Best Motability electric cars 2020

The Motability Scheme includes a small number of electric cars, which could help eligible drivers keep costs down

Peugeot e-208

The Motability Scheme gives disabled people 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) of your choosing, 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 as of April 2020

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

£62.25 per week as of April 2020

• War Pensioners' Mobility Supplement (WPMS)

£69.50 per week as of April 2020

• Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP)

£62.25 per week as of April 2020

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.

To get a good idea of which car is right for you, visit the Motability Scheme website.

It’s worth noting that the Renualt ZOE, Smart ForTwo and Smart ForFour all feature on the scheme, but the latest facelifted versions of these cars are not yet available. We’ve left these off our list for the time being.

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

MG ZS Electric

Weekly rental: Total allowance

Advance payment: £999 (Excite), £1,499 (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 ZS EV model on the scheme, as both sit in insurance group 21. 

Read our full review

Peugeot e-208

Peugeot e-208

Weekly rental: Total allowance

Advance payment: £899 (Active, Allure) £1,699 (GT Line), £2,299 (GT)

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. Zippy performance is the result, with 0-62mph done and dusted in 8.1 seconds and plenty of punch on the move, even at motorway speeds. 

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

BMW i3

BMW i3

Weekly rental: Total allowance

Advance payment: £1,499–3,249 (various spec/trim combinations)

Perhaps the most high-end electric offering on the Motability scheme, the BMW i3 has been with us for a long time but still manages to keep up with some much more modern rivals. You’ll pay a premium in the first instance for the privilege of running one as your Motability car, however.

It’s worth the outlay, though – the i3 is a great-to-drive, stylish and well appointed electric car that feels completely at home on urban roads. As something of a small MPV in shape, access to its airy interior is easy – but bear in mind there are only four seats. 

Power comes from an electric motor with either 168bhp as standard or 180bhp in sportier S guise. Both use the same 42.2kWh battery that offers a range of between 177 and 193 miles, with the latter saved for the more powerful S. A full charge will take six hours on a 7kW wallbox – or up to 20 hours on your domestic three-pin plug.

None are available to under 25s on account of the i3's hefty insurance-group ratings of 28 and above.

Read our full review

Peugeot e-2008

Weekly rental: Total allowance

Advance payment: £1,799 (Active), £1,899 (Active Premium), £1,999 (Allure), £2,199 (Allure Premium), £2,399 (GT Line), £2,899 (GT)

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.

Peugeot’s style-conscious approach means the e-2008 is a handsome machine with an interior that’s a treat for the eyes. It’s good to drive and comfortable, although the front seats could use a little more support. 

Sadly, those under the age of 25 just miss out on the e-2008 due to its group 17 insurance. 

Read our full review

Vauxhall Corsa-e

Vauxhall Corsa-e

Weekly rental: Total allowance 

Advance payment: £749 (SE Nav), £949 (Elite Nav)

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

The Corsa-e is mechanically identical to the e-208 elsewhere on this list but you can get into the latter on Motability for a smaller advance payment. However, the entry-level Corsa gets a little more standard kit, 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. The Corsa has slightly less legroom, but that’s about it. 

All are off-limits to drivers under the age of 25. 

Full details here

DS 3 Crossback E-TENSE

Weekly rental: Total allowance

Advance payment: £999 (Prestige), £1,499 (Ultra Prestige), £1,599 (La Premiere)

Another electric entry from PSA, 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. 

It’s comfortable around town and nicely refined on the motorway, while the near-200-mile range is eminently useful. 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