The Tank RIP
The Tank RIP

This week has been a sad one- Lou’s car a.k.a ‘the Tank’ has finally given up.  The neighbours will be pleased- most mornings over winter began with the mucky diesel engine coughing and spluttering in blue-grey smoke (normally a number of times before finally moving off down the road!)  Even worse, a slight chill in summer meant the battery would discharge and the mean the stress of sorting out a ride to work.

So, we decided to look for another car- one that would fit the large Maclaren pushchair, the walking frame and one that might manage a wheelchair if required.  An estate sounded like the ideal choice but Lou wasn’t keen on something she perceived as quite so ‘big’.  The search on AutoTrader began…

MotabilityIt was Portage (Early Years Educational Support) who initially suggested Motability.  A charity that has set up deals with the major car manufacturers to basically swap the mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for a new car on a lease-type agreement.  We hadn’t been keen- but it was only when we found that the type of car we wanted was probably out of our price range and a friend showed us their Motability deal that we started to consider it.

Motability.  It is easier to see for yourself rather than describe the package but it certainly is cheaper than an equivalent lease or hire purchase deal.  If you qualify (by having a high rate mobility component DLA) it is well worth looking into.

Although due to Charlie’s disability we are entitled to the scheme both Lou and myself felt quite self-conscious about getting a brand-spanking new car while fundraising for Charlie’s Challenge.  Rightly or wrongly, we were scared that people would think we were spending Charlie’s money- obviously nothing could be further from the truth but still we worried.  In the end we discussed this so much we decided not to go ahead- we would make due with the Tank and keep our fingers crossed.

Eventually after discussing our issues (and the Tank giving up the ghost) someone came up with an idea- ‘what about using decals on the car?’ An advert for Motability so that people could immediately see that it was a car for Charlie and not us money-grabbing.  The idea grew on us to such an extent that we decided that we would only ‘do a deal’ if there was some way of advertising Motability.

We cheekily asked at Toyota John Roe and we surprised with the positive response- I guess it was a no-brainer for them to have an advert riding through town with their name on it for 3 years!  They have been so helpful- even getting Lou’s keys out of the Tank when she locked them in it when we went for a test drive and actively chasing and moving the application along.  Suzanna, made us feel to be extremely valued customers and we would recommend her services highly.

Charlie's Motability CarWe are sure Charlie will benefit from the new car, a Toyota Verso Icon- it can easily fit his gear in but should also have ample room should another Junior Smith appear in the future.  He was also rather chuffed with it being Blue…

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