Just as it can be difficult to find the right car, it can even more difficult to decide on which wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) is best suited to your circumstances. There are four major routes that you can take when it comes to obtaining a mobility car: either a new mobility car hire, buying a used or new WAV, or hiring a ‘nearly new’ vehicle.
There are a number of ways in which ‘nearly new’ mobility vehicles can be the most ideal. Whilst new or used cars are available for those who wish to own their own WAV in a more affordable manner, you can hire a new or nearly new WAV via the government-funded Motability scheme. The major differences between a new and nearly new vehicle hire, apart from condition (nearly new WAVs are less than two and a half years old), can be found in the delivery, lease, payment and mileage conditions. New Motability cars are leased for 5 years, include an allowance of 100,000 miles, take an average of 3-4 months to be delivered and require a larger advanced payment than nearly new WAVs. Conversely, the lease of nearly new WAVs lasts 3 years, include a 60,000 mile allowance, are delivered within a couple of weeks and require a much smaller advanced payment. A drawback on nearly new vehicles when compared to new vehicles is that there is a limited availability on specifications such as optional extras and colour choice of the vehicle.
However, a nearly new mobility car hire can be ideal to the right people for at least four reasons. The first of which is timeliness. Given that new WAVs require a waiting period that can often be in order to create a car to specification, a nearly new WAV can even be delivered within one week of being ordered. If it’s not possible for you to wait those extra months for a new WAV, nearly new is the best option available. The difference in lease between new and nearly new is the second major benefit. There may be some circumstances where a longer lease vehicle would not be appropriate (e.g. you are moving country), so the flexibility offered by a nearly new mobility lease car makes it ideal in certain situations. Thirdly, the cost advantage. Nearly new WAVs can be incredibly affordable when compared to new vehicles thanks to the far lower advance payment required. Some WAVs have an advance payment of just £50 under the Motability scheme; compared to £1,000 for new. Lastly, we should point out that nearly new vehicles are only ideal if the circumstances are correct to the needs of you or a loved one. As new vehicles allow all sorts of additions and customisation to be made to spec, you may find you have to ‘make do’ with a nearly new vehicle. If you can find a nearly new vehicle that suits your circumstances, however, then this is most certainly ideal.
Whether it is buying new or used wheelchair accessible vehicles, or getting a new or nearly new mobility car hire through the Motability scheme, there are advantages and disadvantages to every option. But for the right person and circumstances, there’s no doubting how helpful the nearly new option can be to many families in the UK today.