Car carrier on an empty motorway signifying a shortage of new cars

Vehicle supply issues and delayed orders: Your questions answered

The global car market is currently facing a number of challenges, all of which are leading to supply issues, delivery delays and a shortage of many new makes and models.

Whether you’re looking to order your first car on the Scheme, choose your next car or you’re currently awaiting delivery, we understand that you may have a few questions about what is causing the current delivery delays and what you can do if your order is affected.

To help you, we’ve pulled together the answers to some of the more common questions we are receiving at this time. If you have specific questions about the delivery timescales for a car you have ordered or are considering ordering, your dealer will always be best placed to advise you on this.

Why are vehicle orders being delayed?

The main issue affecting new car supply is a global shortage of semiconductors, or ‘chips’, which feature in most electrical items from washing machines and home computers, to TVs and new cars.

Each new car features around 1,500 of these chips, which act as the ‘brain’ of the vehicle, but high demand for electrical items during the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a shortage of semiconductors. This shortage is expected to continue for at least the remainder of this year.

On top of this, factories are also continuing to be affected by staff shortages due to COVID-19 isolation requirements and wider supply chain problems caused by the pandemic.

What can I do to avoid delays with my order?

If you are looking to order your first car on the Scheme, we would recommend you start your vehicle search as soon as you can to reduce the risk of delays. It is also worth checking with the dealership if the car you are interested in is in stock or whether it will need to be ordered from the manufacturer, which may well mean a delay. A comparable car from a different manufacturer could be available sooner, so it’s important to speak to a few different dealers before you place your order.

Find a dealer

If you are an existing customer, you’ll be able to order your next car three months before the end of your current lease. If you’re approaching the last three months of your lease, we would recommend that you visit our Car Search and start thinking about your next car sooner than you may have done previously. Please ensure that you test drive any vehicles you are considering before placing your next order.

I am an existing customer – what happens if my next order is delayed?

If your next order is delayed and your new car is unlikely to be delivered before the end of your current lease, we can extend the lease on your current vehicle until your new one is ready.

You’ll just need to make sure you’ve completed the MOT on your vehicle by your original lease end date, as we won’t be able to extend your lease unless this is done. Your dealer should be in touch to arrange this, but please contact them directly if your test is due and you have not heard from them. If they are unable to complete your MOT for any reason, you can contact Kwik Fit and make an appointment at one of their centres. If you are unsure when your MOT is due, you can check this at

More information on servicing and MOTs

I am approaching the end of my lease – should I order now or arrange a lease extension and wait?

If you are approaching the end of your current lease, we would recommend that you start the search for your next car as soon as you can to reduce the risk of delays. You can then place your next order three months before the end of your existing lease.  If there are any delays once you’ve placed your order, we can extend the lease on your current vehicle until your new one is ready.

You’ll also be covered by our price guarantee once you’ve placed your next order, meaning that the Advance Payment of the vehicle at the time you place your order is the price you will pay, even if the price changes before you collect your new vehicle.

Did you know?

If you’re a car or WAV customer without an appointee, you can start your next application online with a Motability Scheme online account.

Sign up or log in and head to the ‘New car application’ area to update your personal details, allowance information and add the details for two of your named drivers (if they hold an England, Wales or Scotland driving licence) before you visit a dealership. This will save you time on the day of your appointment and allow the dealer to dedicate more time to helping you choose the right car.

Learn more about the online account

What if I am already in a lease extension, but my next order is also delayed?

We can extend your lease until your new car is ready, even if you’ve previously had a lease extension applied.

If this means that your lease is likely to extend more than a year beyond your original lease end date, you will need to arrange for another MOT and for some customers another service on your vehicle before it is handed back. Please be reassured we will cover the costs of any MOT or servicing as well as any associated repairs due to general wear and tear, even in a lease extension.

Remember, if you are currently in a lease extension you do not have to wait to order your next car. You can place an order at any point during your current lease extension.

What if my delivery date changes more than once?

Given the various factors affecting the new car market at this time, it is possible that your expected delivery date might change more than once. Dealers are reliant on updates from the manufacturer and in some cases build dates and delivery timeframes may need to change for reasons out of the dealer’s control.

If you’re an existing customer and this happens, please be reassured that we will continue to extend your lease for as long as needed to ensure your continued mobility.

What happens to my car insurance if my lease is extended?

If we need to extend your lease due to delays with your next car, we will also extend your insurance cover with RSA Motability (RSAM). You shouldn’t notice any changes with your insurance policy and will receive a new Certificate of Motor Insurance from RSAM to confirm that your insurance cover has been extended. These are usually issued for a period of six months as standard.

Learn more about your insurance cover

Am I still covered for maintenance and repairs when I’m in a lease extension?

If your lease is extended due to delays with your next order, you will still be covered for any routine maintenance or repairs including tyre repair and replacement. We will also extend your RAC breakdown cover, so you shouldn’t notice any difference with your lease.

Breakdown assistance and cover

I’m unable to test drive my next car due to the supply issues – what should I do?

Where possible, we always recommend that you take a test drive before placing an order to ensure the vehicle you are considering will be suitable for your needs. You could speak to a few different dealers as you may find that they each have different makes and models available to test drive.

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

Can I cancel my order if I don’t wish to wait any longer?

If you wish to cancel or change your order due to the current supply issues, please speak to your dealer directly to discuss this.

However, it is also worth noting that the current supply issues are a global issue affecting Motability Scheme customers and retail customers across most manufacturers, so before you cancel your order, please ensure that you are aware of the timescales for the replacement car you are considering.

Find a dealer

There are over 4,500 Motability dealerships in the UK, and each has at least one Motability Scheme specialist who will provide advice on which car best suits your needs and the latest information on the current supply issues and delivery delays.

If you’re looking to join the Scheme, or order your next car, find the details for your local dealers using our Find a Dealer tool.

Find a dealer

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