Motability is a charitable organisation that helps people who claim disability allowance get behind the wheel of a brand new car. It’s a straightforward process so the toughest part may actually be choosing which car to buy – more than 2,000 models are featured in the scheme. We’ve picked out 10 of the best choices on the market.
To find out more about the scheme – how it works, who is eligible and which cars are available – take a look at our full Motability guide. To see more great options, our new car deals page will help you save money on a new car.
- Suzuki Vitara
- Mazda MX-5
- Mini Hatchback
- Hyundai Tucson
- Audi A3
- Renault Captur
- Vauxhall Astra
- Ford Grand Tourneo Connect
- Dacia Sandero
- Nissan X-Trail
1. Suzuki Vitara
The Suzuki Vitara is one of our top picks in the compact crossover class. It blends chunky looks, a roomy cabin and fun handling with a competitive price – entry-level versions cost less than £15,000. The mid-range SZ-T trim comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, a rear parking camera and sat nav. In this spec, the Vitara doesn’t require an advance payment to secure it on Motability.
The 1.6-litre petrol engine is enthusiastic and, driven with a delicate right foot, can achieve 53.3mpg. There’s even an optional four-wheel-drive system available for top-spec models that makes the Vitara pretty capable off road.
2. Mazda MX-5
The Mazda MX-5 proves the Motability scheme isn’t all about practical family cars. Its compact rear-wheel-drive layout makes it one of the most exciting and involving cars available. You can choose between a 1.5-litre petrol engine or a more powerful 2.0-litre unit that can sprint this Japanese drop-top from 0-62mph in 7.3-seconds.
The MX-5 is the only two-seat roadster offered on the scheme and there’s a variety of trim levels to choose from. Advance payments cost from just less than £1,000 for the 1.5-litre model in SE trim, rising to £1,849 for the top spec 2.0-litre Sport version.
3. Mini Hatchback
Few superminis can match the Mini’s style and character. Its retro looks are instantly recognisable and there’s a huge range of colours, roof finishes and customisable decals to help it stand out on the road. The good news continues inside too – it not only looks distinctive, but its build quality shames many other cars in its class.
A zingy 1.5-litre petrol engine suits its sharp, grippy handling perfectly but it’s worth considering a diesel if you regularly travel long distances – the 1.5-litre variant can return 83.1mpg. Prices through the scheme vary depending on each specific model – three door petrol cars require no advance payment, while a diesel with a more practical five-door body style costs £399 up-front.
Read our Mini Hatchback review for more details.
4. Hyundai Tucson
The Hyundai Tucson makes great sense whether bought outright or ordered through Motability. There’s plenty of space inside, loads of legroom for rear seat passengers and a 513-litre boot that’s one of the biggest in its class. It’s comfy too, and the high driving position gives you a great view of the road ahead.
Choose an efficient 1.7-litre diesel model in SE trim – fitted with air conditioning and rear parking sensors as standard – and it’ll cost you just £349 up-front on Motability. A more powerful 2.0-litre diesel version – a great choice if you want to tow a trailer or caravan – can be had for £1,049 in advance, too.
5. Audi A3
The Audi A3 manages to nail the premium hatchback brief almost perfectly. It’s sensible and practical but, thanks to a beautifully built interior and classy styling, feels more upmarket than almost all its rivals. The entry-level 1.0-litre turbocharged engine offers strong performance and can return an impressive 62.8mpg in official tests.
The A3 is available through Motability without an upfront payment in three-door trim or £99 for the roomier five-door Sportback model. That’ll get you the SE version – complete with 16-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, and xenon headlights with LED running lights.
6. Renault Captur
The Renault Captur brings a little French flair to the compact crossover class and makes a great choice if you find the Suzuki Vitara a little drab looking. It’s offered with an excellent 1.5-litre diesel engine that’s not only smooth and refined but can return an impressive 76.4mpg. If you mainly potter about town, you may find one of the smaller petrol units a better choice, however.
Equipment levels in the Dynamique model are great, too – you’ll get 17-inch alloy wheels, climate control and a seven-inch touchscreen navigation system as standard. Best of all, it won’t cost a penny up front on the Motability plan.
7. Vauxhall Astra
As it stands, few rivals can touch the Vauxhall Astra in the family hatchback class. There’s so little to fault – ride quality, handling and refinement are all among the very best. There’s a huge range of strong petrol and diesel engines on offer and build quality and passenger space are up there with the class leaders.
It’s possible to bag an Astra in SRi trim – powered by a peppy 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine – without any initial payment thanks to the Motability scheme. It offers all of the goodies you’ll need, too – 17-inch alloy wheels, cruise control and sports front seats.
8. Ford Grand Tourneo Connect
The van-derived Ford Grand Tourneo Connect people carrier is vast inside – access to the cabin through the sliding rear doors is easy, passengers are spoiled for leg and headroom and, if you fold the rear two seat rows down, its 2,620-litre boot is more than big enough to swallow a bicycle, a wheelchair, or even a small horse.
We’d recommend the 118hp 1.5-litre diesel – it’s easily strong enough to lug around a car this size and it’s a little more frugal than the harder-worked 99hp unit. Top-spec Titanium models offer the best value for money through the Motability scheme – 16-inch alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, Bluetooth connectivity and cruise control all come standard.
9. Dacia Sandero
The Dacia Sandero is the cheapest car on sale in the UK. It keeps its strong value for money through the Motability scheme too – at £51 per month, it’ll cost less than the scheme’s monthly allowance. For that price, you’ll secure a turbocharged 0.9-litre model in Ambiance spec. Its performance is more than adequate and it claims an average of 56.5mpg.
Cabin space is great and its 320-litre boot is larger than both the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa. The plastics in the cabin feel a little scratchy and equipment levels are fairly basic – even alloy wheels are an optional extra – but it’s hard to knock the Sandero when it’s so cheap.
10. Nissan X-Trail
The Nissan X-Trail could be perfect for those who want the versatility of a practical seven-seater with the style of a full-size SUV. A diesel version in mid-range Acenta trim is available on Motability for a £649 advance payment. This model comes with numerous goodies as standard, including a panoramic glass roof, front and rear parking sensors and climate control.
The pick of the engine range is a 1.6-litre diesel. It has plenty of torque – for those times when you need to cart around seven people or tow a trailer – and can return 57.6mpg, making it one of the most frugal seven-seat SUVs available.
Save money on your next new car
To find out more, read our full Motability guide or check out our new car deals page if you’re not eligible for the scheme. If you’ve already picked the perfect new car, use our PCP calculator to get a better idea of how much it could cost per month or use our car chooser if you’re not sure what to buy.