Scrappage schemes – a simple guide

Scrappage schemes – a simple guide
Manufacturers are offering scrappage schemes to incentivise people to upgrade their old cars (mostly diesel ones) for new ones, but how do the schemes work and is there a catch?

Until recently, diesel was seen as a relatively ‘green’ fuel – mainly due to its lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions than petrol.

However, older diesels emit much higher levels of nitrogen oxide (NOx), which is linked with respiratory problems and premature death.

This has prompted a move away from older diesels and the introduction of scrappage schemes.

Here’s what you need to know about the schemes.

What is a scrappage scheme?

Diesel scrappage schemes

A scrappage scheme encourages motorists to part-exchange their old, polluting diesel car for a new, eco-friendly one, by offering cash towards the new car when trading in the old one.

Some of the schemes include petrol trade-ins to be scrapped also.

Why is it important?

Public opinion has started to shift, with many now concerned about localised pollution as the debate has moved away from just CO2 emissions, in the wake of more publicity around the immediate damage emissions can have on our health.

The figures make for sobering reading, too. Depending on which study you read, poor air quality is linked to anything from 10,000 to 40,000 premature deaths in the UK each year.

And the problem is particularly acute in cities, many of which regularly breach EU limits for air pollution. A 2014 Public Health England report estimated that 7.2% of deaths in London are linked to air pollution.

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Is there currently a diesel scrappage scheme?

Diesel scrappage schemes

There is no official, government-backed scrappage scheme at present.

The UK government ran an official scrappage scheme – not aimed specifically at diesels – but only from April 2009 to March 2010.

This scheme offered anyone trading their car (10 years or older and with their name on the V5 for 12 months or more) £2,000 towards a new one: £1,000 from the government and £1,000 from the car manufacturer.

Recently Environment Secretary Michael Gove said scrappage is not a “preferred option”.

Despite the lack of government backing so far, some car companies have taken the initiative and introduced their own scrappage schemes.

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At the time of writing (19 October 2017), the following schemes were on offer:

  • Audi: up to £8,000 off

    The Audi deal is open to Euro 1 to Euro 4 diesels, as long as you’ve owned the trade-in for at least six months.

    The only Audi models which aren’t included in the offer are hot RS cars, as well as the A8, R8 and diesel Q7s.

    A massive £8,000 has been slashed off the Q7 e-tron, while A7 and A6 buyers can enjoy a £7,000 discount. The saving on an A4 or A5 is slightly lower, at £6,000.

    The A3 e-tron can be had with £5,000 off, plus the government’s £2,500 low emissions grant, while the affordable A1 qualifies for £2,800 off. The new Q2 qualifies for the lowest discount of £2,000.

    To receive the contribution, you must order your new Audi by 31 December 2017 and it must be registered by 31 March 2018.

  • BMW: £2,000 off any car with 130g/km CO2 or less

    BMW’s offer is available on trading in any Euro 4 or lower diesel vehicle registered before January 2011 for £2,000 towards any new BMW emitting 130g/km CO2 or less.

    The scheme is open between 09 August 2017 and 31 December 2017, and the car must have been registered in your name for at least 12 months.

  • Citroen: £6,400 off

    This scheme is open to anyone with a vehicle more than seven years old, providing you’ve owned the vehicle for at least 90 days.

    You can save between £1,600 and £6,400 on a new Citroën car and up to £7,000 on a commercial van.

    The scheme runs until 31st December 2017.

  • Dacia: £1,000 off a Duster

    The Dacia Duster is available with a £1,000 discount when you trade in a vehicle registered before 31st December 2009, providing you’ve owned the car for 90 days or more.

    SE Summit, Prestige and Laureate models qualify for the full £1,000 discount, while the Ambiance is eligible for a £500 discount.

    There’s no discount available on the entry-level Duster Access. The new Duster must be ordered by 31st December 2017 and registered by 31st January 2018.

  • DS: up to £5,500 trade in bonus

    The DS scheme is available to both petrol and diesel cars registered before 31 December 2010 and offers between £3,500 and up to £5,500 off a selection of most new models. The scheme runs until 31st December 2017.

    • Ford: £2,000 off any new car

      Ford’s scrappage deals are available on any new car within its range.

