NDIS Information

Vehicle modifications explained

When we talk about vehicle modifications, we mean changes to a vehicle so you can drive or travel in it. As always the changes need to address limitations on your ability to participate because of your disability.

You or a family member need to own the vehicle or have found a vehicle you plan to purchase or lease.

If you don’t own the vehicle, you’ll need to be able to use it regularly and have permission from its owner to modify it.

We’ll only consider vehicle modifications you need because of your disability.

Without these changes, you wouldn’t be able to drive the vehicle or travel as a passenger.

Vehicle modifications and driving supports are one way we help you to:

  • get to places you need to go and to the people you want to see
  • become as independent as possible
  • travel to work or activities
  • go somewhere on holiday.

For more information, please read the Our Guideline – Vehicle modifications and driving supports .

To help you work with a vehicle modification assessor on evidence you need to give when requesting these supports, please use the Vehicle modification assessment template DOCX 111KB).

If you want to know more about vehicle modification assessment or pricing, visit our Providing assistive technology (AT) page.

All NDIS supports need to meet all the reasonable and necessary criteria. 

This means that before we can include an NDIS support in your plan, we need to be satisfied it meets all the following criteria:

  • The support will assist you to pursue your goals in your plan
  • The support will assist you to undertake activities, to facilitate your social and economic participation. This means the support will help you to undertake activities, by reducing the disability-related barriers that prevent you from participating in things such as social outings, recreation, work and study.
  • The support represents value for money in that the costs of the support are reasonable relative to both the benefits achieved and the cost of alternative supports. This means we need to consider the costs and benefits of the support, as well as the costs and benefits of alternative supports.
  • The support will be, or is likely to be, effective and beneficial for you, having regard to current good practice. This means we consider if there is evidence the support works for someone with similar disability support needs. We won’t need an expert report for every support, as we can often rely on other information or evidence. For example, we may have information already about whether the support is widely accepted to suit someone with your disability support needs.  We also consider your lived experience.
  • The funding of the support takes account of what it is reasonable to expect families, carers, informal networks and the community to provide. This means we need to consider what support is reasonable for your family, friends and community to provide.
  • The support is most appropriately funded or provided through the NDIS, and is not more appropriately funded or provided through:
    • other general systems of service delivery, or support services offered by a person, agency or body (for example, a State or Territory Statutory Scheme)
    • systems of service delivery or support services offered as part of a universal service obligation (for example, the health or education system)
    • systems of service delivery or support services offered in accordance with reasonable adjustments required under discrimination laws (for example, your employer, or the health or education system).

The law for the NDIS sets out things that we need to consider when we apply the reasonable and necessary criteria. 

We must be satisfied that each support is reasonable and necessary individually, but we must also be satisfied that the supports are reasonable and necessary as a package of supports. 

For example, a home modification may reduce your need for other supports. If we plan to fund a home modification, we will need to take that home modification into account when considering what other supports are reasonable and necessary, such as the amount of care you need at home.

If the home modification will reduce your care needs, we may need to reduce the amount of care we fund, as a higher amount may not be reasonable and necessary when the whole package of supports is considered.

Frequently asked questions


We may fund the modifications that have already been made to a second hand car you’re
buying or plan to buy. This is not a payment towards the purchase of the car. It recognises
the costs of the disability related vehicle modifications already in place.
We’ll need to know:
• the vehicle is, or can be, registered in your state or territory
• how long ago the modifications were made and how much longer they are likely to
• whether there’s a manufacturer’s warranty in place for the vehicle and modifications,
and how long this will last
• whether the vehicle modifications will need repairs to meet your needs
• whether the modifications meet the relevant Australian standards and rules
• the cost of the original changes, where available, compared to the cost of making new
You’ll need to give us:
• evidence or an assessment from your occupational therapist. This will need to tell us
the changes already made to the vehicle are safe for you and will suit your needs.

