Scrappage schemes seem to be all the rage at the moment as manufacturers urge us to ditch that dirty old diesel and give you some cash so that you can go and buy another one. Well, a less dirty one anyway. That’s been the approach so far as both Mercedes and BMW. For some months Vauxhall have f been offering a plain and simple £2000 to scrap your old car for one of theirs. Meanwhile, Ford are happy to take any petrol or diesel into their car pound. Terms and conditions always apply on all these schemes.Ford pay their £2000 for a Euro 1 to 4 emissions diesel if it is swapped for a Euro 6 engine model.
One might be forgiven for thinking that overall car sales have dropped and dealers are looking for some way of getting people back into their showrooms. Discount, sounds so low rent, so they sex it up a bit, by saying it is a scrappage scheme, insisting that you are doing your bit to make the nation’s air cleaner. No you are, if you fall for scrappage you are being stupid, here’s why.
1. Scrappage is just marketing, a term designed to get your attention and your business with the promise of a saving which may not actually materialise. Also, if you vehicle is new enough, it won’t actually be scrapped. Your lovable old hatchback will just enter the used car merry go round and be auctioned off so that a family in Cleethorpes who already have chronic asthma.
2. Scrappage costs you money. £2000 sounds a lot, but schemes are not paying that on top of the part-ex price, that is the part ex price. Do your research, the old banger may be worth more than on the open market. Maybe you should sell the car yourself and then find a friendly broker to save you the hassle of haggling with the dealer and a get a good few thousand off.
3. Scrappage traps you into a PCP, you know one of those easy payment schemes where you end up paying money every month, but don’t actually own the car. That arrangement might suit you, but for many a Bangernomics approach would be perfect. For less than the £2000 a dealer will pay you, buy a barely depreciating, reliable and tough older car. Or just keep that one going.
4. Scrappage kills classics. The unintended consequences of such a scheme is that it will condemn some perfectly serviceable and possibly rare cars. See the BMW CS Coupe above scrapped under the last government backed scheme. This is killing our automotive culture one icon at a time.
5. Scrappage won’t save the planet. Honestly, Leonardo Di Caprio can shame you about your carbon footprint as he private jets it around the world, but part exchanging your diesel people carrier for something else won’t help. As explained, keeping your Banger just might. The resources involved in making a brand new car is phenomenal. What might save the planet is getting rid of diesel trains and buses and possibly some sort of exhaust pipe on those pesky container ships bringing more imported cars to our shores.
The Free Car Mag view is that scrappage is a bit stupid, so best to stay away from it really.