Motability/Car Showrooms Access Overview
Looking for a new Motability car can be daunting, so to make it slightly easier we have looked at accessibility in the showrooms in Colchester. All showrooms were covered, except for a couple of high-end ones. Please note that the focus was on mobility access issues, as that is generally the qualifier for a Motability car, and the review was carried out in secrecy, so was based on what could be seen and service offered.
This was carried out in September 2012 so please contact the showroom for their current accessibility arrangements.
|Ford and Kia||61 Magdalen Street||1 Blue Badge Space, blocked by a salesman showing a car. Very poor, plenty of other spaces to use, seems to be a regular thing.||Steps to front door, automatic door/lift at side. Arrived at 5:15, they closed at 5:30 and said they had already locked the lift up. Had to send someone in to open it, would have been trapped if alone. Door opened outwards, but no sign to say this. Should not do this until they’ve actually closed.Level access once in showroom.||One Motability person (Andi) didn’t have information to hand on one car, but emailed it through a couple of days later and was helpful. On second visit to Ford door was working, BB bay corrected used. Spoke to manager who informed me they were reviewing access, were making sure the lift was open daily, and they were installing a bell to call if there are issues.|
|Nissan||Wimpole Road||Couldn’t see customer parking, had to park on road and use wheelchair.||Level access||Good salesman, very helpful.|
|Renault||72 – 78 Military Road||Poor parking, very full and tight spaces. Two service vans parked in blue badge spaces, which the salesman said they’d been trying to move all day.||Quite a large threshold which some would struggle with.||Motability salesman (Trevor) not available, but alternative salesman tried his best to help instead.|
|Vauxhall||Scotts Corner, Ipswich Rd||Three blue badge spaces all used by non-blue badge holders. Customer parking not obvious, so ended up parking on the road and using wheelchair. Long walk round to showroom.||Level Access||Motability lady wasn’t there, but service was incredibly poor. Ignored when walked in, had to find a salesman ourselves, but seemed to have an unhelpful attitude. We dismissed a car as unsuitable, but he kept insisting on us seeing that one. Had to wait a long time for them to unblock and drive the car round. A Motability customer seemed to catch them off guard, yet we just wanted to view the cars which any salesperson should have been able to do. Left feeling like we wouldn’t want a Vauxhall car due to level of service.|
|Mazda||Scotts Corner, Ipswich Road||Three (same as Vauxhall)||Level Access||When asked to see Mazda’s range of cars, the salesman said “we’re really expensive.” Found it quite offensive, as he had no idea of our budget. So never saw any Mazda cars!|
|Honda||Ipswich Road||1 space||Level access||Good service from Gary.|
|Mitsubushi||Ipswich Road||No blue badge parking, but spaces close||Level access, automatic doors||Sales manager good. Motability specialist was busy,but called Will.|
|Hyundai||Fox Street, Ardleigh||No blue badge parking, parking quite a distance away||Level access, automatic doors||Saw Andy, very helpful.|
|Peugeot||Lancaster House, Severalls Lane||Close blue badge spaces||Level access, automatic doors.
Rated the best in service and access we saw.
|Approached straight away by Andy, who helped us get the wheelchair out the car, and then offered to push the chair. Took us to all available cars, was very helpful. Felt he went the extra mile and was one of the best salespeople we saw all day.|
|Skoda||Lancaster House, Severalls Lane||No blue badge parking, 4 general bays.||Level access||Darren was helpful and polite.|
|Volvo||Cowdray Avenue||1 blue badge space, although full. Parking was generally a nightmare due to a very busy car park, multiple garages using it. People blocking exits all over the place. Had to park in front of the building.||Had quite a step to get in and wheelchair wouldn’t get over it (someone with strength in a manual, or an efficient electric would probably manage though.) Poor level access.||Was helpful, but there was an underlying attitude of ‘expensive cars on the motability scheme.’ Felt the need to say that I didn’t care about the price of Volvos, was just looking for something suitable to fit my wheelchair in.|
|Fiat||Sheepen Road||1 Blue Badge space quite a distance away||Have to get across large gully, which was a nightmare for my wheelchair. Then had a large step into building, had to wait quite awhile for someone to go in, tell them I was there, for them to locate keys, and then open the entrance that cars use to drive into the salesroom. Would not have got in without assistance. Large ramp to then get in.||Kevin, the salesman, was quite helpful, although didn’t totally listen to all requirements.|
|Saab||Sheepen Road||As above||As above||Only a couple of cars on show in Colchester.|
|Citroen||72 Gosbecks Road||1 blue badge space at back||Poor level access, wheelchair got stuck||Salesman would only show us two cars – both we said were too big. Wouldn’t show us the smaller versions. Wasn’t the most helpful of the salespeople we had seen|
|Toyota||79 Gosbecks Road||Couldn’t see any customer parking||Had a ramp, but had parked a car for sale directly in front. Main door had a large step. Had to sit outside and wait for them to find a salesman. Building let them down massively, and while they can’t help the design, there is no excuse for parking in front of the entrance point. Did apologise for this, and explained they are moving to a fully accessible building shortly.||Salesman, Steve, was very helpful and pleasant. Offered drinks, and took a detailed look at our needs and budget, something others had not done. He found out the answer to a question he couldn’t solve there, and called us later on with the information. One of the best salesman of the day.|
|Volkswagen||Ipswich Road||One very close blue badge parking space||Level access (although small ramp) and automatic doors. Less positive once inside, as cars stored at the back with a step to reach, and items blocking wheelchair access, so to view you had to go around the entire building.||The salesman, Damian, had previously worked for Ford and had been my point of contact for my previous car and had been incredibly helpful and remembered me by name, and the type of car I needed.|