Scrappage schemes ‘need to offer more’

Scrappage schemes ‘need to offer more’
Scrappage schemes ‘need to offer more’

With the arrival of the new 67-plate registrations on September 1, a number of manufacturers have joined the list of those introducing a scrappage scheme offering money off a new car if buyers trade in certain older vehicles.

There are now 16 manufacturers in the UK offering drivers a discount on a new vehicle if they trade in an older, more polluting one but according to new research many of the offers don’t go far enough.

While some of the manufacturers are offering up to £8,000 off some high-end models, others are offering between £1,000 and £2,000 off a new car that may cost as much as £30,000. Half of buyers questioned on the schemes said they wouldn’t consider anything less than £3,000, while one in six said it would take at least £7,000 to tempt them into something newer and cleaner.

A previous Government-supported scrappage scheme in 2009-2010 gave buyers £2,000 off the price of a new car when they handed in for scrappage a vehicle more than 10 years old.

Cleaning up

The current programmes have arisen as pressure for an official Government-backed scheme has gone unheeded. As concerns continue to grow about the health and environmental effects of vehicle emissions, manufacturers say they are committed to helping reduce pollution. The prospect of selling a few new cars won’t be putting them off either.

Either way, there is a mix of positivity and skepticism around such offers. According to the research by car buying website carwow, around a third of people (34 per cent) back the idea of a scrappage scheme. However, almost as many (32 per cent) think the current moves to paint diesel cars in a bad light will see ordinary drivers penalised and one in five believes that, discount schemes or not, they will be financially disadvantaged.

Karen Hilton, head of sales and operations at carwow commented: “Allowing consumers to part with with older more polluting vehicles, whilst supporting them with the cost of trading up has long been suggested as a sensible, and ultimately unavoidable approach, and whilst some schemes go further than others, this is a very positive move for UK drivers.

“There is undoubtedly more to be done as some of the packages are still very niche, despite some of the suggested government action implying fairly drastic changes long-term.”

Hilton also suggested that the way forward is not through individual schemes operated by each manufacturer but through a more formalised approach.

She said: “A joined-up approach is required from all manufacturers, the industry and the Government, in order to ensure that the majority are able to reduce their emissions, not just a minority group of drivers.”

The RAC welcomed the role scrappage schemes could play in reducing pollution but warned that they weren’t suitable for all customers.

RAC public affairs manager Nicholas Lyes said: “The Government has so far shied away from a national scrappage scheme, largely on cost and practicality grounds, so it is encouraging that manufacturers are stepping forward in their efforts to help clean up the car park.

“However, while scrappage deals can certainly be attractive for some, they’re not right for everyone. Our concern is that owners of some of the oldest vehicles which pollute the most might not be in a position – even with some hefty discounts – to drive away in a brand new car.

“Perhaps incentives to trade in vehicles could be proportionate to a vehicle’s age, so those driving the oldest and most polluting vehicles are offered greater incentives to trade it in for a new vehicle.”

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