Our history

The Motability Scheme was started in 1977 by the late Lord Goodman and Lord Sterling. It enjoyed all-party support and aimed to help disabled people and their families with personal mobility. Since 1978, we have operated the Motability Scheme and delivered mobility to over four million customers across the UK. Our affordable, worry-free package has helped to keep thousands of people moving.

Motability, the national charity, oversees the Scheme, which is delivered by Motability Operations.

1978 – 1990

Motability Operations was established to run the Scheme, overseen by the registered Motability charity. Now, disabled people could exchange their mobility allowance to lease a Motability Scheme vehicle. Participating manufacturers included British Leyland [Rover], Chrysler [Peugeot], Ford and Vauxhall.

During the 80s, the Motability Scheme became more affordable, as the Government introduced changes such as removing car tax for leased cars.


1991 – 2000

In 1992, the Disability Living Allowance [DLA] was introduced, combining mobility and care elements. It attracted more people to join the Scheme.

By 1997 21 manufacturers were participating, with a range of models from Citroen, Fiat, Mazda, Nissan, Peugeot and Renault available, offering real choice.


2001 – 2010

This decade saw the introduction of online applications, so there was no longer a need to complete lengthy paperwork at the dealership when applying for a Motability Scheme car.

In 2005 we introduced the Good Condition Bonus for customers handing back a well looked after car with no claims made. By 2007 the mileage allowance had been increased from 45,000 to 60,000 for a three-year contract. Customers could now travel further without worrying about excess mileage charges.

July 2010 saw us take over the Powered Wheelchair and Scooter Scheme, offering a choice of around 300 models.


2011 – the present day

We reached a milestone in 2012. The Powered Wheelchair and Scooter Scheme reached 10,000 customers: an increase of over 20% in two years. Another significant advance was the availability of our first 100% electric vehicle, the Nissan Leaf.

Over our first four decades, we supplied over four million cars from more than 30 manufacturers to help disabled people become mobile. Just as importantly, customer satisfaction rates remain consistently high.