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Motability releases coronavirus related FAQs

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Motability has updated users and industry on what the latest coronavirus guidelines mean for the scheme.

It explained that with the ongoing uncertainty that COVID-19 is creating, it wanted to reassure people that the Scheme will show support where possible.

Its teams have now relocated to enable remote working, but Customer Services team are dealing with a high volume of calls, so asked for support if it is unable to come back to you as soon as usual.

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Below are Motability’s most frequently asked questions.

With less traffic on the roads as a result of the lockdown, will I be eligible for a refund from my Scheme insurance?

As lockdown has led to fewer drivers on the road in April and May, the Scheme has seen a lower level of claims, enabling it to share this saving with customers. We have made this decision in consultation with Motability, the Charity. As a result, we are set to send an insurance-based refund of £50 to all customers.

There is no need for customers to contact us in connection with this, as we will automatically issue this insurance refund as soon as possible from the second half of May and throughout June.

I have a Motability Scheme car; how can I get help if I’m in temporary financial need owing to the COVID-19 situation?

Motability Scheme customers who are experiencing temporary and exceptional financial need in relation to COVID-19 are able to access an advance of the £600 Good Condition Bonus (GCB) usually paid at the end of a lease.

This GCB payment can be brought forward to provide support during the COVID-19 lockdown, ensuring that customers in need have access to money during a period when they may need it most. Please note that customers who choose to take this payment early would not therefore receive a further GCB at the end of contract – a point when some customers like to put this towards an Advance Payment on their new car.

As customers use their mobility allowance for their lease instalments, paid directly from the Government, it is not possible to reschedule payments to be repaid later, so this arrangement offers an alternative route to flexibility for customers.

To enable us to deal with requests from customers needing exceptional help as quickly and efficiently as possible, we would ask that customers complete our online form to request a call back from a member of our Customer Services team.

Alternatively you can call us on 0300 020 5050, but please bear with us, as we are currently experiencing a high volume of calls and you may have to wait longer than usual.

Customers who have already received a GCB for their current car clearly won’t be in a position to take advantage of this arrangement.

Similarly, customers who lease a scooter or powered wheelchair will be able to gain access to their £100 End of Contract Bonus in the same way.

My lease expires in the next three months, what will happen if I can’t place an application for a new car?

As a valued customer, we know you are going through a time of great uncertainty and worry. Keeping you mobile is our utmost priority. Following the implementation of COVID-19 restrictions in mid-March, six month extensions have been automatically applied to allow the Scheme to focus on continued mobility for customers and this will continue for the time being. There is no need to contact us, as we will automatically extend your lease and you will also automatically receive a Certificate of Motor Insurance or a temporary cover note from RSA Motability (RSAM) covering this six-month period. We would hope that at some point we may be in a position to shorten this six-month extension, and will be in contact if we are able to do so.

I have placed an application, will the handover of my car go ahead?

Following the implementation of COVID-19 restrictions and the closure of many dealerships who help to supply the Scheme, handovers are not currently taking place. If you are already a customer with a car on the Scheme your lease will automatically be extended for a further six months and you will also automatically receive a Certificate of Motor Insurance or a temporary cover note from RSA Motability (RSAM) covering this six-month period.

If you are not currently a customer on the Scheme and are waiting for your first car to be delivered, unfortunately this will now be delayed. We appreciate that this might be difficult for you, however we are not able to hand over any new cars at this time. Unfortunately we are not able to arrange for any cars to be delivered either.

I was in the process of choosing my first car on the Scheme but had not yet placed an application, can I still go ahead?

Unfortunately due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are unable to take applications for a new car at this time. We hope that you are able to stay mobile using your existing method of transport during this time and hope that we can welcome you as a customer later in the year.

I do not want to place a renewal application, how do I hand my car back?

If you plan to leave the Scheme at the end of your lease, contact us on 0300 456 4566 so we can discuss arrangements.

My lease has been automatically extended for six months, what will happen with my Good Condition Bonus?

Where customers have had leases automatically extended, we are paying the Good Condition Bonus (GCB) on the original lease end date for your car.

We have introduced an option for some customers to receive their GCB by bank transfer. We will contact customers who are eligible as they approach the original end of contract date with more information on what they need to do to receive the GCB this way.

You can of course still opt to receive the payment by cheque, although your cheque may take a little longer to arrive than usual. Please do not contact us, unless it is at least two months after your GCB was due and you have still not received your cheque.

If you request an early payment of your GCB during the lease, you will not be entitled to this payment again.

What will happen with Advance Payments?

If you have already placed an application the price you agreed with your dealer will be the price you pay when the car is able to be delivered.

Why can’t I find the latest prices or search for vehicles currently available on the Motability Scheme?

As we are unable to accept any orders, the latest prices for the Motability Scheme were not launched as usual on 1 April 2020 and our car search tool is currently unavailable. We are monitoring the situation and will advise when this changes.

My usual driver is not able to drive me at the moment, can I add a new driver?

Your lease includes insurance for up to three named drivers, these can be family, friends or carers. If you urgently need to add a new driver, please call RSAM on 0300 037 3737. The driver you wish to add will need to be with you when you call, so RSAM can check their details and add them to the insurance straight away.

