The Here to Help Mobility contract hire scheme, which lets disabled people use their disability benefits to pay for equipment like powerchairs and scooters, has experienced an influx of enquiries from mobility dealers in the last couple of weeks.
Director of Here to Help, David Penman, described the company’s phone as being “off the hook” since the Scotland-based scheme extended its hand to “concerned retailers”, inviting them to discuss an alternative to the Motability scheme.
Interest in the scheme rose in the week after the Motability scheme became the subject of an investigation which exposed a £2.4bn stockpile and a £1.7m pay package for its boss, after which MPs called for the National Audit Office to launch their own investigation.
The Here to Help scheme already has around 50 dealer partners in the UK, who benefit from receiving almost 90% of contract hire profits by commission, which Penman said equates to around two to three times the remuneration currently received by Motability-accredited dealers.
Penman feels that according to the financial figures uncovered in the investigation, it appears that Motability is retaining a large portion of the contract hire profits “to the detriment of their accredited dealers”.
He said: “At Here to Help Mobility we have been operating our own contract hire scheme for 10 years now, paid for by claimants’ high and enhanced rates of mobility DLA and PIP allowances direct from the DWP.
“We have been actively lobbying government to expand our offering to include those claimants in receipt of standard DLA and normal PIP rates of mobility allowances whereby they should have access to mobility, seating and stairlift products to enhance their quality of life while reducing the burden of cost to social care budgets.”
The Here to Help Mobility leasing scheme covers all costs for end-users including servicing, repairs and insurance including batteries and tyres.
It has just launched a new website which offers information on the scheme to trade professionals.