Due to the ongoing global semiconductor shortage, also known as the ‘chip crisis’, there remains a risk of delays in delivery times for new cars. This is an issue far beyond the UK, impacting car buyers all around the world.
Motability Scheme customers are therefore not alone in having to wait for delivery of their new car. This is why the Scheme is doing all it can to help customers manage these challenges, which experts indicate will continue throughout 2023.
The first thing to stress is that existing customers will not be left without a car. This is the main priority for the Scheme at the moment. If you can’t find a suitable new car to order by the end of your lease, you can extend your current lease to give yourself more time.
All the other aspects of your worry-free package such as insurance and breakdown cover will continue if your lease is extended, and you’ll receive a new Certificate of Motor Insurance or temporary cover note for this period.
Scheme experts have some useful advice, too. As Motability Scheme customers can order their new car three months before the end of their lease, it’s best to start the process as close to this time as you can. Draw up a shortlist of vehicles, then begin speaking to your local car dealers about availability.
If you are a new customer, the advice is again to begin your vehicle search as soon as possible. Visit dealers to find out which cars are available with the shortest delay.
Of course, for car dealers, the current situation is also very frustrating. Production plans at factories can change at short notice, delaying the assembly of cars ordered by customers. And even once they’ve been made, there might be transportation issues for the journey from the factory to the UK distribution centre.
Your dealer may give you a delivery date, only to find it has later slipped. It is sadly out of their hands, and all they can do is relay the information to keep you informed about the car’s progress during production. Rest assured, once they finally receive the car, they will work flat-out to get you behind the wheel as soon as possible.
As many longstanding Motability Scheme customers know, most new cars are built to order. This means you can create a car that’s bespoke to you, in the exact colour and trim combination you choose. Only when the dealer places your order into the system will the production process begin.
Sometimes, though, if you’re willing to compromise, your Motability dealer may be able to find you a car ‘from stock’. These are cars that have been built, but haven’t been assigned to a customer. It could be a cancelled order – surprisingly common these days, as some people aren’t able to wait when a car is delayed – and it means you could take delivery in weeks rather than months. If you don’t particularly mind what colour or specification your new car is, this could be an option to discuss with your dealer.
Working hard on choice
Because car manufacturers are having to balance limited supplies of semiconductor chips across their entire customer base, the choice of cars available on the Motability Scheme is more limited than in previous years.
You may find, for example, that you can’t replace your car with the same make or model because it’s currently unavailable on the Scheme. This is where flexibility will be helpful. Try searching for a similar model from another manufacturer, or perhaps a different model in the same range.
With all the challenges currently facing the automotive industry, Advance Payments for many vehicles have also increased. The Motability Scheme is working hard to manage this, and there remains a good selection of models available for low or even no Advance Payment. These include popular options such as the Hyundai i10 and Kia Picanto city cars, the larger Hyundai Bayon compact SUV, the fuel-efficient Toyota Yaris Hybrid and even several versions of the UK’s best-selling new car, the Vauxhall Corsa.
If you need a car with a larger-than-average boot, models such as the new Volkswagen Taigo, Skoda Fabia and Seat Arona all offer enough space for up to four large suitcases, while keeping Advance Payments low. In the Volkswagen’s case, it’s currently available with no Advance Payment.
New Vehicle Payment
The Motability Scheme has introduced some extra help for customers, too. A £250 New Vehicle Payment has been introduced to help customers make the most of their new car.
The current semiconductor shortages are frustrating for us all. The situation will eventually improve, but for now, it remains an ongoing challenge. The best steps you can take are to order as soon as possible and keep in close contact with your dealer. Rest assured that if you already have a Motability Scheme vehicle, it will remain with you until your new car is delivered, guaranteeing your ongoing mobility at this challenging time.