Best Motability cars 2023 - top choices in each sector for Motability customers

The Motability scheme is designed to get less able people moving, and we've picked the best cars in six categories

​The Motability scheme is designed to help disabled people get more mobile, and we've picked the best cars on Motability in six categories to help with your purchase decision.

Choosing a car can be a real struggle, whatever your circumstances. Cost is a huge factor, while any physical limitations or mobility issues you may have will add an extra dimension to the challenge of finding a suitable model. On balance though, the freedom that a car can bring can make a life-changing difference, and that’s where Motability comes in.

This scheme enables disabled people, their families or carers to lease a new vehicle at a discounted rate, and if special controls or access modifications are needed, these are available, too. On this page we’ve picked the best cars currently available on Motability based on our experts’ thorough testing of each model and the kind of deals that are currently available.

Best Motability cars 

Click the links below to find out our top city carssuperminisfamily hatchbacks, MPVs and 4x4s to lease on Motability…

How does Motability work?

The basis of Motability is that the low-cost lease deals the scheme offers are financed by the higher rate mobility part of a recipient’s Disability Living Allowance (DLA), or by a Personal Independence Payment (PIP). 

Funding for people living in Scotland differs slightly to the rest of the country. The DLA has been replaced with the Child Disability Payment (CDP) which covers children aged from 3 to 18 years old. PIP has also been replaced with the Adult Disability Payment (ADP), this applies to those aged between 16 years old and the state pension age.

People receiving a War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement (WPMS) or the Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP) can lease a car via Motability, too.

As well as offering cars at a discounted rate, Motability provides adapted cars to make them easier to drive, and also leases scooters and wheelchairs. This is all done on a ‘not for profit’ basis, as Motability is part of the charitable sector. That means the prices of Motability's lease deals are generally competitive, especially as they also include insurance, servicing and a high annual mileage limit of 20,000 miles. As a result, Motability currently has more than 700,000 customers using its scheme.

Drivers who are eligible for the Motability scheme are nonetheless advised to double check that the regular PCP deals offered by mainstream dealers haven't overtaken the Motability deals, as they could be even more attractive, especially for low mileage drivers. However, if you haven’t built up a credit history, then Motability is often the only choice available.

What is a 'Nil Advance Payment' car?

In general, Motability prices fall into three categories. First there are cars with lease costs below your monthly allowance. Sign a lease on one of these, and your payments will be split – the lease cost going direct to Motability, and the rest coming to you. Then you have the cars which cost exactly the same to lease as your allowance, so you still have nothing extra to pay, but don’t see any of the cash either.

Both of these categories are referred to as ‘nil advance payment’ or ‘nil deposit’ cars. The third category is for more expensive vehicles, where you make a single advance payment to Motability Operations – the company set up to administer the scheme – which covers the difference between your allowance and the actual lease cost. Like a normal Personal Contract Hire lease, you’ll need to pay the advance payment every time you order a new car.

Your Motability car search

Now that's covered, the fun part is picking the Motability car that’s right for you. You’ll probably start your Motability car search online, and while the charity’s own website provides a comprehensive Motability price list covering roughly 2,000 cars, it’s light on advice as to which cars are the best performers in their categories, and that's where we come in.

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There is more variety than you might expect on the Mobility scheme, too, with everything from compact city cars to full-size family SUVs making an appearance. There’s plenty of choice when it comes to fuel, too, with combustion, hybrid and fully-electric cars all up for grabs. Many of these cars are even Auto Express New Car Award winners.

For our list of the best cars to choose on Motability, we've picked some of the top models in each class, so you’ll know which ones to target for those all-important test drives.

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