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Thread: Motability Car Accident

  1. #1

    Motability Car Accident

    Long post so sorry in advance. I am my son's appointee for PIP we have had a Motability car since August 2020 (he was having driving lessons through Motability also), the intention was car would be his once he passed his driving test. Car was insured for myself and his dad.

    Due to a relationship breakdown (with his dad), the family home had to be sold which my son has really struggled with as we had lived there since he was 2 (he is now 18). We then got caught up in the Purplebricks conveyancer mess, meaning completion didn't happen at said time. We are given social housing in an unfamiliar area for both of us but we have no furniture until completion of house sale, so we book into a hotel for nights of 6th & 7th November. All is ok, we are in a twin room, I drop of night of the 7th, 04.10 early hours of the 8th am woken by my phone, it's the police, they tell me my son is fine, but the car is on it's roof 500 yards from the family home. They are taking him to hospital as a precaution and then he will be arrested as he only has a provisional licence and is not insured. Was I aware he had taken the car, am honest and say no, can they come to hotel and take a statement at which point I break down and refuse as I was going through so much (we both were).

    Later on in the day another officer contacts me and asks if I am aware that I can be charged with (can't remember the exact terminology) knowingly giving the keys to someone without a full licence and no insurance, at this point I give a statement. He is then further arrested for aggravated taking of a vehicle without consent (he hit 4 stationery cars as the car flipped onto it's roof). My son is high functioning autistic, very intelligent and certainly knows right from wrong, we'd had the car for 15 months he had never done anything even remotely similar before. I have fully co-operated with police and the solicitor that RSA insurers had to contact me regarding the accident.

    On 29th November I contacted RSA regarding a courtesy car as we are in a new area which is a little bit remote, I have yet to leave the house to find out where anything is (I have social anxiety and mobility issues). I am informed that I am not allowed a courtesy car due to the circumstances of the accident, and they haven't yet received their solicitors report to decide how to proceed. Has anyone been through similar, as the man on the phone would not elaborate on what could happen. I understand that I am the official leasee of the car (I could have a motability car in my own right, although I am guessing that would be a firm no at this point given the circumstances).

    Am not going to leave anything out that may trip me up later, he hasn't been charged with anything as yet, has been released under investigation as on searching police found a small amount of cannabis on him, so they have to wait for a toxicology report to come back which they said takes 8 weeks as that would obviously make a difference to any charges they pursue.

    Don't get me wrong am not for one second condoning what he's done, have explained to him he could have killed himself or an innocent person had it been a few hours later in the day. He also knows he's looking at a long ban and a hefty fine (so police told me).

    Could I be pursued for the cost of the vehicle? Will I ever be allowed a car again? How long does the process take before a decision is reached. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Senior Member gus607's Avatar
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    I can't see any "easy" way out of this. The law was broken & prosecutions will & should follow.

  3. #3
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    I don't think anyone can say what is going to happen or how long it will take.

    But we can clear a few things up for you-

    Firstly - From what you say then this is his Mobatility vehicle, leased in his name, and paid for by his PIP?
    You are a permitted driver of his leased vehicle.

    You seem to be unclear on that point - but from what you have told us then it's his Motability car and not yours, you are simply a named/permitted driver of it.
    That is important.

    So despite what the police thought at first you can't be guilty of knowingly allowing him to take your keys/vehicle.
    Because it isn't your vehicle, it's his/Motability's vehicle.
    That is why the police were pushing you on that point, they thought it was your car he had taken without your consent, but it isn't/wasn't your car - so they were barking up the wrong tree.
    You can't be guilty of consenting to him taking your car when it isn't your car anyway.

    Your son is the one who has commited the offence(s) by driving his Motability leased car when he shouldn't have been.

    I does seem that the police are looking to prosecute for 'TWOC'*, and possibly drug driving depending on the result of the tox report.
    If they do prosecute him then it's going to be down to the courts to decide on guilt and what penalty to impose.

    *That may seem a bit of an odd one, can he have 'taken the vehicle without the owners consent' if it's his own Motability car?
    The legal answer has to be yes, because actually Motability are the owner and he is leasing it from them, and under the terms of that lease he didn't have their consent to drive it whilst unaccomanied by a qualified driver.

    You'll have to wait and see where the police/prosecutors decide to go with this.
    Which I suspect will depend a lot on the Tox results, if he had been smoking pot before driving then they are almost certain to prosecute.
    It treated the same as drink driving.

    But there is nothing that they can prosecute you for here, you have done nothing against the law, only your son has.

    What happens if they do prosecute him then depends on any penalty imposed by the court.

    If he has crashed the car whilst commiting a criminal offence then the insurance will (almost certainly) not pay out, and he will be liable for the costs of the damage cause by the collision.
    Not just his leased Motability car, but also the others that he damaged.

