I love Motability. Not.

Use this board for general non-cycling-related chat, or to introduce yourself to the forum.
User avatar
Lance Dopestrong
Posts: 1227
Joined: 18 Sep 2014, 1:52pm

I love Motability. Not.

Postby Lance Dopestrong » 1 Jun 2019, 10:23am

Mrs Dopestrong currently has a Motability car. The lease is up in September, whereupon we take delivery of the new car my Dad is very kindly buying us.

The Motability vehicle is due a service, so this morning I rang up the dealer to get it booked in. “No can do”, they said. It seems Motability won’t pay to service a car so close to the end of a lease. I pointed out that by September the car will have another 5k miles or more on it and be halfway to its next scheduled service, but that cuts no ice – the dealers would love to do it, but quite understandably won’t because Motability won’t pay them to service a car so close to the end of its lease. I won't work for free, and neither will the dealers, which is fair enough.

Motability will pay for a lights and levels check, but that’s pretty pointless as I can do that in less time that it would take Mrs Dopestrong to drive to the edge of our village.

This is just the latest in a long tale of woe with Motability. A while back the car suffered a puncture. Turns out there was a nail in the tyre and it was, funnily enough, unrepairable. Motability wouldn’t pay top dollar to match the original tyre with the same or comparable boot, but authorised only a budget tyre be fitted. Even worse, the budget tyre was an M+S rated boot, so had a completely different tread pattern and carcass construction to the other 3 tyres which were standard car summer boots. This made the car very, very, nervous at motorway speeds made it difficult to hold a line, almost as if driving with a tyre badly under inflated (I checked, they were all fine). This was a significant safety concern, yet Motability refused to even acknowledge the problem, and only relented when I threatened to fill the windows with signs expressing my disgust with their company and dumping it outside the local dealers, locking it, and calling the Daily Mail to come take some snaps (even the DM has their uses now and again). Having relented they arranged to have the correct tyre fitted, and you know what…the problem was solved and the cars stability was instantly restored.

So I have 2 pieces of advice regarding this organisation:

1. If you’re ever thinking of buying an ex Motability car thinking it will have been driven by Mother Theresa and serviced within in an inch of its life to the highest standard, then forget it. It will have been maintained on a very low budget, and is liable to even have services missing from its history.

2. If you’re ever thinking of using Motability yourselves, forget it. Customer service is dreadful. They argue, wheedle and downright fib to avoid doing even the most fundamental basic maintenance (for example, such as fitting the correct tyre), and when the lease ends it takes them 6 weeks to restore the Mobility PIP payments to the customer instead of pocketing it themselves – 6 extra weeks of taking the cash and pocketing the interest – funnily enough they don’t mention this to new customers. This is how their ‘charity’ ended up with over £1000,000,000 in cash reserves, and that’s not a mistype.

So there you have it. Make what you will of it. Fortunately Mrs Dopestrong has me to fight her corner and dig my heels in when things aren't right, but not every Motability customer has that luxury. My personal experience is that they have gone beyond providing a paid service to the disabled, and by the very nature of their sharp business practices are actually exploiting the vulnerable for massive financial gain. That is my personal experience of dealing with this organisation.
https://themediocrecyclist.home.blog
Self employed MIAS L5.B Instructor.
Warwickshire Lowland Rescue Bike lead.
IPMBA certified member.
Cyctech C2 hammer and crowbar bodger.
Lapsed CTC Ride Leader, amateur hour stuff from the fun old days.

ambodach
Posts: 849
Joined: 15 Mar 2011, 6:45pm

Re: I love Motability. Not.

Postby ambodach » 1 Jun 2019, 6:07pm

My present Peugeot Partner is ex motability. It was 3 years old with just under 8000 miles and with most extras. The supplying dealer in Oban serviced it and mot’d it before delivery. It came to me looking brand new. I hesitate to say I have had no trouble as that would be tempting fate but so far it is a van with windows and I can get full size bikes or my recumbent in no problem. If needed I can replace the back seats in minutes.

Oldjohnw
Posts: 1965
Joined: 16 Oct 2018, 4:23am
Location: Northumberland

Re: I love Motability. Not.

Postby Oldjohnw » 1 Jun 2019, 6:17pm

ambodach wrote:My present Peugeot Partner is ex motability. It was 3 years old with just under 8000 miles and with most extras. The supplying dealer in Oban serviced it and mot’d it before delivery. It came to me looking brand new. I hesitate to say I have had no trouble as that would be tempting fate but so far it is a van with windows and I can get full size bikes or my recumbent in no problem. If needed I can replace the back seats in minutes.



Mrs ojw has had 2 VW Polos ex-motability. Came in excellent condition and served us well.
John

Cycling and recycling

pete75
Posts: 11819
Joined: 24 Jul 2007, 2:37pm

Re: I love Motability. Not.