      To qualify, your trade-in must be rated Euro 4 or older for exhaust emissions (that’s most cars registered before the end of 2009), with a V5 in your name for at least 90 days.

      You could then save between £2,000 and £4,950 off a new Ford, but your new vehicle just needs to be registered between the 1st September and 31st December 2017.

    • Hyundai: up to £5,000 off certain models

      Hyundai’s biggest saving is towards the Santa Fe, which has £5,000 slashed off its retail price when you chop in a clunker.

      Cheaper models have smaller discounts: £3,500 off the Tucson, £4,000 off the i30, £3,000 of the i40 and £2,000 off the Ioniq hybrid, i20 and ix20. The i10 city car gets a £1,500 saving.

      The scheme applies to trading in a Euro 1 to Euro 4 rated petrol and diesel cars which have been registered before 31st December 2009 and have been owned by the current owner for at least 90 days.

    • Kia: £2,000 off a new Picanto or Rio

      Kia is keeping things simple: trade in any car over seven years old, and get a £2,000 discount on a new Picanto or Rio.

      The offer runs until the end of December 2017.

    • Lexus: up to £4,000 discount on hybrid models

      Lexus is offering up to £4,000 off the price of a new hybrid model. Buyers of the CT or IS can save £3,500, with an additional £500 available on a new NX or RX.

      The scheme is open to any petrol or diesel car registered no later than 31st December 2009 and registered to the current owner for at least six months.

    • Mazda: between £2,500 and £5,000

      Mazda’s scheme could save you up to £5,000 off any car that produces less than 130g/km.

      It is available to cars registered by 31st December 2017, and applies to trading in petrol or diesels registered on or before 31 December 2009’

      You can save between £2,500 and £5,000 off a new Mazda.

    • Mercedes-Benz: up to £7,000 off

      Mercedes is offering up to £7,000 ‘Changeover bonus’ off a new car when you trade in a Euro 1 to Euro 2 rated diesel car by 31st December 2017.

      The maximum £7,000 discount is available on the C-Class Estate, with the minimum £3,000 available on the A-Class.

    • MG: £1,500 off an MG3

      MG’s scrappage scheme only applies to its MG3 supermini, and offers at least £1500 off the reasonable hatch.

      The trade in applies to petrol and diesels of any brand and any Euro emissions standard.

    • Mitsubishi: £6,500 off an Outlander PHEV

      Mitsubishi is offering a £6,500 discount on its popular Outlander PHEV, but this includes the £2,500 government plug-in car grant.

      Meanwhile, the Mirage supermini qualifies for a £2,000 discount, with Mitsubishi also offering £3,000 off the price of an ASX and £3,500 off a regular Outlander.

      Any vehicle, of any make, registered before 1st January 2010, is eligible for the scrappage scheme.

      The car must have been owned for at least six months before the new car registration date, with the offer ending on 28th December 2017.

    • Nissan: up to £5,000 off

      Nissan’s alternatively-branded ‘Switch Scheme’ applies to owners of cars and vans with pre-Euro 5 engines.

      In return Nissan is offering up to £2,000 in scrappage support on top of the trade-in value and existing discounts on new vehicles.

      This means up to £5,000 towards a new model like the X-Trail and £2,000 plus vehicle trade-in value towards an approved-used Nissan Leaf 24kWh.

      • Peugeot

        Peugeot’s scheme is open to anyone with a vehicle more than seven years old, providing the vehicle has been yours for at least 90 days.

        The scheme entitles you to up to £6,000 off a new Peugeot car and up to £7,000 + VAT off a new Peugeot van. The scheme runs until 31st December 2017,

      • Renault: £2,000 scrappage allowance on top of existing offers

        French firm Renault is allowing £2,000 discounts across its range, on top of existing deals.

        Customers can save a total of £6,200 off a Kadjar, £4,500 off a Captur, £4,250 off a Clio and £4,000 off a Megane, Scenic or Grand Scenic.

        The Renault Koleos is excluded from the scheme as is the Twingo and, curiously, the electric Zoe.

        The scheme applies to trade-ins of Euro 4 vehicles or older that have been owned by the current owner for at least 90 days.

        It runs until the end of December and orders have to be registered by January 2018.

      • Seat: up to £3,500 off when you trade in your dirty diesel

        Seat’s offer is all pre-Euro 5 diesels that have been registered in the customer’s name for at least six months.

