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ISSUE 5 | 2018







The Ultimate Driving Machine


THE BMW RANGE. AVAILABLE FROM £249 ADVANCE PAYMENT.* • The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer is available from £249 Advance Payment and the BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer from £399 Advance Payment. • Range also includes the BMW 1 Series Sports Hatch (3-door and 5-door), BMW 2 Series Coupe, BMW 2 Series Convertible, BMW 3 Series Saloon and Touring and BMW X1. • Selected models are accessible to drivers under 25 years old. • Choose from manual or automatic transmission. • BMW Navigation and BMW Emergency Call come as standard, with metallic paint at no extra cost. • Get a brand new BMW every three years with insurance, service and maintenance all covered.

Let’s find the right BMW for you. Contact a Motability Scheme Specialist at your local BMW Centre. Alternatively, call 0800 325 600 or visit Official fuel economy figures for the BMW range available on the Motability Car Scheme: Urban 30.7-57.6mpg (9.2-4.9 l/100km). Extra Urban 49.6-70.6mpg (5.7-4 l/100km). Combined 40.4-65.7 (7.0-4.3 l/100km). CO2 emissions 164-114g/km. Figures are obtained in a standardised test cycle. They are intended for comparisons between vehicles and may not be representative of what a user achieved under usual driving conditions.

*The BMW range available on the Motability Scheme starts from £249 Advance Payment for the BMW 218i SE Active Tourer. Models shown are the BMW 218i SE Active Tourer from £249 Advance Payment, the BMW 218i SE Gran Tourer from £399 Advance Payment, the BMW 118i SE from £299 Advance Payment, the BMW 320i Sport Saloon from £1,999 and the BMW X1 sDrive 18i SE from £899 Advance Payment. All models on the Motability Scheme offer optional metallic paint at no extra cost. Models featured may include options at an additional cost. Motability Scheme vehicles are leased to customers by Motability Operations Limited (Registered Company No. 1373876), City Gate House, 22 Southwark Bridge Road, London, SE1 9HB. To qualify you must be in receipt of the Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA), the Enhanced Rate Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP), the War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement (WPMS) or the Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP) and applications must be made with participating Retailers between 1 April- 30 June 2018. Prices are correct at time of publication and subject to availability and may change.

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BMW Review

Welcome OUR TEAM

Editor: Rosalind Tulloch Designer: Stephen Flanagan Staff Writers: Colette Carr and Katie Campbell Marketing: Sophie Scott Contributors: Tim Saunders Sales: Valerie Speers and Julie Coleman

CONTACT US Caledonia House, Evanton Drive Thornliebank Industrial Estate Glasgow G46 8JT T. 0141 465 2960 | F. 0141 258 7783 E.

DISCLAIMER Motoring with PosAbility Magazine is published by 2A Publishing Limited. The views expressed in Motoring with PosAbility Magazine are not necessarily the views of the editor or the publisher. Reproduction in part or in whole is strictly prohibited without the explicit written consent of the publisher. Copyright 2018 ©2A Publishing Limited. All Rights Reserved. ISSN 2056-4368.

elcome to your annual motoring guide brought to you by PosAbility Magazine. Inside you will find an abundance of information to help you decide on the right car for you.


We look at What Car?’s top picks of 2018 to see who impressed the reviewers and bring you the rundown of those that appear on the Motability Scheme. The Volvo XC40 emerged victorious as What Car?’s Car of the Year 2018 and if you turn to page 20 you will find out why. We have also included a little something for the motorbike enthusiasts out there, there are adaptations available that could get you back on the open road and

the Association of Bikers with a Disability could help you get back on track. Tim Saunders looks into the future of the motoring industry and explores the viability of electric, hybrid and driverless cars on page 20. Changes to the driving test came into play last year, we bring you a breakdown of what has changed and what is remaining the same. We discover what the Regional Driving Assessment Centres can do for you and bring you a wealth of information on a wide selection of the cars available on the Motability Scheme, from city cars to family wagons you will find an option to suit your requirements.

Motoring with PosAbility, Editor


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CONTENTS April 2018 | Issue 5

20 12

Car of the year 07 Top Marks Making sure you get behind the right wheel for you

Small Cars

09 The Motability Scheme Everything you need to know about leasing your car through Motability

12 Small Cars Looking at the best city cars and run-arounds on the market

14 What Does the Future Hold? Brexit to driverless cars, where does the industry go from here?

18 Medium Cars Affordable and practical, ideal for the modern family


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20 Car of the Year We look at What Car?’s Car of the Year, the Volvo XC40

22 What Car? Awards 2018 Running down What Car?’s picks of the year

24 Large Cars Putting space and comfort first

28 Easy Riding Getting back on the bike

30 Getting Behind the Wheel What the Regional Driving Assessment Centres do for you

32 SUVs A look at the increasingly popular and practical crossovers available


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18 24

Medium Cars

09 Large Cars

34 BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer MPV Looking at what makes BMW’s family friendly seven seater tick

36 Disabled Motoring UK Meet the charity who helps disabled drivers, passengers and Blue Badge holders

38 Estates If space is what you are looking for, look no further

40 Testing Times

28 43 WAVs We bring you a range of different WAVs

49 Parking Made Easy Learn about People’s Parking, the scheme aiming to improve parking for disabled drivers

50 Insurance Advice on choosing the right insurance

36 50

The Motability Scheme

Easy Riding

Disabled Motoring UK Insurance

Easing learner drivers’ worries about the driving test changes


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Top Marks Not entirely sure what you’re looking for in a new car? Don’t worry, we’ve got a handy list of checkpoints you can use to make sure your new ride is road-ready, and fits you and your lifestyle to a tee.

Car Selection

Car Collection

1. Can you adjust the seat so that you’re totally comfortable? ............................................................................

1. Have you checked the car in good light for bumps and scratches? .........................................................................

2. Can you reach the pedals while comfortable in the car? ..................................................................................

2. Have you asked the dealer if the car has been involved in any accidents? ....................................................

3. Do you have enough head and leg room when driving? ........................................................................... 4. Can you comfortably reach the steering wheel and see the instruments? ...................................................... 5. Can you get in and out of the car with ease? ................ 6. Is there plenty of room in the boot for wheelchairs, etc? ..................................................................... 7. Are you able to reach into the boot easily to remove items?.......................................................................... 8. Does the car have the correct adjustments for your needs?...............................................................................

3. Have you checked the interior for loose handles, dampness, missing switches etc? ...................................... 4. Has the dealer told you where all of the switches and instruments are? .............................................................. 5. Do you have enough fuel in the car to get you home or to a petrol station? ............................................... 6. Have you checked the tyre pressure and tread levels? 7. Can you check the oil and washer fluid levels to ensure they’re full? ..................................................................

9. Does the car suit your lifestyle? ..........................................

8. When you turn on the car, does it show any warning signs on the display?..............................................

10. Does the car have enough doors for you and your family? ...............................................................................

9. Do you have all of the paperwork signed and ready?..

11. When you push the car above a wheel, does the suspension spring back up quickly? ..................................

10. Can you be sure that a pre-delivery inspection has been carried out and the service book reflects this?....

12. Have you test driven the car for at least an hour?.........

11. Are you insured to drive the vehicle? ................................

13. Do the gear changes feel smooth? ...................................

12. Have you paid road tax for the vehicle if applicable? ...

14. Does the steering feel light? ................................................

13. Do you have copies of any paperwork you have signed? .....................................................................

15. Are the pedals heavy to operate or stiff?.......................... 16. Does the car make any strange noises, like clicks or bangs, when you drive it? ................................................

14. Do you have a copy of the warranty? ...............................

17. Does the car pull at all? .........................................................

15. Have you completed and submitted your V5C documentation to the DVLA? ..............................................

18. Are the lights, internal and external, functional? ............ 19. Do the VIN, engine number and colour match the V5C?.....................................................................................

16. Have you got an invoice and sales contract showing that the balance for the vehicle has been paid? ............

20. Does the car have a current MOT if it’s more than three years old? ..............................................................

17. Have you checked the paperwork for your finance package, if you took one out?.............................................

21. Do the instruments look like they’ve been tampered with in any way? ..................................................

18. Have you got both sets of keys, and do they both have batteries if required? .....................................................


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Adapted vehicles you can rent About us

Mobility Vehicle Hire Ltd is a daily rental company specifically servicing the specialist requirements of disabled drivers and passengers throughout the United Kingdom and are established suppliers of specifically adapted vehicles to cater for the needs of disabled drivers and passengers. Vehicles can be hired on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, and they also provide a door-to-door delivery and collection service. The company has a large portfolio of wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs) and adapted cars which are sure to exceed your expectations.

New Showroom

The accessible vehicle specialists saw the opening of their bespoke new premises in Birmingham, located close to junction 7 of the M6, opened by Simon Weston CBE, who was voted one of the Nation’s Favourite Heroes and honoured as one of the top 100 Welsh Heroes, stemming from his charitable work. The new premises are wheelchair accessible, with accessible parking, and features a stunning new demonstration room for customers to view and try any of the vehicles Mobility Vehicle Hire has in the showroom. Simon was joined by the Mayor of Walsall, Marco Longhi, and Graham Footer, chief executive of Disabled Motoring UK. Vehicles on offer sport many adaptations, including infra-red controls, left foot accelerator, boot mounted scooter hoists, push pull hand controls, drive from and ride upfront vehicles, extended pedals and much more. In addition, Mobility Vehicle Hire can provide all sizes of WAVs, with either a rear ramp or an electric tail lift on larger vehicles. All Mobility Vehicle Hire rental vehicles are provided with a full 24-hour breakdown assistance service in the UK. The company will endeavour to beat any other quote you may receive and provide a high level of service throughout your hire.

Try Before You Buy

Mobility Vehicle Hire also provides PIP transition support: if you have been unsuccessful with your transition from DLA to PIP, the company can offer you a vehicle of your choice, included in a bespoke package tailored for your requirements. They can supply you with a short-term rental whilst you may want to go through your appeal process or alternatively, a long-term solution with a vehicle of your choice. The company also offers a Try Before You Buy scheme, which allows customers to hire a vehicle for three days, and, if it meets their needs, take out a long-term lease on it. The customer’s three-day lease will then be refunded from the on-going cost, providing a no obligation opportunity to ensure the vehicle is right for the customer.

Call 0845 293 2799 or email to arrange a visit.

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Visit Mobility Vehicle Hire’s brand new premises at Kudhail House, 238 Birmingham Road, Great Barr, Birmingham B43 7AH

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The Motability Scheme If you’re looking for a car to suit your needs as a disabled person, the Motability Scheme is a trusted and much-used entry point into the market of adapted vehicles, WAVs, scooters and powered wheelchairs.

otability is a hugely helpful scheme for disabled people who are looking to lease a car, scooter or powered wheelchair. If you’re a recipient of the Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA), the Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment (ERMC PIP), the War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement (WPMS), or the Armed Forces Independent Payment (AFIP), you can exchange your mobility allowance in full or part for an accessible vehicle.

best in the country.

