What the changing car market means for you

The global car market has changed a lot in the last few years and faced a number of challenges. We get lots of questions about this and what it means when ordering a new car on the Motability Scheme.

To help you, we’ve pulled together the answers to some of the most common questions we hear.

Please speak to your dealer directly if your question is about a vehicle you’ve already ordered or are thinking of ordering.

What’s happening in the new car market?

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What’s changing?

Car manufacturers have faced a number of challenges in the last few years.

The COVID-19 pandemic and a shortage of semiconductors, or ‘chips’, used in new cars, meant that cars could not be built as quickly as usual. This caused supply issues and delivery delays across the industry.

Most manufacturers have now worked through these challenges and delivery times are much quicker than in the last couple of years. Some models might still take slightly longer than others, but this depends on the make and model you’re interested in.

Many manufacturers have also started to reduce the number of petrol and diesel models they offer as they focus more attention on electric vehicles (EVs). This is to meet the Government’s new ZEV mandate which sets out new rules on CO2 emissions. The target for manufacturers is for 80% of the vehicles they sell to be electric by 2030.

Find out more about how the new car market is changing in 2024

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What does this mean for the Motability Scheme?

We’re working hard to keep the Scheme as affordable as possible. As manufacturers move their attention to EVs, we’re able to bring more choice to the Scheme. And as they start to phase out petrol and many diesel models, we’re starting to see prices increase for those that are still available.

For this quarter we have over 915 cars available, all with our full lease package, giving you a wide choice of great value for money options. You can see the latest prices here.

If you’re looking to order a new car on the Motability Scheme, our ‘Find a vehicle’ tool has the most up-to-date information for the cars currently available on the Scheme. We’ve recently improved this tool, so it’s even easier for you to narrow down your options and compare cars.

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Ordering a car

Did you know?

If you’re a car or WAV customer looking to join the Scheme or order your next car, you can start your application online with a Motability Scheme online account. You can update your personal details, allowance information and add the details for your proposed drivers all before you visit the dealership.

This will give your dealer more time to help you choose the right car when you’re there.

Create an account

Sign into your account

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When should I start looking for a car?

If you’re looking to order your first car on the Scheme, we’d recommend you start your search as soon as you can. Delivery times can vary between makes and models, so it’s worth speaking to a few different dealers. You might find that a similar car from a different manufacturer is available sooner.

Find a dealer

If you’re 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’d recommend that you visit our ‘Find a vehicle’ tool and start thinking about your next car.

Remember, if you’ve extended your current lease, you can order your next car at any point during your extension. You do not have to wait until the end of your lease extension.

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I’m unable to test drive my next car – what should I do?

Where possible, we always recommend that you take a test drive before placing an order. You could speak to a few different dealers as you may find they each have different makes and models available to test drive.

However, if it’s not possible to arrange a test drive, please make sure the model you’re considering has enough space for you and any passengers you’ll need to carry. Check it’s easy for you to access and comfortable for you to sit in and will meet your mobility needs for the next three years.

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The car I want is not currently on the Scheme – what can I do?

You’ll need to think about alternative vehicles that could meet your needs.

Our ‘Find a vehicle’ tool can help you find similar vehicles and you can use the advanced filters to narrow down your choices.

Search cars

If you have low mileage or lots of adaptations on your vehicle, you might also be able to extend your lease for up to two more years.

If you’re eligible, you’ll see this option in your online account once you’re in the last three months of your lease. If you’re already in an extended lease, we will not be able to extend it again.

Sign in

Create an account 

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Extending your lease

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Can I keep my current car for longer?

If you have low mileage, or lots of adaptations on your vehicle, you might be able to extend your lease for up to two more years.

You’ll continue to get everything in your worry-free lease package if your lease is extended. You can order your next vehicle at any time during your extension, so you do not have wait if you see a vehicle you like.

If you’re eligible, you’ll see this option in your online account once you’re in the last three months of your lease. If you’re already in an extended lease, we will not be able to extend it again.

Sign in

Create your account

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What if I extend my lease, but then see a car I like?

You can order and pick up your next car at any time during a lease extension.

Even if you extend your lease for two years, you do not have to keep your car for the full time.

We recommend you keep looking for a new car during your lease extension and order your next car as soon as you find one that meets your needs.

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

If your lease is extended, we’ll also extend your insurance cover. You should not notice any changes with your insurance policy, and you’ll get a new Certificate of Motor Insurance from Direct Line Motability (DLM) to confirm your cover has been extended.

Learn more about your insurance cover

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

You’ll still be covered for any routine maintenance or repairs including tyre repair and replacement. We’ll also extend your RAC breakdown cover, so you should not notice any difference with your lease.

Breakdown assistance and cover

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Will I need another MOT if my lease is extended?

In most parts of the UK your vehicle will need an MOT after three years (four years in Northern Ireland) and every 12 months after this. This means if you extend your lease for two years, you might need two more MOT tests before you hand your vehicle back at the end of your lease. 

Your dealer should contact you when your next MOT is due.

The cost of your MOT is included in your worry-free package, even in a lease extension.


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While you’re waiting

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How can I check the progress of my order?

The best place to check the progress of your order is in your Motability Scheme online account. Go to ‘New Car Application’ and you’ll see what’s happened with your order so far and the remaining steps before you get your car.

Sign in

Create an account

Please speak to your dealer if you have a specific question that’s not answered in your account.

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What if the Advance Payment of the vehicle I’ve ordered changes after I’ve placed my order?

Our price lists are usually updated every three months with new prices published at the start of January, April, July and October.

View the latest prices for the Motability Scheme here

The Advance Payment on a car can change throughout the year, but we freeze the price at the time you apply. This means it’s locked, even if it changes before you get your vehicle. 

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What if my delivery date changes more than once?

It’s possible that your expected delivery date might change more than once. Dealers are reliant on updates from the manufacturer. In some cases, build dates and delivery times may need to change for reasons out of the dealer’s control.

If you’re an existing customer and this happens, we’ll continue to extend your lease for as long as needed to keep you mobile.

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Can I cancel my order if I do not want to wait?

Please speak to your dealer directly if you wish to cancel or change your order.

Before you do, make sure you’re aware of the timescales for the replacement car you’re considering. 

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Charitable grants

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Can the Motability Foundation increase my grant award so I can get a vehicle that’s ready straight away?

Motability Foundation’s grants awards are awarded in line with set policies and after considering everything the applicant mentions during the application process. This ensures the vehicles are suitable for their mobility needs, and the foundation can help as many people as possible with the funds available.

With this in mind, they can only consider increasing a grant award to speed up delivery of a vehicle in exceptional circumstances, such as when the beneficiary has a life-limiting condition.

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Can I order a different vehicle than the ones listed on my award letter?

No, your grant letter will include a list of suitable vehicles or vehicle categories that Motability Foundation is prepared to fund.

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Can I get a car more quickly if I cancel my grant application?

Whether you order a car through the Motability Scheme, either with or without a charitable grant, or privately at a dealership, it will be subject to the same delivery times.

If you have applied to the Motability Foundation for grant assistance, your application should take up to four weeks to consider.

You can find more FAQs about charitable grants here

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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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