The charity provides cars for those who are registered disabled, getting hundreds of thousands of people mobile when they might not otherwise be able to afford it.
The scheme is relatively simple and has been operating happily for many years, but according to some press reports there are some people out there who are abusing the system to get a free car.
When there are tales of people using “naughty schoolboys” to get Motability funding and drive prestige German cars “at the expense of the taxpayer” in pages of the Daily Mail, you know things are bound to change.
Those changes to the scheme have been announced today and it will mean a big shake up in the way the motor industry’s biggest customer buys cars.
Now there will be a maximum advance payment of £2,000 per car and the price of any range of car available on the scheme has to start below £25,000. So users can still have a £26,000 Qashqai because the range starts below £25k, but a GT-R won’t be an option.
It also looks like there will be some engine power restrictions for younger drivers to prevent spiraling insurance costs. Together these moves will help exclude some of those cars and drivers that raised eyebrows with Daily Mail readers.
What does it mean for Nissan, which is the third largest supplier to the scheme? Our models, especially the crossovers, have always been popular on Motability because they’re desirable and accessible – not only in terms of price, but also their higher seat heights which many on the scheme find helpful. We also have several key models below the 115bhp limit.
Because of their desirability, we may even find that some Motability users who have been pushed out of more expensive cars may well find a Nissan model suits their needs. I’m confident that we’re still very well placed to provide Motability cars now and in the future.
And what of the rest of the industry? With 575,000 cars on its books, Motability is the only single customer which has the ability to change the way the entire industry sells cars. Following the changes my crystal ball sees a number of manufacturers re-speccing models to make entry-level models priced at £24,999.99.
Before I go, I just wanted to say thank you for the amazing effort you all put in to help us achieve a 17.8 per cent increase in sales in September.
Despite the market falling by 0.8 per cent, Nissan achieved an overall market share of 5.6 per cent with retail market share at 6.9 per cent.
We were the fifth best selling manufacturer – just 10 registrations behind Audi – and when you add in our LCV registrations we leapfrog our German rivals.
There’s no doubt the market is tough out there at the moment, but we are making cars that people want to buy and there is still demand out there for good product. Long may that continue!