The Blue Badge Schemes in the UK aims to extend concessions to drivers with certain medical conditions. Through this article, we will explore the benefits that Blue Badge holders can claim, as well as understand the eligibility criteria for this scheme. Additionally, we will also discuss how road tax is calculated and the eligibility criteria for vehicles to be exempted from it.
What Benefits Can Blue Badge Holders Claim?
If you are a Blue Badge holder, you may be able to park in spaces where other drivers may not be able to while staying on main streets. Since the Blue Badge is for you as a person and not limited to your vehicle if you are travelling in a taxi or a hire car, the same benefit will be extended to that vehicle as well.
To display your Blue Badge correctly, you must follow the below instructions:
- The badge is displayed the right way up
- It is clearly visible when viewed through the windscreen
- The badge hasn’t reached an expiry date
Blue Badge concessions are given to drivers with certain medical conditions in the UK, enabling them to park closer to their destinations. As a Blue Badge holder, you can ask your local council to allocate you parking space that is close to home.
If you qualify for a Blue Badge, you may be able to park for free in the following locations:
- Unlimited parking on streets with parking meters or pay-and-display machines
- Unlimited parking (unless a time limit is displayed on a sign) in disabled parking bays on streets
- Parking for up to three hours on single or double yellow lines (unless there’s a ‘no loading’ sign)
However, you must keep in mind that having a Blue Badge does not allow claimants to park their car anywhere; they just qualify for certain concessions in specific areas. They will still need to follow parking regulations and can get fined for breaking parking rules. Claimants need to be conscious of the fact that being a Blue Badge holder does not exempt them from Road Tax payments.
Concessions for Blue Badge holders also cover their usage of company cars. This generally happens when people with hidden disabilities such as dementia and anxiety are given company cars from their workplace. In addition to the other concessions extended under the Blue Badge scheme, these individuals will also get tax relief on their company vehicles. Employers can facilitate the process by filling out the P11D form with the correct car details.
Blue Badge holders who find an improvement in their condition or mobility will no longer be eligible for this benefit. Therefore, they must inform their local council of the change in their condition and if need be, return the badge.
Who Is Eligible For A Blue Badge?
To qualify as a Blue Badge holder, applicants must be able to meet the below criteria:
- The claimant receives a higher rate of the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance or War Pensioner’s Mobility supplement
- The claimant has been given a sum by the Armed Forces and Reserve Forces Compensation Scheme
- The claimant is registered with a substantial and permanent disability or blindness
- The claimant gets a Personal Independence Payment with an eligible descriptor of the mobility component
- The claimant has a terminal illness that interferes with their ability to walk
- The claimant has been issued with a DS1500
- The claimant has a substantial or permanent disability that makes it very difficult to walk
- The claimant regularly drives a vehicle and have severe disabilities with their arms
Can I Swap Disabled Tax With Another Car?
No, you cannot swap Disabled Tax with another car; in fact, you cannot transfer any type of car tax from one vehicle to another. If you qualify for Disabled Tax, you will need to apply for it through a post office that deals with car taxes.
You may be eligible for a disabled car tax if you receive any of the following benefits:
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
- The higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance
- The enhanced rate mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement
How Can I Apply For A Disabled Car Tax?
Individuals who qualify for a Disabled Tax for themselves or a nominated driver and are seeking to apply for the first time will need to apply through a post office; while future modifications to their status such as exemptions and reductions can be applied for online.
To apply for a Disabled Tax for the first time, you will need to carry the following list of documents to the post office with you:
- Completed application for a Vehicle Registration Certificate (V62)
- Vehicle Registration Certificate (V5C logbook) or the V5C/2 (nominated driver details)
- Certificate of Entitlement to DLA, PIP, AFIP or WPMS
Individuals who qualify for Disabled Tax for their vehicle may also qualify for a Blue Badge, Road Tax exemption and Toll concessions as well.
Can Disabled Drivers Get Road Tax Exemption?
Yes, disabled drivers qualify for a Road Tax exemption. To be eligible, the vehicle must essentially be registered in the name of the disabled person or their designated driver. Additionally, it can only be used for the personal needs of the disabled person and not for those of the designated driver.
You can apply for a Road Tax exemption at the same time that you apply for Disabled Car Tax at the post office as You will need the same documents along with your application.
