In rare praise of Motability

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  • #166840 Reply
    Glos Guy
    Participant

    I am often critical of Motability, mainly because of the lack of choice (especially for those who need a big car for wheelchairs etc) so I thought that I should give credit where credit is due.

    In an act of complete idiocy, which was entirely my fault, I managed to reverse our 8 week old BMW X1 into a skip. As if that wasn’t embarrassing enough, the skip was on our driveway! We are having our en-suite converted to a wheelchair accessible wet room and we had just got back from a weeks holiday and I completely forgot that the ruddy thing was there. As you will know, skips have angled ends and by the time the reversing sensors squawked at me the higher upper edge had hit the rear corner of the car (OK, I was also going too quickly)! As I say, absolutely no excuse and I’m gutted as it’s the first prang I’ve had in about 20 years and I’ve probably driven over 300,000 incident free miles in that time.

    Anyway, I jumped out the car expecting to see the whole rear end staved in and was relieved to see that the damage was ‘only’ about a foot long but had put a crease in the edge of the tailgate and scratched a line of paint off the bumper. I contemplated a smart repair (which I would have paid for) but decided that as the car is so new I should get it fixed properly. I have since discovered that it was too much damage for a smart repair anyway.

    I called RSA insurance and they were brilliant. After lots of questions, the chap said that as the damage was effectively cosmetic I could, if I wanted, ‘live with it’ and return the car at the end of the lease with the damage and I wouldn’t be penalised for it. This would save me the £100 excess. I would have done that had the car been in the last 6 months of lease but as we’ve only had it for a couple of months I declined and said that I wanted it fixed. No problem. They authorised the repair and said that the repairer would offer a courtesy car. I explained that we needed a higher car and a big enough boot for a wheelchair and ideally auto. No problem they said, just call us if the car you are offered isn’t suitable.

    Needless to say we were offered a Vauxhall Corsa manual, which I declined. Called RSA back and they said no problem, we will arrange for a hire car with Europcar. They said it would be a Nissan Qashqai or equivalent. I was happy with that. Anyway, the car arrived today. It is a Mercedes GLB 220d 4Matic Premium Auto which, at £45k, is £5k more expensive than our Motability car!

    I appreciate that my praise relates to RSA insurance but they work within parameters set by Motability. I hope that the forthcoming change of insurers will still provide us with this level of service. Whilst I remain frustrated at the poor choice of cars on the scheme, every contact that I have had with Motability Operations and now RSA insurance has been exemplary. As I say, credit where credit is due.

Viewing 25 replies - 1 through 25 (of 27 total)
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  • #166842 Reply
    Gary

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Damn, wish we had got that instead of the Sportage, 4 months in one of them I’d have been extremely glad Evans Halshaw were rubbish :)</p>
    I’ll add to this, we received our hire car promptly and were told not to worry about how long we needed (which proved to be a bit prophetic)

    It’s one area of the scheme that I think they get absolutely spot on

     

    #166843 Reply
    Mike 700
    Participant

    MMy son has just taken delivery of a GLB, really nice carMy son has just taken delivery of a GLB 7 seater – loves it , and I am looking forward to driving it now that travel restrictions between the Uk & Denmark have been relaxed.

    VW Tiguan SEL in Silver White.

    #166845 Reply
    Glos Guy
    Participant

    It looks identical to that one Mike. All black which wouldn’t be my choice. They do it in a very nice blue. I’m also looking forward to driving it on Monday as it’s not technically on hire to me until then when the BMW goes in. I’ve only manoeuvred it on the driveway so far (avoiding the skip 😂). I’ve had a long sit in it to set everything up for me.

    First impressions are that it feels much bigger and more modern than the X1, but the Multimedia system isn’t as good. It’s nowhere near as intuitive and simple to use as BMW iDrive and there’s some annoying ‘lag’ at times. Also, the Diesel engine sounds like a tractor at idle. Admittedly our X1 has a whisper quiet petrol engine, but BMW diesels don’t sound like that from inside! Quality of interior materials is behind BMW as well, which really surprised me. Some very scratchy plastics and the area where the lighting controls are moves slightly when you press any buttons! The all important comparison will be driving it though. I had forgotten about the American like stalk gear shifters that Mercedes use!

