The Motability Scheme has been running in the UK since 1978 and has helped millions of people young and old. 600,000 currently use the scheme which has been designed to help disabled people to improve their independence through the use of affordable mobility equipment and vehicles.
Anyone who receives mobility allowances from the government can claim on Motability, which effectively exchanges the money they receive to lease a mobility scooter, motorised wheelchair, or a car.
The Motability charity work with Motability dealers across the country to provide affordable deals that are available from the majority of leading car brands. To help you save money when using the Motability Scheme, we’ve put together a few simple buying tips to think about when buying your Motability car.
Use dealers offering discounts of cashback deals
The price of Motability cars is negotiated between the Motability charity and the vehicle manufacturers. This can mean that the price is subsidised and the price for Motability cars can be better than those available on the standard car market.
A lot of Motability deals will be available with no deposit required, but these tend to be the lower models in the range. Nevertheless, you can still find some of the most popular hatchbacks and SUVs on the market with nil advance payments on the Motability model. With the upgraded models you may be required to pay a deposit but these are often subsidised and can be very low in comparison to a standard car.
Unless you are after a luxury vehicle you can find some excellent cars that you can lease without a deposit. One of the benefits of Motability too is that you can lease a new car every 3 years, so you are not tied in to using a car for longer than that and you can choose to change car at the end of the lease.
Disability motoring specialists MotaClarity have a section on their site that highlights all of the Motability cashback deals and money-saving special offers available at Motability-accredited car dealerships across the UK.
If your on benefits and looking for a loan to fund a new car purchase, you should check out Little Loans.
Save money on Motability adaptations
Motability cars are available with a range of adaptations, which can be made to the vehicle to improve their utility for disabled people. There are three categories of adaptations on offer: seating and stowage, access and driving controls.
Adapted driving controls can be hand controlled pedals which are fixed to the steering wheel so the driver can brake and accelerate without the use of their legs. Motability cars can also have pedal modifications, which can cater to people who have limited movement in a single leg.
Seating and stowage adaptations include mechanical hoists for people and their mobility equipment, plus extended boot space to fit a wheelchair or scooter. If you do need adapted stowage space for your car you may be better off choosing an SUV or MPV as there more room available in the car to use.
A lot of the basic adaptations can be made to the vehicle free of charge, meaning you don’t need to compromise on cost when finding a car that caters to your individual mobility needs. When buying your Motability car make sure the dealer offers the basic adaptations for free.
Choose a greener vehicle
Motability are ‘just add fuel and go’ deals, meaning that tax, insurance and servicing costs are all included in the fees of the lease. So you will still need to think about choosing an economical car to run if you are looking to save money.
Some manufacturers like Peugeot offer plug-in hybrid models on Motability, so you can really save on fuel expense with a hybrid car. An alternative to hybrid are smaller city-cars, these can clock higher miles to the gallon but can lack the space needed for a disabled motorist. There are estate cars available on Motability like the Peugeot 308 SW that is economical to run and also has the rear boot space you may require.
Choose a Reliable named driver
You are able to add two named drivers to your Motability policy, which means that you can designate who drives your Motability car. With this in mind, you should choose someone you can trust and make sure they are an economical driver and use the car in line with the policy of Motability. The claimant must be a beneficiary of the car and if the car is being drive in breach of Motability guidelines you may have to forfeit the vehicle and reinstate your mobility allowance from the Government.