With Motability, you don’t just get a mode of transport – the scheme covers insurance, servicing and maintenance, adaptations to the vehicle, full breakdown assistance, and the inclusion of up to two named drivers for cars and WAVs. Customers can also expect tyre repair and replacement, windscreen repair, MOTs and road tax to be taken care of, as well as a 60,000 mileage allowance over the three years of their lease, or 100,000 over five years for WAVs. Battery replacement for scooters will be done at no extra cost, and customers will receive support from their customer services team, based in the UK, which was recently voted the

Motability offers a choice of around 2,000 different vehicles for disabled people, including everything from SUVs to small cars, all of which can be adapted to suit the needs of the user. The leases are offered on a three or five year lease, depending on the type of vehicle. Some vehicles may require an additional upfront payment – this is not a deposit and is therefore non-refundable. The cost exists to cover the difference between the cost of the car and the allowance you will pay over the length of your lease. It generally tends to only affect more hi-tech or premium vehicles, and there are around 500


The scheme is not only for the benefit of drivers – around a third of Motability users lease a car as a passenger, meaning carers can use the scheme for the benefit of the people they give care to, and a parent can also apply on behalf of a child. However, the nominated driver must live within five miles of you, and must be at least 21 if they don’t live in your home. They’ll also be expected to have a clean driving licence free of convictions, disqualifications or endorsements for five years.


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vehicles which do not require an advance payment, ensuring Motability has an option available to everyone. Motability also run the Specialist Vehicles Fund, which helps people with severe disabilities find appropriate modes of transportation – the leases for these vehicles tend to be five years for WAVs or heavily adapted vehicles. One of the few things the Motability Scheme does not cover is fuel. It’s therefore important to ensure that the car you select is economic to the level you require. Motability lays out all of the details of its cars on its website, including the car’s average miles per gallon, its CO2 output, and other information which may impact your choice of car. These can give you an idea of how much you will have to invest into the vehicle outside of the scheme. With the advent of Brexit on the horizon and the devaluation of the pound, a few changes came into place on 1 January to adjust for this. The maximum on-the-road price has increased to £29,000 for manual cars and £30,500 for automatic models, while the advance payment ceiling has increased from £3,000 for a manual and £3,750 for an automatic, with a maximum break horsepower of 200bhp for fuel and 225pbh for electric vehicles, which the scheme also offers. A spokesperson from Motability explained the inspiration behind the Motability Scheme: “In the late 1970’s the government wanted to find an alternative to the unsocial and potentially unsafe blue trikes and introduced a cash mobility benefit which would enable disabled people to spend the money on their disability needs, in whatever way best suited themselves and their families.


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“It became clear that even with the new allowance, the ability to access a car was still beyond the reach of most recipients. The government asked the late Lord Goodman to consider how disabled people could use the allowance to affordably obtain a vehicle. He enlisted the help of Lord Sterling (the current Chairman of Motability) and together they devised the Motability Scheme. Motability was formed as an independent charity with all-party Parliamentary support in 1977. Motability Operations (formerly Motability Finance Ltd) was established around the same time to operate the Motability Scheme under contract to Motability.” They went on to tell Motoring with PosAbility about how it helps disabled people from their organisations point of view: “The Motability Scheme offers choice, value for money and a high level of personal care, expertise and service to anyone who chooses to use their allowance to join. Customers can select a vehicle from a wide choice of manufacturers, including specialised adaptations and wheelchair accessible conversions. Many common adaptations such as hand controls are available at no extra cost when ordered with the vehicle. “Motability also provides financial help to disabled people who would not otherwise be able to afford the vehicle or adaptations they need. “Over 640,000 disabled people currently use their government-funded mobility allowance to lease a car, scooter or powered wheelchair through the Motability Scheme, providing a level of independence that many people may take for granted.”


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Experience a car that’s designed to put you first – for less. With our Motability Scheme offers, you can drive away a V40 T3 Inscription Manual with an Advance Payment of £99* and enjoy a comprehensive range of features:

Alternatively, you can get behind the wheel of our V40 T3 Inscription Automatic with an Advance Payment of £199* or the V40 T3 Cross Country Pro Automatic with an Advance Payment of £299*. VISIT VOLVOCARS.CO.UK /MOTABILIT Y

• • • • •

Hill Start Assist Sensus Connect with High Performance Sound Rear Park Assist Camera Cruise Control Leather-faced upholstery

Official fuel consumption for the Volvo V40 range in MPG (I/100km): Urban 34.0 (8.3) – 54.3 (5.2), Extra Urban 54.3 (5.2) – 70.6 (4.0), Combined 45.6 (6.2) – 62.8 (4.5). CO2 emissions 145 – 118g/km. MPG figures are obtained from laboratory testing intended for comparisons between vehicles and may not reflect real driving results. *Advance Payment of £99 is for the Volvo V40 T3 Inscription Manual. Metallic Paint is included free of charge. Advance Payment of £199 is for the Volvo V40 T3 Inscription Automatic. Metallic Paint is included free of charge. Advance payment of £299 is for the Volvo V40 T3 Cross Country Pro Automatic. Metallic paint is included free of charge. Offer available on the Motability Contract Hire Scheme. To be eligible to join the Motability Scheme you must be in receipt of the Higher Rate Mobility Component of the Disability Living Allowance, the Enhanced Rate Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment, War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement or the Armed Forces Independence Payment, which will be taken in lieu of the four-weekly rental for 36 months’ duration. 60,000 mileage allowance over 3 years; excess mileage charges may apply. Offer available from 01/04/2018 to 30/06/2018 subject to availability at participating retailers. Offer not available with other promotions and may be subject to change. For full terms and conditions, visit Motability Contract Hire Scheme is administered by Motability Operations Limited (Registered Company No. 1373876), City Gate House, 22 Southwark Bridge Road, London SE1 9HB.

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SEAT Ibiza

 1.0 TSI 95 FR 5DR





THE CAR Britain’s favourite car, the Ford Fiesta continues to impress and maintain its standing as a mainstay in the small car market years after its introduction in 2008. In this decade, the beloved Fiesta has had many transformations and makeovers, but the latest Zetec model boasts one of the model’s sleekest looking outings and boasts the lofty claim that it is the most technologically advanced small car in Europe.

THE DRIVE THE CAR What Car?’s best small car of 2018 certainly delivers. The brilliant all-rounder in What Car?’s recommended 1.0 TSI 95 FR 5dr model is available on the Motability Scheme at an incredible zero advance payment considering the rave reviews it has garnered. The SEAT Ibiza is a great competitor to the popular Ford Fiesta. FR models offer a sportier edge, with 17-inch alloys, dark-tinted rear glass, black and chrome bodywork details and twin exhaust.

THE DRIVE The driver’s seat is low slung allowing for ample head room and the FR model provides a comfortable sporty seat. The numerous steering wheel positions gives the driver ultimate comfort while the visibility is rated highly. A quiet enough and smooth drive, the handling is impressive. For a small car, it feels larger and What Car? comments on the steering saying, “light enough to make easy work of town manoeuvres yet streams enough feedback to your fingertips to let you know


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how well the front tyres are gripping on fast, twisting roads.”

COMFORT AND SAFETY With five-star safety as standard in Euro NCAP safety testing, the Ibiza has exceptional rating for adult occupant safety and benefits from preventive and active safety features usually found on larger cars. With Front Assist, Hill Hold Control, Tiredness Recognition and Multi-Collision Brake fitted to the new Ibiza, safety is paramount.

The new Fiestas stay true to their reputation of a ‘nippy’ yet sturdy drive. The stability and suspension capabilities are fantastic, dealing well with sharp turns, bumps and potholes well. What Car? reports that the Fiesta is “the best-handling small car on the market and actually outshines many cars from the class above”. They praise its “sharp handling and precise, well-weighted steering,” saying “keen drivers will love its responsive, composed

nature on demanding roads.”

COMFORT AND SAFETY Despite the curved lines and tilted windscreen, the headspace in the front seats is very generous. Similarly, the leg space at the front and back seats are very roomy for a small car. The high driving position makes up for reduced visibility due to the smaller windows, but the positioning allows for a comfortable driving position. It has a five-star Euro NCAP rating, seven airbags, automatic emergency braking (AEB) and lane-keep assist.

SPECIFICATIONS Motability Advance Payment: £95 Fuel Type: Petrol Average MPG: 61.40 Brake Horsepower (BHP): 99 CO2 Emissions (g/km): 97 Boot Capacity (litres): 292

SPECIFICATIONS Motability Advance Payment: £0 Fuel Type: Petrol Average MPG: 60.10 Brake Horsepower (BHP): 113 CO2 Emissions (g/km): 108 Boot Capacity (litres): 355


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THE CAR A classy option in the small car market, this Audi offers the luxury and style synonymous with the brand in a neatly wrapped package. A popular choice, this tidy, premium car is available in several colour options. The dashboard is simple with a large, clear and an easy-to-use central control unit which allows access to many of the car’s functions.


THE CAR Sporting a striking new Japanese youth culture inspired design, Toyota’s new spin on their city car comes with an exceptional range of new equipment, options and customisation possibilities, including the new x-touch multimedia system. Available in six trim colours and numerous colour combinations, this fun and robust small car is popular amongst city commuters. X Models can update to a more sophisticated infotainment system for a more interactive experience that compliments the car’s ‘young’ aesthetic.

COMFORT AND SAFETY As standard Aygos have anti-lock brakes, four airbags, electronic stability control, ISOFIX child-seat mounts and a system that monitors tyre pressures and if you opt for this x model, your car will have a reversing camera and automatic headlights. The front headspace rivals the Volkswagen Up with ample space for two adults in the front.

The 1.4 is What Car?’s recommended model, with the six-gear drive ideal for those who regularly make longer journeys. Its grip takes corners well, better than its close rival the Mini Cooper, while the light steering makes for easy manoeuvring. The strong suspension provides a steady and confident drive. The refinement of the 1.4 rates highly with What Car? writing that it has “a calmer character [than other engines], regardless of whether you’re going for the 123bhp option or the 148bhp version.”

COMFORT AND SAFETY All A1s have six airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control and ISOFIX child-seat mounts. Audi’s secondary collision brake assist system applies the brakes to try to prevent a subsequent impact if your A1 has already been involved in a collision. There is fair space in the front of the cabin, but while the back is slightly lacking compared to other small cars, the A1 still rates highly amongst the competition.

SPECIFICATIONS Motability Advance Payment: £199 Fuel Type: Petrol Average MPG: 55.40 Brake Horsepower (BHP): 123 CO2 Emissions (g/km): 118 Boot Capacity (litres): 270


THE DRIVE Despite being the ideal city car, the Aygo is pretty comfortable at the higher speeds needed on the motorway. Corners have to be taken slightly slower than other small cars available, and extra care has to be taken on problem roads, but it is otherwise a great starter car or option if you are in the small car market not looking to splash out too much.

Motability Advance Payment: £0 Fuel Type: Petrol Average MPG: 68.90 Brake Horsepower (BHP): 68 CO2 Emissions (g/km): 95 Boot Capacity (litres): 168


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What does the future hold?

The motoring industry is in a period of uncertainty, as we all seem to be, following the Brexit referendum.


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Arguably, electric vehicles are best suited to local travel; we should be so much further forward as this technology is over 180 years old.

ales figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders show a 5.7% fall on the previous year, to 2.54 million in 2017. This is partly due to new cars being subjected to increased taxes. Sales of diesel vehicles plummeted by 17% because diesel fumes are damaging to health.


and music we’re simply re-hashing the past.


