If you are a disabled driver or passenger in Ireland, there are a variety of grants and schemes that you can apply for when it comes to purchasing and adapting a vehicle.

There are not only car grants for disabled drivers and disabled passengers, but also fuel grants and toll exemptions for those that possess a Primary Medical Certificate. Whether you require a new vehicle for work, or the freedom to get out and about more, the disabilities tax relief scheme can be a great help. Applicants must meet certain criteria to be able to claim tax relief on motor vehicles. Here is a guide to grants for disabled drivers and how you can apply for tax relief.

Which Schemes are Open to Disabled Drivers?

The schemes that are currently open to drivers and disabled passengers in Ireland are:

  • VRT & VAT relief
  • Fuel grant scheme
  • Motor tax relief
  • Toll exemption

These grants and schemes allow disabled drivers to access tax reliefs but require applicants to meet certain criteria, such as holding a Primary Medical Certificate.

How Do I Apply for a Primary Medical Certificate?

The Primary Medical Certificate is distributed by the HSE (Health Service Executive) and declares that a person is severely or permanently disabled. To be issued a Primary Medical Certificate, the disabled person must meet the following criteria:

  • Are completely or almost completely without the use of both legs, or
  • Are completely without the use of one of your legs and almost completely without the use of the other leg to the extent that you are severely restricted as regards movement in your legs, or
  • Are without both hands or both arms, or
  • Are without one or both legs, or
  • Are completely or almost completely without the use of both hands or arms and completely or almost completely without the use of one leg, or
  • Have the medical condition of dwarfism and serious difficulties of movement of the legs

You can apply for a Primary Medical Certificate through your local HSE centre, who can send you an application form.

VRT (Vehicle Registration Tax) and VAT (Value Added Tax) Relief Scheme

The VRT (vehicle registration tax) and VAT (value-added tax) scheme can be granted to those with a Primary Medical Certificate, and who have purchased an adapted vehicle for either a disabled driver or disabled passenger. The VRT and VAT relief scheme is divided into three main categories; adapted vehicles, specifically adapted vehicles and extensively adapted vehicles.

Adapted Vehicles

Some disabled drivers and passengers will require an adapted vehicle, which can be tax-exempt for a maximum of €10,000 for a disabled driver or €16,000 for a disabled passenger.

Specifically Adapted Vehicles

Disabled drivers and passengers can receive up to €16,000 for the purchase of a specifically adapted vehicle, which must be held for at least 2 years before being sold again.

Extensively Adapted Vehicles

Some vehicles will require extensive adaptations that can sometimes cost more than the vehicle itself. In these cases, a grant of up to €22,000 can be obtained. However, to qualify for a grant on an extensively adapted vehicle, the vehicle adaptations must exceed the market selling price of the vehicle, which will be determined by the Revenue Commissioners at the time of registration. The extensively adapted vehicle mustn’t be sold on for 6 years after purchase.

For each of these categories, the engine size cannot be any larger than 6,000cc. To take part in the vehicle registration tax scheme, the qualifying person should apply through the Revenue website here. In some cases, it is also possible for a family member of a disabled person to apply for the scheme.

Fuel Grant Scheme

For drivers and disabled passengers that have been granted access to the disabilities tax relief scheme, a fuel grant scheme can also be accessed. The fuel grant scheme can also be applied for through the Revenue website here, and can issue a maximum of 2,730 litres per calendar year. The rate per litre of fuel on the scheme is:

  • Petrol – €0.602
  • Diesel – €0.495
  • LPG – €0.106

Motor Tax Relief

A driver of a passenger with a disability that is tax-exempt from VRT and VAT is also exempt from annual motor tax payment. A valid tax disc must still be obtained and displayed on the vehicle. Either an authorised motor dealer or a disabled individual can apply for the tax exemption on behalf of the driver or passenger with a disability.

To apply, the vehicle must have been issued with an IVA (Individual Vehicle Approval) for any modifications that have been made. Once this has been obtained, the relief application will take place through the Revenue website.

Toll Exemption

Any driver or passenger that has an original Primary Medical Certificate from the HSE and has qualified for the disabled passenger’s scheme is exempt from toll road fees. Specifically tolls on the M50, where a toll is required on the bridge; the number plate recognition software will recognise your vehicle’s number plate and you will not be required to pay a toll.

Read more on Funding and Grants here

Procon Vehicles – Vehicle Conversion Specialists

Here at Procon Vehicles, we are vehicle conversion specialists based in Co. Kilkenny. We can help to create wheelchair accessible vehicles, minibuses and crew vans by fitting certain adaptations, such as lowered floors, swivel seats, hand controls, left foot accelerators, seatbelt solutions and more. Find out how we can help to make a vehicle wheelchair friendly for drivers and disabled passengers at proconvehicles.com or call our team on 059-9775994.