If you asked a person in the street to comment on the Disability Motability scheme, they would make comments like its a scheme that gives out free cars to people with varying degrees of disability. If you have a severe mobility problem and are confined to a wheelchair as my Hubby is, you would become very exasperated at the fact that this is very far from the truth.
It is true for the cost of your DLA mobility component if you do not need a specialised vehicle you can indeed get access to borrow a new vehicle for 3 years at a time. For that you can get very ugly looking but functional very underpowered vehicles , such as the Renault Kangoo, various Fiats, Skodas etc just for the cost of the allowance. I say borrow as of course you will never own it.
But should you need to sit beside your driver in your electric wheelchair because of comfort and medical issues, expect to find big problems finding a suitable affordable car. Electric Wheelchairs tend to be taller than manual chairs so maximum headroom is needed which automatically pushes you towards cars such as the Kia Sedona, Chrysler Voyager, Peugeot, VW & Toyota People carriers. All of which come with hefty up front payments starting from £10k up to £35k for the Chrysler. Problem is though you would have to find this upfront payment every 3 years and the car still would never be yours. Guess what, as well, double whammy, if you are that disabled you probably have not got that sort of earning power to pay for it in the first place. Doh!!!
The scheme does run a grant fund to help out some, but the covenants and conditions are so restrictive to make getting this not worth the hassle of applying for most.
So we have a Motability scheme which is to my mind is not fit for purpose, as though it does help those with lesser disabilities it has no transport solutions for those that are severely disabled and need bigger cars to transport themselves up front with the driver, that do not have enough income or savings to find large sums of money every 3 years. Especially when we have to buy electric wheelchairs and other equipment too.
Only suitable car for headroom we have found is the Kia Sedona which they have stopped making....we cant afford it so playing the lottery only option.