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A Guide to Motability Cars

Most of us take driving a car for granted but for many people it’s not so straightforward. People with disabilities may need specially-adapted cars or they may simply need access to a car to get around but struggle to afford it. The Motability scheme is in place to help such people lease a car to make their life easier.

How does the Motability Scheme work?

Under the scheme, disabled people can lease a new car by using their Government mobility allowance. The scheme will help them to find the right car for their needs, it will fund many adaptations and will offer benefits and support during the term of the lease.

The weekly mobility allowance is exchanged for the lease of the car. Many cars are offered with no advance payments making it easy to get on the road. After three years, you can choose a new car on another three-year contract provided you still meet the eligibility criteria.

Am I eligible?

If you receive a Government-funded mobility allowance you may be eligible for the Motability scheme. Specific allowances which are eligible include the Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP), the Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance, the Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP) or the War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement (WPMS). You can check whether you’re eligible by going to the Motability scheme website at http://www.motability.co.uk/.

How do I find a car?

The Motability website will help you to find appropriate car models for your needs from the 2,000 models available on the scheme. Your eligibility for certain cars will depend on your mobility allowance and your disability needs. Once you have an idea of the Motability cars you may be interested in you can contact a Motability dealer who will help you to make your final choice and arrange delivery of your car. Car models featuring low emissions and automatic transmission are included in the Motability range, as are Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles.

What if I need adaptations?

You may need your Motability car adapted in some way to help your driving or travelling experience. You may need some changes to help you get in and out of your car, for example, or to enable you to drive, or adaptations may be necessary for the car to carry your scooter or wheelchair.

Some adaptations can be done at no extra cost to you whereas others will be available at a discounted cost. Cars can be adapted before you start the lease or during the period of the lease.

What is included in the Motability car package?

As well as the cost of your lease and help with any adaptations, your Motability car package comes with a host of benefits. It includes a fully comprehensive insurance policy from RSA Mobility to ensure peace of mind. Even if you won’t be the driver of the car you can name two drivers to drive on your behalf. If you move on from the Motability scheme in the future, your claims history can be carried over to your new insurer.

All servicing and maintenance is included and carried out by your dealer so there’ll be no unexpected costs. Annual car tax payments are covered and you will also be entitled to full breakdown help from the RAC.

Worn or damaged tyres will be replaced at no cost by Kwik Fit and your windscreen will be repaired or replaced if necessary at no cost to you. You get a 60,000 mileage allowance for your three-year contract with a 5p charge per additional mile when you return the car if the mileage allowance has been exceeded.

What will I have to pay for?

As with any car lease, you will be responsible for fuel costs and for paying for consumables such as screen wash. You will need to pay for any optional extras fitted to your Motability car and for some adaptations. Any fines you incur will have to be paid and the package doesn’t include cover for damage to or the theft of personal belongings in the car. Finally, there is an insurance excess of at least £75 on any claims for damage or loss – the actual amount is dependent on the driver’s age and experience.

Best cars available on motability in 2020

- SEAT Leon ST estate - very practical and great motability car

- Renault Captur SUV - more practical than the previous versions, fitted with a safety kit

- Nissan Qashqai SUV - great for longer trips as well as in the city

- Ford Focus hatchback - great performance and efficiency

- Honda Jazz hatchback - big boot, simple and easy to drive

All these cars are eligible on the motability scheme so you have a good range to choose from!

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