Temporary replacement vehicles: how new car supply issues are affecting Scheme partners

If your Motability Scheme vehicle is off the road for repairs, we’ll always try to find a solution to help you stay mobile.

Often this will mean supplying you with a temporary replacement vehicle until your Scheme car is repaired, but ongoing challenges in the motoring industry are having a big impact on hire car companies’ abilities to offer replacement vehicles.

We wanted to explain how these challenges are affecting our Scheme partners and what this means if you need a temporary replacement vehicle in the coming months.

Supply issues

You may be aware that the new car market is currently dealing with several challenges, leading to delivery delays, supply issues and a shortage of many new cars.

This is affecting Motability Scheme customers and retail customers looking to buy new cars, as well as hire car companies who rely on having a large fleet of new cars on offer at any given time.

Without being able to purchase new cars quickly and easily, Scheme partners such as Europcar are less able to meet the demand for specific types of vehicles. High-seated automatic vehicles are in particularly short supply at this time and may take longer to source.

Europcar usually try to mirror the cars they purchase with the type of cars customers are choosing on the Scheme. This means you have more chance of being offered a similar replacement vehicle should you need one. However, with lead times of six months or more for many new cars, they are less able to respond to changing demand for vehicle types. The lead times for new cars also mean that the replacement vehicles available are likely to be older than usual.

Long term hires

As well as challenges in supplying new cars, Europcar are also dealing with customers keeping replacement vehicles for longer.

Replacement vehicles are generally provided to keep a customer mobile following an accident or breakdown and will be returned once their Scheme vehicle is back on the road.

However, with delays also affecting the supply of many vehicle parts, repairs are taking much longer to complete. This means that customers often need to stay in a replacement vehicle for several weeks when it may previously have been just a few days.

Hire car maintenance and repairs

Hire car companies are having to keep vehicles for much longer than usual. These older cars need more servicing and maintenance compared to brand-new vehicles. This means they are spending more time off the road for repairs, which is further impacting the number of vehicles available for customers.

A spokesperson from Europcar said:

“Europcar is working hard to ensure that we can continue to support Motability Scheme customers when they need replacement vehicles, while contending with the supply issues affecting the motor industry.
We have extended the average lifetime of vehicles on our fleet to sustain supply, with MOT and servicing added to our maintenance schedule as well as the usual vehicle checks to ensure vehicles remain in good condition. We also have a more limited choice of vehicles available, but will always work with the customer to provide a vehicle that meets their needs.”

Keeping you mobile

Despite all of these challenges, we will still try to keep you mobile if ever your Scheme vehicle is off the road.

We do not offer like-for-like temporary replacement vehicles but will always try to find an option that suits your needs.

Given the current challenges, this may take longer than you have experienced previously, and it’s unlikely we’ll be able to meet requests for any specific features.

However, we will always try to find a solution that works for you. You can read more about temporary replacement vehicles here.

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