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Vehicle Assistance Scheme

Legislative Authority

Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986
Section 105


Stated Current Purpose/Intent

To assist an eligible veteran, member of the Forces, member of a Peacekeeping Force or Australian mariner, by providing him or her with a motor vehicle, modifying the vehicle as necessary, and assisting with running costs and maintenance.


Current Eligibility Criteria

A person incapacitated by a war-caused or defence-caused injury or disease, as follows:

  1. both legs amputated above the knee; or
  2. one leg amputated above the knee and, the other leg amputated at or above the ankle and one arm amputated at or above the wrist, or
  3. one leg amputated above the knee and both arms amputated at or above the wrists; or
  4. complete paraplegia, to the extent that the person has insufficient power to stand or walk; or
  5. a condition accepted by the Commission as being of similar effect and severity to those described at 1, 2 and 3 above.


For Vehicle Assistance Scheme purposes, a leg that is wholly or permanently useless above the knee is treated as an amputation above the knee.


The eligible person must:

  • have a capacity to derive personal benefit from assistance provided under the scheme, although he or she need not necessarily drive the vehicle; and
  • not be in receipt of DVA's recreation transport allowance, or a mobility allowance from the Department of Human Services; and
  • not be entitled to pursue a claim under any other scheme of compensation under any Territory, State, or Commonwealth law; and
  • not be a serving member of the Defence Force at the time of lodging an application for assistance.


The eligible person, or the eligible person's partner or carer must possess a valid driving licence.


Date of Introduction



Original Purpose/Intent

The original intention has not changed.  The scheme was introduced to replace the old Gift Car Scheme (which was established in 1950).


Significant Changes in Criteria or Purpose Since Introduction


From 1 July 1994, the SWPA Act and Regulations were repealed and Australian mariners became eligible under the VEA on the same basis as veterans.


New Vehicle Assistance Scheme becomes effective 1 November 1997