Postby pete75 » 1 Jun 2019, 6:37pm

Lance Dopestrong wrote:So there you have it. Make what you will of it. Fortunately Mrs Dopestrong has me to fight her corner and dig my heels in when things aren't right, but not every Motability customer has that luxury. My personal experience is that they have gone beyond providing a paid service to the disabled, and by the very nature of their sharp business practices are actually exploiting the vulnerable for massive financial gain. That is my personal experience of dealing with this organisation.


They need to make money to pay their Chief Executive his £1.7 million annual salary.

thirdcrank
Posts: 28648
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: I love Motability. Not.

Postby thirdcrank » 1 Jun 2019, 7:21pm

Looking at the wider picture, I remember the original NHS invalid tricycles: I've driven one for fun on private property. Better than nothing and that's all that could be said in their favour. I've found this review:

https://peopleshistorynhs.org/encyclopaedia/invacar/

One of the "facts" I've heard quoted is that Motabilty saved public money, while providing immeasurably better vehicles. My schoolfriend who had the NHS trike eventually regained the ability to walk contradicting all the prognoses of being paralysed for life. It's fifty-odd years ago now so some of this is vague but it was difficult to get the NHS to have it back. The chap who eventually collected it - possibly after a year's delay - said that they usually only collected them on the death of the user. It's possible, therefore, that there were costs caused by slack admin.

PH
Posts: 7591
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 12:31am
Location: Derby
Contact:

Re: I love Motability. Not.

Postby PH » 1 Jun 2019, 10:15pm

Lance Dopestrong wrote:This is how their ‘charity’ ended up with over £1000,000,000 in cash reserves, and that’s not a mistype.

Couple of inaccuracies there - the reserves are a whooping £2.6 Billion (Mostly vehicle values. 79% according to the NAO report)), but they're held by a private company, Motability Operations, which in turn (Surprise, surprise) is owned by four banks! The charity, Motability, is responsible for oversight but not directly in the supply.
The National Audit Office investigated and reported last year, among the items noted was the £1 billion in unplanned profits from underestimating the re sale value at the end of the lease. Who would have thought that low mileage cars would be worth more :roll: The report makes several interesting points, it credits the way the business has turned itself around, but that there's nothing exceptional in the ability to maintain that in the favourable monopoly conditions it enjoys.
https://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploa ... ummary.pdf

In the end there's nothing surprising here, let the private sector do a public service role and they may or may not do a good job of it, but you can be sure it won't be for charity.
Last edited by PH on 1 Jun 2019, 11:29pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Lance Dopestrong
Posts: 1227
Joined: 18 Sep 2014, 1:52pm

Re: I love Motability. Not.

Postby Lance Dopestrong » 1 Jun 2019, 10:41pm

I remember the olde Invacar. I think they tried to get them all back for chopping up when they were withdrawn. Do any survive?

From what I now know about how Motability maintain their fleet I wouldn't touch one with Cugel's. If someone has owned used ones and they've been decent that is purely luck - the non existent love and care with which Motability maintain them is nothing to do with it.
https://themediocrecyclist.home.blog
Self employed MIAS L5.B Instructor.
Warwickshire Lowland Rescue Bike lead.
IPMBA certified member.
Cyctech C2 hammer and crowbar bodger.
Lapsed CTC Ride Leader, amateur hour stuff from the fun old days.

pete75
Posts: 11819
Joined: 24 Jul 2007, 2:37pm

Re: I love Motability. Not.

Postby pete75 » 2 Jun 2019, 4:57am

It ill behoves anyone benefiting from the motability scheme to whinge about it. Basically they're getting a new car every few years at the tax payers expense. Most of the Daily Mail stuff about people on benefits living high on the hog is a load of crap but as regards motability it's true and they get a pass which enables them to bypass parking regulations, wrongly issued in many cases. I don't see why our income tax should be used to buy anyone a free car nor pay high salaries to people running the free car scheme.

User avatar
Lance Dopestrong
Posts: 1227
Joined: 18 Sep 2014, 1:52pm

Re: I love Motability. Not.

Postby Lance Dopestrong » 2 Jun 2019, 8:02am

So their cost cutting practices are dangerous (see my original post re how they tyre made the car unstable at speed), and you don't think I'm entitled to whinge when my wife's safety is compromised? I'm supposed to meekly accept danger and show my thanks simply because it's "free", which it isnt? That is a ridiculous proposition.

Mrs D is a high rate income tax payer, as was I before I retired, so you'll forgive me if I don't doff my cap and grovel at the to the state for their generosity, seeing as we've both paid far, far, far more than she receives over the years. Off the top of my head Mrs D pays the state in tax approximately £1000 more than she receives back in disability payments each month, so I would be grateful if you could explain how any of this works out to be "free"?

