Best cars

Best Motability electric cars 2021

The Motability scheme now includes a number of electric cars, which can all help eligible drivers keep their motoring costs down

Vauxhall Mokka-e

The Motability Scheme gives eligible people in the UK the opportunity to lease a new car, scooter or powered wheelchair in exchange for their mobility allowance. Every three months, the organisation negotiates discounted leasing rates with manufacturers, potentially offering big savings that aren’t available elsewhere.

Insurance, breakdown assistance, servicing and maintenance are all included in the package, making it a convenient and hassle-free option. You can pick any car, scooter or wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) you want, provided it’s offered on the Motability Scheme.

You can also decide who drives the vehicle and which dealership to operate through, plus you’re eligible for a new vehicle every three years. Drivers still have to pay for fuel, however, so an electric car could offer huge savings over the course of the lease. Scroll down to read about the electric cars currently offered through the Motability Scheme.

Do I qualify for the Motability Scheme?

To be eligible for the Motability Scheme, you must receive one of the following four mobility allowances:

• Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance (HRMC DLA)

£62.25 per week

• Enhanced Rate Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment (ERMC PIP)

£62.25 per week

• War Pensioners' Mobility Supplement (WPMS)

£69.50 per week

• Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP)

£62.25 per week

You must also have at least 12 months left to run on any of the above allowances to qualify for the Motability Scheme. Additionally, there are a handful of terms and conditions that need to be met: any car leased through the Motability Scheme must be used for the benefit of the disabled person, even if it is predominantly or entirely driven by another named driver.

Named drivers must have a valid driving licence, and also meet RSA’s insurance underwriting criteria. Misuse of a Motability car – ranging from driving without insurance to sub-leasing the vehicle – could result in the termination of the lease and a bill to cover any repairs or loss of resale value. You may also be prevented from getting another car through the Motability Scheme.

What’s included on the Motability Scheme

As mentioned above, leasing a car through Motability lets you roll insurance, breakdown assistance, servicing and maintenance into one package, with all of the above organised for you. Insurance is provided by RSA Motability, and includes personal accident cover. Servicing is included, too, and if you give the dealership three weeks’ notice, it'll arrange a courtesy car so you can travel home while the service is being carried out.

Motability arranges full breakdown assistance, and you may have up to two named drivers. Cars have a mileage allowance of 60,000 miles, and MOTs and road tax are covered as well. Perhaps most importantly of all, the Motability Scheme allows you to choose a variety of adaptations to accommodate a variety of disabilities. Some adaptations are free, while others have a price attached.

All manner of adaptations can be arranged, including hand controls, steering aids, pedal modifications and personal hoists. Consult with your dealer to have these fitted. It’s important to note that there are cars on the scheme that cost less than a full week’s mobility allowance to lease, and therefore it could still be cheaper overall to run a petrol, diesel or hybrid vehicle. But we have made a list of the best Motability hybrid cars in 2021 if you can't make the big switch to an electric car just yet.

Our list below features details of electric cars on the scheme along with their respective advance payments, calculated with the Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance in mind. Advance payments can vary from our figures for those receiving one of the other allowances detailed above.

Citroen e-C4

Citroen e-C4

Weekly rental: Full allowance

Advance payment: £1,595 (Sense Plus), £1,695 (Shine), £1,795 (Shine Plus)

One of the newest entries on this list, the Citroen e-C4 is a family hatchback that's based on the same platform as the Peugeot e-2008, DS 3 Crossback E-TENSE and Vauxhall Mokka-e elsewhere on this list. It's styled much like a coupe-SUV, but Citroen does not refer to it as such.

A 217-mile range is claimed from the 50kWh battery, while power comes from a 134bhp electric motor. 100kW charging makes for speedy top-ups from public rapid chargers, while its interior is both comfortable and practical despite that sloping roofline.

Perhaps most importantly, the e-C4 requires a lower advance payment than its Stellantis relatives. It's well worth a look if you prioritise comfort and refinement.  Read our full review.

DS 3 Crossback E-TENSE

DS 3 Crossback E-TENSE

Weekly rental: Total allowance

Advance payment: £1,999 (Prestige), £2,499 (Ultra Prestige)

Another electric entry from the Stellantis Group, the DS 3 Crossback E-TENSE is billed as a high-end, luxurious and individualistic choice for small electric SUV buyers. It uses the same platform as the Peugeot and Vauxhall models on this list but feels a little plusher and has characteristically soft suspension.