    #166851 Reply
    joss
    Moderator

    Fancy ramming the skip GG, but good news about ins-co and the hire car, not to shabby at all. Enjoy it while you can.

    Joss
    ***🌻🌻🌻 ***
    Current car BMW X2 2.0i Sport sDrive Auto 2019 with Sport pack
    Last car Ford Focus Titanium 1.5 TDCI
    Builder of Gaming PC's

    #166906 Reply
    Glos Guy
    Participant

    Fancy ramming the skip GG, but good news about ins-co and the hire car, not to shabby at all. Enjoy it while you can.

    Thanks Joss. I’m almost at the stage that I can see the funny side of my c@*k up – almost!

    #166907 Reply
    fwippers
    Participant

    The courtesy car is fantastic but it could have been even better. A R*x*o*!

    #166937 Reply
    Abercol
    Participant

    You are not alone, my son did exactly the same thing with a skip just outside our driveway in his then new Citigo.

    The skip was huge & bright orange, it even had flashing lights on it and had been there a week. He still reversed into it hard enough to punch a hole in the nearside quarter panel & scrape/crease a 12-18″ gouge into it.

    Given he was 18 and on his first year of eyewatering insurance we opted to have the car repaired locally, £800 in total & a great job on the bright green metallic.

    In life, it's not who you know that's important, it's how your wife found out.

    #167030 Reply
    Glos Guy
    Participant

    At least your son had an excuse Abercol, being an inexperienced driver. Sadly I can offer up no such defence! I was damned relieved that the skip was uplifted yesterday. Good riddance!

    I’m taking the GLB for a good run today having only driven it locally so far. First impressions of the switchgear and multimedia aren’t great, so it will be interesting to see how I find it with more miles under my belt.

    #167031 Reply
    solent60
    Participant

    When my Mini Cooper was written off a few years ago by a hopeless old XC-90 driver, Motability gave me (through Europcar) a brand spanking new C-class Mercedes with just eleven miles on the clock. The thing was like a bloody battleship compared to my Cooper! Couldn’t wait to hand it back several weeks later when my new Motability car was delivered.

    #167035 Reply
    Glos Guy
    Participant

    When my Mini Cooper was written off a few years ago by a hopeless old XC-90 driver, Motability gave me (through Europcar) a brand spanking new C-class Mercedes with just eleven miles on the clock. The thing was like a bloody battleship compared to my Cooper! Couldn’t wait to hand it back several weeks later when my new Motability car was delivered.

    I had an E-Class company car in 2005 and had no issues with it (other than a poor seat that gave me back ache) and I had a C-Class for a weekend around 5 years ago and enjoyed driving it, but I don’t like the toggle switches in this GLB (not as natural to use as a push button) and the Multimedia system has a very poor user interface IMO and is a right faff to use and not at all intuitive. Perhaps it’s just me. I might get more used to it when I drive it more during the week.

    #167043 Reply
    fwippers
    Participant

    An old acquaintance in London will only drive MB´s, on one occasion saying of a BMW, its the wrong badge. I have never owned a Merc, but have driven several as courtesy cars, including A, B, C and M class and was not enamoured by any.

    #167065 Reply
    Elliot
    Participant

    Modern day MB’s are nowhere near the quality of the old ones.

    #167067 Reply
    fwippers
    Participant

    My uncle used to service mercs and BMW´s in the 60´s 70´s and 80´s and told me to work hard so I could buy one. I only ever considered leasing a C class privately, but my then Peugeot 406 drove better. I think as the industry goes electric we will see different leaders in the market.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by fwippers. Reason: Addition of the letter N, to make the word then
    #167073 Reply
    Rene
    Participant

    Modern day MB’s are nowhere near the quality of the old ones.

    This.

    In germany there’s an easy way to figure out whether or not a particular Mercedes (at least in regards to limousines) is good or not.

    Ask a Taxi driver. 95% of Taxis in germany are C and E-Classes. The last Mercs unilaterally loved are the W201/W202.

    That said: simpler times. All old cars are more reliable than modern ones, simply due to the fact that there was less to go wrong electronically (downfall of all mercedes’ since the 2000s). In terms of build quality, i actually wouldn’t go so far. At least my only Mercedes i’ve ever owned, a second generation S-Class (W126 MY1981, bought used in around 1995). Everything worked, and everything felt “heavy” or “quality”, but panel gaps, creaking (and rust) certainly were issues.

