With many people claiming higher or improved levels of disability payments, including Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Adult Disability Payment (ADP) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA), may not know that they may be eligible for free driving lessons thanks to a grant offered by the Mobility Charity.
Through the `Driving Lessons Grant Programme’, Motability is able to provide grants to cover the cost of driving lessons for people with a disability who hold a provisional license and want a full licence. It can also offer grants to disabled people who already have a license but need familiarization courses, which could be useful for those who need to get used to a newly adapted vehicle.
For provisional license holders, it offers up to 40 hours of driving lessons to help people pass their driving test. However, it is important to note that drivers will still have to pay for the theory and practical driving tests themselves.
It is estimated that the average learner driver needs between 40 and 50 hours of study before being ready to take the driving test. These free lessons offered through Motability can therefore cover one’s entire learning journey.
James Armstrong, CEO of Veygo Insurance explains the current cost of getting your driving licence: “With the average driving lesson now costing £35 per hour, and learner drivers needing around 45 hours of professional instruction to pass their tests, the cost of learning to drive is currently sitting around £1,575. This is nearly five per cent of the average annual income for a UK household (£32,300 in 2022), introducing a huge cost and barrier to learning to drive for many across the country.”
When you apply for a grant, Motability explains that the grant will be assigned to a case manager for review. He added that during peak times, it can take up to 10 weeks before a claim is assigned to a case manager.
The guidance states: “All grant applications are means-tested to ensure Motability supports those most in need of a charitable grant and help as many beneficiaries as possible with the charitable funds available. This means we will look at your financial situation to determine if we are able to provide a grant towards your lessons.”
Who can apply for the Motability Driving Lessons Grant Programme?
The Motability Driving Lessons Grant Programme currently prioritises funding for people want to learn to drive and who:
1. In receipt of one of these disability allowances:
- Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of PIP
- Enhanced Rate Mobility Component of the Adult Disability Payment
- Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance
- Higher Rate Mobility Component of Child Disability Payment
- War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
2. Receive a Government assessed means-tested benefit, including:
- Universal Credit
- Income Support
- Employment and Support Allowance (income-related)
- Job Seekers Allowance (income-based)
- Housing Benefit
- Council Tax Benefit (Council Tax Support, Council Tax Reduction)
- Pension Guarantee Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
You must also have a current lease on the Motability scheme or have a pending application to purchase a vehicle on the Motability scheme, with a confirmed pick-up date within the next four months.