Can I Get a Second Hand Car with Motability


When considering the Motability Scheme, many people are curious whether they can obtain a second-hand car through this service. Motability is a popular initiative that allows individuals with qualifying disabilities to use their allowances to lease a new vehicle, helping them maintain mobility and independence. However, there are some limitations to the types of vehicles available through the scheme.

It is important to note that the Motability Scheme primarily offers brand new and unregistered cars for lease. The only exception to this rule involves Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs). While not all new WAVs are available through the nearly new WAV scheme, a limited range of previously registered WAVs may be accessible at times.

Despite not being able to obtain a second-hand car directly through the Motability Scheme, there is still the option to consider purchasing an ex-Motability used vehicle. These cars often have lower than average mileage and are well-maintained throughout their lease period. Although acquiring such a vehicle would not fall within the Motability Scheme itself, the option exists for those interested in a second-hand car with a Motability history.

Understanding Motability Scheme

Eligibility Criteria

The Motability Scheme is a UK-based initiative designed to provide disabled individuals with greater mobility and independence. To be eligible for the scheme, you must be receiving one of the following: Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Disability Living Allowance (DLA), War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement (WPMS), or Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP). Additionally, you need to have at least 12 months remaining on your award to qualify for Motability. If you’re not the disabled person, but they’re your dependent or you act as their carer, you may also be eligible to apply on their behalf.

Benefits of the Scheme

There are several benefits to using the Motability Scheme, including:

  • Access to a range of new cars, Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs), scooters, and powered wheelchairs.
  • Comprehensive insurance for up to three named drivers, allowing family members or carers to drive the vehicle on the participant’s behalf if needed 1.
  • Servicing, maintenance, and repairs are included, ensuring that your vehicle remains in top working order throughout the lease.
  • Road tax, tyre replacement, and windscreen repair are covered, providing worry-free motoring.
  • The choice to add adaptations to the vehicle to make driving, stowing equipment, or getting in and out of the car easier, often at no extra cost.

Motability Allowance

When participating in the Motability Scheme, your mobility allowance is exchanged for a brand-new vehicle or mobility aid of your choice. These allowances include the PIP, DLA, WPMS or AFIP 2. It’s important to note that the cost of the chosen vehicle may impact the amount of your remaining allowance. Depending on your financial situation, Motability may also offer charitable grants to help cover the costs of vehicles, adaptations, or driving lessons for those who would otherwise be unable to afford them 3.

Getting a Second Hand Car with Motability

Ex-Motability Cars

Ex-Motability cars are vehicles that have previously been used in the Motability Scheme, which is designed to help individuals with qualifying disabilities lease brand-new cars through their disability allowances. These second-hand cars tend to be in good condition and have low mileage, as Motability drivers rarely reach the 20,000 miles per year limit on the lease agreements 1. In fact, many ex-Motability cars come with a history of regular servicing and a proven record of adhering to maintenance schedules, making them an attractive option for prospective buyers.

Lease Agreements and Payments

The terms and conditions of a Motability lease agreement usually last for three years, after which the leaseholder has the option to return the vehicle or purchase it outright 2. In some cases, the leaseholder may choose to buy the car themselves or sell it to a dealer. Such ex-Motability cars often have attractive prices and can offer good value for money, albeit not being purchasable through the Motability Scheme 3.

It is important to note that there are no provisions for purchasing second hand cars through the Motability Scheme directly4. The Scheme primarily focuses on leasing new vehicles to benefit individuals with disabilities, offering additional support such as insurance, breakdown assistance, and servicing. Consequently, the option to buy a used ex-Motability car typically arises after the initial lease period elapses.

Insurance and Servicing

One of the key benefits of leasing a car through the Motability Scheme is the support and assistance it provides regarding insurance, servicing, and maintenance. However, when purchasing a second-hand ex-Motability car outside of the Motability Scheme, these benefits are no longer available. As a buyer, it’s essential to consider the additional costs and responsibilities associated with owning a used car, such as securing insurance, maintaining the vehicle, and covering any servicing fees.

In summary, it is not possible to acquire a second-hand car directly through the Motability Scheme. However, ex-Motability cars can offer a reliable and affordable option for potential buyers after the conclusion of their lease agreements, provided they consider insurance and maintenance costs independently.

