Around two-thirds of the people who receive a higher rate Mobility Allowance have been awarded it because of a physical condition, such as a disease of the bones, joints or muscles arthritis, a neurological disease or a chest or heart problem. These impairments often mean that while the person is disabled, they can still get in and out of vehicle with little or no help, with many also able to drive safely, usually without specialist adaptations.
In fact, around 60% of the people who qualify for a vehicle through the the Motability Scheme drive the car themselves, with the rest travelling in the vehicle as a passenger.
Many of the standard and optional features that can be found on modern cars would in the past have been added to the vehicle after it had left the factory, or simply wouldn’t have been available at all. Features many of us now take for granted like electric windows, power steering, parking sensors, satellite navigation and simple buttons to operate things like an electronic handbrake or to start the engine now come as standard on many new vehicles.
Other helpful features like electrically adjustable seats, electrically heated seats, head up displays, adaptive cruise control, remote boot release buttons, voice recognition systems and 360 degree exterior cameras can often now be added to a car when placing an order through the Motability Scheme.
Perhaps the most important feature of all though is an automatic gearbox, which is currently specified by around 45% of all Motability customers, freeing the driver from having to shift gears manually. Automatic cars are becoming more and more common on the scheme as the cost difference between a car with a manual gearbox and one with an automatic transmission has narrowed on many popular models.
These technologies will continue to develop and eventually evolve into even smarter and more helpful features to make driving safer and easier, enhancing the driving experience for every disabled driver and passenger.
Currently, around 10% of people who lease a car through Motability need additional specialist features fitted to their car, and specialist firms are on hand to fit these adaptations so the vehicle can be driven safely and comfortably. Common adaptations that are fitted to vehicles after they’ve left the factory include things like hoists, swivel seats, changes to the pedal layout and steering aids.
The good news is that through the Motability Scheme, many of these adaptations can be supplied and fitted at no extra cost. Trained Motability specialists at Motability-accredited dealerships across the UK are fully trained provide help and advice to disabled drivers about the range of adaptations available.
The Motability Scheme
The Motability Scheme was set up in the 1970’s to provide disabled people with safe, reliable and affordable cars. Disabled people who want to join the scheme simply exchange their mobility benefit (usually the higher rate of the Disability Living Allowance or the Personal Independence Payment) and in return – regardless of the car they choose – Motability will arrange for the delivery of a brand new vehicle through a local dealer plus comprehensive insurance for up to 3 drivers, annual servicing, MOT tests, breakdown cover, tyre and windscreen cover and a mileage allowance of 60,000 miles over 3 years.