£400m donation from connected company sees Motability's income increase six-fold

The gift from Motability Operations means the charity's income rose to £428.7m from £72.1m in the previous 12 months

(Photograph: Rob Carter/Alamy)
(Photograph: Rob Carter/Alamy)

Income at the disability car charity Motability has soared to almost six times the previous year’s total after a £400m donation from the charity’s connected company.

The accounts for the year to 31 March 2019 show that Motability Operations, which runs a government-backed scheme to provide cars to disabled people, gave the charity £400m, pushing its income to £428.7m.

Income in 2017/18 was £72.1m after Motability Operations donated £45m to the charity, meaning there has been an almost six-fold increase in income in the latest financial year.

The rise in income means the charity’s unrestricted reserves have risen to £446.3m.

Spending rose to £37.3m from £2.2m the previous year, the accounts show.

The figures come after criticism of Motability Operation’s large reserves, which totalled £2.4bn in 2018, and the large bonuses paid to senior executives.

This led to a parliamentary inquiry into Motability’s policies and a National Audit Office report on the scheme.

A statement issued by the company at the time of the NAO report said it had donated £400m in "windfall profits" to the charity.

The 2018/19 accounts say Motability Operations initiated an external review in response to the NAO report. The review backed its approach to the reserves but suggested "adjusting assumptions underpinning the calculation of a number of conservative risk components".

Motability Operations therefore took the decision to release £370m in capital reserves as a result, the accounts say.

A statement from Motability said: "In late 2018, Motability received a donation of £400m from Motability Operations.

"The extraordinary size of this donation was made possible by the unusually buoyant second-hand market, in which cars have been selling consistently at values significantly higher than expected."

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in