Car scrapping scheme pleases few drivers (and treehuggers)

16 April 2009

Is scrapping your old car under the pretense that it would help the environment worth £2,000 to you? Or are you vomiting into your organic milkshake over the plans set out by Darling?

The plans as you may have heard by now involve giving car owners nine years old and older a certificate worth £2,000 to trade their old car in for a newer model at any car dealership in Britain. £2k sounds like a nice stack of notes, but as we've recently observed distastefully an amazing feat of politics reminiscent of the hoary old chestnut that "a camel is a horse built by a committee", most seem to disagree wtih the plan's benefits, except for a few planning to buy a new car anyway.

The dual purposes of the proposal are to "boost the finances of car companies" and hence the economy at large. It also hopes to replace older, less efficient cars with newer, "greener" models. But with unemployment on the rise, poor financing and doubts on predicted gains, a fair amount of debate has been generated on the issue.

One Volkswagen dealer in Sussex doesn't think the situation is dire enough to require such a huge initiative, preferring that car taxes - some of which have been doubled recently, be cut in an effort to provide financial relief.  There are also fears that Britain's plan, like the German plan on which it is modelled, could prove much more expensive than expected. And since nearly 90% of cars sold in Britain are foreign models, much of the stimulus money would end up benefiting German and French car manufacturers more than domestic ones anyway.

Some have also questioned the logic to reuse, pay for, or otherwise stop using plastic carrier bags while encouraging them to scrap their cars, noting that much of the pollution caused by cars takes place during manufacturing, before it hits the actual road. Environmentalists with the Green Party also believe that the cash incentive will only encourage people to buy larger, more expensive, and more environmentally hostile cars. And shouldn't people who walk, cycle or take the bus/train every single day be rewarded first? Or will they also have to pay for the recycled containers made out of metal car parts, too?



  • Colin
    My car is 11 years old and still worth at least a little over £3,000 (edging towards £4,000 if it was in better condition), so I'm not sure what the point of the certificate would even be.
  • Mark
    Clearly it isn't designed for you then! :) but there are clearly substantially less 10 year old cars less than £2K than over £2K!
  • ABC
    They can have my 9 year old car for 2k, but I wont buy a 12k new car, simply because they havent given me the other 10k to afford it! Great plan.
  • Pizza_D_Action
    Some thoughts: IF (and thats a big if!) the average depreciation is 20% per year then a car that cost £15,000 new would be worth £2013 after 9 years. What car do you drive Colin? Is this £2000 going to be off the list price (which we all know is piffle) or the negotiated price? Since we are in this credit crunch because of people who shouldn't, being in far too high levels of debt... how will encouraging them to trade in their 9 year old Nissan Micra for a VW Golf on finance help?
  • Dave
    Why not but a 8yrs 11 months old car for say £50 and trade it in a month later for £2000 (voucher)? Seems like a plan.
  • Andy
    S'crap idea.
  • akm
    the plans state that you must have been the registered keeper for 1 year, to stop plans like the one mentioned above. i think this plan is very poorly thought out. my car is 10 years old and worth about 1k, what is the incentive to buy a new car for £14k then watch it drop to 10k after the first year, so after cashing in £1k i lose 4, a deficit of 3k in 1 year! then there's the dealer finance facilities where you don't even own the car and fail to tell you about the 'Final Payment' until you're ready to sign. all a shambles.
  • Car A.
    [...] Scrapping Scheme? Was reading this article: Car scrapping scheme pleases few drivers (and treehuggers) | BitterWallet Was do others think? Will it work? Will the UK car manufacture's benefit? Personally I don't [...]
  • j
    I don't understand how this will work? At the moment i could go out and buy a cheap used car for £1000 or an old banger for £100. If they make them worth a minimum £2000 then won't the seller/dealer now want £3000 for the same £1000 car? Perhaps I should buy 10 bangers now for £1000, then trade them in for brand new £20k car!
  • Nally
    What, your telling me that the dealers wont just put up the prices of the cars by 2k?? Stop doing offers etc.. Who dreams up this crap??? Fair enough in germany, they have cars people actually buy! What cars do we have here though?? Stop demonising drivers, cut road, petrol and car tax, make the greedy dealers cut costs THAT will make people buy cars.
  • Zeddy
    Colin has a solid gold McLaren F1. If not, i think he's in for a nasty surprise come trade in time...
  • superfran
    I will be going for this. My car is 13 years old and I bought it 3 years ago for £1295, it's been badly mistreated since then and probably won't see it's next MOT... Assuming that such things as finance deals on the new and nearly new (i understand that the car can be up to a year old?) are available, I think this could work. For me. Sod the rest of you haha.
  • Jonathan S.
    I'll be going for this too, i've been looking for an excuse to swap my car for a while. Does anyone know when its likely to come in, if at all.
  • Car A.
    [...] Posted by reddevil63 Was reading this article: Car scrapping scheme pleases few drivers (and treehuggers) | BitterWallet Was do others think? Will it work? Will the UK car manufacture's benefit? Personally I don't [...]

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