However, alternatively fuelled vehicles including electric soared by over 34%; 2 mainly pushed by government policy, £0 road fund licence and grants. There is also a perception that electric is clean but so too is hydrogen. Interestingly, the first known electric car was built in 1837 by chemist Robert Davidson of Aberdeen while the first car powered by a combustion engine fuelled by zero emission hydrogen was manufactured earlier, in 1808. Petrol came much later, in 1870. Electric power is more readily available than hydrogen yet the latter powers space rockets. There are two ways to use hydrogen: in a combustion engine or in fuel cells. Toyota manufactures the Mirai, a hydrogen fuel-cell car. Honda and Hyundai also produce hydrogen vehicles. But none are available in the UK. The British government is investing £1bn in an electric charging network and alternative fuels so perhaps hydrogen will be better embraced here in future. By 2040 new petrol and diesel cars will be banned on UK roads. As it happens there were numerous electric vehicle manufacturers before World War I. Electric milk floats became a common sight. In 1967 the UK Electric Vehicle Association stated that Britain had more battery-electric vehicles on its roads than the rest of the world put together. So, like our fashion

In 2003 new Tesla electric cars cost over £100,000. 15 years on and prices have halved. It is claimed they can travel about 240 miles at 70mph. In the frugality stakes this still doesn’t compete with the most efficient combustion engines. Arguably, electric vehicles are best suited to local travel; we should be so much further forward as this technology is over 180 years old. The Nissan Leaf will travel up to 150 miles on a full charge while the BMW i3 will only do 124 miles, bearable for a second car doing the school run but little else. There’s a big issue with unreliability too especially in the winter months when the batteries cannot cope with the cold. Image 1: The milk float was a common sight on the streets of the UK in the 60s and 70s, but now their technology has been used in modern day electric cars. Image 2: Hydrogen fuelled cars, such as the Toyota Mirai are a step in the right direction but availablity and technological hinderances are stalling their advancement.

These days even luxury SUVs come with a pointless plug in electric option. But as with the Volvo XC90 it will only travel up to 31 miles on a full charge. Such an option is handy if the driver has forgotten to fill up. The headache is recharging. Try finding a charging point on your usual route to school or work. It then becomes a requirement to have a charging point at home. Does manufacturing these costly rechargeable batteries really benefit the world when compared to emissions from combustion engines? My hunch is that there’s not much in it but there’s no official survey supporting the view either way. The manufacturing and recycling processes for these cumbersome batteries produce emissions as do power stations generating the electricity. Solar powered electric cars won’t cut the mustard in the UK either. with

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What does the future hold?


HYBRIDS On paper, hybrids seem to provide a sensible solution. For those unfamiliar with such vehicles they offer a petrol engine and an electric vehicle (EV) mode so that at low speeds, typically under 30mph, the car will travel using the battery which charges up when the engine kicks in. In my experience these can be temperamental. Even using a light foot on the accelerator at low speed EV mode sometimes won’t engage. This has happened to me on many occasions, most recently while driving a Toyota Prius. The petrol engines are not the most efficient either. Probably the best hybrid I’ve driven though is the Hyundai Ioniq where I was left pleasantly surprised by how reliable its EV mode was as well as the vehicle’s overall efficiency. Advances with alternative fuelled vehicles are painfully slow and in their current form the cost does not deliver enough benefits for me. This is how I consider my motoring needs. I take the same view with public transport, which is why I don’t use it. ANYONE DRIVING? Now to driverless cars. Companies including Tesla, Nissan and Google are all investing heavily in this technology. Cars fitted with intelligent cruise control already have a hint of it. When activated this system keeps the car at a set speed, automatically braking and accelerating. Again, not infallible in my experience. High winds and driving rain can play havoc with the sensors. Fully autonomous cars are already being tested on UK roads. Is this a step too far? As a motorist who enjoys being in control, thinking ahead and second guessing others on our roads, I say it is. Already the first death has been reported with a Tesla driverless car. However, I sympathise with the argument that drowsy drivers cause a great many accidents. Additionally, there are those who drive under the influence, make phone calls or text behind the wheel. But can this technology be a better alternative? What happens if there’s a short circuit? Technology needs a sensible master. OLD RELIABLE All of this brings me back to Fred, my humble 15-year-old 1.5-litre diesel Ford Fiesta. He covers over 500 miles on a tank and costs around £35 to fill up despite ludicrously high fuel prices (who’d have thought BP’s profits would double to $6.2bn when they charge so much?). Common sense suggests that my small Fiesta should not harm the world in the same way as a larger vehicle using any type of fuel. The road tax is still £30 a year while the insurance is around £200. Having owned it for the past eight years it provides good, reliable transport, no matter what the weather throws at it. So I shall stick with Fred until I can get a hydrogen powered Fiesta.

To read more of Tim Saunders’ car reiews please visit


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0800 916 3053


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> Personalised seating options > Air conditioning > Automatic internal tail lift > Bluetooth® connectivity > DAB radio

Free UK-wide home demonstrations call 0800 916 3053 13/04/2018 09:50





THE CAR One of the most practical cars in its class, the Skoda Octavia has been a stalwart in the medium family car market since its creation. With spacious interior and boot, it’s no wonder this has been so popular amongst taxi drivers for years, gaining a reputation for a reliable and easy ride.

THE DRIVE The 1.5-litre TSI model is a great performer for family drives or city dwelling. Light steering for manoeuvres and good handling at high speed, the Octavia is a comfortable drive. Its 0-62mph acceleration takes just under eight seconds, while fuel consumption is kept in check by clever cylinderdeactivation technology. The quiet engine also adds to a smoother journey.

COMFORT AND SAFETY The Skoda Octavia comes with numerous safety technologies including blindspot monitoring, autonomous emergency braking and rear cross-traffic alert, which warns you of obstacles when



reversing. Additionally, there is electronic stability control and a system that applies the brakes after a collision, plus a driver fatigue warning. Skoda fits the eCall system that contacts emergency services in the event of a collision. Its front passenger space is one to be envied by other manufacturers with taller drivers riding with comfort, while What Car? says, “The Octavia has the best rear space of any family hatch.”

SPECIFICATIONS Motability Advance Payment: £95 Fuel Type: Petrol Average MPG: 61.40 Brake Horsepower (BHP): 99 CO2 Emissions (g/km): 97 Boot Capacity (litres): 292

THE CAR With a powerful and economical engine, the SEAT Leon is a brilliant family car option. The FR trim gives drivers the option of a sportier looking family hatchback and CarBuyer hail all the quiet engines available through the range. With improved head and leg space and easier access added, the SEAT Leon can comfortably transport four adults for long distances. The rear seats split 60:40 to enhance usability of the large and very competitive boot. Rivalling key competitors such as the Ford Focus and Volvo V40, with the back seats out of use, the boot space becomes 1,210 litres.

THE DRIVE The Leon is famed for its impressive body control and handling. Holding extremely well round bends at speed with precision steering that lightens at lower speeds and manoeuvring, the Leon is a brilliantly easy family car to drive.


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COMFORT AND SAFETY On top of a standard Euro NCAP five-star rating, it boasts a phenomenal adult occupant protection safety rating of 94% and 92% child protection. It also comes with front, multi-collision brake, traffic jam, lane, emergency and high beam assists and tiredness recognition. It scores highly on interior space with ample room for passengers to feel comfortable while travelling and the large boot space is handy.

SPECIFICATIONS Motability Advance Payment: £0 Fuel Type: Petrol Average MPG: 48.70 Brake Horsepower (BHP): 178 CO2 Emissions (g/km): 134 Boot Capacity (litres): 380


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THE CAR If you are in the market for an SUV, but one on the smaller side, the Renault Kadjar may be the compromise you are after. Starting at zero advanced payment, the Kadjar is similar to the Nissan Qashqai and is ideal for families and traveling thanks to the roomy cabin and excellent boot size. Boxy and big yet compact, this sporty option is a great all-rounder.

THE DRIVE Fairly cheap to run, the drive also scores well. The handling is fairly decent for a smaller crossover despite light steering at turns, but the light steering lends itself well to parking and manoeuvring. Opt for alloys less than 19” for a smoother more comfortable ride.

COMFORT AND SAFETY Promising outstanding leg and head room with class-leading elbow room, it doesn’t disappoint. The wide and tall doors allow for easy access for taller people or those with mobility difficulties and the large boot can handle most assistance


KIA CEE’D  1.4 1 5DR

equipment. Standard Kadjar’s come with anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control, hill-start assistance, six airbags and two ISOFIX child-seat mounting points, while Dynamique Nav models and above come with Renault’s Visio safety system, which features lane-departure warning, traffic-sign recognition and automatic headlight beam adjustment.

SPECIFICATIONS Motability Advance Payment: £0 Fuel Type: Petrol Average MPG: 74.30 Brake Horsepower (BHP): 108 CO2 Emissions (g/km): 99 Boot Capacity (litres): 472

THE CAR A brilliantly practical car, the Kia Cee’d is great value for money. It has a modern and stylish exterior, and while the interior is slightly more basic compared to other cars, it makes up for it in terms of space. All versions have a 60/40 split folding rear seat back that allows some flexibility between people and luggage with great boot space to boot.

COMFORT AND SAFETY The Cee’d has six airbags, two sets of ISOFIX childseat mounts in the back, a passenger airbag deactivation switch so you can use a rear-facing child seat in the front, plus electronic stability control and braking assistance. There is ample head and leg room in both the front and back.

THE DRIVE If you are looking for an economical drive, What Car? recommends the 1.4 petrol model, saying, “the 1.4 litre petrol is willing and surprisingly flexible; it’s more appealing than the 1.6 litre petrol, which provides stronger performance outright but feels wheezy.” The steering and handling aren’t as refined as other Kia models, but for a budget option or starter car, the Cee’d is trusty enough.

SPECIFICATIONS Motability Advance Payment: £0 Fuel Type: Petrol Average MPG: 47.10 Brake Horsepower (BHP): 98 CO2 Emissions (g/ km): 138 Boot Capacity (litres): 362


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Car of the year Volvo have achieved a great crossover compact SUV with the new XC40 and to our delight it is available on the Motability Scheme.


o far it has racked up accolades including European Car of the Year and What Car? Car of the Year, so Volvo must have done something right to win over the judges in a very competitive class.

