Current challenges in the motoring industry

In this article, motoring expert Richard Aucock looks at the key challenges facing the automotive industry in 2022. He discusses what the ongoing supply issues mean for both car manufacturers and, as a result, Motability Scheme customers.

2022 is a new year but the challenges of 2021 continue to impact the automotive industry. The biggest challenge remains the ongoing lack of semiconductors, a shortage that has affected the industry for almost a year. The average car contains between 1,500 and 3,000 semiconductors, controlling everything from headlights to electric windows. The shortage of even a single chip can – and is – significantly impacting car production. 

This is why the latest prices for the Motability Scheme may be a little different to what you are used to. You may have noticed that a few car brands are currently unavailable on the Scheme. Meanwhile, for some cars on the Scheme, Advance Payments have risen in line with the rising prices from car manufacturers. 

It is not just Scheme customers that are affected – everyone looking for new cars is being impacted by this issue. Budget car buyers, company car drivers and those seeking a bespoke-build supercar are all in the same boat, due to the all-encompassing nature of the semiconductor shortage. 

Unfortunately, the situation is likely to remain with us for some time. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), a UK trade body, warns that the semiconductor shortage will broadly continue to impact the car sector throughout 2022, and potentially even flow through into 2023. 

Seeing as this is a challenge we will have to live with for the foreseeable future, here is some guidance for those searching for a new car through the Motability Scheme right now.  

Advice for Motability Scheme customers

Working with your chosen dealer is the best way to beat the semiconductor shortage. They may be able to advise you on which cars have the shortest waiting times, and will do everything they can to keep you up to date with the latest information that is available to them.

If you are unsure whether a car that’s new and unfamiliar to you may be suitable for your needs, your dealer will be able to advise. If possible, it’s a good idea to take a test drive before placing an order, so that you can check if a car will be suitable for your needs. It may even be worth speaking to a few different dealers, as they might have different makes and models available to test drive. The online ‘Find a Dealer’ tool makes this easy to do.

Top Tip

When coming up to the end of their current lease, existing Scheme customers without an appointee can start their next application from the comfort of home with a Motability Scheme online account.

This can save you time at the dealership, allowing the dealer to dedicate more time to helping you find the right car.

However, if it is not possible to arrange a test drive, you should at least double-check that the model you’re considering has enough space for you and any passengers you will need to carry, is easy for you to access and comfortable for you to sit in. Try to ensure that it will meet your mobility needs for the next three years.

The Motability Scheme also has a price guarantee which kicks in once your application has been accepted. This means that even if car prices increase while you’re waiting for your vehicle’s delivery, you won’t have to pay any extra for it – the Advance Payment is fixed on the date the order is accepted. Once you are able to, it’s worth placing your order sooner rather than later so that your application ‘enters the queue’, so to speak.

It’s also reassuring to know that the lease on your existing Scheme car will be extended until your new car arrives, meaning you won’t be left without a vehicle. What’s more, it will automatically be extended by six months if you aren’t able to order your next car before your current lease ends. This gives you more flexibility when searching for the right car to meet your needs. 

Wide range of cars

Please note that the below information is accurate at the date of publishing. For the most up-to-date information on what’s available on the Scheme, use our Car Search tool.

It is worth stressing that there remains a broad selection of cars available on the Motability Scheme. There are currently almost 700 cars to choose from, with a broad range of vehicles to help Scheme customers find something that fits their needs. Using the online Car Search tool, you can view all of the cars currently available on the Scheme, filtering by price, size, fuel types and other requirements.

As ever, there are many cars on the Scheme available with no Advance Payment. These include a broad selection of Vauxhall Corsa models, which was the nation’s best-selling car in 2021. You could even choose the fully-electric Corsa-e, which is available in several grades with no Advance Payment. 

Another great pick available with no Advance Payment is the Toyota Yaris Hybrid, while other popular cars include the Renault Clio and Captur, Nissan Micra, Vauxhall Mokka-e and Nissan Leaf. If you need a larger car, the roomy SsangYong Tivoli is available with no Advance Payment, as is the larger Kia XCeed, along with the showroom-fresh Hyundai Bayon and chic DS 3 E-Tense. 

If you’re looking for an automatic, the Toyota Corolla is available with an Advance Payment from £295, the Honda Jazz comes with an Advance Payment from £399 and the Suzuki Swace estate is available for an Advance Payment from £499. All of the electric vehicles (EVs) are automatics too, should you wish to capitalise on their greater by making the switch to electric.

Interested in an electric car? Find out more information in the online EV hub, including charging solutions available at no extra cost.

Despite industry-wide price rises, the Motability Scheme has aimed to include some seven-seaters within its range, although many of them do require an Advance Payment. There are a couple of great electric options, such as the roomy Vauxhall Vivaro-e Life (available with an Advance Payment of £1,099) and the Citroen e-Berlingo (available with an Advance Payment of £1,495). 


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