Car scrappage schemes

Thinking of scrapping your car? If you drive an older model, you could receive a discount if you trade it in for a new, more efficient vehicle that’s less harmful to the environment. We look at car scrappage schemes in detail.

Thinking of scrapping your car? If you drive an older model, you could receive a discount if you trade it in for a new, more efficient vehicle that’s less harmful to the environment. We look at car scrappage schemes in detail.

Daniel Hutson
From the Motor team
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Posted 12 OCTOBER 2020

What is a car scrappage scheme?

A car scrappage scheme lets you trade in your old, higher-polluting vehicle for a new, more environmentally friendly one at a discounted price.

Several car manufacturers have launched scrappage schemes in recent years. While this is primarily to attract new customers, it’s also aimed at reducing the pollution caused by older cars and increasing the take up of low-emission and electric vehicles in the UK.

Scrappage schemes usually require you to own a car that's at least six years old, and you’ll need to have had it for a certain amount of time, typically at least 90 days.

Is there a diesel scrappage scheme?

There’s no national scrappage scheme for diesel cars, but some car brands will offer to scrap your old diesel in return for a new vehicle.

In 2017, plans were put forward for an official scrappage scheme as part of the Government’s Clean Air Plan. The idea was abandoned in the final proposal in favour of a plan to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2040.

Councils do have the authority to set up local schemes as part of their strategy to improve air quality in their area.

In London, the ULEZ  Car and motorcycle scrappage scheme is open to those who live within the 32 London boroughs or the City of London and who are on low income or disability benefits. 

Is there a government car scrappage scheme?

At present, there are no plans for a Government-backed scrappage scheme. But with a sharp downturn in the car market due to the coronavirus pandemic, there have been calls for the Government to support the industry through such initiatives as a scrappage scheme.

There hasn’t been an official scrappage scheme since 2009. Back then, a short-lived initiative funded jointly by the Government and car manufacturers offered £2,000 towards the cost of a new vehicle, to anyone trading in a car more than 10 years old.

Which car manufacturers offer scrappage schemes?

Some carmakers have introduced their own scrappage schemes. Here’s a round-up of some of the most popular for 2020:

  • Citroen scrappage scheme. If you swap your older car for a low-emission new Citroen, you can qualify for a ‘Swappage’ scheme discount of up to £4,000. The offer applies to the C3 and C4 Cactus hatchback models, C3 and C5 Aircross SUVs and the spacious family Berlingo and SpaceTourer models. Your old car must be registered in the UK before 1 January 2014 and owned for at least 90 days. 
  • Hyundai scrappage scheme. You could get up to £5,000 off a new Hyundai when you trade in a petrol or diesel car that was registered before 1 July 2012. New models included in the scheme range from the IONIQ hybrid model, to the i20 Play hatchback and the Santa Fe.
  • Kia scrappage scheme. Get up to £2,500 off a Kia Picanto, Rio, Stonic, Niro Hybrid, Niro PHEV or Sportage when you trade in your old car. The offer is available to private customers excluding personal contract hire. To qualify, traded cars must have been registered on or before 31 December 2013 and you must have owned the car for a minimum of three months.
  • Mazda scrappage scheme. Save £3,000-£4,000 on a new Mazda that emits 161g/km of CO2 or less. Models include the Mazda2, Mazda3 and Mazda CX-5. Traded cars must have been registered no later than 31 December 2011 and have been in your name for at least 60 days.
  • Renault scrappage scheme. With Renault’s New for Old scheme, you can save up to £3,000 when you swap your old vehicle for a new Renault, including the all-electric Zoe. To be eligible for the discount, your old car must have been registered on or before 31 March 2014 and owned by you for at least 90 days.

Are car scrappage schemes worth it?

Scrappage offers might make sense for you, but it’s important to check you’re getting a good deal. Some of the discounts offered might be less than you could get if you sold your old car privately. And buying a nearly-new car might be better value than a scrappage deal.

It’s worth remembering that other new car offers including 0% finance incentives aren’t always available together with scrappage schemes.

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