Appealing to the young family market, the XC40 offers space, style and a robust interior. The car itself is easy on the eye, oozing clean Swedish stylings and creating an SUV that looks chunky but not clumsy with its bulk. It is the baby to its bigger siblings the XC60 and XC90, but it doesn’t just look like a scaled down version of these, it has its own unique look. Sleek headlights and a chunky grille add to its aesthetic. But it doesn’t just look good. With a price tag of over £30,000 Volvo knew they would have to up their game in all areas to encourage drivers to part with their hard-earned cash. There are three XC40 models on the Motability Scheme and they all come in at the top end of the advance payment scale; XC40 T3 R Design Manual AP - £2,999; XC40 T3 Momentum Manual AP - £2,999 and XC40 T4 AWD Momentum Automatic AP - £3,749. Inside, this sophisticated SUV feels sturdy and plush at the same time. It features soft touches of material, flashes of metal design and hints


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of chrome throughout and everything feels solid and of good quality – certainly strong enough to withstand the rigours of everyday family life. This premium feel is furthered through the spaciousness inside the cabin, with plenty of head and legroom for all passengers and the driver position does not disappoint. Sitting up higher off the ground than in most small SUVs you would be forgiven for thinking you were in a 4x4, this offers the benefit of great visibility out of the front window and the driver’s seat has extensive adjustment and fantastic lumbar support ensuring a comfortable drive over long distances. The boot offers plenty of room for wheelchairs, prams, luggage, shopping and it has under floor storage too. There is also no loading lip which makes it much easier to get things in and out. It is a pleasure to drive, smooth over pothole-ridden city streets and it handles well on country roads and at high speeds on the motorway. It is quiet, with very little engine vibration coming through and it glides easily through gears, it’s quick for what feels like a big car. It grips the road well and overall is very relaxing and enjoyable to drive. Fuel efficiency is reasonable, but not groundbreaking. However, it


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SPECIFICATIONS Volvo XC40 1.5 T3 R-Design 5dr Motability Advance Payment: £2999 Fuel Type: Petrol Average MPG: 45.6 Brake Horsepower (BHP): 154 CO2 Emissions (g/km): 152 Boot Capacity (litres): 586

produces very low NOx readings and low CO2 emissions. The entry-level Momentum model comes with great equipment as standard, including cruise control, keyless start, dual-zone climate control, touchscreen control panel, 18 inch alloys, LED headlights rear parking sensors, DAB radio and sat nav. Moving up to the R-Design will give you a sportier looking trim on the seats, powerfolding door mirrors, privacy glass and multicolour ambient theatre lighting. Jump up to the top-of-the-range Inscription model and you will be rewarded with leather seat trim, metallic paint, electronic adjustable driver’s seat, front parking sensors, a powered tailgate, wood trim inlays and a crystal gearlever on automatic versions. Another of the Volvo XC40’s standard pieces of kit is the automatic emergency braking system, this not only recognises other cars but also cyclists, pedestrians and even large animals. As well as traffic sign recognition and an oncoming lane mitigation system that will intervene if you drift across the central line on a road. Safety is always a top priority for Volvo and although the XC40 is so new that it has not received a classification from the Euro NCAP crash tests it is safely assumed that a five-star rating is on its way. 


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13/04/2018 14:24


What Car? Car of the Year Awards 2018

City Car of the Year Kia Picanto

he prestigious What Car? Awards take place every year showcasing the best cars in a total of 21 different categories and crowning one car the overall winner. This year it was the Volvo XC40 that scooped the coveted accolade of What Car? Car of the Year 2018 – you can read our full review of the XC40 on page 20. Here we bring you the rundown of the award winners that appear on the Motability Scheme.




Commended for its spaciousness in the cabin and its appealing affordability, the Kia Picanto managed to fight off tough competition from the Hyundai i10, Skoda Citigo and Suzuki Celerio to win this award. Kia Picanto 1.0 Picanto 1 5dr Advance Payment: £0 DLA Weekly Rental: £51.50 Fuel Type: Petrol Average MPG: 64.2 CO2 emissions (g/km): 101

Family SUV of the Year

Large SUV of the Year

MPV of the Year

Volvo XC40

Peugeot 5008

Volkswagen Touran

This new model has been a big success for Volvo so far as we see it also crowned the overall Car of the Year here. The premium interior, sleek aesthetic, efficiency and space make this car a worthy winner.

Knocking the Skoda Kodiaq off its perch has been a significant achievement from Peugeot. It handles well, has great road grip and is easy on the eye with top quality interior. Running costs are reasonable too.

The Touran holds onto its title for the second year in a row. Classed as the most wellrounded MPV on the market, What Car? love this car because it feels like a roomy hatchback with a couple of extra seats in the back.

Volvo XC40 1.5 T3 5dr

Peugeot 5008 SUV 1.2 5dr

Volkswagen Touran 1.2 TSI S 5dr

Advance Payment: £2999 DLA Weekly Rental: Total Allowance Fuel Type: Petrol Average MPG: 45.6 CO2 emissions (g/km): 152


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Advance Payment: £1499 DLA Weekly Rental: Total Allowance Fuel Type: Petrol Average MPG: 55.4 CO2 emissions (g/km): 117

Advance Payment: £699 DLA Weekly Rental: Total Allowance Fuel Type: Petrol Average MPG: 51.4 CO2 emissions (g/km): 128


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Small Car of the Year

Family Car of the Year

Small SUV of the Year

SEAT Ibiza

Skoda Octavia

SEAT Arona

This car seemed to be a clear winner in this category with judges praising its handling, practicality and efficiency. Very few faults were found in this small car and it was described as ‘everything a small car should be’.

Spacious, practical and competitively priced sealed the deal for the Skoda Octavia to win this category. What Car? believe that it may take a few years for another vehicle to knock the Octavia off its post.

A well-equipped, comfortable family car that handles well and has great boot space. Topped off with some great personalisation options, the SEAT Arona has a fairly comprehensive offering through the Motability Scheme.

SEAT Ibiza 1.0 SE 5dr Advance Payment: £0 DLA Weekly Rental: Total Allowance Fuel Type: Petrol Average MPG: 57.6 CO2 emissions (g/km): 112

Skoda Octavia 1.0 TSI SE 5dr Advance Payment: £245 DLA Weekly Rental: Total Allowance Fuel Type: Petrol Average MPG: 58.9 CO2 emissions (g/km): 110

SEAT Arona 1.0 TSI SE 5dr Advance Payment: £0 DLA Weekly Rental: Total Allowance Fuel Type: Petrol Average MPG: 57.6 CO2 emissions (g/km): 111

Estate Car of the Year

Hybrid Car of the Year

True MPG Award Winner

Skoda Superb Estate

Hyundai Ioniq

Suzuki Ignis

What Car? have said that this estate excels in every area that it should. It not only looks great, but has an abundance of space on offer, is comfortable and offers fantastic value for money.

The Ioniq impressed with its low running costs and modest price tag. It confidently rivals other cars in this class and offers a smooth drive, plenty of space in the cabin, high quality interior and is well equipped.

Skoda Superb 1.4 TSI S Estate 5dr

Hyundai IONIQ 1.6 GDi SE Hybrid

This ‘baby SUV’ boasts phenomenal running costs, with just one engine available - 1.2l petrol engine – it includes a further option of switching to a more fuel-efficient mild hybrid version. Classed as ‘the most economical car we’ve ever tested’ by What Car?

Advance Payment: £395 DLA Weekly Rental: Total Allowance Fuel Type: Petrol Average MPG: 49.6 CO2 emissions (g/km): 131

Advance Payment: £199 DLA Weekly Rental: Total Allowance Fuel Type: Hybrid Average MPG: 83.1 CO2 emissions (g/km): 79

Suzuki Ignis 1.2 Dualjet SZ3 5dr Advance Payment: £0 DLA Weekly Rental: £55 Fuel Type: Petrol Average MPG: 61.4 CO2 emissions (g/km): 104


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 1.6TDI SE 5DR



THE CAR The Skoda Superb boasts five-star review ratings from both What Car? and Auto Express. Affordable, spacious and practical, it may not blow the competition away in terms of style but its highquality interior, luxurious cabin space, enormous boot and array of smart technology make it an attractive option for those looking for a reliable family car that will accommodate wheelchairs, pushchairs, luggage, kids and pets with ease.

THE DRIVE As Skoda’s flagship car it is refined and comfortable to drive, it’s not a terribly exciting drive but it handles well and if you opt for the four-wheel-drive model you will notice great grip in bad weather. It cruises quietly along the motorway with limited wind and road noise. There are a good selection of engines, both petrol and diesel, the favourite seems to be the 148bhp 2.0 TDI as it offers the optimum balance between performance and economy.



COMFORT AND SAFETY It has achieved the maximum five stars in the Euro NCAP crash test and every model includes seven airbags, stability control, ISOFIX child seat points in the rear and a tyre pressure monitoring system. The SE trim further adds an attention-assist system which alerts you if you are becoming tired.

SPECIFICATIONS Motability Advance Payment: £1645 Fuel Type: Diesel Average MPG: 67.3 Brake Horsepower (BHP): 118 CO2 Emissions (g/km): 110 Boot Capacity (litres): 625

THE CAR There is a quality feel about the Volkswagen Passat that allows it to compete against the more high-end executive brands. Its plush interior gives an upmarket feel to what is essentially a functional family car. It is not the most stylish car out there but the interior and the drive makes up for that and it is now more highly recommended that the Ford Mondeo in this class. Incredibly spacious inside, the boot is one of the largest on the market.

COMFORT AND SAFETY It features an incredible nine airbags, comes with a stability control system and was awarded the full five stars in the Euro NCAP crash tests. Opting for SE versions and above will get you city emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, parking sensors, automatic lights and wipers and larger alloys. Comfort and a perfect driving position will not be hard to find as there is plenty of adjustment.

THE DRIVE Precise and stable steering allows the driver to take corners easily and good grip gives peace of mind. Wind and road noise is kept to a minimum offering as quiet and smooth a drive as you would expect in a premiumbadged car. The 2.0 litre TDI gives great torque and comes as standard with a six-speed manual gearbox. Great fuel economy from both diesel and petrol engines makes the Passat a great choice either way.


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SPECIFICATIONS Motability Advance Payment: £1899 Fuel Type: Diesel Average MPG: 67.3 Brake Horsepower (BHP): 148 CO2 Emissions (g/ km): 109 Boot Capacity (litres): 586


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THE CAR An excellent family car, the Ford Mondeo has been a staple in this class, providing a good looking, practical car that handles well and offers efficient diesel engines. Just one of the reasons it dominates the fleet market. The car itself is long, giving plenty of legroom for front and rear passengers and a generous boot space to load up every day paraphernalia or luggage.

THE DRIVE For a big car the Mondeo feels surprisingly agile, handling corners well with good grip on twisty roads. The ride is smooth although the steering is a little light. What Car? gave it a five-star rating for refinement which is a good indication of its drive quality and the engine noise is kept fairly low. Six speed manual gearbox comes as standard for most models and the Zetec will give you plenty of spec, including electric folding mirrors, heated windscreen and a heightadjustable passenger seat.

COMFORT AND SAFETY As standard, the Ford


BMW 3 SERIES  2.0TD 320D SE 4DR

Mondeo features Active City Stop, a system that continually monitors the distance from the car in front up to 30mph – if it detects that the car ahead has reduced speed unexpectedly it will automatically apply the brakes to avoid the risk of a collision. Seven airbags as standard and optional seatbelt airbags for the outer rear seats which reduce the risk of injury in a collision.

SPECIFICATIONS Motability Advance Payment: £1845 Fuel Type: Petrol Average MPG: 44.8 Brake Horsepower (BHP): 158 CO2 Emissions (g/ km): 146 Boot Capacity (litres): 541

THE CAR Classed as one of the best compact executive cars to drive, the BMW 3 Series offers drivers a stylish, fast and fun car to drive. High quality interiors give the cabin a classy edge over some of its rivals and the well laid out controls make everything easy to use. BMW’s iDrive control system is synonymously user-friendly and while other cars may offer more space in the boot and cabin, you certainly wouldn’t feel tight for space.

THE DRIVE Good grip and precise steering keep drivers secure on the road. The 3 Series corners well making windy back roads fun to drive and motorway speeds a breeze. Available in three, four and six-cylinder engines, the preferred version is the 181bhp 320d 2.0 litre diesel engine as it offers a great blend of economic driving and smooth handling. Moving up the range the 321bhp 240i’s 3.0 litre turbo petrol races 0-60mph in 5.5

seconds and the 335d boasts impressive torque.

COMFORT AND SAFETY Six airbags come as standard, an optional pack will give you a city braking system and lane departure warning system. Thatcham gave it five out of five for resisting theft. Driving position is comfortable and supportive and visibility is good. Automatic lights and windscreen wipers are a welcome addition, as are standard parking sensors.

