Cho feels that access to a vehicle will increase his independence. He asks for NDIS funding to buy a vehicle that meets his disability support needs.

Would we typically fund this?

No, the NDIS would not fund a motor vehicle as it is not a disability related support. A lot of people have a motor vehicle whether or not they have a disability. It’s a day-to-day living cost that is not related to Cho’s disability support needs.

Why won’t we fund it?

To work out whether a support is reasonable a necessary, we look at the information you give us against the NDIS Funding Criteria. Vehicles are typically not disability-related supports because people need vehicles whether or not they have a disability. If a support is not related to your disability, we are unlikely to be the most appropriate funding agency.

Cars and/or motorbikes are found in most households and used by most Australians. This means the cost to buy, run, register and insure a vehicle is a day-to-day living cost not related to your disability support needs as:

  • It’s unlikely that a motor vehicle is an extra cost just because of your disability support needs. It is more likely people need and use a vehicle for non-disability related uses.
  • It is also unlikely to be an extra cost because of a funded support you receive due to your disability support needs.

In most cases, it won’t be value for money for us to fund private vehicles.

What might we fund?

We will not fund items that don’t relate to your disability. We may, however, fund modifications to a new or second-hand vehicle if, for example, you need modifications to help you:

  • get in and out of the vehicle with or without a wheelchair
  • carry your wheelchair in or on the vehicle without lifting
  • be transported safely while seated in your wheelchair
  • drive the vehicle with specialised controls or other adaptions.

For more information on vehicle modifications, please refer to the Operational Guideline –Including Specific Types of Supports in Plans – Vehicle Modifications .

Case example 

Sean lives with paraplegia and uses a wheelchair for mobility. He has been taking driving lessons in a modified vehicle using hand controls to operate the accelerator and brakes. Sean recently passed his driving test.

Sean has been looking for a job. One of his goals is to re-join the workforce and he feels his employment chances would increase if he had his own vehicle. Looking online Sean sees a second-hand car within his price range. He feels it could probably be modified to support his disability needs. He asks us to fund the cost of the vehicle.

When working out whether the funding for the care is reasonable and necessary, Sean’s planner looks at the information Sean provides against the NDIS Funding Criteria. The planner thinks about whether Sean needs the car because of his disability or if it is a day-to-day cost not related to his disability support needs.

In Sean’s case, the planner decides the following:

  • A car or motorbike is not a disability-related support. Buying a motor vehicle is an everyday cost. 
  • While Sean may be able to use the car to travel to his NDIS-funded daily activities, he’ll also be using it for non-NDIS reasons. This means Sean’s need for the car is not solely and directly because of his disability needs.
  • Sean would be liable for the cost of the car whether or not he had a disability.
  • Buying a motor vehicle is not ‘value for money’.

The planner decides the funding for Sean’s car is not reasonable and necessary and declines the funding request.

The planner recommends that before Sean decides to buy his own car, he should work with a driver-trained occupational therapist to understand what type of car is most suited to being easily modified to support his specific disability needs. We could then consider funding any modifications assessed as reasonable and necessary.

For more information, refer to:

This page current as of
20 April 2021
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