Outside, the DS looks like nothing else on the road, while the jazzy interior puts design ahead of outright ergonomic sense. It’s still a nice place to sit, however. Whether or not you pay extra up front for the DS 3 Crossback over its siblings on Motability is down to how much you value individual style and a focus on comfort. We prefer the other models on this list, but you won’t be disappointed either way.

Much like its stablemates, the DS 3 Crossback E-TENSE can’t be driven by under-25s on Motability. Read our full review.

Honda e

Honda e

Weekly rental: Full allowance

Advance payment: £999 (standard), £2,499 (Advance)

The Honda e is one of the best small electric cars on sale, electric or otherwise – stylish, high-tech and quite unlike anything else on the road. It's relatively affordable on the Motability scheme (although some larger, longer-range cars are cheaper) and with big doors, a comfortable, spacious interior and plenty of driver aids, it's a great choice for those looking for a shorter-distance runabout.

It's not the most practical car on this list, although it benefits from a set of rear doors that help with flexibility when carrying passengers. The Honda's insurance rating excludes under-25s from driving, which is a shame – it's fun to drive thanks to its rear-wheel-drive layout and well sorted chassis. Read our full review.

Hyundai Ioniq Electric

Hyundai Ioniq Electric 

Weekly rental: Total allowance

Advance payment: £1,499 (Premium), £1,999 (Premium SE)

The Hyundai Ioniq Electric is a great all-rounder: it retains all the best bits of its hybrid siblings and adds a claimed 193-mile range from its 38.3kWh battery. There’s 134bhp on tap, which equates to a 9.7-second 0-62mph time.

Like the other Ioniq models, the Electric is well built, comfortable and good to drive. It’s not terribly exciting from the driver’s point of view but remains a practical family hatchback that’s a great alternative to the SUV mainstream.

It’s worth noting that the Premium model sits in insurance group 16 and so is one of the only all-electric cars that can be driven by under-25s on Motability. The Premium SE is one group above and so is age-limited. Read our full review.

Hyundai Kona Electric

Hyundai Kona Electric

Weekly rental: Full allowance

Advance payment: £2,799 (Premium), £3,949 (Premium SE)

If you like the idea of the Ioniq's tried-and-tested powertrain technology, but would rather have a higher-set car for easier access, the Kona Electric offers more or less exactly that. You can only get the larger-battery version on Motability and this is reflected in the high advance payments required.

The 64kWh Kona has a great 280-mile range and will recharge fully via a home wallbox in around 10 hours. Rapid charging is supported at up to 100kW for a 44-minute 10-80% top-up. The Kona is brisk, good to drive and while not the most practical SUV here, it's comfortable, safe and well-equipped. Sadly, it's not for under 25s on the scheme. Read our full review.

Kia Soul EV

Kia Soul EV

Weekly rental: Full allowance

Advance payment: £3,449 (First Edition)

Offered with much the same powertrain as found in its Hyundai siblings on this list, the Kia Soul EV is another small SUV that's a good bet if you appreciate range, style and a good dose of passenger space. The same 64kWh battery as the Kona above means an identical 280-mile range.

Coming in on the scheme somewhere between the two Kona Electric models on offer, the Soul EV offers all the standard equipment you could need in First Edition trim. LED headlights, leather upholstery, wireless phone charging and a reversing camera all feature as standard, along with all-important Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. As ever, the car is out of bounds for under-25s due to its insurance group. Read our full review.

mx-30

Mazda MX-30

Weekly rental: Full allowance

Advance payment: £999 (SE-L Lux), £1,699 (First Edition), £1,999 (Sport Lux), £3,199 (GT Sport Tech)

The Mazda MX-30 is the Japanese brand's first all-electric model, and its focus on keeping weight down and using sustainable materials means it's an eco-friendly choice. It has an all-electric range of 124 miles and takes five hours and 45 minutes to charge fully from a wallbox charger.  Aside from the relatively short range, the MX-30 is a great choice – it's practical but stylish, full of the latest kit and great to drive as well. Read our full review.

MG 5 EV

MG 5 EV

Weekly rental: Full allowance

Advance payment: £599 (Excite), £999 (Exclusive)

Just like its ZS SUV counterpart below, the MG5 EV is a high-value proposition: low advance payments but lots of electric-car capability. It's also the only electric estate car on this list – and indeed the UK car market, at least for now. 

A 52.5kWh battery offers 214 miles of range, while the 154bhp electric motor has lots of torque and offers surprisingly keen performance. It's not the last word in driving fun but it's comfortable and refined enough given its budget positioning.

