Is Motability Coming to an End?

Motability, a scheme that helps disabled individuals in the UK obtain vehicles in exchange for their mobility allowance, has proven to be a valuable resource for many people. The programme provides a wide range of cars, scooters and powered wheelchairs to meet the diverse needs of its members. However, with changes to disability benefits and other factors, some might wonder whether Motability is coming to an end.

While there have been alterations to the structure of benefits and the transition from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to Personal Independence Payment (PIP), the Motability Scheme continues to offer its services for eligible individuals. As long as a person has at least 12 months remaining on their mobility allowance, they can still apply for a vehicle through the scheme. Various end-of-lease options are available for those who have reached the end of their lease term, ensuring that members understand the next steps in the process.

In summary, the Motability Scheme is not coming to an end but may undergo further changes as policies and benefits are adjusted. It remains a crucial support system for disabled people in the UK, providing accessible transportation solutions that cater to their unique needs.

The Motability Scheme

History and Purpose

The Motability Scheme was introduced in 1977 to provide a way for people with disabilities to lease a car, scooter, or powered wheelchair using their government-funded mobility allowance. The Scheme’s primary aim was to help people with disabilities achieve greater independence and improve their quality of life by providing them with suitable and affordable transport solutions. Over the years, the Scheme has evolved and expanded to include more people with various types of disabilities, ranging from physical impairments to mental health conditions and long-term illnesses.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the Motability Scheme, you must be in receipt of one of the following mobility allowances:

  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA) with the higher rate mobility component
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP) with the enhanced mobility component
  • War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement (WPMS)
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP)

In addition to being in receipt of a qualifying mobility allowance, you need to have at least 12 months remaining on your award when applying for a Motability vehicle. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or Social Security Scotland administer these allowances, and eligibility for the Scheme varies based on individual circumstances and the type of disability or condition.

The Scottish Government has introduced new benefits in Scotland, such as the Child Disability Payment and Adult Disability Payment. These benefits are planned to replace DLA and PIP in Scotland, with people being gradually moved over to the new system. It is important to stay informed about changes in the eligibility criteria or application process for these benefits to ensure that you maintain your access to the Motability Scheme.

Vehicle Options and Leasing

Types of Vehicles

The Motability Scheme offers a wide range of vehicle options for individuals with disabilities. Participants in the scheme can choose from nearly 500 different cars, including standard passenger cars, Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs), powered wheelchairs, and scooters. Many major car manufacturers participate in the programme, providing vehicles that cater to various needs and preferences.

Motability vehicles are leased via the scheme, typically with a 3-year lease agreement, although longer lease options are sometimes available. The leasing process begins with applying for eligibility, which requires a valid passport, driving licence and proof of award entitlement.

Adaptations and Accessibility

Adaptations can be made to vehicles within the Motability Scheme to improve their usability for disabled drivers and passengers. These adaptations can include hand controls, wheelchair storage solutions, or even automated steering, braking, and acceleration systems. Many of these adaptations are available at no additional cost to customers, although some modifications may require an additional contribution.

It’s important to discuss your specific requirements with a Motability dealer during the initial, as they can help guide you through the available options and recommend suitable vehicles, adaptations, and additional equipment. For some individuals, a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) might be more suitable, as these are designed specifically to accommodate wheelchair users. WAVs can be fully customised to meet the needs of the individual and are available through the Motability Scheme.

Mileage Limit, Vehicle Tax, and Condition

Under the Motability Scheme, there’s an annual mileage limit of 20,000 miles for a standard lease. However, customers who have driven fewer than 15,000 miles during their lease may be eligible to extend the lease for an additional one or two years. In this case, the annual mileage allowance may remain at 20,000 miles.

Vehicle tax is included in the Motability lease agreement, so customers do not need to worry about additional vehicle tax costs. The condition of the vehicle is a key consideration during the lease period, and customers must ensure that they maintain their vehicle’s condition and serviceability, per manufacturer recommendations. Returns should also be made with consideration to fair wear and tear.

In conclusion, the Motability Scheme is a valuable resource for individuals with disabilities, offering a wide range of vehicle options, tailored adaptations, and accessible equipment. With the ongoing availability and support of the scheme, it doesn’t seem that Motability is coming to an end anytime soon.

Finances and Payments

Costs and Lease Agreements

Motability is a UK-based scheme that offers disabled people the opportunity to lease a car, scooter, or powered wheelchair. The scheme partners with various manufacturers to provide a wide range of vehicles to suit different needs.

Customers typically pay an advance payment upfront and use their annual mobility allowance to cover ongoing costs, such as routine maintenance or servicing. The advance payment amount varies, depending on the specific vehicle that a customer selects.

In some cases, customers can opt for a lease extension instead of returning their vehicle at the end of their standard lease term. Motability also offers a ‘Good Condition Bonus’ for those who return their vehicles without significant damage, with rewards amounting to £600 for standard vehicles and £900 for wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs) source.