Your occupational therapist can complete our vehicle modification assessment
template to give us the information we need
• an engineering certificate or authorization report from a licensed vehicle modifier or
certifier that provides information about the condition of the changes made. The
certificate or report must tell us the changes are safe, legal, in good working order,
and meet the Australian standards and rules relevant in your state or territory
• a vehicle condition report, if the vehicle is older than 5 years and no longer under
For more information, go to How old is your vehicle and is it under warranty?
Once we have the information outlined above, we’ll work out the current value of the
modifications. We don’t pay the full cost of the modifications, because they’ve already been
used by someone else, are older and have lost value.
We calculate funding depending on how long ago the modifications were made, and how
much the value of the modifications has reduced since this time. This is called depreciation.
We will fund the depreciated modification value in your capital – assistive technology budget.
Remember, everything we fund needs to meet all the NDIS funding criteria. Just because a
second hand vehicle with modifications may be cheaper, it may not always be good value for
money or meet the other criteria.
Janette needs a modified vehicle. She works with her occupational therapist to identify the
disability related vehicle modifications and vehicle type she needs.
Janette then finds a second hand vehicle which has the modifications she needs. Janette
gives us evidence from her occupational therapist the modifications meet her disability
related needs and is safe. This includes a list of the minimum modifications, a detailed
assessment, and information about her successful trial of the car.
Janette also gets information about the vehicle’s age, warranty, and condition. Janette asks
the current vehicle owner about the cost of the original modifications, and gets an
authorisation report from a licensed vehicle modifier confirming the modifications meet
Australian standards and rules. We can then work out the current value of the modifications
to include in Janette’s plan.


For vehicles older than this and no longer under warranty, you’ll need to organise a vehicle
condition report.
The vehicle condition report will need to tell us:
• your vehicle is legal and safe to be on the road for your needs
• how long your vehicle is likely to be a reliable form of transport.

You can get a vehicle condition report from your state or territory motoring organisation.
We’ll fund the cost of this in the core – consumables section of your plan. To find your local
organisation, go to the Australian Automobile Association website.
Generally, vehicles older than 10 years aren’t likely to be value for money for any significant
You may be able to remove the modifications from an older vehicle and use them in another
vehicle. For example, a swing out seat, hand control or wheelchair hoist can often be moved.
If it’s been less than 5 years since we funded the modification, and you want to have the
modification moved to another vehicle, you would have to pay for it to be re-installed.
Modifications usually last 8-10 years. We keep this in mind when we think about:
• the overall condition of your vehicle
• whether the modifications would be value for money.
We’ll usually reconsider replacement vehicle modifications every 8 years. We might consider
them earlier if there’s been major changes to your needs.
Jasmin has been using a modified van for over 15 years, and the van recently reached the
end of its working life. She’s bought a new van and wants us to fund changes to the van so
she can travel as a front row passenger.
Jasmin gives us a quote which says the front passenger wheelchair conversion will cost
around $50,000. Jasmin’s request meets all our NDIS funding criteria, except it’s not value
for money. It would only cost around $30,000 to do a conversion for her to sit in the second
row location instead.
We recognise Jasmin may prefer to travel in the front row. But it’s not necessary for her to be
safe or pursue her goals. We can’t fund the front row conversion. We recognise the second
row conversion meets all our NDIS funding criteria and include this funding in Jasmin’s plan.
Jasmin can still use the funding to get the front row conversion done if she wants to pay for
the rest herself – it’s her choice.


We need to know vehicle modifications already installed in a vehicle, or modifications factory
fitted in an imported vehicle, are legal, safe, and appropriate for you. Foreign imported
vehicles that are factory fitted with modifications may not meet Australian standards for
vehicle registration.
To confirm these modifications are legal and safe for you, you’ll need to give us:

• evidence or a vehicle modification assessment from your occupational therapist or
suitably qualified assessor. This will explain what modifications you need and how
they’ll work for you. We’ll fund the cost of this assessment in your capacity building
supports budget
• an engineering certificate or authorisation report from a licensed vehicle modifier or
certifier, before we can decide whether to fund your vehicle modification support.
The engineering certificate or authorisation report must confirm the modifications meet
Australian standards and rules relevant in your state or territory. You’ll need to fund this,
unless a valid certificate or report is already available.
You can find out more about and what you need to do to register modified vehicles in your
state or territory. When you register your vehicle, you’ll need to give your registration
authority a copy of the engineering certificate or authorisation report. Your licensed vehicle
modifier will give you the certificate or report.