Driving and Motability
Disabled parking bays
Contact your local council if you want a disabled parking bay outside your home. The qualifying criteria differ for each authority but you usually have to be a Blue Badge holder and have a vehicle registered at the address where you live. The council will look at the safety of installing a bay as well as alternatives, such as your parking on a drive.
Once the local authority has agreed to install a bay, it will produce and publicise the Traffic Regulation Order. This can take months. The bay is then enforceable and will have a sign next to it stating “Disabled badge holders only”. Motorists who then park in the bay without displaying a valid Blue Badge will be liable to a Penalty Charge Notice. Please be aware that even if the bay is outside your house it does not belong to you and any Blue Badge holder can park in it.
Child and parent parking spaces
Use of a parking bay in a privately owned car park, such as a supermarket car park, is a matter of contract law created by the signs in the car park. If signs are clearly displayed, anyone without young children risks a penalty charge notice, even if they are a Blue Badge holder.
Blue Badge holders can park on single or double yellow lines for up to 3 hours but in general not where there are restrictions on loading or unloading. Where local schemes apply, such as in London, check parking rules for disabled drivers.
Motability enables disabled people to use their Government-funded mobility allowance to lease a new car, scooter or powered wheelchair. Motability can sometimes help with the cost of driving lessons for disabled people under 25. There are criteria that you must fulfil to qualify - contact Motability for more information.
Free tax disc (Vehicle Excise Duty)
Some disabled people can get Exemption of VED for one car. You, or someone you nominate, may have a free ‘tax disc' if you get:
- high rate DLA mobility component
- enhanced rate PIP mobility component
- armed forces independence payment
- war pensioners supplement
If you get the standard rate mobility component of PIP, you may be entitled to 50% off your VED. When you are awarded your qualifying benefit you should be sent a re-usable Certificate of Entitlement. You'll need this each time you renew your VED. Even if you have a certificate, the DVLA can refuse to grant an exemption if they think the vehicle will not be used solely by or for the purposes of the disabled person.
No more paper tax discs
The DVLA no longer issue tax discs. So you will not need to display a tax disc on your windscreen to prove your car is taxed.
You will need to arrange vehicle tax to drive or keep your vehicle on the road, even if your car is exempt from a fee. Instead of you receiving a tax disc, the DVLA have an electronic record of the tax status of your car. You can make sure your car is taxed by making a vehicle enquiry and entering the make of your car and its registration number.
In the meantime, please continue to display your current valid tax disc on your windscreen. Read more on the vehicle tax changes.
Disabled people in tax-exempt vehicles, who are currently entitled to park for free in some car parks, rely on their nil disabled tax disc to prove to traffic wardens they do not have to pay parking charges. Local authorities advise you to continue displaying your valid paper tax disc until long-term policies are put in place.
The change does not affect blue badge holders, who are entitled to park in disabled bays but still have to pay parking charges.
Disabled motoring - further information