Whether you prefer to travel by car or use public transport, as a disabled person you might qualify for a range of schemes. These schemes are designed to help with leasing a vehicle, parking, or offering free or discounted travel on trains, buses and coaches.
The Motability Scheme enables disabled people to lease a new car, mobility scooter or powered wheelchair.
You might qualify to join the Motability Scheme if you get certain disability benefits.
Find out more about the scheme on the Motability website
Blue Badge Scheme
The Blue Badge Scheme provides a range of parking benefits for disabled people who have difficulty walking.
For example, you can park for free in pay-and-display bays and also on double and single yellow lines.
A Blue Badge costs up to £10 in England and Northern Ireland, and up to £20 in Scotland. It’s free in Wales.
To apply for a Blue Badge:
Car tax exemption
If you’re getting certain disability benefits, you’re exempt from paying Vehicle Excise Duty – car tax or road tax.
If you’re on the Motability Scheme, you don’t need to do anything.
If you own your car, you have to apply for the exemption.
Find out more about vehicle tax exemption on the GOV.UK website
Free bus passes
Depending on where in the UK you live, you might be entitled to free or discounted bus travel.
Find out more about bus passes and other travel concessions where you live by following the links below:
Disabled Persons Railcard
The Disabled Persons Railcard gives you a third off most rail fares.
The discount is for two people – so you can save money for a friend or a carer too.
You have to buy the railcard but it only costs £20 for one year. You might even be able to make a saving equivalent to this cost after just one journey.
There’s lots of assistance available when travelling by train – including help getting on and off the train and help with luggage – all free of charge.
Find out more on the Disabled Persons Railcard website
There’s no national concessions scheme for coach travel.
However, discounted travel is available depending on which coach company you’re using.
National Express sells a Disabled Coach Card that gives a third off their standard fares.
Find out more on the National Express website
You can get free travel if you use your National Entitlement Card on City Link coaches.
Find out more about applying for a National Entitlement Card on the Transport Scotland website
Goldline (Northern Ireland)
You can get half price travel if you use your SmartPass on Goldline coaches.
Find out more about applying for a SmartPass on the nidirect website
Community transport is usually run by local authorities and can be a good alternative to taxis or public transport. They’re sometimes called Dial-a-Ride or Ring and Ride.
Find your local community transport provider on the CTA website
Travelling in London
Disabled Persons Freedom Pass
A Disabled Persons Freedom Pass will give you:
- free 24-hour travel across Transport for London’s networks – except for some river boats, which are half price
- free train travel on the London Overground network – however, you might not be able to travel before 9.30am.
Find out more about applying for a Disabled Persons Freedom Pass on the London Councils website
London Taxicard Scheme
The London Taxicard Scheme gives subsidised taxis for disabled people who find using public transport difficult.
Find out more about applying for a Taxicard on the London Councils website
This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.