Adaptations and Specifications

Vehicle Modifications

Motability offers a wide range of adaptations to make vehicles more accessible and comfortable for people with disabilities. Many of these adaptations are available at no additional cost, as long as they are fitted at the start of your lease. Some common vehicle modifications include:

  • Hand controls for acceleration and braking
  • Steering aids
  • Swivel seats for easier access
  • Wheelchair hoists and stowage systems

If you’re considering a second hand car through Motability, it’s important to ensure that the necessary adaptations are compatible with the chosen vehicle.

Mobility Scooters and Powered Wheelchairs

Motability also provides access to mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs for those who may not require a full-sized adapted vehicle. They offer a range of options, including:

  • Small scooters suitable for short journeys and easy manoeuvrability
  • Mid-range scooters for longer distances
  • Large, road-legal scooters for travelling at speed and covering greater distances
  • Powered wheelchairs with various control systems and seating options

Electric Cars and Adaptations

Electric cars are becoming increasingly popular, and Motability is expanding its offering of electric vehicles. Electric cars have numerous benefits, including lower emissions, reduced fuel costs, and a smoother driving experience. Many adaptations, such as hand controls, steering aids, and wheelchair stowage systems, can be fitted to electric cars, making them suitable for those with disabilities. Be sure to check compatibility if you’re considering an electric vehicle as your second hand Motability car.

Purchasing an Ex-Motability Car

Guide to Buying Used Motability Cars

When looking to purchase a used Motability car, it’s essential to consider a few factors. Ex-Motability cars have the advantage of being well-maintained, with a full service history, and often having low mileage, as most vehicles don’t get close to the 20,000 miles per year limit set by Motability.

Before making a decision, research the various dealers that sell ex-Motability cars. It’s important to test drive the vehicle and ensure that it meets your needs in terms of comfort, accessibility, and ease of use.

When you decide to move forward with a purchase, you can often part-exchange your current car if buying through a dealer.

RAC and AA Checks

For added peace of mind and to ensure that you’re making a sound investment, it’s a good idea to have the used Motability car undergo both RAC and AA checks. These checks provide detailed information on the vehicle’s history, maintenance records, and any necessary repairs.

Remember that ex-Motability cars come from the Motability Scheme, a charity that offers individuals with qualifying disabilities the opportunity to use their Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) to lease a new car. As a result, these vehicles are generally well-maintained and often subjected to rigorous checks by Motability themselves.

Keep in mind, though, to always verify the car’s history and be confident in its condition before making a purchase, regardless of its origin.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get a second-hand car with Motability?

The Motability Scheme is only available for brand new and unregistered cars. However, there is an exception for Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs), which can be available as nearly new vehicles through the Motability nearly new WAV scheme.

What does the Motability Scheme include?

The Motability Scheme covers the cost of a new car, as well as insurance for up to three named drivers, servicing, maintenance, breakdown cover, and road tax. There may be additional costs, such as a deposit, depending on the specific car and lease agreement.

How long does the lease agreement last?

Lease agreements typically last for three years. At the end of the term, the car must be returned, and a new agreement can be made if the individual wishes to continue with the Motability Scheme.

Can a child or young person join the Motability Scheme?

Yes, young people receiving a qualifying mobility allowance can join the Motability Scheme. The minimum age for a named driver on the scheme is 17 years. It is essential to have the motability specialist at the dealership ensure the eligibility of the young person, and the chosen car meets their needs.

How do I manage my Motability Scheme account?

An online account can be created for updates and making payments. The PIN provided during the application process will be needed to access the online account.

Will the vehicle include a warranty and maintenance?

Yes, the Motability Scheme covers maintenance, servicing, and a manufacturer’s warranty for the duration of the lease agreement.

Are there any restrictions on using the Motability car?

A Motability car should primarily be used for the benefit of the disabled person, but named drivers can also use the car for their personal needs. The vehicle should not be used as a taxi, for business purposes or to deliver goods.

Can I sell my Motability car at the end of the lease?

No, the Motability car remains the property of the Motability Scheme. Once the lease agreement ends, the vehicle is returned, and Motability may sell the car through auctions or other channels.

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