You can apply for exemption from vehicle tax if you receive the enhanced rate mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP), or the high rate mobility for Disability Living Allowance (DLA). You can get a 50% reduction in vehicle tax if you get the PIP standard rate mobility component.
The Motability Scheme can help you get mobile by exchanging your higher rate mobility allowance to lease a new affordable car, Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle, scooter or powered wheelchair. The Driving Lessons Grant Programme offered by Motability, also provides grants towards the cost of driving lessons for people with disabilities.
The Blue Badge scheme provides a range of parking benefits for disabled people with severe walking difficulties, who travel either as drivers or as passengers. Eligibility is assessed by your local authority.
If you have a long-term health condition, you can apply for a concessionary bus pass as part of the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme and benefit from free off-peak bus travel.
If you travel by train, check to see if can buy cheaper train tickets by ‘splitting’ tickets, and remember to claim a refund for a cancelled or late trains. You may also be able to cut your travel costs with a Disabled Persons Railcard, if you travel frequently.
Out and about
The National Key Scheme (NKS) offers disabled people independent access to locked public toilets around the country. Toilets fitted with NKS locks can now be found in shopping centres, pubs, cafés, department stores, bus and train stations, as well as many other locations in most parts of the country. Most local authorities will sell or give you a RADAR key, or you can buy one online. Be careful of sites selling fake keys.
There is also a universally recognised ‘Just Can’t Wait’ toilet card, giving you the benefit of discreet and clear communication for those moments in need.
Travel in London
Local authorities may offer schemes to support people with disabilities with travel. Have a look on your local authority’s website for details.
In London, you might be able to use Dial-a-ride: a free door-to-door bus service run by Transport for London (TfL). You can become a member if you have a long-term disability. ‘Please offer me a seat’ cards and badges can help with London’s busy travel network if you struggle to stand while using public transport, helping alert fellow passengers that you need a seat. You can order a free card of badge by filling out a form online or calling TfL Customer Services on 0343 222 1234.