Car scrappage schemes
Thinking of scrapping your car? A few years ago, there were numerous scrappage schemes you could take advantage of to get more money for your old car. These government-backed scrappage schemes were popular because they offered car owners the potential to save thousands of pounds in discounts – and, with most of the schemes, manufacturers didn’t even care about the condition of your car – as long as you’d owned it for the requisite amount of time, you would qualify for a discount on a brand-new model.
However, the recent economic uncertainty has forced the UK government to make cuts to public spending – and, consequently, many of these scrappage schemes have been withdrawn. Read on to find out the current status of the scrappage schemes offered by the government and major car manufacturers.
Car scrappage schemes explained:
- Government car scrappage schemes
- The impact of the Toxin tax and car scrappage scheme
- Scrappage schemes for Londoners
- Car manufacturer scrappage scheme
- Toyota scrappage scheme
- Ford scrappage scheme
- Renault scrappage scheme
- Vauxhall scrappage scheme
- MG scrappage scheme
- Mazda scrappage scheme
- Audi scrappage scheme
- BMW scrappage scheme
- Mercedes scrappage scheme
- Kia scrappage scheme
- Hyundai scrappage scheme
- Mitsubishi scrapage scheme
- Skoda scrappage scheme
The UK Government and car scrappage schemes
In the last decade, ongoing concerns about air pollution in its major cities caused the UK government to crack down on high polluting vehicles, especially in London with ULEZ and in Birmingham with a new CAZ (clean air zone).
Following a long period during which the UK government was repeatedly taken to the European Court of Justice over city pollution levels, car scrappage schemes became an important element in addressing these problems. Indeed, in 2017, the UK government pledged to “be the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than we inherited it.”
Much of the focus had been on the dangerous levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) – and, accordingly, the government put in place new legislation to curb this.
In 2020, the UK government brought forward its ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) cars and vans from 2040 to 2030 – as part of an ambitious 10-point plan to make the UK carbon-neutral by 2050. Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was also set to announce a new government scrappage scheme the same year – but, in the wake of the Covid crisis, this was deprioritised. The UK Government has now officially ruled out any such scheme.
However, in September 2023, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak pushed back on the ban by five years – to 2035.
The impact of the toxin tax and car scrappage schemes
The price of diesel cars has plummeted since the government announced its 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.
The government had been considering proposing a nationwide car scrappage scheme which would compensate drivers for exchanging their high-polluting cars for new, greener models.
They are yet to introduce a nationwide car scrappage scheme – and with the ongoing period of economic uncertainty, this now looks unlikely in the near future. However, some councils have been appealing to the government to support local car scrappage schemes, in order to improve air quality.
New London scrappage scheme introduced
Consequently, a new ULEZ scrappage scheme has been introduced by Transport for London (TfL) making any Londoner with a non-compliant car eligible for a £2,000 grant.
Applications are being processed quickly – and drivers of non-compliant vehicles are being urged to apply for a grant as soon as possible to avoid being charged.
More info about the new £160m scrappage scheme can be found on TfL’s website.
Car manufacturer scrappage schemes
In an effort to create a greener environment in the UK and clean up the air in towns and cities, many car manufacturers had piloted their own proprietary scrappage schemes.
Most of these provided financial incentives for turning in older, high-polluting vehicles, often in the form of a discount on a new car.
Whilst many of these schemes offered by leading car manufacturers had proved successful, following the Covid-19 outbreak and the subsequent period of economic uncertainty, many of these schemes have been quietly phased out in the last few years.
The following is a round-up of the current schemes on offer by the big-name auto manufacturers:
Toyota scrappage scheme
To qualify for the scheme, the owner of the trade-in vehicle must be named as the registered keeper, and resident at the UK address shown on the Vehicle Registration Document (V5C logbook) and have owned the trade-in vehicle for a minimum of 6 months before the new Toyota order date.
By trading in an old Toyota, you can receive between £2,000 and £4,000 scrappage saving off the ‘Recommended on the Road Price’ of a New Toyota. Offer excludes GR Yaris, Mirai, Hilux Active grade, and Proace City.
Ford scrappage scheme
The UK’s most popular car brand has successfully run scrappage schemes in the past. However, as of 2022 they are no longer offering a manufacturer scheme.
Renault scrappage scheme
Renault’s ‘new for old’ scrappage scheme is still available. It offers savings of up to £3,000 on a number of Renault models and is valid against all eligible models ordered by the 30th of June 2022.
To qualify for the discount, your trade-in car or van must have been owned for at least 90 days.
You can get £250 towards a new ZOE in GT-Line+ trim, and up to £1,750 towards a new Kadjar. You can also get a discount on the Renault’s Clio of up to £1,000 for RS Line or Techno spec, and on the Captur you can qualify for a £1,500 deduction.
Renault’s latest Arkana SUV is also an eligible model, and you can get a discount of up to £1,250 on both the E-Tech Hybrid and mild-hybrid models.
Vauxhall scrappage schemes
Vauxhall did start providing its own car scrappage scheme. However, the company is no longer advertising any form of scrappage scheme on its corporate website.
MG scrappage scheme
MG did have a scrappage scheme – or ‘swappage’ scheme – which guaranteed a £1,500 minimum part-exchange on any petrol or diesel vehicle.
However, this has now been discontinued.
Mazda scrappage schemes
Mazda used to offer discounts of between £2,500 – £3,500. However, like a lot of automotive brands, Mazda has now discontinued its scrappage scheme.
Mazda now offers Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) deals instead.
Audi scrappage schemes
Audi did run a generous scrappage scheme giving you up to an £8,000 discount on a new car. However, it ended in 2018 and hasn’t been renewed.
BMW scrappage scheme
Initially, BMW had only planned to run their scrappage scheme to the end of 2017. It was then extended to 2018 but, like Audi, hasn’t been renewed.
Mercedes scrappage scheme
Mercedes was offering up to £2,000 to trade in an older Euro 4 diesel car, but this offer ended in June 2018.
Kia scrappage scheme
Kia had been offering £2,500 off both diesel and petrol cars on their scrappage scheme.
However, the scheme ended in June 2022.
Hyundai scrappage scheme
Hyundai’s ‘Scrappage and Emission Reduction Scheme’ came to an end in December 2021.
Mitsubishi scrappage scheme
Mitsubishi was offering discounts ranging from £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’ ended in 2018 and it has not been renewed.
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