Vehicle scrappage scheme

The UK vehicle scrappage scheme (also vehicle discount scheme and car scrappage scheme) is a scrappage scheme that was introduced in the 2009 United Kingdom Budget to encourage British motorists to purchase a new, more environmentally-friendly car or van and scrap an older, more polluting one that they have owned for more than twelve months. The scheme was extended in September 2009 and again in February 2010 and it finished at the end of March 2010. In February 2010, a separate Plug-in Car Grant to provide £5,000 towards the cost of electric vehicles was announced and it began in January 2011.[1]


The initial scheme, costing the UK Government £300,000,000 was introduced in 2009 to support the replacement of 300,000 cars purchased.[2]

The UK Government agreed to provide a £1,000 payment towards the purchase of a new car ordered from participating manufacturers after 23 April 2009 and first registered on or after 16 May 2009.[3][self-published source] to UK residents who also scrap a car that they have owned for more than twelve months, was older than ten years and manufacturers agreed to also provide £1,000 off the list price.[4]

Environmental groups were "angered" that the scheme was not limited to economical cars, while classic car enthusiasts expressed concerns about the potential decimation of surviving numbers of some of the rarest models in the country, many of which would have been off the road for years and thus not polluting anyway. The RAC Foundation said that many scrapped cars would be still be in good condition and an estimated 90% of cars purchased under the scheme would be imported. Many cars are already discounted from list price so the saving to purchasers is in reality, less than £2,000.[4]

The Institute for Fiscal Studies criticised the scheme saying that:-[5]

  • A reduction of emissions per mile from newer cars would be offset by new vehicles being driven more.
  • That there would be significant environmental costs associated with the production of new vehicles.
  • As fiscal stimulus, it will only benefit one industry.
  • Many new cars are not produced in the UK, though some foreign-built vehicles will contain British components.
  • A larger part of the subsidy to go to replacements that would have occurred anyway.
  • It will mean that fewer sales will occur after the economy has picked up.

The number of new cars sold increased during the scheme and figures for February 2010 were 26% higher than the previous year. There were concerns that sales would reduce after the end of the scheme and the end of the reduced VAT rate of 15%.[6]

The average emissions of new cars sold during the scheme dropped 5.4% from year before .[7]

In March 2010, What Car magazine claimed that the scheme had been a "smoke-screen" behind which manufactures increased prices and that "some of the price rises [will] take your breath away".[8]

In February 2010, the Government announced a £230,000,000 "Plug-in car Grant" scheme to provide a £5,000 grant towards the purchase of plug-in electric cars - the scheme started in January 2011 and a separate scheme, "Plugged-In Places" provided some 11,000 charging points in selected UK cities over the next three years.[9] There was also talk of a scrappage scheme for old radios ahead of the planned analogue TV switch-off.[10]


A car scrappage scheme was introduced in Germany on 13 February 1999 and then in France and Italy. Following a record fall in car sales in the UK and associated redundancies[11] accompanied by lobbying by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders on behalf of UK car manufacturers with support from [12] the UK scheme was introduced in the 2009 United Kingdom Budget on 22 April 2009 by the-then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling. The scheme was supported by Peter Mandelson, then-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, and Geoff Hoon, then-Secretary of State for Transport.[13]

In September 2009, a further £100,000,000 was made available to the scheme which was extended until the end of February 2010.[14] The scheme had been due to run out of money during October and varies bodies including Engineering Employers' Federation, Unite and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders had lobbied for an extension which was announced by Mandelson at the 2009 Labour Party conference in Brighton.[15]

On 5 February 2010, the scheme was extended by a month to run until the end of March 2010 or until the funds were exhausted.[16][self-published source] During the same month, the Government announced a £230,000,000 "Plug-in car Grant" scheme to provide a £5,000 grant towards the purchase of plug-in electric cars, to begin in January 2011. A separate scheme, "Plugged-In Places" will provide some 11,000 charging points in selected UK cities over the next three years.[9]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Plug-in car grants: eligibility and applications". GOV.UK. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  2. ^ Reed, John (23 April 2009). "Mixed response greets car-scrapping bonus". Financial Times Online. Retrieved 16 July 2009.
  3. ^ "What's It All About?". CarScrappage.
  4. ^ a b Webster, Ben (23 April 2009). "Car-scrap scheme payout is a cheat at half the price". The Times. London. Retrieved 9 April 2010.
  5. ^ "Some initial reactions to Budget 2009" (PDF). Institute for Fiscal Studies. Retrieved 10 March 2010.
  6. ^ Kumar, Nikhil (5 March 2010). "Car sales rise again as end of scrappage looms". The Independent. London. Retrieved 9 April 2010.
  7. ^ "Vehicle scrappage scheme drives down emissions of new cars". The Guardian. London. 9 March 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2010.
  8. ^ "Car scrappage scheme used to drive up prices". This Is Money. Retrieved 10 March 2010.
  9. ^ a b Hudson, Paul (28 February 2010). "£5,000 grant to buy plug-in electric cars". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 10 March 2010.
  10. ^ Moore, Matthew (2 February 2010). "Radio 'scrappage' scheme to boost sales of digital sets". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 10 March 2010.
  11. ^ "UK moves towards car scrap scheme". BBC News. 12 April 2009. Retrieved 10 March 2010.
  12. ^ "Car scrappage scheme considered for ailing UK motor industry". The Independent. London. 16 February 2009. Retrieved 9 April 2010.
  13. ^ Winnett, Robert (21 April 2009). "Owners of older cars to be offered cash to trade in vehicles". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 10 March 2010.
  14. ^ "Q&A: The new car scrappage scheme". BBC News. 28 September 2009. Retrieved 9 April 2010.
  15. ^ Wintour, Patrick (28 September 2009). "Mandelson announces extension of car scrappage scheme". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 9 April 2010.
  16. ^ "Car Scrappage Scheme Extended!". Car Scrappage. Retrieved 10 March 2010.

External linksEdit