MAJOR changes are to be made to the charity Motability scheme, directly affecting dozens of Nissan dealerships across the UK.
The changes relate to the recommended retail price of Motability cars, how the cars are used and by whom. They have been drawn up after reports in the press of some customers abusing the system.
The range of cars covered will be ‘rationalised’ with only cars offered with an advance payment of £2k or less – approximating the RRP price limit of £25k.
The change will rectify the current situation of more than 50 per cent cars having advance payments above £2k, and will be implemented in December.
‘We will, of course, ensure that customers whose disability-related needs require a car above this level can be accommodated,’ said the chairman of Motability, Lord Sterling.
‘This will simplify the scheme and focus on those who most need our help but it must be remembered that the quality of the back-up service is key to the success of the scheme.’
Another key change will be how the Motability car may be used and by whom. The scheme will now only accept nominated drivers who live within five miles of the customer in order to reduce the risk of the car being used for purposes other than by the disabled person.
‘The principle of the scheme remains as it always has been – that cars must be used for the benefit of the disabled person.
‘However, we have identified a need to refine our processes and communications around this principle, with clearer parameters so that customers can use the car appropriately and with confidence,’ added Lord Sterling.
Age of nomimated drivers will also change. Citing the cost of motor insurance rising, as of January 2012 Motability will no longer accept nominated drivers under the age of 21 on the scheme ‘unless they reside with the disabled customer’.
The scheme will also now restrict drivers under the age of 25 in cars in ‘ABI Insurance Group 16 which also have a power output of 115bhp or less’.