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Vehicle Availability

Vehicle delays and pricing

Due to a number of issues in global car production, vehicles are taking longer to build and be delivered – in excess and sometimes significantly longer than six months. They are also more expensive to produce, leading to price increases.

What is the problem?

The global problem started with the shortage of semi-conductor chips during the height of Covid, a problem that continues to this day. These microchips control so many of the features we all rely on in cars such as indicators, entertainment systems and even airbag deployment systems, and cars generally have over 1,500 chips. However, recent parts shortages and the war in Ukraine have further compounded the delays that manufacturers are currently experiencing.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), release figures each month on the number of new cars being delivered across the UK. Their latest update this week* shows that new car have registrations dropped 14.3% in March – the lowest number of car registrations since 1998 in a usually busy month due to the change in number plates

Who is affected

Everyone looking for a new car at this time is affected, whether you are looking to lease a vehicle through the Scheme or buy privately.

When will it improve?

It is difficult to know when the situation will improve. Experts predict it will continue for the rest of the year.

What are Motability, the charity, doing to help Scheme customers and beneficiaries?

Both the Scheme and Motability’s Grants team have been working hard to minimise the impact on customers and beneficiaries, however, at this time it could take a long time to get your new car, and your delivery date might change more than once. The selection of vehicles we are able to fund may also be affected.

Motability’s grants team are taking increasing numbers of calls from beneficiaries who are concerned either by the long or changing lead times for vehicle delivery and the increase in Advance Payments, or making enquiries about the status of their application. We are also experiencing an increase in demand for financial help.

Given this high volume of applications and calls, it is currently taking around six to eight weeks for an assigned case manager to review an application.

How can I help Motability at this time?

We are always happy to speak to our beneficiaries, however, at this busy time and to help us get through the applications as quickly as possible, we do ask that you check our FAQs before calling, and to wait for your case manager to contact you to discuss the progress of your application. An increase in calls to check the status of applications will cause further delays.


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