Scrappage is back! How Vauxhall’s scheme works


Chop in a banger and Vauxhall will give you £2000 off a shiny new Corsa (Picture © Vauxhall)

The scrappage scheme is back. However, this isn’t the proposed government-backed scheme to remove the most polluting diesel vehicles from the road. This is an incentive devised by car maker Vauxhall in a bid to sell more motors.

Anyone buying a new Vauxhall Adam, Corsa, Meriva, Astra or Mokka X will have a contribution of £2000 towards their new car. But they must trade in their old model. Here’s how it works.

What is scrappage?

This is a scheme where car owners are paid to scrap their existing car if they trade it in for a new motor. The scrappage programme was devised by the UK government as a way of stimulating the new car market. The treasury contributed £300m in the wake of the 2008/09 recession. In the original scheme, new car buyers were given £2000 towards their old car.

How does it work?

The scheme is open to cars ordered and registered before June 30, 2017. Then, once you’ve driven off in your shiny new car, your old clunker will be taken to a treatment facility. Here it will be broken down and the parts recycled. This is how Vauxhall hopes to make the scheme financially viable.

Who will it benefit?

Currently the price of scrap metal is low. Although the price varies depending on the car and whether it has components such as alloy wheels, you’re unlikely to get more than a couple of hundred pounds. For anyone with a 15-year old car on its last legs, this looks like a good deal. But this is really more of a headline grabber than anything. That’s because the pool of drivers who can benefit from the scheme and are in the market for a new car is relatively small. Before they sign up, drivers should be certain that they’re not scrapping a car that is either rare, or likely to appreciate in value over the next few years.

What about classic cars?

Vauxhall is adamant that this scheme isn’t designed to rid the world of classic cars. However, to work fairly, all cars that are part exchanged through scrappage must be taken off the road and scrapped. But Vauxhall has outlined a process so that precious and possibly scarce parts aren’t lost by auto enthusiasts. Any model registered before 1991 will be reported to Vauxhall’s HQ. It will then inform the relevant owner’s club so parts can be purchased from the treatment centre where the car is broken down.

Is there going to be a government scheme?

The government is currently investigating whether to have a scrappage scheme to replace older polluting diesel cars. In a consultation paper that runs until June 15, 2017, there is no firm strategy. Instead the government has passed responsibility to councils so they can deal with pollution on a local level. What the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) does say is that there may be a scrappage scheme targeting drivers of older diesel cars. They would either be paid to scrap their cars or have them retrofitted with emissions equipment to cut harmful exhaust gases.

Diesel cars that conform to the latest Euro 6 emissions standard will be exempt from any scrappage scheme. Even so, the government is coming under pressure from the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan to reintroduce scrappage for older diesels. It’s claimed the scheme for London alone would cost £500m.

What about abroad?

In France there is already a scrappage scheme in place for older diesel vehicles. There, owners of diesels that are more than 13-years old receive £2600 towards a new car if they scrap their old one and buy an electric vehicle. They receive £1737 if they replace their diesel with a plug-in hybrid.

Do you think the UK needs another car scrappage scheme? Share your view in the comments section, below.


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