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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.