        The biggest saving is on the Leon, which qualifies for £3,500 off, while the Toledo gets a £3,000 discount and new Ibiza £2,500.

        The Mii city car gets £1,500 slashed off its price.

        New cars must be ordered by 31st December 2017 and registered by 31st March 2018.

      • Skoda: scrap your Euro 1-4 diesel and save thousands

        Skoda says scrap your 1-4 diesel and you’ll save money on a new car.

        The biggest saving is £4,000 off a Superb, while the Octavia and Yeti qualify for a £3,500 discount.

        The Rapid gets £3,000 off; the Fabia £2,500 and Citigo £1,500. There’s no saving available on the new Kodiaq.

        All vehicles traded in must have been in the customer’s name for at least six months.

      • Suzuki

        Suzuki’s scrappage scheme has been extended until the end of 2017 and applies to owners of pre-Euro 5-classification cars

        Those eligible can save up to £2,000 off a new car under the scheme.

        The largest £2,000 saving applies to SZ-T and SZ5-spec Vitara, Swift and Baleno models.

      • Toyota: save up to £4,000 when trading in your old car

        Toyota’s scrappage-style deal offers a discount of up to £4,000, available when you trade in an eligible car.

        The scheme runs until 31 December and is open to any vehicle over seven years old, as long as the V5 has been in the customer’s name for at least six months.

        The Land Cruiser offers the biggest saving, with £4,000 off when you scrap your old car, while the new C-HR offers the smallest discount: just £1,000.

        The Aygo city car has £2,000 off, while Yaris customers (including hybrids) will enjoy a discount of £2,500.

        The Verso, RAV4, Auris and Avensis all get £3,500 off.

      • Volkswagen: huge savings when you scrap your diesel

        Volkswagen’s scheme is open to all pre-Euro 5 diesels registered before 2010.

        While offers are available across VW’s range, the firm is pushing its plug-in vehicles.

        The Passat GTE is available with £6,000 off, while the e-Golf gets a £5,500 discount.

        These are plus government incentives, meaning you’ll get a total of £10,000 off an electric e-Golf.

        There are big savings to be had on non-electric Volkswagens, too: the Sharan people carrier gets a £6,000 discount, while the new Arteon qualifies for £5,000 off.

        Your trade-in vehicle must have been first registered in the UK on or before 31st December 2009 with a Euro 1 – 4 emissions standard engine.

      Does it matter what age or condition your diesel car is in?

      The age of the car is important as to qualify for these schemes a car has to be a particular emissions standard (usually 4 or lower) and this standard is typically determined by a car's age.

      The condition of the car, however, isn’t important, meaning you could potentially trade in a car worth £500 for £2,000. For many, that’s the key appeal of a scrappage scheme.

      Will a wider scheme become available?

      There’s no word yet on whether a general scrappage scheme will be implemented. The previous scheme was expensive for the taxpayer and was criticised by classic car enthusiasts – and even some environmental groups – for its stipulation that even good, road-worthy cars traded in could be scrapped.

      That said, the pressure on diesel is mounting, with penalties such as the forthcoming £10 London T-Charge (toxicity charge) aimed at the dirtiest cars, plus the London Ultra-low emission zone scheduled to come in as soon as 2019, and plans for Low Emission Zones in Scotland, and Clean Air Zones in England and Wales.

      READ MORE: Diesel particulate filters - what you need to know

      Should you trade in your diesel?

      Diesel cars

      If you have an older diesel car in good working order, don’t feel panicked into trading it in. It will probably have many years of useful life left if properly maintained.

      And while taxes for diesels are likely to increase, Prime Minister Theresa May has stated she will “take into account” past policies that encouraged drivers to buy them.

      Also, while keeping hold of your old car won’t necessarily benefit air quality, it probably will benefit your pocket – despite any tempting scrappage deals.

      The depreciation on any new car wipes out that £2,000 saving pretty quickly.

      Diesel vehicles are particularly popular for long distance journeys because they are fuel efficient, so if you do opt to take up a scrappage scheme, check the new vehicle similarly suits your driving needs.

      Nonetheless, if you want a new car and you have something old (and preferably worth less than £2,000) to trade-in, scrappage offers are certainly worth considering.

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