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Types of car

When it comes to choosing a car on the Motability Scheme, understanding the different types that are available can help you make the right choice for your needs. You can look for the following categories on the Car Search tool to narrow your selections. Please note: a vehicle may fit into multiple categories and images are only examples.


Small cars

Seat Mii January 2019Smaller cars tend to have lower Advance Payments, lower running costs and lower CO2 emissions, compared to larger vehicles. 2-3 door cars generally have wider doors with larger opening angles. This may make access easier, however be aware that closing the door and fitting in narrow parking spaces may be more difficult. 4-5 door cars benefit from back seat passenger doors, which can be useful if you often have more than one passenger in the car.

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Medium cars

Focus-5d-red Feb 2019Medium-sized cars are often available in hatchback and will have a slightly bigger boot than a standard small car. The 2-3 door model will have a wider door opening angle and the seatbelts will be set further back. The 4-5 door version is useful if you often have passengers in the car as they will have their own doors to exit.

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Family cars

Mazda6saloon_0219Family cars are large 4-door saloons or 5-door hatchbacks and are considerably larger than medium sized cars. A hatchback car usually has a raise-open door at the back where the boot is integrated with a rear window, which can mean more storage space. Saloons have a more traditional boot, which opens independently of the rear window.

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Estate cars

Skoda Superb-Estate January 2019This is a longer version of a standard saloon or hatchback with useful space for mobility aids in the boot. If you are considering an estate but haven’t driven one before it is important to take a test drive as they are longer than standard vehicles, which may affect how you get around in your local area.

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Multi-purpose vehicles (MPVs)

RIFTER LNG ActiveRanging from small to large, MPVs can seat up to nine people. The seats are higher, with more headroom, legroom and width. Some have large sliding side doors.

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4x4 and Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV)

New-QQ_ACENTAThe term ‘4x4’ is usually used to describe vehicles designed for off-road use which generally have higher ground clearance. Until recently, all 4x4s had 4-wheel drive, however, nowadays, people sometimes choose 4x4 vehicles because of their design rather than off-road use. In response to this trend, 4x4s are not always 4-wheel drive; manufacturers now offer vehicles with 4x4 design (larger, higher ground clearance) but with only 2-wheel drive. SUV is the US term for a 4x4 vehicle with off-road styling.

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Coupes, roadsters and cabriolets

Mini Convertible-Cooper January 2019Coupes are small and sporty-looking, seating either two or four people. Usually 2-door with a small boot. A cabriolet is a convertible where the roof can come off or alternatively, retract. A roadster is a hard-top convertible (rather than a soft-top).

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Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs)

WAVs are vehicles that have been converted to carry passengers travelling in their wheelchair or for those who wish to drive from a wheelchair. WAVs may offer a better solution if you have trouble getting in and out of the vehicle from your wheelchair and would prefer to remain in it when travelling as a passenger. WAVs come in different sizes and have many standard features. Use our WAV Search to find the best WAV for you.

Find out more about WAVs