Leaving that aside, Mrs Dopestrong has a progressive disease that leaves her unable to walk unaided, and which will kill her prematurely. In due course I will be left a widower. Your lack of sensitivity for someone who has a medical condition that leaves them disabled and which is liable to kill them before their normal time is utterly disgusting, If it ever happens to one of your loved ones I hope they don't have to endure sickening comments of that nature. Oh yes, were living high on the hog, all the way to the Crematorium, thank you very much indeed.
https://themediocrecyclist.home.blog
Self employed MIAS L5.B Instructor.
Warwickshire Lowland Rescue Bike lead.
IPMBA certified member.
Cyctech C2 hammer and crowbar bodger.
Lapsed CTC Ride Leader, amateur hour stuff from the fun old days.

User avatar
Mick F
Spambuster
Posts: 46812
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: I love Motability. Not.

Postby Mick F » 2 Jun 2019, 9:08am

Lance Dopestrong wrote:I remember the olde Invacar. I think they tried to get them all back for chopping up when they were withdrawn. Do any survive?

51 of them left as of last year.
https://www.howmanyleft.co.uk/?utf8=✓&q=invacar&commit=Search

Interesting site. Try inputting your favourite cars! :D
Saw an Austin Mini Cooper S the other day.
https://www.howmanyleft.co.uk/?utf8=✓&q=austin+mini+cooper+s
Mick F. Cornwall

ambodach
Posts: 849
Joined: 15 Mar 2011, 6:45pm

Re: I love Motability. Not.

Postby ambodach » 2 Jun 2019, 9:11am

I do sympathise with you L.D. My wife had a degenerative disease and died prematurely. We did not have a Motability car because she was too old as I recall the age limit was 55 but would have had one if we could. With a Fiat Panda we had some adventures on ferries with non working lifts etc.and a wheelchair. I think I resembled Alf Garnett in the last series. Cantankerous old git. CalMac staff however were most helpful on every occasion tho’ and went to extreme lengths to assist when required.

brynpoeth
Posts: 11286
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am

Re: I love Motability. Not.

Postby brynpoeth » 2 Jun 2019, 12:39pm

Cantankerous? Another Curmudgeon? :wink:
I think as so often, Both Are Right
For existing captive customers (cost factor Dopestrong), one tries to save a bit of, fits unmatching tyres
Before selling the vehicle obviously it is tidied up and checked and serviced, tyres too

Maybe there should be a law about non-matching tyres, there were rules about mixing crossply and radial
Are cycle tyres radial?
Entertainer, kidult, curmudgeon
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we love life

merseymouth
Posts: 1116
Joined: 23 Jan 2011, 11:16am

Re: I love Motability. Not.

Postby merseymouth » 2 Jun 2019, 1:38pm

Hello again, Bear in mind one simple point over the Invacar scheme, it was simple mobility for those who needed it! The were for single person use not for family transport.
One of my uncles had one after losing a leg to diabetes, got him around quite well, without undue haste.The driving ability only became an issue when folk with poor manners and roadcraft pushed them about!
When families wanted a larger vehicle they bought their own, also paying for adaptation. They often kept the invacar for prime work transport.
But then the impatient type started whipping up a furore about them being a danger on the road, untrue.
When they brought in a scheme whereby family cars became readily available it caused at least one serious flaw to be abused?
If the car was restricted for you with the intended used only driving it would have seemed fair, after all they needed the mobility. But no, any number of drivers could be declared, so like a cousin of mine who didn't/couldn't drive had her daughter named.
My cousin never went a mile in the motor as it was de facto transport for a perfectly able bodied young woman! Throw in the abuse of the "Badge Scheme" it then becomes a serious abuse of the original purpose! That abuse should be ended.
The Invacars still on the road have had to be officially declared "Tricycles", you know 3 wheel bike things :roll: , so the have to follow regulations. They're old enough to be classed as Historic Vehicle, so no duty to be paid. Great fun on snow & ice. TTFN MM

User avatar
RickH
Posts: 4542
Joined: 5 Mar 2012, 6:39pm
Location: Horwich, Lancs.

Re: I love Motability. Not.

Postby RickH » 2 Jun 2019, 5:47pm

Lance Dopestrong wrote:So their cost cutting practices are dangerous (see my original post re how they tyre made the car unstable at speed), and you don't think I'm entitled to whinge when my wife's safety is compromised? I'm supposed to meekly accept danger and show my thanks simply because it's "free", which it isnt? That is a ridiculous proposition.

From your description you have been dealt with poorly and you are right to feel aggrieved.

I suppose the context to put it in is whether this is a systemic problem with the organisation as a whole or poor service from an individual/office/team (I don't know their organisation structure).