Motability transforms the lives of disabled people and those around them
If you struggle to get about because of a disability, the Motability scheme can do more than just help - it can be a lifeline.
The service has assisted around 34,000 people in Northern Ireland since its inception, and there's a lengthy list of testimonials from people whose lives have been transformed as a result.
Many people don't realise they quality for the programme, which is the UK's largest motor scheme for disabled people.
Motability can help people with disabilities by offering them the opportunity and financial support to own or lease a car.
It's not just motor cars that quality for assistance under the scheme - Motability can also finance powered wheelchairs and scooters.
Let's face it, access to a car or any powered vehicle or mini-vehicle has the ability to transform lives of people who have difficulties getting around.
What many parents and carers may not know is that Motability also supports those caring for a disabled child aged three or over.
And it also allows those who do not drive to apply for a car as a passenger. They can even nominate two other people as their drivers, which can be a real help for getting to the doctors, chemist or other appointments as well as leisure trips and shopping.
Motability UK is also an expert in helping people get advice on the complicated business of adapting vehicles to the needs of disabled people. Their brilliant database of 400 adaptations is almost bound to have something that could help you. Many popular adaptations come at no extra cost.
Another brilliant Motability device is a simple online car search tool at www.motability.co.uk which is designed to makes it easy to find and create a shortlist of cars.
Cars are supplied through a network of local Motability Dealer Partners and many of the vehicles are available simply by customers transferring their allowance to Motability for the period of the agreement.
A single simple monthly payment covers insurance, road tax, breakdown cover, servicing, tyre and windscreen replacement.
The most popular option for Motability customers is the contract hire of a new car, which offers worry-free motoring at affordable prices.
Customers can choose a brand new car from a selection of over 2,000 models, from the major manufacturers, on a three or five-year lease.
The choice of vehicles available includes over 500 automatic models, more than 1,000 eco-friendly choices, including the first 100% electric vehicle available to lease through Motability - and around 450 cars available with no Advance Payment.
A wide range of affordable Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs) are also available.
You can even use the car search tool at www.motability.co.uk to find and create a shortlist of cars that suit your individual lifestyle.
"Almost all of the major manufacturers are in the scheme, with the excellent new VW Tiguan, for example, being amongst the latest models to be offered."
Anyone receiving either higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance, enhanced rate mobility component of Personal Independence Payment, Armed Forces Independence Payment or War Pensioners' Mobility Supplement can apply.
There are many Motability-registered dealers in Northern Ireland, so pop down to your local forecourt and make inquiries to a scheme that will transform your life.