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Ex-Motability cars: Should you buy one?

March 24, 2022 by

You may have heard of Motability. It’s a charity that leases new cars to disabled people as part of their mobility allowance. But should you buy an ex-Motability car? Read on to find out.

Buying an ex-Motability can be a great way to get a nearly new car for a bargain price. Most Motability leases end after three years, so the car won’t be much older than this and there can be some great discounts to be had.

This handy guide will walk you through all the pros and cons of buying an ex-Motability car and help you decide whether this is the right route for you.

What is an ex-Motability car?

Motability is a charity set up to lease new cars to disabled people in the UK at a discounted rate using their Personal Independence Payment (disability benefit). If the model they want is slightly more expensive, they can also supplement the payment with their own money.

Motability runs one of the biggest fleets of cars in the country, with around 1 in 10 cars sold going to the charity. This means they are often plenty of ex-Motability cars available on the used-car market.

A mobility lease tends to last for three years, after which the car is returned and usually sold to a dealer.

Any salesman should tell you if the car you’re looking at is ex-Motability, however, some don’t so be sure to ask.

What are the pros and cons of buying an ex-Motability car?

There are a few things you should consider before buying an ex-Motability car. Listed below are a few advantages and disadvantages.

Pros of buying an ex-Motability car

  • Motability leases cars for three years, and the cost of the lease includes servicing and repair costs. This means the car should have been well maintained. Just keep in mind that Motability only pays for two services, so check that the third one has been done by the dealer you buy the car from.
  • The majority of Motability cars will be low mileage. The charity allows customers 20,000 miles per year, however, not many users get anywhere near this figure.
  • Cars from Motability tend to be cheaper than other cars on the market, despite being well maintained and low mileage. This means you can bag a bargain if you look carefully.

Cons of buying an ex-Motability car

  • While a lot of Motability cars will be low mileage, many have only been used for short trips. Regularly doing short journeys that don’t allow the car to warm up properly can cause premature wear of some components, so be sure to check the car thoroughly.
  • Ex-Motability cars tend to depreciate faster than your typical used car. This means that while you may have picked it up cheap, it may be worth less than a comparable non-Motability car when you sell it on.
  • As with any used and ex-lease cars, the previous owners may not have treated the car well if they planned to replace it after a few years. Look out for damage to the bodywork and interior.

Should I buy an ex-Motability car?

You shouldn’t be put off buying a used car if it’s ex-Motability. They can be just as high quality as any other used car on the market and they’re often cheaper as well.

As with any used car, you just need to look out for any damage or malfunctions. Check the service history as well to make sure the third service has been carried out.

Make sure to test drive it as well to make sure it’s mechanically sound. If you’re not sure you have the knowledge to assess the car properly, take someone with you who does.

Where to buy ex-Motability cars

When a Motability lease ends, the customer will return the car to the dealership, who will usually buy the car from Motability and sell it on their used forecourt. These cars are usually low mileage and well maintained, exactly what dealers want in their stock.

This means you will usually find ex-Motability cars amongst the used cars for sale at main dealers. A lot of them may even be sold through the manufacturer’s approved used scheme, meaning you get a warranty as well.

If the dealer doesn’t want the car, then Motability will collect it and carry out any refurbishment work before listing them for sale with dealers across the country. They can end up with larger car supermarkets, or smaller local dealers.

If no dealers are interested in a car, (it may have high mileage or an undesirable spec) then Motability will put it into an auction to the general public.

Ex-Motability cars FAQs

Are ex-Motability cars good value?

Ex-Motability cars are often cheaper than equivalent used cars that weren’t sold through the scheme, despite the fact that they’re usually well maintained and have low mileage.

As long as you do your due diligence when it comes to checking the car over, you may be able to bag a bargain with an ex-Motability car.

Do ex-Motability cars still have warranty cover?

This will depend on a few things. Most ex-Motability cars will be at least three years old, which is the length of most manufacturers’ warranties. If the manufacturer warranty is longer than this – Kia offers a seven-year warranty, for example – then there’s no reason that this wouldn’t be carried over.

If your ex-Motability car is being sold through an approved used scheme, this will often include around a year’s worth of warranty as well.

Can I part exchange my car for an ex-Motability car?

If you’re buying an ex-Motability car from a dealer, then you should be able to part exchange your car just as you would in any other car purchase. Check with the dealer to find out more.

Who sells ex-Motability cars?

Most ex-Motability cars will be sold by the same dealers who sold them new. They can also find their way to car supermarkets and local independent dealers as well.

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