Automotive Journalist and featured Swansway Group Author John Swift, gives his professional opinion on the newly released Scrappage Scheme
I’m a glass half full sort of person which is why I think the current scrappage schemes being run by several manufacturers are a good thing.
Good for the environment, good for the trade and good for drivers.
Sure, it’s easy to be cynical and say that in some (many?) cases you could walk into a showroom this September and get a couple of grand discount off a new 67-plater anyway so really, is scrappage anything other than an old product wrapped in a new package?
Certainly there is an element of truth in that but if your boss gave you a pay rise of a few thousand pounds I guess most of us would feel quite happy. Well, that is effectively what the car trade is doing so it would be folly to not take advantage of it.
The deals on the table vary in time (some run just for September, some to the end of the year) and in their details. There are those which are in addition to other offers and incentives and those which are in lieu of them.
But the best of them really do give some significant savings.
Take Alfa Romeo and Fiat for example. Alfa will cut £5,300 off a Giulietta hatchback or £3,250 on its new Giulia and Fiat will tempt you with £3,500 on a 500L.
VW group is opening the purse strings with its scrappage deal. Depending on the model, you can save up to £6,000 for several cars and vans. In an eye-catching announcement, it has said that figure goes up to £10,000 for the new e-Golf electric hatchback, once you add together what VW is giving you to what the government is in its funding for ultra-low emission cars. That must be good news.
You can find many more examples for both cars and vans (where the savings are even greater) and I would recommend getting in while the going is good.
And it is not just saving money at the front end, is it.
You would have to be unreasonably optimistic to believe anything other than that emissions-based costs will go anywhere but up and I suspect by quite hefty amounts.
Yet more duty on fuel, city-centre admission charges for the worst polluters and heftier annual road tax could be on the cards and it is the older, dirtier cars and vans that will get clobbered the most.
There is no easier or surer way of changing habits than through tax and punishing the worst polluting vehicles, the older and pre-2010 ones which only meet the old Euro 4 emissions standards, will only become more savage.
Scrappage puts you into a car that will shield you from that.
A current engine is vastly more fuel efficient and cleaner than one just eight or nine years old. In fact, according to one manufacturer – Kia – the difference in CO2 emissions between one of its cars then and the equivalent today is nearly 75 grammes per kilometre Over a seven year lifespan that amounts to 1.6 tonnes.
These new cars and vans will become increasingly cheap to run relative to the Euro 4 ones.
Buy into scrappage and there is another incentive, namely that you will find an open door when you do go to trade in your current car. No more, `Well, sorry, but we really don’t want to take in a car that old’ or some such message that makes it harder to part-ex.
With the best of these scrappage schemes the cost to change is as good as it is going to get and it really will be as easy as driving up to the dealership, choose your new car and sitting down to complete the paperwork.
The dealer will guarantee that your old car is sensibly scrapped/recycled to the highest standards, you will get a fair trade-in value for it and in a nutshell, that’s it. You drive home in a car that in every way is much better than the one you drove there in.
If there is one regret it is that despite its earlier hints, the government is not contributing to the scheme which should see thousands and thousands of the gross polluters taken off the road.
That is a shame but as I said, I’m a glass half full guy and prefer to look on the bright side. Which in this case really is pretty good.
Take advantage of it while you can.