At the Motability Foundation we fund, support, research and innovate to help all disabled people make the journeys they choose. There are a few key ways that we make this happen.
- We oversee the Motability Scheme and provide grants to help people use it, providing access to transport to hundreds of thousands of people a year.
- We award grants to other charities and organisations who provide different types of transport, or work towards making transport accessible.
- We also carry out ongoing research, in partnership with disabled people and key stakeholders in the industry, to inspire innovations that continue to champion accessible transport for all.
Helping people to use the Motability Scheme
The Motability Scheme is the main way we provide access to transport for disabled people. The Scheme offers an affordable way for disabled people to lease a new car, wheelchair-accessible vehicle, scooter or powered wheelchair.
Anyone who receives qualifying mobility allowances from the government can apply for a Scheme vehicle.
We then provide grants to cover the costs of leasing the right car or Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle.
We support people to find the right adaptations so that they can use their car more easily, and provide grants to cover the costs.
All of our Motability Scheme grant applications are means-tested to make sure that we give funding to those most in need of support.
Our role in the Motability Scheme
We continue to make sure that the Motability Scheme is the best it can be. It’s run by a separate company, Motability Operations.
We oversee them to deliver the Scheme and make sure that the Scheme gives disabled people the best choice, value for money and customer service possible – and to make sure it is sustainable for generations to come.
In 2022/23, we provided nearly £74.6 million in direct grant-making with a total of 16,096 Scheme-related grants awarded to disabled people.
Working with other charities and organisations - research, innovation and grant-making
Working with others is a huge part of our commitment to improving accessible travel, today and in the future.
We help fund other charities and organisations who give disabled people everyday transport options, from community buses to wheelchairs.
We provide research grants to better understand the ways transport accessibility needs to change – funding long-term projects like the National Centre for Accessible Transport.
We also use our own research, and work with disability experts, partners and policy makers, to keep exploring and developing new ways to make all transport accessible.
We never stop working alongside disabled people to make sure that their knowledge and experience shapes all of our work.
How it works
The Motability Scheme enables a disabled person to use all or part of their higher rate mobility allowance to pay for the lease of a new car, scooter or powered wheelchair, with insurance, road tax, servicing, tyres and breakdown cover all included.
Motability Foundation sets the strategic policies and direction of the Motability Scheme, and oversees its performance to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of disabled people.
The day-to-day running of the Scheme is delivered by an independent commercial company, Motability Operations, under an exclusive contract with Motability Foundation.
As a charity, Motability Foundation must always act within its charitable object in the best interests of its beneficiaries, who are all disabled people in need of assistance with their personal transportation. Motability Foundation must account publicly for its actions, reporting on its charitable activity and the resulting public benefit. This is part of the Motability Foundation charitable proposition.
A critical feature of the proposition is that any funds donated to Motability Foundation can be used to support charitable programmes for all disabled people, within the Foundation’s objects, not just customers of the Scheme.
Those who are eligible for the Scheme have total choice in whether they join the Scheme as a customer or not. If they so choose they accept the Motability Foundation proposition.
The Motability Foundation proposition must be transparent to all Scheme customers and the wider public, particularly the charitable work of Motability Foundation beyond the Scheme, largely through its individual and special grant-making.
The Motability Scheme is used by 670,000 customers. It is delivered by a separate company, Motability Operations Ltd.
The delivery is overseen by us, the Motability Foundation, to ensure that it is the best it can be for disabled people. Scheme vehicle leases cost on average 45 per cent less than similar deals from other major leasing companies.
Motability Operations is a purpose-driven, customer-focused company contracted exclusively to the Motability Foundation.
Every year, Motability Operations aim to make a modest return on their asset base so that they can reliably borrow money, buy vehicles and make sure they remain affordable to our beneficiaries.
Motability Operations do not pay dividends to shareholders. Any surplus income is used to improve the Scheme and secure its long-term future, or it is donated to the Motability Foundation.
Donations from Motability Operations aren’t guaranteed. In 2019, we set up the Motability Endowment Trust (MET), formerly referred to as the Motability Foundation. MET invests our funds to make our grant giving, research and innovation sustainable in the long term.