What Are Scrappage Schemes?

Scrappage schemes are designed to encourage drivers out of older, more polluting vehicles and into a new car with the latest, most efficient engines. It’s not a ‘war on diesel’, as many older cars of all varieties can be scrapped, and you can even take advantage of the discounts on newer, more advanced diesels that release comparatively tiny amounts of CO2.

Why are scrappage schemes being introduced?

There’s a lot of focus in the news at the moment about the impact of diesel vehicles on air quality and pollution, and in response many car manufacturers are running their own scrappage schemes, a bit like the one introduced by the Government about a decade ago.


Many of us took advantage, and jumped into brand new diesel cars. At the time, the perceived wisdom was that diesel cars released the least CO2 – a major greenhouse gas – so this was thought of as a big win for the environment.


But while average CO2s have dropped ever since, the amount of harmful Nitrous Oxide (NOx) in our air has spiked – and it’s this that’s causing concern.

How are the new scrappage schemes different?

Unlike the previous Government-backed scrappage scheme that operated in 2009-10, these schemes aren’t official or standardised. There is no Government funding, the offer varies from one manufacturer to the next – even from one model to the next in some instances – and not every manufacturer is taking part.


The idea is that you part-exchange your old car, and what you’re offered is inflated so that you’re getting more for your car than it’s really worth. Discounts of up to several thousand pounds are available.


Crucially, this time there’s no guarantee that the scrappage incentive can be used in conjunction with existing offers.


And what happens to your old car depends on who you trade it in with. Some manufacturers guarantee it will be scrapped (or, to use a more 2018-friendly term, ‘recycled’), while others reserve the right to sell the car on.

What cars qualify for scrappage?

You may remember the previous scheme, in which every car over 10 years old automatically qualified for scrappage, as long as you’d owned it for at least six months.


This time, however, the rules again vary from one manufacturer to the next. Some will take any car registered before the end of 2011; other set an earlier date; and some will insist that the car being part-exed is a diesel. And as for ownership, some insist that you’ve owned the car at least 12 months, while others aren’t so picky.


The only way to know for sure is to speak to your local dealer when you’re looking to start the process.

Can I use the discount on any new car?

No. Since the manufacturers set the rules, they can limit the discount to specific models, trim levels and engines. Entry-level trims and more polluting engines are frequently excluded.

When does the schemes end?

Officially, most current scrappage deals are scheduled to expire on or around March 31st - but that’s not to say they won’t be extended.


Uncertainty in the economy (and changing attitudes towards diesels) have put a halt to the new car market’s recent record performance – another factor behind the introduction of the schemes.  

Scrappage schemes at Inchcape

Scrappage schemes are current in force at Inchcape outlets for BMW, MINI, Volkswagen, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota. Contact your nearest branch now for more details on the incentives available for your chosen model.