AM understands that up to 100 redundancies are expected as Motability Finance Limited (MFL), the not-for-profit company set up to provide finance and fleet management services to the Motability Scheme, is integrated into the central operations team at Motability.
From February 1, all customer-facing functions will be undertaken by the newly-named Motability Operations, although the organisation will continue to operate its 385,000-vehicle fleet from three sites – London, Bristol and Harlow.
Delia Ray, internal communications manager for MFL, declines to comment on the exact number of jobs to be lost as a result of the organisation's streamlining, but adds: “As part of the changes there has been a limited number of redundancies, and consultation on these is still under way.”
Motability's customers, she says, will benefit from the restructure through a number of service enhancements such as improved mileage allowances and changes to the 'fair wear and tear' rules, which will now take a more flexible view on damage to cars from wheelchairs or mobility equipment.
Among key revisions to the Motability Scheme, all new contract hire agreements will include a 25 per cent increased allowance from 36,000 miles to 45,000 miles. Above this, all miles will cost a single rate of 10p a mile, and for agreements which started before February, customers can drive up to 38,000 miles without extra charges.
The restructure will also mean that contract hire customers will be able to buy their cars after the end of their terms; HP packages are to be improved and processes to obtain partial refunds of advance payments are to be simplified.
“Over the remainder of the year Motability will review all current end of contract processes to provide a more streamlined and efficient service,” says Ray, adding that while retaining its charitable and technical responsibilities, as well as the interface with the Government, Motability will remain responsible for Scheme policy.
The first Motability vehicle was supplied in 1978, since when more than 1.28 million cars and powered wheelchairs have been provided. Europe's largest fleet disposes of more than 140,000 used vehicles a year. Motability director Noel Muddiman says: “I'm delighted to see these changes being made as we celebrate our 25th anniversary. We won't be stopping at these.”