Perhaps more importantly, the car's cabin is spacious (if not especially stylish) and its boot is large – its 464 litres of space puts it somewhere between the Nissan Leaf's 370 litres and a more traditional petrol or diesel powered estate car. Under 25s are not covered to drive the MG 5 on the Motability scheme. Read our full review.

MG ZS EV

MG ZS EV

Weekly rental: Total allowance

Advance payment: £0 (Excite), £299 (Exclusive)

It’s not the best car on this list, but the ZS is one of the most affordable ways into a family-sized electric car on the Motability scheme. The fundamentals are good – a 44.5kWh battery good for 163 miles of range, a motor with 141bhp and a practical interior are all present and correct. Performance is peppy: 0-62mph takes just 8.5 seconds.

The MG ZS EV is not as polished as some of its rivals, but it’s a good choice for Motability users looking for SUV practicality with a more attainable advance payment. There’s lots of standard equipment to boot, including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and sat nav, plus keyless entry and adaptive cruise control. Unfortunately, under-25s can't drive either MG model on the scheme, as both sit in insurance group 21. Read our full review.

Nissan Leaf

Nissan Leaf

Weekly rental: Full allowance

Advance payment: £299 (Acenta), £799 (N-Connecta), £1,299 (Tekna)

One of the original mass-market electric cars, the Nissan Leaf remains one of the best you can buy in its most recent form today. Spacious, comfortable and very well engineered, the Leaf comes in 40kWh form on Motability and is very reasonably priced in its lower trims.

The 168-mile range offered by this smaller battery may not be that impressive, but it's more than flexible enough for most drivers' average daily mileage – especially given that we consistently managed to get more than 160 miles in real-world tests. Topping up on the go is easy enough if you have 100kW charging access – 10-80%  charge is dealt with in 35 minutes.

If you like an easy-to-drive car, the Leaf's effortless e-pedal system will also appeal; it allows for single pedal operation of the car, with regenerative braking boosted to the point that it can slow the car down to a complete stop when you lift off. Read our full review.

Nissan e-NV200 Combi

Weekly rental: Full allowance

Advance payment: £2,999–£3,499 (multiple trim/seating combinations)

It's one of only options on this list with more than five seats, but it's a little smaller than the Vauxhall alternative. The e-NV200 Combi isn't the most exciting proposition, nor the most modern – its 124-mile range and dated driving experience leave plenty to be desired.

Still, with five and seven-seat options, there's plenty of flexibility, while access to the rear is easy in tight spots thanks to a set of sliding rear doors. It uses Nissan Leaf underpinnings and so will be very reliable, although the 50kW charging isn't quite up to speed with newer models.

Generally, we'd recommend going for the Vivaro-e Life elsewhere on this list if you need the space – the e-NV200 Combi is available for a smaller advance payment but it's not quite as flexible. Read our full review.

Peugeot e-208

Peugeot e-208

Weekly rental: Total allowance

Advance payment: £999 (Active Premium) £1,249 (Allure Premium), £1,999 (GT Premium)

If you only need a small car, but would like it to have a decent breadth of ability, the Peugeot e-208 is a great contender. Based on the same underpinnings as the Vauxhall Corsa-e elsewhere on this list, the e-208 is powered by a 50kWh battery and a 134bhp motor.

The e-208 is small inside but still roomier than a Renault ZOE; four adults can fit in comfortably. The boot is of a useful size, too, but there’s nowhere to store the charging cables out of the way other than a bag. The car’s focus on style – and its accompanying sloping roof – mean access to the rear seats may be an issue for some.

An official range of 211 miles is strong for an electric car of this size and type, offering a little more flexibility than some of its more urban-focused rivals. It’ll charge up from a wallbox in around eight hours. It’s worth noting that despite the e-208’s youthful looks, those under 25 can’t drive one on the Motability scheme. Read our full review.

Peugeot e-2008

Peugeot e-2008

Weekly rental: Total allowance

Advance payment: £1,899 (Active Premium) £2,999 (GT Premium)

Based on similar underpinnings to its e-208 relative, the e-2008 is a larger, more practical and higher-riding SUV alternative. The pair share similar interior design and use the same 50kWh battery; the SUV is heavier and so range drops to a still-useful 193 miles from the e-208’s 211.

One of the best reasons to choose the e-2008 over its supermini sibling is practicality: there’s a 405-litre boot, 60:40 split-fold seats and plenty of room for two adults in the back. Access is easier, too, thanks to the raised ride height and high roofline. Sadly, those under the age of 25 just miss out on the e-2008 due to its group 17 insurance. Read our full review.

