grant advancePaying For A Car

Before you buy a car there are some key points to consider with regard to the overall cost and the financing.

Can the Trust help with the cost of buying a car?

You can apply to the Trust for a Major Advance on your future Annual Grants to buy a new or second hand car. See our Major Advance page for further information.

What if I need Adaptations to my car?

If you are going to need adaptations, do not buy a car until you have checked with an Adaptations garage whether the car you’ve chosen can be adapted to your requirements, and what the cost of this will be.

Adaptations are expensive and some new cars may not be the right specification to fit the adaptations you need. In the same way, a used car may not have the right adaptations for your needs.

As you know, your needs change over time, so it’s useful to think about what you might need later on as well as what you need right now.

See our adaptions page for more information on what to consider and where to get costs.

Can I buy a car VAT free?

It is possible to be exempt from VAT on adapted cars, but HMRC have very strict rules and not all beneficiaries are eligible. You can purchase a motor vehicle VAT-free when all the following conditions are met:

  • The motor vehicle is supplied to a disabled person who normally uses a wheelchair to be mobile.
  • The vehicle is permanently and substantially adapted.
  • The adapted motor vehicle is for the domestic or personal use of the disabled wheelchair user, and supplier has been given a completed declaration, form VAT16151, which confirms eligibility.
VAT exemption for disabled people

In legal terms, a wheelchair is a chair on wheels for disabled people, which is either manually propelled or electrically powered.

A mobility scooter is not a wheelchair for VAT purposes.

A wheelchair user is any disabled person who normally uses a wheelchair in order to be mobile. A person who occasionally uses a wheelchair is not eligible.

See our VAT exemptions page for more information or the Disabled Motoring website

Visit the HMRC website for more details on VAT free eligibility.

What about insurance?

Insurance companies are not allowed to discriminate on the grounds of disability so you will be able to secure insurance with all the main providers. However, prices can vary and it might be useful to contact a more specialist company who acknowledge that disabled drivers pose a lower risk, and that adaptations are expensive.

You’ll need to check that your adaptations are covered by your policy as well as your car – and that the theft of mobility equipment left in the vehicle is also covered.

Mobility Centres and disabled driver organisations have lists of specialist insurance companies. These include:

In the past when it was much more difficult for disabled people to get car insurance, the Trust put arrangements in place for beneficiaries to be covered by a fleet insurance policy. This policy is still in place and individual beneficiaries can arrange their insurance through the Trust. However, in most cases it is much cheaper for beneficiaries to arrange their own insurance policy.

If you are insured through the Trust, we will need to be kept up to date about which car you drive, whether you’re keeping the old one for any length of time, and the dates you bought or sold the different vehicles. If you don’t do this each time a change occurs your insurance will become void and you will be driving illegally and won’t be insured in the event of a claim.