SPECIFICATIONS Motability Advance Payment: £1799 Fuel Type: Diesel Average MPG: 58.9 Brake Horsepower (BHP): 187 CO2 Emissions (g/ km): 125 Boot Capacity (litres): 480


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13/04/2018 12:41




The Big Event is back or the very first time, the UK’s largest display of cars, scooters and powered wheelchairs for disabled people, The Big Event, will take place at the NEC in Birmingham


Free to attend, with free parking, the Motability Scheme’s flagship event provides a great way for disabled people and their families to find out everything they need to know about worry-free motoring with Motability. The exciting show will be at Birmingham’s NEC on Friday 6 and Saturday 7 July 2018. HERE ARE FIVE THINGS YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS AT THE BIG EVENT. 1. Test drives are available in a wide variety of cars, including a range of vehicles fitted with popular driving

adaptations. You can book a test on the day, just remember to bring along your full driver’s licence. 2. Our helpful team of advisors including representatives from the Scheme partners, RAC, RSA and Kwik Fit will be on hand throughout the event to assist and answer any questions you may have. 3. This is a perfect opportunity to see a wide range of Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles and adaptations all under one roof and to get some specialist advice on your mobility options. 4. You’ll receive a token on arrival which you can exchange for a free tea, coffee or soft drink. There will also be a selection of food available to purchase.

5. Billy the Bear will be on site to help entertain the children and take endless selfies. Younger visitors can also enjoy the free bouncy castle, face painting and balloon modelling. Find out more about The Big Event online at and for the latest announcements, pictures and videos, visit the ‘Motability Scheme’ Facebook page (

MORE INFORMATION For more information on leasing a car, scooter or powered wheelchair through the Motability Scheme, visit or call 0800 953 7000

t Join us a

The Big Event 2018 Experience the UK’s largest display of vehicles available on the Motability Scheme at the NEC, Birmingham. Over 100 cars from many different manufacturers

Over 40 scooters and powered wheelchairs

NEC, Birmingham Over 35 adapted cars and Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

Over 45 cars available to test drive including 17 fitted with adaptations FREE entry, FREE parking and a FREE tea or coffee in a fully accessible indoor venue


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National Exhibition Centre, Hall 17, Birmingham B40 1NT

Friday 6 and Saturday 7 July 2018 9am to 4pm Find out more at or call 0800 953 7000 Please quote MO713D * To test drive the cars you must bring your full UK driving licence and sign our test drive declaration on the day. Full Terms and Conditions can be found at The Big Event is organised and hosted by Motability Operations Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.


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The holiday you deserve, not just the care you need

Accessible excursions Live entertainment Wide range of activities 24h on-call nurse-led care Fully accessible facilities Full-board included Financial support available† Enjoy the warm atmosphere and comfort of our three accessible holiday centres: Jubilee Lodge Chigwell, Essex Netley Waterside Southampton Sandpipers Southport Call 0303 303 0145 | Email | Visit PLEASE SEND ME MY FREE REVITALISE HOLIDAY BROCHURE Please complete the form below with your details and return in an envelope to: Freepost REVITALISE HOLIDAYS (No stamp or any other address details are required)

NAME: ADDRESS: *Please contact our Bookings Team for full terms and conditions. †Subject to eligibility. PS183


Registered charity number: 295072 Adverts_Motoring-2018.indd 27

13/04/2018 14:03



FOR PETROLHEADS, THERE’S NO SENSE OF FREEDOM QUITE LIKE THAT OF RIDING A MOTORCYCLE he tangible feeling of speed, and the constant awareness of what’s around you and how your body is interacting with the motorbike and consequently the road. There’s a sense of mindfulness that comes from it; there’s a connection between you and the bike that brings a kind of restfulness. In spite of the danger of it all, there’s a real feeling of zen on a motorcycle when you’re at one with the road and concentrating hard on the ride.


Accidents happen. They happen more frequently compared to cars, and they’re more likely to be fatal. Traffic accidents are the most common cause of traumatic amputation outside surgery, and in the UK you’re a staggering 38 times more likely to be involved in an accident on a motorbike than in a car. Motorcycles are caged animals: they need to be treated with the utmost care and respect. Getting back on a motorcycle can be a scary experience, but it’s like getting back on the horse after you fall, and you shouldn’t be afraid to do it. If you have become disabled, through a motorcycle accident or other means, and miss the fun of motorcycles, it’s far from impossible to get back on the bike, even if it feels like an unachievable goal. If you’re a wheelchair user, one option to consider is the Mobility Conquest, previously called the Martin Conquest. It’s an absolute beast of a trike, around the size of a car, and you certainly won’t miss one on the road! The idea came to its creator, Alan Martin, when his son became disabled following an accident. The bikes used are modified BMWs, with engine sizes ranging from 850cc to 1200cc, with a racing car’s shell integrated around the body to create a space for the wheelchair user to sit in. The concept of the trike is that the user boards via a ramp at the back, and its controls are all mounted to the handlebars. It comes with a Kliktronic shift control – also on the handlebars – so the user can cycle through the gears using their hands to control it, as opposed to the standard system on a motorbike, where the clutch is located on the handlebar, and the user shifts through gears using the shifter at the left foot pedal. It also has a dedicated gear for reversing, which isn’t on a standard bike.



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The Mobility Conquest is available through the Motability Scheme, but the trikes are now few and far between, so it may be difficult to get one on Motability, and potential buyers may want to consider keeping a close eye on the resale market for Conquests that pop up on occasion. It’s also a hard sell for people who want a “traditional” motorcycle experience: the Conquest doesn’t provide the same sense of connection that a motorbike does. You’re not moving with the bike on it, and it kind of feels more like the experience of driving a convertible.


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There are options if you’re looking for something closer to the traditional experience. They can be expensive, but so is the Conquest, which tops out at around £18,500 for a new model. Everyone has a preference when it comes to the type of bikes they like, and the modifications that a Ducati Monster needs may be different to the ones a Harley Davidson requires, and dependent on your disability, you’re likely going to need something very different to someone else who rides with a disability. Adaptation kits require you to provide your own bike, and getting someone to make the modifications for you – unless you’re a well versed mechanic yourself – can be pricey, but it’s worth it to get on the bike you love. The majority of a motorcycle’s controls are mounted to the handbrake, so if you have disabilities relating to your arms, it’s entirely possible to convert your bike so that the controls are moved to the other side. The brake and clutch can be mounted in tandem, making it easier to use. It might be an idea to opt for one of Honda’s DCT (dual clutch transmission) models which can be switched between manual and automatic transmission – the range includes bikes for every lifestyle, including tourers and two ups, and even the Africa Twin is available with DCT. The Kliktronic gear change system was a huge step forward for disabled motorcyclists who have leg disabilities. It’s a very cool system that requires very minimal change to the bike itself, and uses a solenoid mounted just above the gear changer to perform the action that a foot normally would. Buttons are mounted to the handlebars that allow you to change up and down the gears, and the system is extremely compact, with the relay/control box easily fitted under the seat to keep it safe.

It’s also totally possible to, like with the clutch, transfer the gear change to the other side of the bike so that you can change gear with the other foot. For amputees, it might also be a good idea to fit foot plates to ensure your prosthetic doesn’t slip off. Don’t ever tie yourself to a solo bike. Ever. Some people use cable ties or bungee cables to attach their prosthetic to a solo bike. This is remarkably dangerous, because in the event of an accident, you can’t easily remove your prosthetic from the bike and it could make a minor accident major. Splash out for a good foot plate and you’ll be safe and comfortable. If you’re paraplegic or have low control of the lower limbs, landing gear is a great option, and there’s a number of companies who make products that allow the bike to remain upright when stationary. You can use Velcro to hold your legs on to the bike, which also can quickly allow you to remove your legs from the bike in case of an accident. If this sounds expensive – it is. If it’s something that you’re worried might be outside your price range, you may be able to get a grant from the National Association of Bikers with a Disability to help you pay for the adaptions. They can help pay for some or all of the costs of the adaptation, and provide help and support to disabled bikers. The Bike Experience are a charity who help disabled motorcyclists ride again, and if this is something you’d love to try but aren’t sure how to get back on your bike, they offer lessons and teaching experiences for those who want to get back on their bikes. It’s a great idea to try before you go buying a bike, as they have a range of bikes available for use, including 125cc bikes to learn on, and a fully automatic Aprilla.  with

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Getting behind the


car and the ability to drive is one of the biggest tickets to independence. It’s without a doubt the one enabler that many people could not live independently without, and with adequate public transport not always being readily accessible, a car can be a lifeline.


There are a number of things to consider though if you are planning to get behind the wheel or if you are looking to drive a disabled person around. You may be concerned about learning to drive, choosing the right vehicle, or meeting your needs. One company that may be able to help is Regional Driving Assessment Centre. The RDAC have centres dotted around England working with a number of both driving and health experts to support disabled people or those with disabled family members in their driving and vehicle needs. Accredited members of the Forum of Mobility Centres, over 1000 people a year are supported back into driving or take their first steps into learning. Set up in 1989 as part of the NHS’ West Midlands Rehabilitation Centre before setting up as a separate charity in 2008. Still based in Birmingham, their ten sites allow them to bring their services closer to home while home visits can also be on offer. Here is our whizzing guide to just some of the services available from the RDAC.



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The car driving assessment allows an assessor to look at the ability of drivers with full and provisional licences to keep themselves, passengers and other road users safe. Those without licence a to drive may be offered an offroad assessment. If you are a driver who can access a car unaided or do not require adaptations, but are worried about medical conditions affecting your driving, this is the assessment for you. A specially trained instructor and an occupational therapist will take you through the process from a meeting outlining your requirements to a practical assessment which will highlight anything that may compromise or affect your ability to control the car. Following this, adaptations and suggestions will be made to ensure you have a safer and more comfortable drive.



The RDAC also support motorcyclists. After a car assessment to judge your ability to cope with road situations and cognitive skills, a motorcycle instructor will conduct an on the road skills assessment. If you don’t have a licence, off the road assessment is available.



Drivers looking to drive large goods vehicles or public service vehicles whether for personal use or to open up job opportunities can receive support from the RDAC regarding the licencing around it. Following a normal driving assessment, clients will be required to demonstrate competent driving ability before an LGV and PSV assessment.



RDAC also provide support and advice around harnesses and car seats for disabled children or those with challenging behaviour. Working with specialist companies and the child’s therapist to find comfortable and safe seating positions and solutions and occasionally assistance for funding may be available.



These assessments can be carried out both at the centre or at home and are ideal for those who experience difficulty getting in and out of a car, or for those who need to assist passengers or load equipment into vehicles. Working with an instructor or OT, this assessment looks at how options like specialist transfers, stowage or wheelchair accessible vehicles may make life easier. Trials with equipment and further referrals to experts may be available and a full report will be supplied following assessment.



Specialist driving lessons are delivered by approved and trained instructors who can help you learn the controls of a specialised vehicle whether you are a learner or have recently had an adaptation.

 For more information on costs, appointments and support available, email, visit or phone 0300 300 2240 or 0121 359 4222.


