What is Motability?

Are you entitled to a discounted car lease through Motability? Everything you need to know about the Motability Scheme

By BuyaCar team

Motability is a scheme designed to help people who have a mobility allowance to lease a car at a discounted price. Essentially, this is a long-term rental car that you pay for weekly with the mobility allowance. The scheme will also include insurance, servicing and breakdown cover and allows eligible people to get a new car every three years.

There are some cars that are covered entirely by the allowance, such as the Ford Fiesta and the Hyundai i10, and the only cost needed to pay will be for fuel. More expensive cars can also be purchased using the Motability Scheme but require an advanced payment similar to an initial rental payment on a PCH lease or a deposit on a PCP finance deal.

You can add up to two additional drivers to cars leased using the Motability Scheme. This means that you don’t have to have a driving licence to benefit from the scheme, as parents, friends or named carers can drive the car instead.

BuyaCar does not offer Motability cars, but check our car reviews to help you find the best car for your needs.

Which allowances are eligible for Motability?

To be eligible for the Motability Scheme you must be receiving one of the following allowances with at least 12 months remaining:

  • Enhanced Rate Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment (ERMC PIP) Allowance of £62.55 per week as of 12 April 2021.
  • Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance (HRMC DLA) Allowance of £62.55 per week as of 14 April 2021.
  • Higher Rate Mobility Component of Child Disability Payment (Scotland) Allowance of £62.55 per week as of 26 July 2021.
  • War Pensioners' Mobility Supplement (WPMS) Allowance of £69.85 per week as of 26 July 2021.
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP) An allowance is £62.55 per week as of 14 April 2020.

What is included in the Motability scheme?

Alongside the car, the weekly cost of Motability will provide the following:

You will have to pay for your fuel and you will have a mileage allowance of up to 60,000 miles over three years. If you go over the limit, then you’ll be charged 5p per extra mile at the end of the term.

What happens at the end of a Motability agreement?

After three years, you hand the car back and can begin another lease with a new car or leave the scheme.

If you would prefer to keep your car for a bit longer, then it is often possible to extend the lease. This is more commonly allowed with cars that have covered a low mileage.

When you return the car, it is inspected. Normal wear and tear such as minor scratches or even small dents caused by a wheelchair are permitted. If there’s no serious damage, then you may be eligible for the ‘Good Condition Bonus’ of £600 (£900 on cars with a five year lease). The car is then sold on.

How much does a Motability car cost to lease each week?

It depends on what vehicle you choose but there are quite a few cars that cost less than the mobility allowance, meaning you wouldn’t have to pay anything other than fuel costs and also receive the remaining allowance for any expenditures.

Even more cars cost the same as the mobility allowance. You’ll never see the money because it is paid straight to Motability. You can choose a more expensive car by making a one-off advance payment to cover the difference - generally, you’ll need to pay something upfront if you need or want something bigger than a city car or supermini. Leases are around 40% lower than standard rates.

Can I get a Motability car if I don’t get a disability allowance?

No. There’s not an option to lease the cars privately.

Who runs Motability?

The Motability charity is in charge of the scheme. It has been going since 1977 and its patron is the Queen. The day-to-day operations are contracted out to a company called Motability Operations, which is owned by four major banks: Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland.

Who can drive a Motability car?

The scheme is intended to give claimants of the allowances mentioned above independence or to help them in their daily lives. For this reason, the claimant and up to two named drivers who care for or provide assistance to the claimant can be insured on the car and drive it.

What cars are available with Motability??

Most mainstream cars are available on the Motability scheme, from city cars like the Citroen C1 to family hatchbacks such as the Ford Focus. SUVs and people carriers are also available. Even hybrid and electric cars are available to lease on the scheme.

Wheelchair accessible vehicles, called WAVs, are also available, as are mobility scooters. Full details of every vehicle on the Motability scheme can be found at www.motability.co.uk.

Where can I get a Motability car?

Many dealerships have a dedicated Motability area and specialist salespeople to cater for the needs of customers. They can show you specific features of a car, or suggest models that can cater for your requirements - whether that’s a must-have feature or a model that will be particularly easy to get in and out of.

These specialists tend to be your port of call throughout your lease. Motability’s Find a Dealer page lets you filter by manufacturer and location.

What about car adaptations?

Motability has access to over 350 types of adaptations, many available at no extra cost. They are designed to make driving easier, and improve accessibility or stowage of essential items. These include hand controls, steering wheel add-ons and lifts that hoist a wheelchair into the boot.

Can I order a Motability car online?

No. You have to visit a dealership to order the car, as the dealership’s specialist will sort it all out for you.


1. Vauxhall Corsa

Used deals from £5,795
Monthly finance from £124.21*

The latest Vauxhall Corsa is often the UK’s best-selling car, and it’s sophisticated enough to compete with the very best superminis. We think it looks an awful lot smarter than before, and there’s a surprising array of technology on board too.

Most will probably choose the 1.2-litre petrol engine, which balances economy and acceleration with aplomb. An electric Corsa-e has joined the line-up this time around, as well, and impressively this can be had with nothing to pay upfront - even if you pick a top-spec model.


2. Hyundai Ioniq

Used deals Limited stock

There are three flavours of Ioniq - electric, plug-in hybrid, and hybrid. Only the regular Hybrid is available with no money down.

As you’d imagine, it’s filled with tech that includes autonomous braking, adaptive cruise control (automatically adjusts speed on motorway) and blind spot detection.

The whole family can come along too - there’s room for five and the boot is decently sized - it’s larger than what the Toyota Prius can offer. The Ioniq also comes with a five-year warranty.

Interestingly, now the Hyundai Kona Electric in SE Connect trim is also available with no money paid upfront.


3. Suzuki Vitara

Used deals from £7,995
Monthly finance from £144.22*

The Vitara, in case you didn’t know, is Suzuki’s SUV. It used to be all rugged but now has got softer (and better for most people) - although there’s still a pleasingly chunky feel inside. Back seat space and headroom are surprisingly generous, and the boot’s a reasonably practical 375 litres.

The Vitara is reasonably good to drive. It now features a mild-hybrid 1.4-litre petrol engine across the range, which is quite sprightly. Pair that with light steering and the Vitara should be a doddle to pilot around town.

Two versions are available with no money down - SZ4 and SZ-T specifications. Both get digital radio, air conditioning and adaptive cruise control, but we’d pick the SZ-T for its touchscreen, smartphone mirroring and reversing camera.


4. Citroen C3

Used deals from £5,995
Monthly finance from £138.45*

The Citroen C3 is a rival to the Ford Fiesta but, unlike the Ford, it doesn’t want to be sporty. It’s one of the comfiest cars on sale today, with suspension that smooths over Britain’s poorly surfaced roads, and equally settled engines.

You can expect fuel economy of around 45mpg from the 1.2-litre petrol engine, and there’s a choice of manual or automatic gearboxes.

Both are available with no money down, as are a couple of different trim levels so you can pick how much equipment you’d like.


5. Seat Arona

Used deals Limited stock

The Seat Arona is the archetypal small SUV and does a great job of eeking out as much space from the cabin as possible.

It even does a good job of feeling responsive to drive. It’s composed in all situations and comfortable, and has a good mix fuel economy rating too– up to 48mpg.

Our pick of the range would be the petrol-powered 1.0 TSI engine, in 115hp specification - which is available with no money down.