As a national charity, with the objective to help not only those who use the Motability Scheme but all disabled people in the UK, we welcome the report and the insights it provides. We welcome the report’s conclusion that the Motability Scheme is a valued option for many and agree that there are a number of barriers to joining the Scheme for others. As the report’s recommendations highlight, some of these relate to Scheme policy and some fall within the remit of the Department for Work and Pensions, such as eligibility for disability benefits.
We also recognise that Motability has not always done enough in the past to engage with disabled people and their organisations, and to raise awareness of the Scheme. We began to address this last year with a consultation on potential grant spending initiatives and continue to do so, carrying out research with input from Scheme customers, disabled people who don’t use the Scheme and disability organisations. The insight and evidence we gather is helping us to identify new areas in which we can improve mobility for disabled people, not just in relation to the Scheme and we are committed to building on this going forward. We also welcome the report’s findings on transparency and communication. As we build our research and engagement capability and review our digital presence over the coming year, we welcome the Committee’s suggestions in that area.
The Motability Scheme
The Motability Scheme is run on a set of guiding principles: to provide the highest standard of customer service, the best possible value for money and financial sustainability for the long term. We are proud, though not complacent, of the high levels of customer service satisfaction levels it achieves - currently 98%. The Scheme has helped over five million disabled people and their families to get mobile over its long history and together with Motability Operations, we remain committed to improving awareness of the Scheme and ensuring it helps more disabled people in the future.
Motability, the Charity
Motability’s vision is that no disabled person shall be disadvantaged due to poor access to transportation and our objective is to facilitate the relief and assistance of all disabled people in connection with the provision of personal or other transportation.
Overseeing the Motability Scheme is one important piece in helping us to achieve our vision and objective. However we are working hard in other areas to achieve positive outcomes for all disabled people, not just those who use the Scheme. In 2019/20 we helped 25,000 beneficiaries with grants to support their transportation needs, spending £71million, an increase from £53million in 2018/19. Beneficiary satisfaction is 97%.
We continue to expand our grant programmes, introducing new areas of support for disabled people who do not use the Scheme, such as Access to Work grants and our Special Grant Programme, supporting organisations with similar objectives as our own, such as Family Fund and Designability.
It is an important and exciting time in the Charity’s history as we begin to explore new ways to support disabled people in order to achieve our vision, such as ensuring that charging infrastructure for electric vehicles will be fully inclusive. We look forward to playing an important role in developing new solutions to meet the evolving transportation needs of disabled people in the future.