You are here
10.12.7 Subsidising the purchase of an initial new or second-hand motor vehicle
Section 3.3 of the Motor Vehicle Compensation Scheme (MVCS) Legislative Instrument enables the Commission to consider provision of compensation for the purchase of an initial vehicle. Where the Commission provides compensation (a subsidy) for the purchase of a motor vehicle for a person for the first time, that vehicle is known as an “initial motor vehicle”. An initial MVCS vehicle may be new or a second-hand.
Compensation for an initial vehicle may be considered where a person has complex accepted conditions which have a significant impact on their ability to drive safely, or if they are unable to drive, to be transported in a vehicle safely and reasonable comfort.
As a first step, consideration must always given to whether the person’s assessed clinical needs may be met through compensation for driving devices or other modifications to a vehicle the person already owns or has an interest in.
Eligibility for an initial vehicle
- have a condition accepted under the MRCA which impacts their ability to drive or if they are unable to drive, be transported in a vehicle; and
- have been clinically assessed as
- unable to drive safely without driving or other modifications; or
- unable to be transported in a motor vehicle safely and in reasonable comfort without driving or other modifications, if the person is unable to drive; and
- be considered able to drive or be transported in a motor vehicle at least twice a week;
- be able to derive benefit from driving, or having access to a motor vehicle; and
- not be a resident of a care institution who is not capable of leaving that institution.
When considering whether a person is able to “derive benefit”, consideration must be given to the impact on the person’s physical and mental health, and level of mobility without driving, or having access to a motor vehicle.
Decisions about whether these criteria are met must be informed by clinical evidence from an assessment by a Driver Trained Occupational Therapist (OT) or other suitably qualified approved program provider.
There are no prescribed conditions or levels of impairment that are required in order to access compensation for an initial vehicle under the MVCS. However, previous Commission decisions demonstrate a commitment to promoting alignment between all motor vehicle assistance schemes administered by DVA. Therefore, the types of impairment which will commonly give rise to the need for compensation under the MVCS to purchase an initial motor vehicle may include, but are not limited to:
- the loss of, or the loss of the use of, a leg or both legs; or
- the loss of, or the loss of the use of, both arms; or
- spinal injuries resulting in paraplegia, quadriplegia or tetraplegia; or
- a brain injury causing a catastrophic impairment; or
- conditions which have a similar impact on the person’s ability to drive or be transported in a vehicle.