Car scrappage schemes

With ULEZ forcing Londoners to move away from old cars and the fact that you now need a Euro 6 compliant vehicle (or similar level car) to drive for free in central parts of the capital, scrappage schemes for older cars are proving more appealing than ever.

Whether you live in London or not, UK car scrappage schemes are programmes offered by governments and car manufacturers aimed at encouraging drivers to trade in their higher polluting vehicles for newer, and often greener, models.

Drivers receive incentives in return for trading in their old, but still fully functioning car. Often this takes the shape of a discount off a new car.

electric car discount on car scrappage schemes
Manufacturer car scrappage schemes can offer incentives for trading an old car with a discount on a newer, cleaner one.

If your car is an older model nearing “worthless” levels on the second hand car market, has been labelled a Cat D car by your insurance company or has a serious fault or heavy body damage, these car scrappage schemes are not for you.  In these instances we recommend websites or businesses that allow you to scrap your car.

Car scrappage schemes explained: 

The Government and car scrappage schemes

Concerns over air pollution in the UK’s major cities have caused the Government to crack down on high polluting vehicles, especially in London with ULEZ.

In recent years car scrappage schemes endorsed by the Government have become an increasing feature of the car industry.

The current Government has pledged to “be the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than we inherited it.”

During the last few years, they have been dragged to court on three occasions over the high levels of pollution in major cities.

Currently, they are being taken to European Court of Justice as a result of the levels of air pollution.

Much of the focus has been on the dangerous levels nitrogen dioxide (NO2).

Now, the government are taking action. They introduced new legislation to curb the amount of NO2 pollution in UK cities, helping levels drop to the legal limits.

Despite some environmental groups in feeling that the new laws do not reach far enough, the future for diesel in the UK seems uncertain.

At the turn of the century, the UK government was actively encouraging people to switch to diesel, believing it to be a cleaner alternative to petrol.

Now, that message has been completely scrapped.

New “toxin” taxes have been introduced in recent years.  By 2040, the government hopes to ban the sale of all “conventional” petrol and diesel cars.

We recently put together a full guide to the “toxin” tax which first came to light in 2017.

These policy changes and new taxes has had had a significant effect on diesel sales.

The impact of the toxin tax and car scrappage schemes

Car scrappage schemes aimed at tackling NO2 emissions.
No longer the clean option: Diesel emissions have caused high levels of NO2 pollution.

As Motorway revealed back in November 2017, the price of diesel cars has plummeted since the government announced it’s targets to cut NO2 pollution levels.

Though recent trends have pointed to a slight revival, there still seems to be a lot of uncertainty regarding the future of diesel, and high-polluting petrol cars.

As a result, many owners of diesel and older petrol vehicles will be considering what to do next.

For many, the answer lies with a scrappage scheme. Though they previously would have hoped to sell their car on, trends in the market mean car scrappage schemes are becoming increasingly popular.

The government had been considering proposing a nationwide car scrappage scheme.  This would compensate drivers for exchanging their high-polluting cars in.

They are yet to introduce a nationwide car scrappage scheme.  Some councils have been appealing to the government to support local car scrappage schemes, in order to improve air quality.

Car manufacturer scrappage schemes

As a result of recent trends, many big name car brands launched scrappage schemes in 2017.

Due to their popularity, and the ever-increasing focus on cleaning up the air in UK town and cities, many of these schemes were extended into 2019.

Most of them provide financial incentives for turning in older and high polluting vehicles, often in the form of a discount on a new car.

Some of these scrappage schemes have now come to an end, but there are still plenty of options available.

Here we look at some of the scrappage schemes still offered by leading car manufacturers.

If you are thinking of buying an electric car, these car scrappage schemes might be extra attractive for you, as they come in addition to the government plug-in grants for low emission vehicles.

Some of these car scrappage schemes are drawing to a close, so if you are considering getting rid of your old car, you’d better hurry!

Remember if you’d rather sell your car quickly, you can value it anytime on

Toyota scrappage scheme

Scrappage schemes can offer up to £4,000 off a new Toyota
You can get up to £3,000 off a new Toyota model through their “scrap old for new” campaign.

You need to register by 31st March 2019 for Toyota’s “scrap old, drive new” campaign.

By trading in an old car, be it a petrol or a diesel guzzler, you can receive between £1,000-£3,000 off on certain Toyota models.

You can use the scheme if you have owned the car for 6 months or more, and you can trade-in a car of any make. However, it must have been registered by 1st April 2011.

This means that to qualify for the scrappage scheme, drivers don’t have to own a Toyota.

You’ll be able to trade it in at any authorised Toyota dealership to get a discount off a new model.