    Not many electronics in it, so nothing to go wrong with them either. The “big shift” came with the “fisheye E-Class” (W210, ugliest E-Class ever built imho), which had constant issues with electronics. Taxi drivers despised them.

    Current: SEAT Ateca Xcellence Lux 1.5 TSI DSG MY19
    On Order: VW Golf GTE PHEV DSG MY22

    #167087 Reply
    Just2Fish

    I’m very happy with Motability, they’ve made mistakes but who doesn’t?

    #167178 Reply
    John Morris

    We had that same GLB 220 in purple for 2 weeks when our car needed work. Lovely car and so smooth. Lol the kids and i were gutted when our Ateca was ready to collect!

    #167231 Reply
    Mike 700
    Participant

    ‘Just reading the moans and groans of non-Motability car buyers on a VW forum about how build dates are being put back then back again meanwhile the cost of a there ordered car has increased £700 while there waiting and there oblige to pay the retail price as is on delivery.’

     

    just read this from Chris K on another thread – says it all really!

    Good old Motability?

    VW Tiguan SEL in Silver White.

    #167257 Reply
    Glos Guy
    Participant

    Well the hire of the Mercedes GLB has been ‘eventful’. On Monday I just drove it to the post office and back, so too short a journey to get a feel for it. On Tuesday we decided to go out for lunch and pop to Waitrose afterwards to use some 20% off vouchers. Started the car and the digital dashboard was completely black. The entertainment system was on but the instrument binnacle was dead. Nothing. I switched the ignition off and back on a couple of times. Still nothing. I got out the car and locked it, left it a minute or so and unlocked it again. Still nothing. Started to drive (still with no instrument cluster) and noticed that the car was in what I call ‘limp home mode’. Next to no power and max speed of round 15mph. No error messages as no dashboard! After a while I engaged kick down and this seemed to clear the engine management system. As the car was now drivable (albeit with me having to guess what speed I was doing) we went to the pub for lunch. After lunch the car started OK and the digital dash sprang back into life. Bizarre. We did the Waitrose shop and again everything was fine so I was a bit reluctant to ask Eurpocar to swap it unless it did it again

    However, it was Sod’s law, as I had a really important meeting to go to first thing Wednesday and was worried that it might do it again the next morning, so I parked the £45k 21 reg Merc at my daughters and borrowed her 2015 Ford Focus so that I knew that I would get to the meeting without worrying! Not a good advert for Mercedes! After the meeting I swapped the cars back over and thankfully it hasn’t gone into limp home mode again and the dashboard is working.

    Obviously the Mercedes GLB isn’t on Motability, but if it was I definitely wouldn’t want one. Not just because of the problems I have had, but because the MBUX infotainment system is hopeless compared to BMW’s iDrive. Unlike the BMW system, it’s just not intuitive at all, the voice control is hopeless and it is very easy to accidentally do things that you don’t intend to. I did a 150 mile round trip today and it’s driven me nuts. I have inadvertently changed the radio station about 4 times, the sat Nav took me to the wrong place even though the postcode was correct (in the end I had to stop and use Google Maps on my iPhone). The extra time this took made me late. The quality of sat Nav mapping is poor. I cannot see how to change the map scale. You must be able to but for the life of me I cannot work it out. The current road speed limit doesn’t show all the time and when it does it often flashes which is damned irritating. Beyond Sat Nav, selecting and changing menus is a right faff. It’s either laggy or jumps ahead. No rotary dial to control it easily. I could go on.

    I have to say that I will be very glad to get the X1 back. The GLB feels a lot bigger inside but other than the added space I would say that the BMW betters it in every single respect. The X1 might feel a little older, but everything works accurately and easily and all functions are intuitive. The only thing that still irritates me about the X1 is the fact that it doesn’t have auto hold, but the GLB doesn’t have it either which really surprised me.

    Seeing as most people on this forum are obsessed with MPG, I should report that the GLB diesel is economical. The 220d engine (which is quite noisy and obviously a diesel) delivered 51.4mpg at a steady 65-70mph on the motorway and some A road and town driving, which I thought was pretty good. Hoping that the X1 will be returned tomorrow as the novelty of having something new to try out has well and truly worn off now!

    #167262 Reply
    fwippers
    Participant

    For a 45k car, not a glowing report.

