Driving and vehicle modifications

What are driving and vehicle modifications?

If you have injuries that make it difficult for you to drive, changes may be needed to help you to get in and out of your vehicle, drive, load mobility aids or be transported safely while someone else drives.

Will the TAC pay for these vehicle changes?

To increase your independence and mobility, we can pay for changes to your vehicle so you can drive again.

Sometimes we can also pay an amount towards the cost of buying a vehicle in Australia.

How are vehicle changes approved?

We will pay for an occupational therapist qualified in driver assessment and training to assess your needs. They will let us know what vehicle changes are needed.

We also need medical clearance that you will be able to safely drive the modified vehicle. You may also need to do a driving program.

How much will the TAC pay?

We pay the reasonable cost (recommended retail price) of vehicle changes, including supply, delivery and installation.

If we agree to pay an amount towards the cost of buying a vehicle for modification, we consider things like the current market value of any vehicle you own and the value or trade in value of any damaged vehicle.

If your car is too old to be modified and the car you planned to replace it with is not suitable for major changes, we can pay the difference between the cost of the car you planned to buy and a suitable car selected by the TAC.

Vehicle modifications - TAC Client information sheet

Summary:

This information sheet outlines who can apply for TAC-funded vehicle modifications to ensure safety, accessibility and independence as a driver or passenger. It also explains the assessment and approval process, examples of vehicle modifications (e.g. hand controls to operate the accelerator and brake) and the legal contracts involved.


Using modified vehicles - cost exemptions

Summary:

If you need to use a modified vehicle as a result of your transport accident injuries, you may be exempt from paying some normal costs associated with purchasing and owning the vehicle.


Driving and vehicle modifications

We’re here to help you get out and about after your transport accident. To increase your independence and mobility, we can pay for changes to your vehicle so you can drive again.

Sometimes we can also pay an amount towards the cost of buying a vehicle in Australia.

We can also help with a driving program or specialised driving rehabilitation lessons, to help you drive again and increase your independence.

About vehicle modifications

Vehicle changes may be needed to help you to get in and out of your vehicle, drive, load mobility aids or be transported safely while someone else drives.

The vehicle may require minor or major changes:

  • Minor changes include non-permanent equipment or accessories that can be installed and removed from a vehicle.
  • Major changes include structural changes and permanent adaptations to a vehicle.

How we approve these services

  1. We pay for a consultation with an occupational therapist qualified in driver assessment and training. They will assess your needs and may prescribe equipment or changes to be made to your vehicle. Sometimes a member of your treatment team may refer you to an independent medical assessor to determine whether you are ready to safely drive a vehicle.
  2. We need your treating health practitioner to provide us with medical clearance that you can safely drive the modified vehicle, confirming that the modifications to your vehicle match your licence conditions.
  3. A member of your treatment team may also recommend that you take part in a driving program, to help with any physical, psychological or cognitive injuries that could stop you from driving.
  4. Your treatment professional will also need to submit a copy of the completed VicRoads forms:

Buying a vehicle

We can pay an amount towards buying a vehicle if:

  • You do not have a vehicle that’s suitable for modifications.
  • You need a vehicle because of your significant, long-term physical, sensory or cognitive disability and you have difficulty using another transport option, such as being driven by a family member or using taxis or public transport.

We will need a written explanation from both your treating occupational therapist and an automotive engineer, explaining why any existing vehicle you have access to can’t be changed.

We will choose a suitable vehicle for modification based on:

  • Your needs.
  • The results of an independent medical examination.
  • The information provided by your treating health team.

Required agreements

If the modifications and our contribution towards the cost of buying a vehicle is more than $10,000, you will need to enter into a contractual agreement with us, called a Vehicle Modification Agreement. This agreement establishes our respective responsibilities for ownership of the items and associated ongoing costs. We will let you know if this is required.

If a vehicle has had major changes, then you will need to get the appropriate approvals and certificates from a Vehicle Assessment Signatory Scheme assessor.

What we will pay

We pay the reasonable cost of vehicle modifications, including supply, delivery and installation, as a result of your transport accident injuries. We view the reasonable cost of items as being the recommended retail price.

If we agree to pay an amount towards the cost of buying a vehicle suitable to be modified, we consider the following criteria when working out how much we can pay:

  • The current market value of any vehicle you own.
  • The market value of any damaged, written off vehicle at the time of the accident.
  • The trade in value of the existing vehicle that is written off or cannot be modified.

If your car is too old to be modified and the car you planned to replace it with is not suitable for major changes, we can pay the difference between the cost of the car you planned to buy and a suitable vehicle selected by the TAC.

We can only pay for changes to more than one vehicle if the changes are minor or adaptive, and the vehicle will be used to help you return to work.

Paying for these services

We pay for your modifications:

  • Directly to your provider, when you have provided them with your TAC claim number, or
  • By repayment to you, when you have already paid your provider and you send us a copy of the receipt, or
  • Directly to your provider or supplier in line with a Capital Services Agreement, if this was required.

We pay for your services in line with our responsibilities under the Transport Accident Act 1986.

We expect you to use any equipment items and modifications that we pay for with reasonable care and for their intended purpose.

What we won’t pay for

You are responsible for the ongoing vehicle running costs and making sure that the vehicle is registered and comprehensively insured. If a higher insurance premium is issued because of the modifications, we can repay the difference between your quote and what it would cost to insure an unmodified vehicle.

We can’t pay the full cost of a new or replacement vehicle for you, a carer or a family member.

We can’t pay an amount towards the cost of replacing a vehicle that has minor modifications, as this is considered a normal expense that you would need to pay regardless of your transport accident.

We can’t pay for major vehicle modifications to more than one vehicle.

We can’t pay for vehicle modifications, driving programs or an amount towards the cost of a vehicle capable of being modified when it is:

  • Not related to your transport accident injuries.
  • Not reasonable, necessary or appropriate.
  • Not clinically justified, safe or effective.

You or your representative will need to sign a TAC Capital Service Agreement when the cost of a purchase or modification is more than the amounts listed below:

Type of modification or purchaseThreshold (for Agreements made between 16 February 2010 and 22 October 2018)Threshold (for Agreements made on or after 23 October 2018)
Home modifications$25,000$50,000
Vehicle modifications$10,000$10,000
Purchase of medical equipment or item$5,000$5,000