    As far as him leasing any future Motability vehicles:

    If he gets penalty points on his licence then he will have to declare that to RMA, and his insurance may cost more in future.
    If its a driving ban then he would not be able to get insured through RMA for 5 years, so couldnt drive a Motability vehicle.

    https://www.motability.co.uk/contact...-their-licence
    https://www.motability.co.uk/contact...-on-the-policy

    However if he did get another Motability car you could be a permitted driver again, so as long as you don't have any penalty points or disqualification you could still drive any Motability vehice he got in future.

    And as you have not commited any offence here then I don't see any reason at all why you couldn't have a Mobility vehicle of your own if you qualify for one.
    Of course your son wouldn't be allowed to drive it.

    More about points and disqualifactions:
    https://news.motability.co.uk/motori...nts-explained/
    Last edited by nukecad; 02-12-21 at 14:56.
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  4. #4
    If he gets a ban or more than 6 points he will still be able to learn to drive and pass his test, then his ban or points will start which will mean he has lost his license within 2 years of passing his test so will have to take another test once his ban is up or points cleared.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by gus607 View Post
    I can't see any "easy" way out of this. The law was broken & prosecutions will & should follow.
    Am not looking for an easy way out, just wondering where I actually stand in all of this really. And I wholeheartedly agree with him taking responsibility for what he has done.
    .

  6. #6
    Thanks Nuke :- "From what you say then this is his Mobatility vehicle, leased in his name, and paid for by his PIP? You are a permitted driver of his leased vehicle."

    As his legal appointee with DWP the car is leased in my name, is paid for from his PIP but I am responsible for the vehicle not my son, am not just a named driver. When police rang me in early hours I explained it was actually his car paid for with his PIP, and was informed I am registered to the vehicle not my son. That's why when I initially refused to give statement, they contacted me again and said I could be charged with knowingly giving him the keys.

    They police are looking to prosecute for aggravated TWOC (plus whatever outcome of tox screen is). Insurance is obviously void that's where my concern lies, I am responsible for the vehicle not my son, the car is a write off, plus the damage to the other 4 cars so under the circumstances will I be liable for all these costs?

    I have no points or disqualifications, but as the hirer of this vehicle which is in my name, I am thinking that even though I qualify for a motability car in my own right, it won't be allowed after what has happened to this one.

  7. #7
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    That appointeeship, and the lease being in your name but paid from his PIP does make things more complicated.

    I think a lot is going to depend on just what type of 'appointee' you are.
    And that may be different with Motability than it is with the DWP.
    One is a government organisiation, Motability Leasing is basically a private company.

    Last time I looked at anything about 'appointees' I found 7 or 8 different types.
    Ranging from different types of court appointee, DWP appointees, and appointees for a single aspect/purpose.

    Sorry, but it's going to take legal help to sort out just which type you are - and more importantly what that means in this unfortunate situation.

    TBH it sounds to me as if you are going to take responsibility anyway, because your son is not capable of doing so.
    So the question is how much liability that will be.
    And until the police/court process is over I don't think anyone can answer that.
    Last edited by nukecad; 03-12-21 at 18:24.
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  8. #8
    Thanks Nuke, am DWP appointee only, not court appointed is just for his PIP and for last 2 months his UC, not because he's incapable as such, more because money would not be spent for it's intended purpose, it would all be spent on Xbox credit for games. I guess I'll just have to play the waiting game, haven't been without a car since 1988! Not in a position to buy one, and did less than 2000 miles a year, it's just so difficult as we moved to a new area a few hours after he did this, slightly remote, apparently there is a train station around here somewhere, but it's not a regular one, requested stop only, and limited times to get on one and go anywhere. As for buses, they are non-existant, thank god for Tesco deliveries.

  9. #9
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Thinking about it there could be a slight defence against charges.

    It could be argued that as the car was being paid for with his money he saw it as his car, and you can't TWOC your own car.
    (You have realised that TWOC usually also means an additional charge 'driving a vehicle whilst uninsured'?)

    Similarly it could be argued that he saw a driving licence as simply a licence, and didn't understand the rules for a provisional.

    Cannabis? He takes it to aliviate his mental health 'turmoils'.

    They are fairly weak arguments, and would depend on arguing that his mental capabilities are less than they seem to be.

    And of course there is still the question of the damage caused and who pays for it.

    PS That situation with public transport sounds like some of the coastal villages here in Cumbria, one train an hour if you are lucky, request stops, no busses at all.
    Last edited by nukecad; 04-12-21 at 13:46.
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  10. #10
    Just an update for anyone that has to ever go through the same, still no charges brought against son though I am sure it will happen soon (and rightly so). Following completion of RSA investigation the car has been classed a total loss, but the insurance claim will be honoured as it was through no fault of my own, and their evidence has shown I have co-operated fully in the event of a prosecution. I am entitled to another vehicle but at this point have decided against it, just in case!

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