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 1.4 TSI S 5DR

THE CAR Good things come in small packages, and the Volkswagen Tiguan is the embodiment of this. While it’s small compared to other SUVs of its class, it packs a lot in with the familiar sense of German practicality that permeates all Volkswagens. It’s full of cubbyholes, nooks and crannies to lose all your stuff in without sacrificing comfort for this space on the inside, while on the outside, it’s all sleek lines and curves. You can expect a smooth ride in the Tiguan, with speed bumps and potholes being no problem for its firm but still giving suspension. The Tiguan has light but precise steering, and the body doesn’t roll too hard through corners with plenty of grip to the tarmac. The petrol engines sing a little when being worked hard, but it’s nothing worth worrying about, with the diesel also making a little noise. It’s got a light gearbox and allows very little wind noise in.





COMFORT AND SAFETY A solid five star NCAP rating makes this a safe ride, with a full range of airbags and stability control systems. The car comes with automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assistance as standard. The interior is of excellent quality, with comfortable seats and a welllaid out dashboard.

SPECIFICATIONS Motability Advance Payment: £849 Fuel Type: Petrol Average MPG: 47.1 Brake Horsepower: 123 CO2 Emissions (g/km): 137 Boot Capacity (litres): 615

THE CAR There’s a real sense of movement with the BMW X1 – even when stationary, its sleek lines make it look like it’s effortlessly cutting through the air. Aesthetically, it’s beautiful inside and out, with its trim exterior and plush interior, it’s loaded with tech and features which scream premium badge vehicle, including a refined onboard infotainment system.

THE DRIVE The petrol version we looked at wasn’t available in four-wheel drive, but the front wheel drive should combat any real problems outside harsh winter weather. It’s significantly slower to move off than its diesel counterpart, but still packs a punch from the engine. It’s a smooth ride and feels more like driving a Mini than a traditional BMW, with accurate steering and little body lean. The gearbox makes clean changes but can


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get a little wobbly in sport mode.

COMFORT AND SAFETY The X1 can be fitted with varied upholstery and dashboard colours to suit the driver. In terms of safety, it comes with a five-star NCAP rating, and as standard comes equipped with full airbags and tyre pressure sensors. There’s an optional safety kit for those who feel they’d like a little extra protection that comes at additional cost.

SPECIFICATIONS Motability Advance Payment: £1099 Fuel Type: Petrol Average MPG: 48.7 Brake Horsepower: 138 CO2 Emissions (g/km): 132 Boot Capacity (litres): 505


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THE CAR With its incredible average MPG, you’re going to save a significant amount on fuel with the Peugeot 3008. The 3008 is a beautifully proportioned vehicle built with curves and flow in mind, giving it a modern and streamlined appearance. Its CO2 emissions are also low for a car of its class if keeping it green is on your list of priorities.

THE DRIVE Practical, thy name is 3008. If you’re looking for an easy ride with loads of visibility and space, the 3008 is the car for you. It’s not as exciting as the BMW X1 or Volkswagen Tiguan, but it’s a comfortable ride. It has little lean in the body, and its suspension handles potholes and bumpy roads like it was born to do so. For people in the market for a quiet drive around town that can handle the motorway too, the 3008 is a great choice.



 2.2TD SE-L NAV 5DR

COMFORT AND SAFETY In its Euro NCAP test, the 3008 proved to be just as safe for those in the front as in the back, with their safety rating for children in the back of the car coming up extremely high as part of its five-star review. There’s also a camera on board that scans for road signs and displays the info in the onboard computer.

SPECIFICATIONS Motability Advance Payment: £1599 Fuel Type: Diesel Average MPG: 70.6 Brake Horsepower: 138 CO2 Emissions (g/km): 104 Boot Capacity (litres): 591


optional safety kits available for the CX-5, some of While Mazda are known for which include blind-spot their sporting roadsters, the monitoring, active laneCX-5 looks and feels like keeping assistance, and cruise the beefy older brother of control. The CX-5 has an the MX-5. Aesthetically it’s impressive five-star NCAP elegant and graceful, but it safety rating, with impressive holds a harder and sportier results. As standard, all CX-5s edge than its peers, with a have autonomous emergency large and distinctive grille braking, which applies and thin headlights. Inside, the brakes if an obstacle it’s roomy, and the high-grade is detected in front of the materials are highlighted in vehicle. The interior comfort chrome. is excellent, and highly customisable by the user. THE DRIVE Driving the CX-5, the silence is deafening. The diesel models especially are extremely quiet, and the hard shocks absorb all but the largest bumps and potholes, making for a supremely smooth driving experience. There’s a satisfying weight to the car, and in spite of its tremendous size, it’s a very fun car to drive, and a nippy car on straights, although it does have a tendency to lean into corners.


SPECIFICATIONS Motability Advance Payment: £1999 Fuel Type: Diesel Average MPG: 50.4 Brake Horsepower: 148 CO2 Emissions (g/km): 147 Boot Capacity (litres): 506

There are a number of


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BMW 2 Series

GRAN TOURER MPV Images shown are the M Sport model currently not available on the Motability Scheme

MW’s foray into the MPV market resulted in the five-seater 2 Series Active Tourer and this has been followed by an even more functional, family-friendly car in the form of the longer and taller Gran Tourer which incorporates seven seats. The BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer will appeal to families with young children who need a practical vehicle to cater for their increasingly demanding lifestyles, but still want that premium styling and sleek look that you get with a brand like BMW.


Both the Active Tourer and Gran Tourer received a facelift at the start of the year, giving customers an even more desirable car that boasts bigger front grilles, stylish headlights, two new engine options, larger exhaust pipes, new colour options and an overall chicer look, in keeping with the BMW product range. You will find the SE, Sport and Luxury models along with the xDrive variant available on the Motability Scheme at exceptionally low Advance Payments.

ďƒ† A PRACTICAL SPACE Anyone looking at people carriers will have functionality at the forefront of their mind when making a decision. They are looking 34

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The BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer will appeal to families with young children who need a practical vehicle to cater for their increasingly demanding lifestyles...”

for a car that makes life easier, something that they can fit more than two or three children into comfortably, something that will withstand the bumps and bashes of kids climbing in and out and something that will adapt easily to offer more boot space when required. This seven-seater is designed in a three-row configuration. The front row naturally houses the driver and front passenger and they are treated to plenty of room even those at the taller end of the spectrum. Directly behind is a row of three seats that can seat three adults but it would be at a real push – the two outer seats have ISOFIX points for car seats.

SPECIFICATIONS BMW 218i SE Gran Tourer Motablity Advance Payment: £399 Fuel Type: Petrol Average MPG: 47.1 Brake Horsepower (BHP): 138 CO2 Emissions (g/km): 137 Boot Capacity (litres): 560

The sixth and seventh seats are accessed by folding a middle row seat down and sliding it forward to give a reasonable space for you to climb in. These seats are easily folded up from the rear into position and offer adequate space for kids but for taller teenagers or adults a fight over legroom may ensue. The middle row can be moved forward to give the third tier of passengers more legroom but this comes at the sacrifice of the middle row passengers foot comfort. When all seven seats are in use the boot naturally becomes a fairly redundant space, only providing 145 litres of space to be utilised, but this is more than some MPVs on the market. With seats six and seven easily folded away flat into the boot floor, the boot opens up to a decent 560 litres, a further fold of the middle seats (which can be folded in a 40:20:40 split) and you reach a cavernous 1820 litres of space. The absence of a loading lip and the easy-to-remove parcel shelf which can be stowed in the boot floor makes life easier again and the ability to fold the front passenger seat down allows for you to transport items up to 2.6m.

 DRIVING BMW can be relied upon for quality build, superior handling and stylish aesthetics, and the Gran Tourer is no different. It

handles well, takes corners in its stride (for a people carrier) and the steering is as precise and positive as other BMW models. BMW have impressed with their engineering skills and ability to produce such a good drive on an MPV. There are two petrol engines and three diesel engines available and the 2018 facelift has seen a new generation of engines introduced that offer improved efficiency. The diesel engines now feature a diesel particulate filter, NOX absorber catalyst and selective catalytic reduction system which uses AdBlue to reduce nitrogen oxides in the exhaust gases.

Engines are punchy and accelerating to overtake poses no problem for any of them. The petrol engines are more refined and quieter but the diesels don’t cause a noticeable ruckus either. The most expensive option is the 220d xDrive but it does give the stability and extra power that makes it a very appealing option. The 216d is the smallest of the diesel engines but it does exceptionally well to pull a car of this size, it will cater for all your urban driving and motorway needs. The interior shows off a solid, high quality interior and dashboard synonymous with the BMW brand. Each model comes with BMW’s intuitive iDrive system which is highly thought of in the industry, operated by the well-positioned turn control, the slick 6.5inch screen guides you through menus and controls easily. All Gran Tourer models on the Motability Scheme are well equipped with standard BMW Navigation, automatic twozone climate control, rear parking sensors, DAB radio, BMW Emergency Call and automatic tailgate. By using BMW’s ‘remote services’ you can download an app to your smartphone and this will allow you to operate functions that help you locate your car (if you can’t remember where you parked), flash the headlights and lock or unlock your car, all at the touch of a button.  with

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DISABLED MOTORING UK The organisation supporting disabled drivers and passengers, scooter and wheelchair users, families and carers.

o you struggle to put fuel in your car? Get frustrated by people parking in disabled bays without a valid Blue Badge or are concerned that car parks aren’t accessible? If so Disabled Motoring UK is an organisation that could help you.

much more still needs to be done so we are encouraging our members to write to their MP to ask what is being done to tackle this problem in their local area.


DMUK is very concerned about the government’s latest consultation on Blue Badge Eligibility and what the impact will be, in practical terms, on parking provision. More Blue Badges issued will increase demand on already limited and poorly enforced disabled bays. We are working with the Department for Transport and the British Parking Association to make sure that disabled parking provision is not an afterthought to extending the eligibility criteria.

Disabled Motoring UK is the charity which supports disabled drivers, passengers and Blue Badge holders. We work with the government and businesses across the UK in order to improve parking, refuelling and access provision for disabled people, so that they can access the goods and services they need. Disabled Motoring UK is not just an organisation for drivers. We also campaign for and support passengers, scooter and wheelchair users, families and carers. It is in part because of the hard work of Disabled Motoring UK that disabled people have the Blue Badge, the Motability Scheme and are exempt from the London Congestion Charge. There is still plenty more to be done and we are currently working hard on more campaigns.


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BLUE BADGE ENFORCEMENT One of DMUK’s most important campaigns is making sure the Blue Badge scheme is administered and enforced correctly. We work with many local authorities and private parking operators to make sure that disabled bays are only used by genuine Blue Badge holders. There are many local authorities and private operators that are taking this issue seriously and are doing great work, but

REFUELLING The most common way for unaccompanied disabled drivers who cannot get out of their vehicles to get help at a petrol station is by sounding their horn. Unfortunately where there is only one assistant on duty help is very rarely offered, and disabled drivers are unable to refuel their vehicles. Disabled Motoring UK is working with FuelService, Fuelmii, and MyHailo who have all developed promising solutions to this problem.


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For more information or to find a DPA car park please visit

HOW CAN YOU HELP? Disabled Motoring UK will only be successful at campaigning as long as it has a strong membership. Campaigning on the behalf of so many disabled people is how our voice is heard, so the more members we have the louder we can be. In order to address this problem Disabled Motoring UK introduced the Disabled Parking Accreditation (DPA). The scheme recognises off-street parking facilities which are accessible to disabled people. The DPA is primarily aimed at improving parking for disabled people and reducing abuse of disabled bays. Car parks that achieve the DPA will demonstrate to their customers that they are committed to creating high quality parking facilities for disabled people.

