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UK Government Announces Vehicle Scrappage Scheme

In his Budget statement to the House of Commons on 22 April 2009, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling confirmed that the government will introduce a vehicle scrappage incentive scheme.

Elements of the plan include:

  • A total of £2,000 (US$2,900) will be offered in a “cash-for-scrap” scheme for 10-year-old, or older, cars.
  • The £2,000 saving will be made up of £1,000 from the government and £1,000 from the relevant car manufacturer.
  • Participation in the scrappage scheme by specific car manufacturers is voluntary.
  • The funding will be made up of £300 million (US$439 million) from the government—a figure that will be matched by manufacturers participating in the scheme.
  • The scheme is expected to be introduced in mid-May.
  • The scheme will run until the start of March 2010, or until all of the government funding has been used.
  • The discount will be offered to consumers buying a new vehicle to replace a vehicle which they have owned for more than twelve months.
  • Eligible vehicles must have been first registered in the UK on or before 31 July 1999 and have a current MOT test certificate.
  • Scrappage savings apply to commercial vans (up to 3.5 tonnes) as well as cars.
  • The scheme will be audited by the DVLA.
  • Scrappage trade-ins can only be made against new cars.

Average new car CO2 emissions in the UK have dropped 16% over the last ten years. The number of cars in the UK vehicle parc over ten years old to the end of 2008 is 9,528,582 and the number of light commercial vehicles is 993,731.

There is no fuel-consumption requirement attached to the scrappage incentive.



This may be a good idea for the economy while reducing liquid fuel consumption, GHG and car accidents at the same time.

Similar schemes are used with success in Germany and France for the last few months.

For this to be a win-win-win solution, the replacement vehicles should be HEVs, PHEVs or BEVs with very low fuel consumption and GHG emissions.

If not restricted, many could replace a very low consumption small car with a very large Hummer style polluting gas guzzler, and get unjustified compensation.

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