Support and Insurance

Motability provides various forms of support to customers to ensure a hassle-free experience. This includes comprehensive insurance, which covers:

  • Accidents and theft
  • Damage to the vehicle or other property
  • Liability for injury to others

Insurance is available for up to two named drivers, and Motability customers are responsible for any applicable insurance excess fees.

In addition to insurance, the scheme offers a range of other services to support customers:

  • Servicing and maintenance
  • Breakdown assistance
  • Annual road tax
  • Replacement tyres
  • Windscreen repair and replacement
  • Adaptations, if needed

Overall, the Motability scheme offers comprehensive financial and practical support to disabled customers looking to lease a vehicle.

Selecting a New Motability Vehicle

Finding a Suitable Car or Vehicle

When your current lease is coming to an end, the first step in selecting a new Motability vehicle is to research and find a suitable car or vehicle that meets your needs. You can explore a variety of options, such as small SUVs, electric cars, or other types of vehicles. For example, you may be considering an electric car with a considerable driving range or popular models like the Vauxhall Mokka, Ford Puma, or Peugeot 2008.

It’s important to consider factors such as seating and storage capacity, accessibility, and any adaptations that may be required for your specific needs. You can also consult with a Motability specialist at your chosen dealer for personalised advice and support.

Trade and Transition

Once you’ve identified a suitable new Motability vehicle, you can initiate the application and trade process. Three months before your current lease ends, you will be contacted by Motability with information about choosing a new vehicle.

To start the process, you can create a Motability Scheme online account and input your details, allowance, and driver information. This allows the dealer to focus on finding the right car for you when you visit them. During the transition period, you should also consider the following aspects:

  • Vehicle availability and delivery times; due to the current global situation, delivery times may be longer than usual, so it’s best to plan accordingly.
  • Discuss potential adaptations and support necessary for your new vehicle with your dealer or Motability specialist.
  • Finalise the new vehicle payment and collect or arrange delivery of your new Motability vehicle.

In summary, selecting a new Motability vehicle involves researching suitable options, consulting with a Motability specialist, and managing the transition from your current lease. By considering factors such as vehicle type, accessibility, and adaptations, you can make an informed decision and enjoy a seamless trade and transition process.

Managing Your Account

Online Account and Updates

The Motability Scheme offers an online account for users to manage their lease flexibly, receive payments quicker, and add or change drivers. To create an account, follow the steps on their website and provide the necessary information. Once your account is set up, you can:

  • Start your application at any time
  • Save time during dealer visits
  • Access important lease details
  • Update personal information
  • Add or change drivers

During the COVID-19 pandemic, having an online account makes managing your lease even more convenient, as it allows you to handle important tasks from home without needing direct physical contact.

Customer Service and Support

Motability prides itself on providing excellent customer service and support to its users. If you need assistance with any aspect of your account, you can:

  • Call their helpline at 0300 456 4566
  • Contact them via social media channels
  • Use the online chat feature on their website
  • Email or write to their customer service team

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to stay informed about any updates or changes to the Motability Scheme’s procedures. You can find relevant news and information by visiting their newsroom and signing up for newsletters to receive regular updates.

In summary, managing your Motability account is easy and convenient, thanks to the online account feature and the high-quality customer service and support provided by the Motability Scheme.

FAQs and Additional Information

Breakdown Cover and Servicing

Motability Scheme users enjoy peace of mind as the agreement includes comprehensive breakdown cover provided by the RAC. This cover encompasses roadside assistance, vehicle recovery, and onward travel solutions to ensure limited disruption during unforeseen circumstances.

Additionally, the Motability Scheme takes care of essential maintenance and servicing through your chosen car dealer. This includes regular safety checks, tyre replacements, and any necessary repairs due to normal wear and tear.

Common Questions and Concerns

  • What if I need to end my Motability lease early? Early termination of your lease is possible under specific circumstances, such as significant changes in personal or financial situations. However, it may be subject to concessions, and you should consult with Motability for detailed guidance.
  • How is my eligibility for Motability assessed? The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) typically conducts Face-to-Face assessments to determine an individual’s eligibility for Motability allowances. You need at least 12 months remaining on your mobility allowance to join the scheme.
  • Are scooters and powered wheelchairs included in the scheme? Yes, the Motability Scheme covers scooters and powered wheelchairs, providing the user with a wider range of mobility solutions.
  • Is AdBlue covered by Motability? The cost of AdBlue, essential for some vehicles to reduce emissions, is included in your Motability lease agreement.
  • What should I do when my Motability lease ends? Three months before your lease ends, Motability will contact you to help you choose a new vehicle. If you’re unable to find a new car before your current lease expires, Motability may extend your lease for six months.

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