DISABLED PARKING ACCREDITATION The number of disabled people who are able to drive is ever increasing. However, the matter of being able to access offstreet car parks can still be challenging. The Equality Act 2010 says that providers of services to the public must make “reasonable adjustments” to remove barriers which may discriminate against disabled people.

The scheme is now a lawful Certification Mark awarded to DMUK by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO), the official government body responsible for patents, designs and trademarks. When you visit a car park and see the DPA certified mark you can know and trust that the car park has been audited and that it will be accessible to disabled motorists. Car parks might say on their signage that they are accessible to disabled motorists or might have a different accessibility accreditation, but the only way to be 100% confident that a car park will meet your accessibility needs is when you see the DPA certified mark displayed.

Joining Disabled Motoring UK is free. Simply go to our website and sign up using our online form. Once registered as an online member you will receive an electronic newsletter once a month keeping you up-to-date on our current campaigns and will be able to access our members’ only area of the website. Most importantly you’ll be lending your voice to our vital campaigns. If you want to be kept more informed you can sign up as a full member of Disabled Motoring UK. As well as receiving the benefits which online members have you’ll also get a monthly magazine packed with news, member letters, features and road tests, access to our information service and discounts on a variety of goods and services. Full membership is £24 per year, you can even pay by monthly direct debit which makes it just £2 per month.   To find out more information about Disabled Motoring UK please visit or call the office on 01508 489449.


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THE CAR An estate twist on the iconic British car, the Mini Clubman is a highly customisable ride, with diesel and petrol options both available. While other estates emphasise reliability, the Clubman is all about style, but that doesn’t mean it lacks substance. It’s a surprisingly roomy runaround, especially when compared to the standard models. Sitting just under 40cm from the ground, it won’t be difficult for an average wheelchair user to climb in and start motoring.


The Octavia has a fantastic 5-star Euro NCAP safety The 2017 Skoda Octavia has rating and features seven an updated look, smoothing airbags to protect occupants. down the corners and It’s filled with tech to keep changing the front headlights safety to a maximum, to add a little extra character including a secondary brake to the car’s aesthetic. Both and electronic stability diesel and petrol versions are control. SE models feature available, adding variation the Driver Fatigue Assist to its running costs, but system, which monitors its fuel economy is superb, reactions to help prevent and owners can expect drivers falling asleep in phenomenal mileage from the wheel. Some models the Octavia. The Octavia’s also feature Front Assist, main strength is its space which uses sensors to detect – it’s roomy and features a obstructions in front of the massive boot. car and automatically applies the brakes. THE DRIVE Even in the entry-level 1.0 litre model, the Octavia is a smooth drive. It’s comfortable enough for long-distance journeys, but movement over potholes and bumps does create a noticeable jolt through the vehicle. The Octavia handles extremely well, with its light steering making parking easy, while never compromising on precision. The car is a quiet ride, except for suspension noise that affects all models.



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THE DRIVE Modern Minis house a variant BMW engine, combining the smoothness of a BMW’s ride with the sportiness of the Mini. It grips the road terrifically, and the weight of the Clubman prevents too much roll in the turns. The Clubman is a nippy ride with responsive steering, and for everyday driving around town and on motorways it’s ideal.

COMFORT AND SAFETY Potential buyers should be aware that the folding doors at the back of the car create an additional blind spot in the centre of the back windscreen, so opting for rear camera and parking sensors could save from future heartache. The 2017 model has a five-star NCAP safety rating, an improvement from the four-star rating the 2015 model received. The car has six airbags, and features the Mini eCall system, which calls emergency services in case of a crash.

SPECIFICATIONS Motability Advance Payment: £249 Fuel Type: Petrol Average MPG: 55.4 Brake Horsepower: 134 CO2 Emissions (g/km): 118 Boot Capacity (litres): 360

SPECIFICATIONS Motability Advance Payment: £1395 Fuel Type: Diesel Average MPG: 65.7 Brake Horsepower: 148 CO2 Emissions (g/km): 113 Boot Capacity (litres): 610


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THE CAR SEAT’s Leon is the Spanish carmaker’s most practical offering, with a robust aesthetic of sharp lines and harsh angles. This does mean it sacrifices on boot space compared to its two rivals, but it’s still a great option for those looking for a spacious vehicle. Fuel economy is high on the list of pros and startstop technology ensures that fuel isn’t wasted when the car is stationary.

NCAP safety rating is a high user reliability rating, with a low percentage of drivers reporting faults with their vehicle. The car’s stiff body resists crumpling, and it comes with a full set of airbags and electronic stability control as standard. A Driver Safety Pack add-on can be purchased, adding a driver tiredness sensory and a rear seatbelt reminder for additional safety.


THE CAR If you love your standard Golf but need more room, the Golf Estate is the perfect remedy. It’s the pinnacle of quality, kitted out with all the tech and media you could ever want, coupled with the consistency and reliability of a Volkswagen. Fuel economy in all models is excellent, but the diesel is built for highmileage drivers and is ideal for those who seem to spend their lives on the motorway.

THE DRIVE The 2.0 litre diesel engine adds an extra oomph to the drive, making for a powerful car that’s ideal for motorways and city driving, but smaller engines are also available in petrol and diesel. The Golf has a reputation as a fun car to drive, and its Estate variety is no different. Its weight doesn’t hold it back, and its steering is light but extremely responsive. The suspension holds the car well over bumps and potholes, and the gearbox is slick.

COMFORT AND SAFETY With Euro NCAP safety rating of five stars, the Golf is as safe as it is reliable. The car is filled with airbags, and features a post-collision braking system, which applies secondary brakes after an accident, and tyre pressure monitors. This model also features automatic braking and active cruise control as standard.

This latest Leon model has the best handling yet, on a par with the Golf ’s, with the option of two different rear suspension systems to better tailor the ride. While the petrol version of the Leon lacks the bite of its diesel sibling, it’s still a powerful ride. In spite of the small engine size, the car moves quickly, and it doesn’t use as much fuel when driving.

COMFORT AND SAFETY Backing up its five star Euro

SPECIFICATIONS Motability Advance Payment: £299 Fuel Type: Petrol Average MPG: 57.6 Brake Horsepower: 108 CO2 Emissions (g/km): 114 Boot Capacity (litres): 587

SPECIFICATIONS Motability Advance Payment: £1649 Fuel Type: Diesel Average MPG: 65.7 Brake Horsepower: 148 CO2 Emissions (g/km): 111 Boot Capacity (litres): 605


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Testing times What do the test changes mean for me? n December last year, changes to the driving test caused quite a reaction amongst learner drivers.

drivers’ requirements. The examiner can change the colour, contrast or volume dependent on any impairment or needs.

Confusion, annoyance and anger were commonplace amongst learners as they learned they would have to use a sat nav in their test for the first time as decision makers look to move with technology and ensure safer driving.

If you are concerned about the layout of the sat nav, speak to your instructor before the test who will meet with your Local Driving Test Manager to discuss personalised settings and on the day of the driving test, you should arrive earlier than normal with a copy of the agreed setting requirements.


The controversial inclusion of this paired with other changes such as the extended independent driving period has caused panic and dread amongst nervous test-sitters. For disabled learner drivers, the changes may have brought even more stress and worrying. But the DVSA has made efforts to ensure it is still as accessible to all, having worked with several organisations to trial the changes, including the British Deaf Association, the Dyspraxia Foundation and Disabled Motoring UK, while still offering advice on what you are entitled to. The major change made is the inclusion of technology and sat navs. The thought of having another element to worry about while sitting your test is a daunting one, especially if you aren’t that confident using a sat nav. The sat nav that will be used by all test-sitters is the TomTom Start 52. This model was chosen due to how adaptable it is to suit the


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The changes made most importantly do not affect your rights to ask about your rights to suit your requirements.

For learners with a reading or learning difficulty such as dyslexia or if you have trouble following verbal instructions, adaptations will still be made even under the new test. Verbal instructions may be given two at a time or they can refer to landmarks such as shops or bus stops. Place names may be written down and left and right may be referred to as “my side” and “your side”. If you have difficulty reading aloud, number plates may be written down during the eyesight check at the beginning of the test. The changes made most importantly do not affect your rights to ask about your rights to suit your requirements. Adaptations can be made to ensure you do not face unfair disadvantage or discrimination with a little pre-planning. Speak to your local test centre and instructor regarding any concerns and remember that the test isn’t designed for you to fail or trip you up.


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What is changing? 1


The independent driving part of the test currently lasts around 10 minutes. During this part of the test, you have to drive without turn-by-turn directions from the driving examiner. This part of the test will be made longer, so it’ll last around 20 minutes - roughly half of the test.



During the independent driving part of the test, most candidates will be asked to follow directions from a provided sat nav that will already be set up. You won’t need to set the route - the examiner will do this for you. You’ll be able to ask the examiner for confirmation of where you’re going if you’re not sure and it won’t matter if you go the wrong way unless you make a fault while doing it. One in five tests won’t include the sat nav section and learners will instead follow traffic signs.



Learners will no longer be tested on the reverse around the corner or turn in the road manoeuvres and instead will be asked to either parallel park at the side of the road, park in a bay (either driving in and reversing out, or reversing in and

driving out depending on what you are asked to perform) or pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for two car lengths and rejoin the traffic.


ANSWERING A VEHICLE SAFETY QUESTION WHILE YOU’RE DRIVING The examiner will ask two vehicle safety questions during the driving test, more commonly known as ‘show me, tell me’ questions. The ‘tell me’ question will see you asked to explain how you’d carry out a safety task before you begin the driving and the show me will see you show how you’d carry out a safety task while you are driving, for example, showing how to wash the windscreen using the car controls and wipers.

What isn’t changing 1. The pass mark is still no more than 15 minor driving faults and no serious or dangerous faults. 2. The examiner will still mark the test in the same way. 3. The driving test will remain at around 40 minutes. 4. The driving test cost will not change.


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drive f

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t pass


Designed & developed exclusively by Sirus Automotive, the Ford LiNK allows you to drive from or be seated up-front in your wheelchair. With an innovative access system combining an ultra short and shallow ramp with an automated side sliding door and custom air suspension system, the Ford LiNK truly provides a new approach to vehicle conversions.

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WAVs heelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs) are a great solution if you are a wheelchair user and can no longer transfer from your wheelchair or if you don’t want to transfer every time you travel. There are many different versions of WAVs available now that can offer you the choice of driving from your wheelchair, travelling as an upfront passenger or travelling as a rear passenger.



WAVs come in many different shapes, sizes and seating configurations to ensure there is an option that will suit every user. They are substantially more expensive than a regular car due to the size and adaptations that they incorporate but if this is the option that will offer you the most independence then it could very well be worth the extra cost. There are many WAV options available through the Motability Scheme, they do have fairly high initial advance payments but the scheme certainly makes leasing a WAV a more realistic option.


We have featured just a few of the vehicles that could open up a world of independence to you, read on to find out more.

Perhaps you don’t like the idea of being in the rear of the car when on journeys and like sitting upfront next to the driver. Most WAVs offer a rear passenger configuration but there are options for upfront passengers that you can look into.


You may be looking for a car that offers you complete independence and allows you access straight up to the wheel in your wheelchair. Adaptations to the driving controls will allow you to drive using just hand controls.





Do you need space for children and extra passengers or room for an assistance animal, pet or equipment?



