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The Motability Scheme is a great way of keeping mobile if you or a loved one has a disability. It covers everything from electric wheelchairs to wheelchair-adapted cars. To qualify, you have to be claiming one of various benefits – Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Personal Independence Payment (PIP), War Pensioners’ Motability Supplement (WPMS) or the Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP) – and have at least 12 months remaining on your award. The Motability Scheme doesn’t just cover the cost of the car, either – it includes insurance (for up to two named drivers), servicing, roadside assistance and the cost of any modifications (like hand controls and wheelchair hoists). The only thing you pay for is the petrol.
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There is a huge range of cars available through Motability – nearly 2000 different models, actually – from practical and spacious SUVs to small cars ideal for nipping to the shops in. Here our experts put together five of the best.
The Ford Focus is one of the highest-rated cars on carwow and is also offered on the Motability Scheme. It has lots of user-friendly tech, good space and good access and proves that a Motability car can be fun to drive too.
The Peugeot 3008 proves that a practical Motability Scheme car doesn’t need to be boring. The eye-catching looks don’t let up on the inside, either – you get a wraparound design, huge infotainment screens and expensive-feeling metal buttons. The 3008’s boot is one of the biggest you’ll find in a car like this and it is very easy to load.
The Volvo XC40 gets on our best Motability Scheme cars list because it has everything you expect of a Volvo – and it’s also cool. Inside, there’s space for four adults and a week’s worth of luggage, and there are loads of large storage areas hidden around the cabin. It’s a nice car to drive with a good range of options and, because it’s a Volvo, it’s also very safe.
The Volkswagen Tiguan is a great candidate for Best Mobility Car – it's posh without being flashy, it looks smart on the outside and inside you get high-quality plastics, nice looking trim pieces and seats that are firm and supportive. There's loads of space for four passengers and a boot big enough for a whole load of kit.
The Skoda Superb Estate easily makes our best mobility cars list because it’s the ultimate all-rounder. That starts with a huge boot that’ll have no problem swallowing a wheelchair or pretty much anything else. Interior quality is also brilliant and the seats comfortable. It’s a great car for long journeys thanks to its comfortable interior and great range of engines.
Some cars on the Motability scheme require an advanced payment upfront in addition to the weekly mobility allowance. However some Motability cars require no such payment. Here our experts pick their top five.
For a small car, the Volkswagen Polo is very practical and has a distinctly upmarket feel to it. Two adults will be happy in the front and back seats, and the boot will also swallow a couple of large suitcases. The Polo’s comfortable on the motorway and country roads but also small enough to be easy to park in town, and its huge engine range has something for everyone. For all these reasons, it took our Little Legend award at carwow’s 2018 Car of the Year Awards.
The Mini 5-door Hatchback is a smart-looking small car that’s brilliant to drive – proving you can still have fun with a no deposit Motability car. It has a surprisingly upmarket interior with a smart dashboard made from solid-feeling plastics and leather touches in high-spec models. It is practical for a Mini, but not that great compared with other cars.
The sensible-looking Vauxhall Astra is a brilliant family car that’s well-built, practical and fun to drive. Inside, most of the plastics are soft to the touch and you get shiny trim materials. Even basic cars get Apple Carplay and Android Auto so you can use your smartphone’s apps on the car’s big screen. Best of all, you can get it on Motability with no deposit.
A range of popular SUVs are available through the Motability scheme with no advanced payment, including the excellent Kia Sportage. It’s a practical family SUV with space for four adults and a boot that’ll cope with day-to-day and big jobs in equal measure. The Sportage is a very easy car to drive and comes with a range of engines that are cheap to run.
The Hyundai Tucson is a stylish family SUV with a spacious interior and a roomy boo that equips it well for family life. It comes with plenty of equipment as standard too, and you don’t need to pay an advanced deposit if you get it through Motability. The Tucson is available with grippy four-wheel drive and a range of engines that’ll suit a variety of needs.
Motability allows people who already claim disability allowance to lease a car. It's designed to make the process as simple as possible for its customers, bundling insurance, breakdown cover and servicing costs all into one agreement. This means you only pay for the car's petrol.
The funding comes through the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), plus extra grants and donations. To make sure you always get the most from your allowance, Motability negotiates the costs of the cars available every three months.
First, you go to the Motability website and use its Car Search tool to find the perfect car or WAV.
When you find the right one for you, click on "Find a dealer" to locate and contact your nearest dealer and arrange a test drive. (Don't forget to take your driving license, proof of address and certificate of your award with you!)
After the test drive, you can then order your car.
It can take up to eight weeks for Motability to process your application. So, as soon as you know what car/WAV you want, you'd best apply right away!
The scheme is open to anyone who has access to funding through either the Disability Living Allowance (DLA), the Personal Independence Payment (PIP), the War Pensioners’ Motability Supplement (WPMS), or the Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP). Anyone with at least 12 months left on the award – and their carer, parent or nominated driver – is eligible to claim.
The choice through Motability is huge – around 2,000 different models are available to lease through the scheme. They include anything from small city cars to vans specially adapted to provide access for wheelchair users, called Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs). Even sports car fans are available!
Petrol and diesel options are widespread and there’s a selection of hybrids for the eco-conscious drivers.
The Motability Scheme covers your car/WAV for "social, domestic and pleasure purposes". Basically, this means you can use the car for personal purposes and commuting to and from one workplace.
If you work in a few different places or need to drive about to visit customers or employees, you should contact RSA Motability and ask about covering your car for business use.