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Vehicle Availability

Tuesday, 12 April 2022

The car industry is continuing to go through its most challenging time, with long delays in building and delivering vehicles.

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. Not only are cars taking longer to deliver – in excess and sometimes significantly longer than six months, they are also more expensive to produce, leading to price increases.

Registration data released by the SMMT this week* shows that despite March usually being the busiest month for new cars due to the plate change, new car registrations dropped 14.3% making this the weakest March since 1998.

Everyone looking for a new car at this time is affected, be that through the Scheme or privately, and it is difficult to know when the situation will improve. Experts predict it will continue for the rest of the year.

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.

How is this affecting grants at Motability?

We are currently 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 grant application.

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 for a charitable grant.

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 that you wait for your case manager to contact you to say that your grant application has been allocated and to discuss its progress.

Frequently asked questions

Please read our updated Charitable Grant FAQs where you will find helpful guidance regarding each stage of an application.

We have answered some of the questions we’re often asked below.

Can you increase my grant award so I can get a vehicle faster?

Our grants awards are awarded in line with our policies and after considering everything you tell us during the application process. This ensures the vehicles are suitable for your mobility needs, and that we can help as many people as possible with the funds available. With this in mind, we can only consider increasing a grant award to speed up delivery of a vehicle in exceptional circumstances, such as when the beneficiary has a life-limiting condition.

Can I order a different vehicle to the ones listed on my award letter to speed up delivery?

Our grants awards are awarded in line with our policies and after considering everything you tell us during the application process. This ensures the vehicles are suitable for your mobility needs, and that we can help as many people as possible with the funds available. With this in mind, you cannot use your grant award towards vehicles other than those listed on your award letter.

Can you speed the delivery up for me?

We know how important having a car is to our disabled beneficiaries, and would love to make things go faster for you, but the current situation is out of our control. Due to a number of factors including the semi-conductor shortage, increasing energy costs and the war in Ukraine, the whole car industry is currently experiencing parts shortages and build and delivery delays.

Whether you order a car through the Scheme or privately at a dealership, it will be subject to the same delivery lead times and delays, therefore there is nothing that Motability or Motability Operations can do to speed up delivery of your vehicle.

We thank all of our beneficiaries for their patience and understanding at this time whilst we work through the applications in as timely a manner as possible, and the car industry works to resolve the delay delays.

* https://www.smmt.co.uk/2022/04/new-car-market-feels-supply-chain-squeeze-during-critical-new-numberplate-month/