If you don’t qualify for a Road Tax exemption but you receive the standard rate mobility component for Personal Independence Payments (PIP), you may be able to apply for a 50 per cent reduction on your Vehicle Tax.
What Are The Legal Obligations Of Drivers?
Legal obligations of drivers in the UK include the following:
- the vehicle should be registered with DVLA
- the vehicle must be roadworthy
- the owner must have paid their current vehicle tax
- the owner must have a current mot certificate
- the owner must have a minimum of third party insurance
Car owners are also required to inform the DVLA in case of the following:
- a change in the owner’s name or gender
- new contact details including address
- in case of a medical condition of the driver
- major alterations to the vehicle
- sale of the vehicle
How Is Car Tax Paid?
If you have purchased a new car, your car tax is included along with the price of your car and any registration fee that is levied during the purchase. In the case of a second-hand car, if the dealer does not arrange a logbook transfer to your name, you can do the same by contacting the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) on their website.
To pay your car tax online from the post office, you will need the following documents;
- Your V11 letter
- An MOT test certificate
- The amount of payment mentioned in the V11 letter
If you have misplaced your V11 letter or your V5C, your car tax can still be renewed through the local post office. At this time, you should also apply for a new Registration Certificate using a V62 application form A for £25.
How Much Road Tax Do I Have To Pay?
Road tax or Vehicle Excise Duty in the UK is calculated on the basis of a few factors including the engine size and CO2 emissions of the car.
However, the UK road tax system is divided into two separate rates. The first rate applies during the first year of a car on the road when its CO2 emissions are also accounted for while calculating the tax rate. It may range from £0 for zero-emission cars to £2,245 for cars that emit 255g/km or more.
From the second year onwards, the CO2 emissions will not account for road tax, rather the original cost of the car will be considered for calculations.
Cars that are valued at or above £40,000 will be taxed a further £335 annual supplement that runs for five years. After this time-lapse, they will be taxed at the current tax rate applicable during the tax term.
The current (2021-22) road tax is set at a flat rate of £155. This is an increase from £150 in the 2020/2021 financial year) to adjust for inflation. There’s a £10 annual discount for alternatively fuelled vehicles such as hybrids, mild hybrids and plug-in hybrids. Therefore, their owners pay £145 annually.
Who Has To Pay Road Tax In The UK?
Anyone with a roadworthy vehicle in the UK is required to pay road tax (also referred to as car tax, vehicle tax or road fund license. This is a mandatory, annual payment enforced by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency. The amount due on a vehicle owner depends on the type of vehicle they drive as well as the level of co2 emissions from their car.
The following vehicles are exempt from road tax:
- Cars used by a disabled person
- Disabled passenger vehicles
- Electric vehicles
- Historic vehicles
- Mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs
- Mowing machines
- Steam vehicles
- Vehicles used for agriculture, horticulture and forestry
Through this blog post, we have to learn that there is a range of concessions regarding parking spaces that are extended towards Blue Badge holders due to their condition(s). In fact, in certain cases, they may even be able to get tax relief on company cars. However, they must assure that their badge is clearly displayed when in use, it is not misused by anyone else, and in case it is lost or stolen, they inform their local council.
FAQs: What benefits can blue badge holders claim?
What does a Blue Badge enable you to do?
If you qualify for a Blue Badge, you will gain access to unlimited parking on streets with parking meters or pay-and-display machines, unlimited parking (unless a time limit is displayed on a sign) in disabled parking bays on streets and parking space for up to three hours on single or double yellow lines (unless there’s a ‘no loading’ sign).
Will I get PIP if I have a Blue Badge?
Actually, it’s the other way round; you may become eligible for a Blue Badge if you are receiving Personal Independence Payment, you are unable to walk for more than 50 metres or you have a severe health condition that affects your mobility.
Can you get cheaper car insurance if you have a Blue Badge?
It is not necessary that you will get cheaper insurance just because you are a Blue Badge holder. However, certain insurance companies might offer you lesser rates as Blue Badge holders are generally able to get safer parking spaces.
What benefits can I claim with a Blue Badge?
As a Blue Badge holder, you can claim road tax exemption (in some cases) as well as toll concessions.
What are the hidden disabilities for a Blue Badge?
The extension of the Blue Badge scheme now includes hidden disabilities including Parkinson’s, dementia, epilepsy and other ‘invisible’ disabilities.