Car Scrappage Schemes Update: Autumn 2018

Currently, various motor manufacturers are offering trade-ins and discounts on selected new cars and some commercial vehicles. Here, we review the latest leading promotions that are in force, as at September 2018. If you are buying a new car and are looking for a good scrappage deal, read on – you might want to consider these allowances when making your choice. In some cases, this subsidy can stretch to a handsome £5,000.

In particular, some of the top car producers are waiting to offer special incentives if you trade your present car in for a more fuel-efficient model. These generous deals aim to ease diesel cars off UK roads and encourage motorists to opt for the latest low-emission vehicles, thereby reducing pollution.

Special Incentives

So that purchase transactions qualify for the latest incentives, the trade-in has to fall within EU1 to EU4 emission categories, i.e., the previous regulatory standards. Nowadays, new cars meet EU5 or EU6 specifications. Generally, the special scrappage discounts apply to vehicles first registered seven years or more ago.

Information about a vehicle’s emission compliance usually appears on its registration document – though if not, details are freely available from motor manufacturers. Most cars first registered before 2011 do not meet EU5 and EU6 standards because, until this date, the highest standard was EU4.

Interestingly, some motoring commentators are pointing out that the scrappage schemes could provide thankful owners of older diesel cars a convenient escape from future additional taxation, which is likely to be levied on fume-producing older vehicles.

Fuel-Efficient Cars

Although registrations of new cleaner vehicles have risen by almost a third over the past twelve months, according to information published by What Car, total ownership in Britain still falls short of one car in twenty (4.3 per cent). For the future, hybrid and electric vehicles will become increasingly common, particularly in cities, thanks to lower running costs and emissions. With this motoring trend very much in mind, Tokyo-based Mitsubishi is offering £4,000 scrappage allowance towards new Outlander hybrids, for instance.

Several other mainstream marques are offering special deals, although a number of them list terms only until the end of September 2018. Some schemes give fixed discounts for old vehicles, with varying cut-off dates of first registration. In many cases, the scrappage discount applies regardless of the vehicle’s actual current market value. Note, however, that most schemes require previous ownership of the trade-in for a minimum of ninety days to six months.

Manufacturer Promotions

Kia is tempting motorists across the country with a fixed discount of £2,000. For many drivers, Picanto deals have an attractive price tag, with new vehicles from less than £7,500. Alternatively, Kia’s straightforward incentive is also available on other models in its range.

Mazda cars come with the most generous scrappage allowance, at a minimum of £3,000. The company offers up to £5,000 towards the Santa Fe, for instance, with lesser amounts for the Mazda 3 and Mazda 6 diesels that leave the showroom for just under £9,700 after discount. This Japanese carmaker accepts old vehicles registered prior to 31st December 2010, meaning that this choice represents excellent value for low-value trade-ins.

Then again, Toyota’s offering includes the Aygo X-Play edition for just over £9,000, after saving £1,500 for traded-in cars that have dates of first registration until the end of September 2010. Similarly, while the CH-R crossover attracts a minimum allowance of £1,000, a new Land Cruiser comes with the maximum discount of £4,000.

If the current vehicle is worth more than the promotional discount, a part exchange deal may be a better best option – except, perhaps, for Hyundai. This company offers a trade-in value in addition to scrappage discounts of between £1,500 and £5,000 off selected new models. This manufacturer’s incentive is, therefore, especially attractive to Hyundai purchasers who have a second-hand vehicle that is still of value. However, it must meet the EU4 standard to take advantage of this offer. Conversely, older cars attract a fixed discount off each new model, but with no additional trade-in value on the old one.

Notably, mainstream manufacturer Ford has withdrawn its scrappage deals on cars, though the company is still offering discounts of up to £2,000 on commercial pickups including the Ranger. However, for a few models, the price reductions apply only to those variants with certain levels of trim.

Important Considerations

Scrappage promotions are available only on new cars. Usually, it is possible to take the discount either to reduce the purchase price or as a deposit for finance, depending on the manufacturer. Significantly, motoring experts have reminded customers to consider the overall deal including part exchanges, purchasing a low-mileage vehicle and finance incentives – not all of which may be available in conjunction with scrappage.

The last government-sponsored scrappage allowances certainly boosted car sales, but it ended back in 2009. Now, nine years later, there is no indication of any such repeat national scheme in the offing. Nonetheless, local incentive programmes may be a possibility in areas with poor air quality.

In summary, then, scrappage schemes have grown in popularity since manufacturers’ sales and marketing departments decided to respond to public pressure, bring in new customers and boost their market share of more modern, environmentally friendly vehicles.

If you intend to trade in an old car for a newer model or a Ford pickup, deals such as these could well be of interest, depending on the market value of your current vehicle. Apart from your motoring budget, the most important factors to take into account include the amount of discount and to which new model(s) it applies, as well as any additional trade-in allowance (where available) and the cut-off dates for individual manufacturer promotions.

Additionally, specific deals require the trade-in vehicle to be EU4-compliant, whereas other sale terms and part-exchange conditions will accept compliance with the earlier EU1 to EU3 standards.

Finally, happy car hunting!