Renault Zoe

Renault ZOE

Weekly rental: Full allowance

Advance payment: £0-£999 (various spec/trim combinations)

The Renault ZOE is much more capable than either of the Smart cars, with a range of 186 miles on a single charge and a recharging time of around seven-and-a-half hours from a wallbox charger.

Two five-door trims are offered: i Dynamique Nav and S Edition. However, the latter is in insurance group 17 and therefore can’t be driven by anyone under the age of 25. As is the case with the Smart ForTwo and ForFour, the duration of the ZOE Motability lease is three years. Read our full review.

mii electric

SEAT Mii electric

Weekly rental: Full allowance

Advance payment: £0

The SEAT Mii is a small city car, but it has a reasonable 160-mile driving range and it's much more spacious than it looks. It's very similar to the non-electric version, yet it's quieter, smoother, easier to drive and faster off the line, so it's a fantastic choice if you want a small car. The Mii is also comfortable and despite the small boot it's pretty practical as you can fold the rear seats down for extra space. Read our full review.

Smart EQ ForTwo

Smart EQ ForTwo

Weekly rental: Full allowance

Advance payment: £0 (Pulse Premium)

The two-seater, three-door Smart EQ ForTwo is available in Prime Premium and Prime Premium Plus trims, requiring your full mobility allowance to rent with an advance payment ranging from £699 to £999. The Edition Nightsky trim is also offered, although this requires and advance payment of £3,149.

The ForTwo has a real-world range of 65-80 miles, and its 17.4kWh battery will charge from flat to 80% full in around two and a half hours. As it's a city car, boot space is limited, and there are very few cubbies for storage. While small, the Smart EQ ForTwo should be no harder to get in and out of than any other car of this size. Read our full review.

Smart EQ ForFour

Smart EQ ForFour

Weekly rental: Full allowance

Advance payment: £0 (Prime Exclusive, Pulse Premium)

As the name suggests, the Smart EQ ForFour will seat four people. It boasts the same range and recharging time of its two-seater sibling, however its 185-litre boot is even smaller, despite this car being much longer than the ForTwo.

Both the Prime Premium and Prime Premium Plus trims are available on Motability, as is the option of a three or five-door variant. With 81bhp and an insurance group under 16, it can be driven by under 25s, as can the ForTwo. Read our full review.

Vauxhall Corsa-e

Weekly rental: Total allowance 

Advance payment: £0-£1,849 (Various trim levels)

The third car on this list to use the Stellantis group's electric underpinnings is a Vauxhall – the latest Corsa was the first all-new product from the company after it was bought by the group, and it just happens to be the best yet.

The Corsa-e is mechanically identical to the e-208 elsewhere on this list but available for a smaller advance payment. The entry-level Corsa gets a little more standard kit too, including LED headlights and alloy wheels.

The Peugeot looks better to our eyes and has a funkier interior, but the Corsa has an altogether more familiar feeling while retaining the same excellent electric motor and battery combination. The Corsa has a marginally reduced range (205 miles versus the e-208’s 211 miles) but its performance is identical. It also has slightly less legroom, but that’s about it. All are off-limits to drivers under the age of 25. Read our full review.

Vauxhall Mokka-e

Vauxhall Mokka-e

Weekly rental: Total allowance 

Advance payment: £2,149–3,749 (various trim levels)

A new contender in the small electric SUV market, the Mokka-e shares its underpinnings with the Peugeot and DS products on this list: that means a 50kWh battery, 134bhp electric motor and 100kW charging.

Those familiar mechanicals don't stop the Mokka-e from having its own character, though; it's a good-looking, comfortable car, if not quite as good to drive as its Peugeot counterpart.

Standard equipment is good, but it's worth comparing the Mokka-e to the e-2008 when making your choice, as the latter is a more cost-effective choice on the Motability scheme. Read our full review.

Vauxhall Vivaro-e Life

Vauxhall Vivaro-e Life

Weekly rental: Total allowance 

Advance payment: £3,999 (Edition), £5,999 (Elite)

The second people carrier on this list is also the biggest, offered with seating for nine in its long-wheelbase form. We've yet to drive this passenger version, but the standard Vivaro-e is one of the best electric vans we've tested, which bodes very well indeed for the Life. Both versions available on Motability use a 50kWh battery, which is enough for a claimed 143-mile range. The familiar 134bhp electric motor features, as does 100kW charging capability.

The Vivaro-e is the biggest electric car you can get through the Motability scheme, and also the most costly – top-spec Elite cars need a £5,999 advance payment, for example. Still, if you need the space and flexibility, this is your only choice for now. Read more about the Vivaro-e Life.

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