WAVs can be accessed either through a rear opening or side opening – this is an important aspect to consider because if you park in a tight driveway that doesn’t allow space for a side ramp then that will essentially rule out that option for you.



So it is worth checking any height restrictions that you pass or use regularly, for example, multi storey car parks as they often have height restrictions.



Purchasing or leasing a WAV is a major commitment and you must ensure that it will cater for your needs properly, research the models you are considering and try to find some real-life reviews from people who use the same vehicle. Speak to an adaptation specialist at Motability or at the company you are purchasing from to find out more about the range of adaptations that could help you. Or turn to page 30 to find out how the Regional Driving Assessment Centre could help you. with

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Allied Mobility M


With the wide variety of wheelchairs and mobility products on the market, certain vehicles suit some aids, while others don’t. This is the exact situation the Needham family found themselves in when the wheelchair accessible vehicle they had became too small to transport their daughter, Jessica, comfortably and safely. MEETING THE NEEDS “We reached a point where Jessica’s wheelchair could no longer fit inside our current car,” explained mother, Donna. “We needed something which met her needs, first and foremost, and suited the family’s way of living.” With the Caddy no longer suitable, the Needham family turned to Allied Mobility for advice and opted for the Ford Independence™, which offered the family everything they were looking for in a wheelchair accessible vehicle. Jessica is blind, suffers from quadriplegic cerebral palsy and scoliosis of the spine, so she is very dependent on her wheelchair. Donna explains: “Jessica is completely wheelchair bound and our wheelchair accessible car is the only way we can travel around with ease.”


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fault it at all.”

“With Jessica often requiring her wheelchair and in-house chair, both easily fit in the Independence.” enthuses Donna.

Independence™ is based on the spacious Ford Tourneo Custom and is designed to be flexible and comfortable. The vehicle has three different models to choose from. These include the popular RS model which can accommodate the driver, wheelchair passenger and up to five seated passengers. The RE model offers extra headroom if needed while the Twin has been carefully designed to accommodate space for two wheelchair passengers. Ford Independence™ is different from other mobility cars in that, as well as various seating layout options available, it gives you the option to choose where the wheelchair user is positioned within the vehicle.

“The vehicle is very quick to get into, so it’s even easier to get to appointments and travel anywhere we want. The space and layout of the Independence also allows me to sit in the back with Jessica, so I can be with her whenever we travel. This is the perfect vehicle for us and we couldn’t

The Independence™ also comes with great accessibility features, such as its lightweight EasyFold™ ramp. Allied Mobility also offers reverse parking sensors and an electric winch as standard. Comfort features such as heated seats and cruise control are a great addition to this state of the art vehicle. Ford Independence™ is available to buy, rent or lease through the Motability Scheme, with advance payments starting from £3,495. You can call Allied Mobility on 0800 916 3018 or visit for more info.


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Accessible Vehicles ccessible Vehicles (a division of Lateral Design Ltd) offer home demonstrations throughout the UK and offer a range of wheelchair accessible vehicles. Two of the latest products offered are the Ford Connect Infront and the Infront Fiat Doblo.


INFRONT FIAT DOBLO The Infront Doblo has been on the market since 2010 and is now well established in the WAV market. On the Infront Doblo’s 8th birthday the concept still proves to be a popular choice for those who wish to travel upfront. The Infront conversion has been designed to work within most disabled parking pays, next to kerbs where clearance permits and if traveling with luggage or equipment there is no need to empty out the luggage area in order for the wheelchair user to exit the vehicle. The covered, separate boot also solves the issue of hiding away personal items and valuable equipment out of sight, which can often be a problem with a rear access vehicle. Getting into the Infront is simplicity itself.

Just pull back the sliding door and push a button to release the front passenger door, which is linked to the swivelling platform. The short ramp can then be pulled out manually or deployed with the push of a button for those who do not wish to bend. The front wheelchair restraints attach to the wheelchair before entering and once you are in the desired position the ramp is stowed and the door can be closed.

To give the passenger even more space, modifications have been carried out to the dashboard and overhead parcel shelf. Bespoke adjustments can be made for the individual if required. NEW FORD CONNECT INFRONT Building on the success of the Infront Doblo the new Ford Tourneo Connect sets new boundaries for the wheelchair accessible vehicle market. Available with manual or automatic gearbox, the Ford Tourneo Connect allows upfront travel in a manual or powered wheelchair without the compromise of using your rear seats and boot. Featuring the same ingenious conversion as the Fiat Doblo, the Connect offers the same capabilities but with the addition of a fully automated wheelchair platform and even more space for a wheelchair user. The Tourneo Connect is available in a range of trim levels, with features such as a panoramic roof, sat nav, Bluetooth and auto lights and wipers. Prices start from £30,495 for a private purchase or £12,995 Motability Advance Payment. For further information please call 01704 512437 or visit


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13/04/2018 14:03


Brotherwood return for WAV Weekend ccessible vehicle specialists, Brotherwood will be returning to the Haynes International Motor Museum this May, giving an exclusive opportunity to try their accessible vehicle solutions.


The Brotherwood team will be on hand across the weekend to give demonstrations, advice and guidance on getting the best WAV vehicle to suit your needs. Taking place on 26 and 27 May, Brotherwood guests can also enjoy free entry to the Haynes International Motor Museum on Friday 25 May to enjoy the incredible exhibits on offer in the museum. There will also be a buffet, including hot and cold drinks.

Located just off the A303 in Sparkford, Somerset, the museum also hosts 19 exhibitions, making it ideal for car enthusiasts who are looking for a bit of a change after the event. After looking at the range of vehicles Brotherwood have on offer, including Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and Ford, guest can browse the amazing selection of historical vehicles, from vintage 1800s cars to supercars like the Jaguar XJ220. The event is free to attend, but the Friday VIP event is ticketed, so guests are advised to book early! Request up to four tickets on Brotherwood’s website, or call 01935872603.


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13/04/2018 14:50



Mountain Trike

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Performance, reliability & value Automatic folding vehicular lift for wheelchairs and scooters Unobstructed view for passenger and driver Easy operation and maintenance

Call us now on 01509 635 920

Email: Vapor Ricon Europe Ltd. Falcon Works, Meadow Lane, Loughborough, LE11 1HS

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13/04/2018 13:57


Parking Made Easy

10 Parking accreditations Accessible for disabled people

No height restriction - ideal for WAVs eople’s Parking is an accreditation scheme for car parks. The scheme, designed by disabled campaigner Helen Dolphin MBE, began in January 2016 and is primarily aimed at improving parking for customers by enabling people to find a car park which meets their needs. Helen explained why she began the accreditation scheme:


Family friendly

“As a disabled person I have often struggled to get in and out of car parks. This is because I find it incredibly difficult to take tickets out of machines and also to put coins in slots. I have suffered those embarrassing moments all too often when I can’t take a ticket and the driver behind gets so cross they get out of their car to come and shout at me. However, by making a few simple changes many car parks can make themselves accessible to disabled people and when I’m choosing where to park I like to know which these are. When I was designing People’s Parking I wanted it to be inclusive and also recognise that disabled people have other needs than just accessible bays. Therefore, my scheme accredits a wide range of facilities such as electric charging bays, parent and child parking and cycle parking. It also informs people how close they are to amenities and what facilities are available.”

Cycle parking

People can visit the website and simply search for a car park with any combination of the ten accreditations (right).

Convenient for rail commuters

Only car parks of high standards will be accredited by People’s Parking. Customers can also find out car park opening times, tariffs, distance to amenities and whether there is a toilet, accessible toilet and Shopmobility provided in the car park. Twitter: @Peoples_parking Facebook: People’s Parking Limited


Good for airport passengers

Great for shoppers

Convenient for bus commuters

Pre-book available


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13/04/2018 10:56


Get covered First and foremost before you drive a car you must have insurance. By law you must be covered before taking to the open road, this is to cover the costs in the unfortunate event of an accident.




This only covers injury to your passengers or other people involved in an accident and any damage to other people’s property. It does not cover any injury to yourself or any damage to your own vehicle if you are at fault. Nor will it cover the cost if your vehicle is stolen or destroyed by fire.


THIRD PARTY FIRE AND THEFT This includes everything you get in the Third Party insurance level but you are also further covered in the event of your car being stolen,

damaged or written off by fire. You will still not be covered in the case of any injury to yourself or damage to your car if it is your fault.



The most popular insurance cover, you can expect most comprehensive policies to cover everything included in Third Party Fire and Theft but with the added reassurance that any damage to your vehicle or injury you suffer as a result of an accident to be covered too. Some policies will also include windscreen cover, personal contents cover such as sat navs and some include medical and legal fees up to a certain amount. Courtesy cars for use if your car is in the garage due to an accident are also another perk that maybe included in comprehensive cover.



It has been a challenge for some disabled drivers to find the right policy in the past, with insurers charging through the nose for policies to cover cars with adaptations.

INSURANCE WEBSITES Here are just some of the organisations you can contact for insurance quotes:


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Under the Equality Act 2010 it is against the law for an insurance provider to charge a driver more just because they have a disability. As a disabled driver the chances are there are adaptations made to your car and mainstream insurers and comparison websites don’t include cover for these in their regular policies. So it is worth getting quotes from insurance companies who specialise in providing cover for disabled drivers. These specialist insurers have in-depth knowledge of adaptations and wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs), they can provide cover that will replace adaptations like for like and some cover mobility aids and equipment left in the vehicle too. You will be safe in the knowledge that they understand what adaptations are and will make any repairs without fuss. They also understand that a courtesy car will have to be suitable to your needs, an area that mainstream insurers may not be fully set up to follow through on.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.


13/04/2018 12:34

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13/04/2018 14:54




New F o r d EcoSp o r t Zete c w ith re ar p ark ing s en s o r s an d SYNC 3 DAB Nav igatio n Sy s tem fro m o nly £145 * Ad van ce Pay m ent. To find out m ore, v isit /m otabilit y or call 0345 60 40 019.





Official fuel consumption figures in mpg (l/100km) for the New Ford EcoSport Zetec 1.0T EcoBoost 125PS Manual: urban 45.5 (6.2 ), extra urban 61.4 (4.6), combined 54.3 (5.2). Official CO2 emissions 119g/km.

The mpg figures quoted are sourced from official EU-regulated test results (EU Regulations (EC) 715/2007 and (EC) 692/2008 as last amended), are provided for comparability purposes and may not reflect your actual driving experience. For more information and most up-to-date data, please see the price list at Data correct as of 1st April 2018. *£145 Advance Payment available only on New Ford EcoSport Zetec 1.0T EcoBoost 125PS Manual. SYNC 3 DAB Navigation System is subject to availability. No cash alternatives are available. This programme is subject to the standard conditions of the Motability Scheme hire agreement. Full written details and quotations available on request from a Ford Authorised participating Dealer of Motability Operations Limited. Motability Scheme vehicles are leased to customers by Motability Operations. Motability Operations Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under reference number 735390. To qualify you must be in receipt of the Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA), the Enhanced Rate Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP), the War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement (WPMS) or the Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP) and applications must be made with participating dealers between 1st April and 30th June 2018. Prices are correct at time of print, are subject to availability and may change.

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13/04/2018 09:50

Motoring with PosAbility - 2018  

Motoring with PosAbility is the annual PosAbility Magazine supplement that guides and advises you through all things vehicular. In our annua...

Motoring with PosAbility - 2018  

Motoring with PosAbility is the annual PosAbility Magazine supplement that guides and advises you through all things vehicular. In our annua...