average of 150 people in every parliamentary constituency would lose their Motability vehicle because of the cuts.

He said: “​MPs should be very aware that this will mean high-profile cuts to disabled people who are at the moment assessed as having the highest mobility needs.

“​Many thousands of people will lose the ability to get around and will lose the means to stay in work.”​

Helen Dolphin, director of policy and campaigns for the user-led campaigning organisation Disabled Motoring UK, said she was “​alarmed”​ by the “​vast number”​ of people who will have to hand back the keys to their Motability vehicles.

She said: “​I do fear the implications for people currently using Motability vehicles, and relying on those vehicles for work or education, suddenly losing not just the vehicle but the benefit.

“​A lot of people who will lose their vehicles will not be able to use public transport. A lot of people are going to become much more housebound. Will they be able to get out at all?”​

A Motability spokeswoman said: “​We recognise the importance of Motability cars to the lives of our customers and their families, and are considering how best to support customers through the transition period.”​

When asked what impact this would have on Motability’​s own finances, she said: “​Following the full implementation of PIP, if 100,000 fewer customers use the scheme, Motability would continue to operate in the same way as it does today.

“​The Department for Work and Pensions plans to gradually introduce PIP between 2013 and 2016. Therefore, customer numbers could gradually reduce over this period.”​

News provided by John Pring at


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