Are your partner services open to help if I need them?

The RAC are on hand to help if you have a breakdown and need emergency help. Please call 0800 73 111 73

Our insurance partner RSA Motability are working remotely to help with any urgent insurance queries. Please call 0300 037 3737

Many Kwik Fit centres remain open, they also offer a mobile service. Call the Tyreline on 0330 123 1531 or for mobile appointments 0330 123 1533. There may be reduced capacity in some Kwik Fit centres along with revised opening hours, so if you are planning to visit a centre please call the Tyreline in advance to make an appointment.

The MOT is due on my car, what should I do?

The Government have announced that any MOT’s due to expire after Monday 30 March will have an automatic six-month extension, so once your dealership has reopened they will contact you to book this in.

If your MOT expired before this date, you should arrange this with your dealer if their service centre is still operating, or with Kwik Fit at one of their centres. If you are self-isolating you should book the MOT for after the period of self-isolation is over, or ask a named driver to take the vehicle to be tested.

My service is due or my car requires repairs, what happens now?

Non-essential service, maintenance and repairs are likely to be cancelled as many dealers remain closed, but the RAC will continue to offer an emergency breakdown service.

Once your dealership has reopened they will be in touch to arrange to carry out any outstanding services and non-essential maintenance, although please bear with them as this could take longer than usual as they work to catch up, whilst operating with social distancing measure in place.

I am in a hire car at the moment, how do I collect my Scheme car?

For the time being we will need you to remain in the hire car that has been provided for you. Where a dealer is able to safely operate and complete scheduled repair work we should be able to reunite you with your Scheme car, but please be aware that repairs are likely to take longer than normal due to social distancing measures at dealerships and availability of parts.

What do I do if the customer unfortunately passes away during this time?

Should a customer die during their lease, a family member should contact us as soon as possible. The quickest and easiest way to do this is by filling out our Notification of a customer passing away form, alternatively you can phone us on 0300 456 4566, please bear with us as we are taking longer than usual to answer calls. We will then advise you of the next steps you need to take which usually means that we will arrange for the car to be collected within a few weeks, however at this time it may take longer for us to process this request.

I was due to be reassessed for my allowance but the DWP have suspended my assessment for 3 months; can I stay in my current vehicle?

If your lease is due to end before your reassessment, please contact us on 0300 456 4566 so we can apply a lease extension for you. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have confirmed that they will continue to pay allowances where they have had to delay assessments.

I am abroad with my Motability Scheme vehicle but I cannot get back due to the Coronavirus, what can I do?

If your lease is due to expire we will apply a lease extension, however if you are unable to return to the UK, please contact us on 0300 456 4566.

My question hasn’t been answered, can I call you?

Our current opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, but please bear with us, as we are currently experiencing a high volume of calls and you may have to wait longer than usual. We also have a webchat facility which might be quicker than holding for our advisors on the telephone.

We hope that you will find the answer to your query here or in our regular news updates which will be posted on the home page of our website. We will be regularly updating this page to ensure we cover the most frequently asked customer questions.

Scooter and powered wheelchair customers

My dealer is due to deliver my new scooter or powered wheelchair, what happens now?

The ongoing COVID-19 situation means many dealerships remain closed. We are doing everything we can to maintain a seamless service; keeping you mobile is our utmost priority. Where customers were due to take delivery of a new product we will automatically apply a six month lease extension to cover them through this period of uncertainty. There is no need to contact us, as we will automatically extend the lease. Once the dealer has reopened they will be in touch with you to rearrange delivery of your product.

My dealer is due to collect my scooter or powered wheelchair, will this still happen?

The closure of dealer sites will mean that dealers won’t be able to collect your scooter or powered wheelchair, however we will automatically arrange a six month lease extension to cover you over this period of uncertainty. If you plan to leave the Scheme at the end of your lease, contact us on 0300 456 4566 so we can discuss arrangements.

What about servicing and repairs for my scooter or powered wheelchair?

Non-essential service, maintenance and repairs are likely to be cancelled as dealers remain closed. Your dealer will be in touch to arrange this with you once they reopen, although please bear with them as this could take longer than usual as they work to catch up, whilst operating with social distancing measure in place

I can’t use my scooter or powered wheelchair because it needs a repair, what are my options?

If you’re product requires a repair and is unusable as a result, your dealer may be able to collect it from your home address. Please contact your dealer to establish whether they are open and able to offer this service for you.

One Big Day and The Big Event

Will the Motability Scheme events still be taking place?

Following the latest Government announcement extending lock down measures, we have made the difficult decision to fully cancel the One Big Day Programme for 2020.

As always, the safety of all event visitors is our number one priority. With some degree of social distancing potentially remaining with us for the next few months, we believe cancelling the events for 2020 is the right thing to do.

All the events listed below are now cancelled:

• The Big Event (3 & 4 July 2020)

• One Big Day Northern Ireland (6 June 2020)

• One Big Day Exeter (25 July 2020)

• One Big Day Harrogate (15 August 2020)

• One Big Day Peterborough (5 September 2020)

• One Big Day Edinburgh (19 September 2020)

We understand this is disappointing news and we apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. We hope to be back with a full programme of events in 2021.

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Alex Douglas

The author Alex Douglas

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