Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

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Vehicle Assistance Scheme

Authoritative Version
Instrument 1/1997 Schemes as made
The purpose of the Vehicle Assistance Scheme is to assist eligible veterans with the provision of a suitable motor vehicle and to assist with the running, maintenance, and replacement of a motor vehicle that has been provided under the Scheme.
Administered by: Veterans' Affairs
General Comments: The Vehicle Assistance Scheme was approved by the Minister for Veterans' Affairs on 1 October 1997: see Supporting Material.
Registered 11 Feb 2005
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled HR20-Oct-1997
Tabled Senate20-Oct-1997
Date of repeal 24 Jan 2015
Repealed by Veterans’ Affairs (Legislative Instrument Re-making Exercise) Instrument 2014
















The Minister has approved in accordance with subsection 105 (3) of the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (the Act), and effective from 1 March 1997, the attached Instrument, No. 1 of 1997:


(a)       revoking the Vehicle Assistance Scheme prepared by the Commission under subsection 105 (1) of the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (the Act) on 22 May 1986 and approved by the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs under subsection 105 (3) of the Act on 22 May 1986, as varied by an instrument in writing of the Commission under subsection 105 (2) of the Act, dated 3 October 1986, and approved by the Minister under subsection 105 (3) of the Act on 9 October 1986; and


(b)       preparing, under subsection 105 (1) of the Act, a new Vehicle Assistance Scheme (the Scheme).


Changes to the Scheme have been required following the recommendations of a review carried out by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs in consultation with the ex-service community.  The Scheme was initially introduced in May 1986, taking over from the Gift Car Scheme, and has existed virtually unchanged (there being one minor variation in October 1986) since that time.


The Scheme has been completely rewritten and thus the instrument revokes the former Scheme and replaces it with a new Scheme which has the following changes:


·      Increases the Running and Maintenance Allowance from $786 p.a. to $1,362.40 p.a., tying it to the top rate paid for Recreation Transport Allowance under section 104 of the Act, and effectively making it subject to the same bi-annual CPI adjustments.


·      Extends the full range of benefits under the Scheme to eligible veterans with peace time service. This group of veterans are now eligible to apply for replacement grants and for the Running and Maintenance Allowance where previously only eligibility for an initial vehicle grant existed. Offsetting principles will apply if similar benefits are received from another source.


·      Abolishes the two year “probation period” on an initial vehicle. The previous Scheme provided for a variety of circumstances in which an initial vehicle, or the cost of that vehicle, may be recovered by the Commonwealth within the first two years. This is no longer the case. Once an initial vehicle has been registered and fully insured it becomes the property of the veteran.


·      Increases in the benchmark values of the vehicles to take into consideration additional safety features such as dual air bags, anti-lock braking system, cruise control and electric windows.


·      Simplifies the assessment of replacement grants. The Scheme now prescribes a maximum figure. Previously replacement grants were assessed by following a complex formula which was not easily understood.


·      Gives veterans the flexibility to sell a vehicle privately. The previous Scheme only issued replacement grants on the exchange of vehicles with a motor vehicle dealer.  This restriction no longer exists.


·      Grants re-eligibility to apply for benefits by veterans who had defaulted their eligibility by breaching certain conditions of the previous Scheme. Previously veterans who defaulted on provisions of the Scheme, or its predecessor the Gift Car Scheme, lost all further eligibility for benefits under the Scheme. The Scheme now allows veterans who have had eligibility cancelled to be eligible to re-apply after a period of ten years.


·      Provides transitional provisions for participants under the previous Scheme, such that they also have all the advantage of the benefits of the new Scheme.