Posted: 27 May, 2002
Disabled people may soon be able to buy cheaper cars, scooters and wheelchairs after a mobility charity opened one of its schemes to competition.
Motability has already invited tenders from organisations interested in providing finance for its hire purchase (HP) scheme for wheelchairs and scooters.
At present, the charity's financial arm, Motability Finance Limited, provides the credit.
But APR on the scheme providing about 2,000 scooters and wheelchairs a year can range between 11 and 51 per cent.
The APR for used cars can be as high as 31.5 per cent. This scheme provided about 3,000 new and used cars last year.
Noel Muddiman, director of Motability, told Disability Now newspaper that it was likely to put the HP scheme for cars up for tender once lessons had been learned from the wheelchair and scooter process.
He said: "I am quite confident that we will go out to tender for the HP provision of motorcars on the scheme."
But he said the APR rates for the current schemes included things like insurance, which guaranteed that unsuitable scooters or chairs could be returned and AA tests on cars.
He said he would not allow a "fly by night" organisation offering cheap but low quality packages to win the tenders.
Ed Passant, chief executive of the Disabled Drivers' Motor Club, said the current used car HP scheme was "phenomenally expensive" and must change.