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. They are proving a popular way to sell an older car.

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 element 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 is taking action. They’ve introduced new legislation to curb the amount of NO2 pollution in UK cities, helping levels drop to the legal limits.

Despite some environmental groups saying 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 which would compensate drivers for exchanging their high-polluting cars.

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 of their own 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.

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 motorway.co.uk.

Toyota scrappage scheme


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

You need to register by 30th September 2019 for Toyota’s “scrap old, drive new” campaign.

By trading in a car that was registered before 1st October 2011, be it a petrol or a diesel guzzler, you can receive between £2,000-£2,500 off either an Aygo or Yaris – excluding Hybrid versions.

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.

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


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 with the dates currently being extended until 30th September 2019.

Ford are offering up to £4,250 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 1st January 2013 and you need to have owned it for 90 days in order to be eligible for the scheme.

This offer is also available for commercial vehicles.

Vauxhall scrappage schemes

It’s not just the Astra that you could save money on, there are plenty of other Vauxhall models to choose from.

Currently Vuaxhall are offering up to £4,000 off the price of the new Astra, Corssland X, Mokka X or Grandland X.

They’re also offering great deals on part-exchange, if you’re car is worth less than £1,000 Vuaxhall will give you a minimum amount of £3,000 towards a new car.

This offer is available until the 30th September 2019 and you must have owned the car for more than 90 days prior to scrappage.

MG scrappage scheme

The MG3 packs a lot for the money, with an extra £2,000 it’s a bargain.

MG have dubbed their scheme ‘swappage’. It’s only available on their MG3 hatchback, but they will give you £2,000 off when you trade in a vehicle older than 30th September 2012.

You’ll have to have owned the car for at least three months.

If you own an old MG you can part exchange it for up to £2,500.

This is an open ended offer with no cut off date, the offer isn’t available with the entry level ‘Explore’ model.

Mazda scrappage schemes

Mazda’s ‘Upgrade Plan’ can net you a saving of between £3,000 – £6,000 depending on the model you choose.

It applies to their new cars emitting sub 144g/km in a bid to help clean up the environment.

You can trade in your petrol or diesel car that’s older than 31st December 2010.

Currently the scheme is scheduled to run until 30th September 2019.

Audi scrappage schemes


Audi’s old scrappage scheme could bag you a discount of up to £8,000.

Audi’s did run a generous scrappage scheme giving you up to £8,000 discount off a new car, sadly it ended on 30th June 2018 and hasn’t been renewed.

BMW scrappage scheme


With BMW’s scrappage scheme, you could used to be able to get a discount on the i3, not anymore.

Initially, BMW had only planned to run their scrappage scheme to the end of 2017. It was then extended to 30th June 2018 but like Audi, hasn’t been renewed.

Mercedes scrappage scheme

Mercedes A-Class family car
No current scrappage scheme for the three pointed star.

Mercedes were offering up to £2,000 to trade in an older Euro 4 diesel car, but this offer ended on the 30th June 2018.

Kia scrappage scheme


You can get £2,000 off a range of Kia models.

Kia are offering £2,500 off a group of their models. These currently include the Stonic, Picanto and Sportage.

To qualify your car must be older than 31st June 2012 and be owned by yourself for at least three months, the scrappage scheme cannot be used with any other offers.

Kia are accepting both diesel and petrol cars on their scrappage scheme and the offer runs until 30th September 2019.

Hyundai scrappage scheme


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 to 30th September 2019 due to its popularity.

Through this scheme, you can receive a discount between £300 and £4,000 off a new Hyundai model.

Only cars registered before 1st October 2011 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 and 5 can be traded in.

Mitsubishi scrappage scheme


Mitsubishi’s scheme offered up to £5,000 on a new Outlander.

Mitsubishi were offering discounts ranging between £2,000 to £6,500 on a number of their new models, however this scheme has now ended.

Skoda scrappage scheme


Skoda’s “scrappage incentive” once offered discount up to £4,000 on new models.

Skoda launched their “scrappage incentive” in September 2017, and extended it into 2018 but since then the incentive hasn’t been renewed.

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.

Looking for more tips? We have tons! Have a read of some of our popular handy guides: