Motability penalty: do you have the car you need? Five Pounds a Week

It’s coming to that time again, time to start the search for my motability vehicle for another 3 year lease. Three years go by so quickly, yet again so slowly it creeps up on you before you know it.

Things have changed in three years, as with most people something small here and there, and before you know it you need a whole new set of rules to live by. I feel lucky that adaptations have never been an issue for me when driving, however AUTOMATIC is an issue.

I’ve had an automatic car to drive now for 25 years, what a boon since as my left leg is almost devoid of life, clutch control is somewhat of a problem. I have prepared as best I can for the onset of ageing but like us all I soldier on pretending nothing is any different than the week before.

Problems started when my ‘good’ right foot started to act up. I went to see my Doctor about the severe pain and then went for a consultancy only to told I was to experience more mobility problems.

My present mobility car is a hatch back. It is difficult to fit in either my wheelchair or my fold away electric scooter, without losing seating space. While I have five months before my car change I’ve always liked to give myself plenty of time to weigh up the options and make the right choice. My wife’s car is a saloon with a nice size boot, enough to accommodate the scooter or wheelchair so, I guess a saloon is the way to go.

I logged onto the mobility/motorbility web sites to check latest list and prices of hire cars. It would seem to me that I’m to be cash penalised for my inability to use my legs to drive a gear/clutch car – DUH!!

I am told I can get a 2 door or a nice 4 door saloon, I can also have 2/3/5 door hatchback – almost anything that most people including myself would be happy to have.

These cars are all no advance payment – great,

‘I’ll have a nice 4 door saloon please.’

‘Sorry Sir that’s £1400 advance payment please.’

‘What! £1400 why?’

‘You used the ‘AUTOMATIC’ word, Sir!’

I used the ‘AUTOMATIC’ word, sorry it’s not rocket science here? did I use a naughty word? Is this something I should know that hasn’t yet been invented DOH!

So I need an automatic with room to take my wheelchair/scooter and my family/friends, what can I get? (thinks) seems a good bet would be an MPV don’t make me laugh have you seen the price of them?

My choice eventually comes down to an (wait for it) MPV, “just” £749 advance payment.

Hell, what’s five pounds a week for 3yrs to pay an advance payment that would fit my requirements? Except I haven’t been saving £5 week for three years and I only have 5 months left… My wife works hard, I have only my benefits, so advance payments are a real penalty to my normal requirements on top of “All” my mobility payments going to the lease hire.

Am I the only disAbled driver with this problem I don’t think so..

What’s a guy supposed to do eh? I’d willingly take a nice inexpensive car that fit’s my requirements but with advance payments in the thousands what would you do?

The Motability Scheme was established to provide disabled people with safe, reliable and affordable cars. Cars account for 99% of the Scheme’s activities, with powered wheelchairs and scooters making up the balance.
When are the people in charge of these schemes going to understand that this should not be about shouting how the disAbled are being empowered and given the freedom to get around by them and how wonderful they are for providing this service, but get down to really getting the services we can use without any PENALTY!

I’m made to feel that I’m moaning because I’m the proverbial square peg trying to fit in the round hole that has so wonderfully been provided, how many others put up with something that really is not up to scratch because of the cost. Roll on winning the Lotto!