Ford scrappage scheme

car scrappage schemes offer discounts off new Fords
Ford’s scrappage scheme includes discounts on new Fiesta and Focus models.

The UK’s most popular car brand will run its own scrappage scheme until the end of June.

Ford are offering up to £2,000 discount on a wide selection of models. However unlike others on this list, they do not take into account any additional value on your car.

If your car is worth more, they won’t add that on to your discount.

Your old car must have been registered before 2012. You must have owned for 90 days in order to be eligible for the scheme.

Audi scrappage schemes

Audi's car scrappage scheme
Audi’s scrappage scheme could lead to a discount up to £8,000.

Audi’s scrappage scheme means you could potentially get an £8,000 discount off a new car, depending on which model you choose.

A new Q7 e-tron offers the biggest discount, but other models are also available on the scheme.

Your car must be a diesel registered by the end of 2009. The scrappage scheme ends 30th June 2018.

BMW scrappage scheme

BMW i3 2018
With BMW’s scrappage scheme, you could get a discount on a new i3 model.

Initially, BMW had only planned to run their scrappage scheme to the end of 2017. It has now extended to 30th June 2018.

Their scrappage scheme means you can trade in your old car for discount of of up to £2,000 (plus any additional residual value of your car) on a large selection of new models, excluding some of larger SUV models.

New MINI models are also available on the car scrappage scheme.

The old cars must be of Euro 4 standards and earlier. They must also have been registered in the UK by September 2009.

If you are considering buying a plug-in hybrid or electric car, BMW’s scheme offers an additional incentive to the Government’s grants for low-emission vehicles.

You could receive a large discount off the i3 and i3s models. On top of the £2,000 from the scrappage scheme, the grant will pay up to 35% of the purchase price.

Mercedes scrappage scheme

Mercedes changeover bonus offers discounts
You can get a £1,000 discount off a new Smart Electric Drive with the Mercedes scrappage scheme.

If you have been the owner of an older diesel vehicle up to a Euro 4 model or earlier for more than 6 months, Mercedes will offer up to £2,000 if you trade it in.

You won’t be able to trade in your car for a petrol vehicle. Instead you can choose between low-emission diesels and plug-in hybrids

You can choose to purchase a Smart Electric Drive car on the scheme. This will earn you a discount of £1,000.

This is in addition to the government own subsidy on electric cars.

The scheme comes to an end by 30th June.

Kia scrappage scheme

Kia's scrappage scheme can give you a discount of £2,000.
You can get £2,000 off a range of Kia models.

Kia are offering £3,000 off a group of their models. These includine the Stonic, Picanto, Rio and cee’d.

Cars with a Euro rating between 1-4 registered before 31st March 2011 are eligible.

Kia are accepting both diesel and petrol cars on their scrappage scheme.

Hyundai scrappage scheme

Scrappage schemes like Hyundai's can offer up £4,000 off a new car
Hyundai are offering £4,000 off a new i30 with their scrappage scheme.

Like other scrappage schemes on this list, Hyundai planned to end theirs by the end of 2017.

They extended it into March 2019 due to its popularity.

Hyundai’s scrappage scheme now lasts until 31st March 2019, and it is available for both petrol and diesel cars.

Through this scheme, you can receive a discount between £1,500 and £4,000 off a new Hyundai model.

Only cars registered by the end of 2010 are eligible. You need to have owned it for at least 3 months

Euro 1-3 Standards cars will be scrapped, but those with a 4 can be traded in.

Mitsubishi scrappage scheme

Car scrappage schemes, Mitsubishi.
Mitsubishi’s scheme offers up to £5,000 on a new Outlander

Mitsubishi are offering discounts ranging between £2,000 to £6,500 on a number of their new models.

You are eligible as long as your car was registered by the end of 2009. You must have owned it for more than 6 months.

Discounts on the Mitsubishi scrappage scheme include:

Mirage – £2000
ASX – £3000
Outlander – £5000
Outlander PHEV – £6500

Skoda scrappage scheme

Skoda's scrappage scheme offers discounts
Skoda’s “scrappage incentive” offers discounts up to £4,000 on new models.

Skoda launched their “scrappage incentive” in September 2017, and extended it into 2018.

You need to order your new Skoda before 30th June 2018, to get a discount between £1,500 and £4,000 on a new model.

Petrol cars aren’t eligible, only diesels registered by 31st December 2009.

Here is a list of discounts offered on new Skoda models when using their scrappage scheme.

​Citigo – £1,500
​Fabia – £2,500
​Rapid/ Rapid Spaceback – £3,000
​Octavia – £3,500
​Superb – ​£4,000

Thinking about going electric?

If you want to know more about new electric cars, you can read our definitive guide to electric cars, and check out our top 5 electric cars of 2019.

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