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Payment and cost for cars

If you are eligible to join the Motability Scheme, you can exchange your Government-funded allowance to lease a car, scooter or Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle, (WAV). We offer a selection of over 2,000 cars. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a car to suit your budget.


There’s a wide selection of over 2,000 cars to choose from, suiting all needs and budgets. We currently offer over 450 cars that cost no more than your weekly allowance – around 150 of these cost less than your allowance, giving you money back to spend as you wish. Transferring your allowance to Motability is simple to arrange and can be done through your dealer. Your allowance is paid directly to us by the Department for Work and Pensions or Veterans UK, and you cannot alter the amount of the weekly payments.

You can increase your choice of cars even further by topping up your allowance with an upfront payment, or what we call an Advance Payment.

What are Advance Payments and why are they needed?

This is an amount payable upfront to your dealer in addition to your weekly mobility allowance. Your mobility allowance may not cover the cost for some larger or more expensive cars. These cars are allocated with an Advance Payment which represents the difference between the amount your allowance covers over the three-year agreement period and the overall cost of the car you choose. The Advance Payment is not a deposit and is therefore non-refundable. If an Advance Payment is required, the amount is fixed at the price available when you order your car.

Each Advance Payment is calculated by considering factors such as the cost of the car, its servicing and maintenance and its expected resale value at the end of contract. Our expert team negotiates with manufacturers every three months to get the best price for Motability customers.

Download our Car Price Guide from the Useful Downloads page

When to make your Advance Payment

The amount is payable in one lump sum to your Motability dealer either before or on the day you collect your new car. Some dealers do ask for a holding deposit when you place your order, but any deposit paid will be deducted from the Advance Payment you pay when collecting your car. If you want to pay by cheque, this must be given to your dealer at least seven days before you collect your car, to allow funds to clear.

Advance Payments for WAVs

All new WAVs come with an Advance Payment to cover the cost of the five-year lease. The Advance Payment varies across the range of WAVs from a few hundred to several thousand pounds. If you’re looking for a more affordable way to lease a WAV then a Nearly New WAV might be for you. Nearly New WAVs have a lower Advance Payment than the equivalent new WAV and are sometimes available at no Advance Payment. Speak to the relevant WAV converter for more information.

Motability’s price guarantee

Our price lists are updated every three months, so you can be assured you’re getting the best prices from each manufacturer. The dates the new prices are published are:

  • 1 January
  • 1 April
  • 1 July
  • 1 October

This means the Advance Payment on a car can change throughout the year. We operate a price guarantee, which means the Advance Payment of the car on the date your order is accepted won’t change, even if it changes while you are waiting for the delivery of your car.

Financial help

If you lose the allowance during your lease, we will make arrangements for the return of the car. However, you will only pay the cost of the lease until the car is returned, not for the remaining length of the lease. Your Advance Payment will be refunded to you on a pro rata basis.

Expired or stopped allowances

Optional extras

Choosing a car with optional extras such as electric windows or air conditioning will increase the amount you need to pay to your dealer upfront.

  • If you are a WAV customer , your WAV converter will be able to give you a price for extras such as parking sensors or separate air conditioning controls for the back of the vehicle. But please note that payment for these will be dealt with separately from the Motability Advance Payment.
  • Any adaptations ordered will be outlined in the customer acceptance letter we send with your PIN. The cost of any adaptations, less any grant awarded, is payable directly to your dealer together with the Advance Payment before you take delivery of your car.

The cost of running your car

Many things are already included in your Motability lease, such as insurance, servicing and breakdown. Our all-inclusive package makes motoring much more affordable but it is still worth thinking about running costs, particularly fuel, when choosing your Motability car. To keep the running costs down you may want to consider a more fuel efficient engine. Most manufacturers publish a figure for how many miles per gallon of fuel (mpg) a car will normally do, and this will help you decide how economical it may be. You can find the average annual fuel costs and miles per gallon (mpg) for each model in our Car Search . The mpg given is a guide to help you compare cars. The actual mpg each car achieves will differ depending on your individual driving style and travel habits.

Trade-in your old car

If you are new to Motability, you can trade-in your privately owned car to help finance the Advance Payment of your new car. Around a quarter of Motability dealers offer this and the dealer will arrange the trade-in with you directly.

Next steps

Once you have considered which cars are suitable and worked out your budget, the next step is find your nearest dealer and take a test drive .