The Motability Scheme provides an affordable, worry-free way for people to lease a car in exchange for their mobility allowance. Operated by Motability Operations Ltd, under contract to Motability (a registered Charity), helping people get mobile.
In this section you can learn more about how to exchange your mobility allowance for a car through the Motability Scheme, whether you're eligible for a vehicle, the costs associated with a vehicle and most importantly, choosing the suitable vehicle for your needs.
There are currently over 630,000 people in the UK using the Motability Scheme and since its inception, the programme has provided approximately 5 million vehicles. If you are eligible for the Motability Scheme, you may be wondering which vehicles are available and how to go about choosing the right car. There are several factors to consider, and we’ll explore these in more detail to help you find the perfect Motability vehicle.
How to choose a Motability car
Everybody has different requirements and preferences when it comes to choosing a Motability car, but there are some factors that influence the decision-making process for most drivers or passengers in cases where the car will be driven by a carer or a family member. These include:
When you’re exploring Motability vehicles, you will come across different price bands. There are 3 main options for those eligible for the Motability Scheme:
1. Below budget vehicles: these cars cost less than your monthly allowance and they are available without an advance payment. As the lease cost is lower than the monthly allowance, the remaining money will be paid back to you by the Department for Work and Pensions. There are currently around 100 vehicles that fit into this category.
2. Vehicles that cost the same as the monthly allowance: these Motability cars cost the same as the monthly allowance and they are available without an advance payment. The range is larger and you will have more options if you decide to use the entire monthly allowance.
3. Advance payment options: these cars cost the same as the monthly allowance, but there is also an advance payment to cover. Payments can range from £50 to hundreds of pounds depending on the make and model and the spec. There are usually around 600 cars that have an advance payment of less than £500 available.
New offers and deals
The price list for Motability cars is updated every 3 months and it provides access to the best offers from leading manufacturers. Advance payment prices on Motability cars available to lease are published on the following dates:
● January 1st
● April 1st
● July 1st
● October 1st
Additional running costs
The brilliant thing about the Motability Scheme is that it makes it easy and hassle-free to lease a car. When you take out a lease on a Motability car, most of your running costs, including the MOT, servicing, insurance and breakdown assistance, will be covered. The only additional expense you will need to factor in is fuel. It’s worth looking into fuel consumption and comparing MPG (miles per gallon) figures before you make a decision if you’re looking for a greener vehicle, you commute or drive long distances regularly or you’re looking to keep expenses as low as possible.
Who will drive the car
The Motability Scheme covers drivers, but it also provides assistance for people who are unable to drive. The Motability lease package includes insurance cover for up to three drivers and this doesn’t necessarily have to include the scheme participant. If the individual doesn’t have a licence or they are unable to drive, they can select three people to add to the insurance policy. If the individual is not planning to drive, it’s beneficial to consider the preferences and opinions of the drivers to ensure that they are comfortable and that they feel safe and confident behind the wheel.
Personal preferences and requirements
There is a diverse range of vehicles available through the Motability Scheme to cater to different requirements and preferences. People may be using their cars for different purposes, they might have different needs to another driver or passenger and they may be more interested in extras, features or body styles than others. It’s hugely important to try and find a Motability vehicle that ticks all of the boxes and to tailor your search to look for the perfect vehicle based on your wish-list. There are many factors to consider and questions to answer when exploring makes and models, including:
● What kind of journeys do you make most frequently?
● How much space do you need?
● How much time will you be spending on main roads and motorways?
● Is parking a problem at home or work?
● Can you change gear easily or would an automatic vehicle be better for you?
● Do you need to carry equipment, for example, mobility aids, with you?
● Will you have passengers on a regular basis?
Another thing to think about is whether you are interested in extras or special features. Modern cars are packed with innovative features that enhance safety, performance, comfort and accessibility. Examples of extras you may want to consider include keyless locking, parking sensors, automated parking, voice controls, electric, adjustable seats, sliding doors and automated boot opening.
Can I change my mind after choosing a Motability car?
When you take out a lease on a Motability car, you agree to use the vehicle for a set term. In most cases, participants are required to comply with the terms of the lease agreement, but there are exceptions, which mean that it is possible to change your mind. If you have leased a car and your circumstances change and the vehicle is no longer suitable for your mobility needs, for example, you can contact the customer services team at Motability to discuss your options. You will need to provide information about why you are changing the car and there may be an administration fee.
If you have placed an order for a car, but you have not yet started the lease, and you change your mind, you can contact the dealer directly to see if it is possible to cancel the lease and swap to a different car. There may be a cancellation fee for this service.
If you have any questions about how to choose a Motability car or you need information or advice to help you make a decision, our expert team is ready and waiting to take your call. Don’t hesitate to get in touch today.