    #167291 Reply
    Matt t

    Glos Guy, it should have auto hold, just press down on the break when you come to a stop and it goes into hold mode then accelerate to move, this function let’s you decide when it kicks in rather than (as in a lot of other cars) applying auto hold when you are stopped momentarily at a junction. As for the MBUX system like everything it’s human nature to prefer what you already know, I’m not going to make comment as to which system is better, but as a Mercedes driver who is used to that, I’d find problems with the BMW system as I’m just not used to it. I’ve had my CLA Shooting break for 12 months now and haven’t had a single issue in over 12000 miles of driving.

    #167297 Reply
    Glos Guy
    Participant

    Glos Guy, it should have auto hold, just press down on the break when you come to a stop and it goes into hold mode then accelerate to move, this function let’s you decide when it kicks in rather than (as in a lot of other cars) applying auto hold when you are stopped momentarily at a junction. As for the MBUX system like everything it’s human nature to prefer what you already know, I’m not going to make comment as to which system is better, but as a Mercedes driver who is used to that, I’d find problems with the BMW system as I’m just not used to it. I’ve had my CLA Shooting break for 12 months now and haven’t had a single issue in over 12000 miles of driving.

    Hi Matt. It definitely doesn’t have auto hold, unless it does and it’s faulty (which wouldn’t surprise me with this particular car – the digital instrument cluster wouldn’t come on again today. Seems to do this after being parked overnight). I have tried applying my foot firmly on the brake pedal when stopped and, unless it’s an upward incline, as soon as I take my foot off the brake the car creeps forward.

    I know exactly what you mean about familiarity with systems that you have, but I have driven hundreds of different cars and am very used to regularly driving different makes and models. Usually, within 10 minutes or so I have most things sussed, but this MBUX system is just beyond me. I’m trying not to use it given that I only have the car for a week or so, but can you help me with the one thing that’s really bugging me? How the hell do you change the scale on the map view of the Sat Nav? On BMW iDrive there’s an obvious button for it on the touchscreen plus (more conveniently) you can zoom in and out instantly with the main rotary dial whenever a map is shown. I have looked and looked and just cannot find how to do it on the Mercedes. There’s a degree of the system doing it automatically (as with all Sat Navs) but there have been numerous times when I wanted to zoom out to see where I was heading and I just couldn’t work out how to do it. It must be so obvious that it’s staring at me!

    #167319 Reply
    Matt t

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Hi Glos Guy, like the BMW you can zoom in and out by using the touch pad, use 2 fingers like on an ipad and move them together or away from each other. You can do the same on the screen, if you want to zoom in on the screen you can tap it twice. I agree that the wheel on the iDrive is easier to use (apart from if you want to write addresses) but once you get used to them the two little touch pads on the steering wheel are excellent and when you get used to the system navigating you way around all the features becomes second nature and you don’t have to take your hands off the wheel.</p>
    All that said, you unfortunately seem to have a car with a serious fault on the MBUX system, so it may have more gremlins other than the dashboard. It’s ironic that after hitting a skip you’ve had your car replaced with one! 🙂

    #167352 Reply
    Glos Guy
    Participant

    Hi Matt. I had tried pinching or expanding the touchscreen but it just changed the view off the current vehicle location, however I tried doing the same on the touchpad just now and it worked, so many thanks for that tip as it was driving me nuts! I maintain that the MBUX user interface isn’t anywhere near as intuitive or logical as BMW’s iDrive but, as you say, you get used to what you have over time and Mercedes drivers no doubt find work-arounds for the things that would irritate me. The digital dashboard illuminated this morning, so it’s an intermittent fault, but this car is definitely a Friday built lemon.

    The positives are definitely the size of the car (interior passenger space and boot size, not that I’d ever use the 6th and 7th seats) and although the 220d Diesel engine is quite noisy and a bit agricultural sounding compared to BMW diesels, it is very nippy with a rapid take up in speed when you need it and it’s impressively frugal. I’ve been glad to have had the chance to experience a GLB over the past week but will be very pleased to get the BMW X1 back on Monday!

    #167356 Reply
    fwippers
    Participant

    I find unreliable technology the most irritating thing in life.

    #167357 Reply
    Wigwam
    Participant

    The worst is when something worked the last time you did it, but now you can’t get it work at all. But you know it worked before…

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