Damian James' Blog: 27 April 2008 - To scrap or not to scrap? That is the question.
27 April 2009
Damian James is Head of Transport Provision for Bracknell Forest Council and a technology champion
There has been much talk over the last few months about scrappage and the fact it might be the saviour of the motor industry.
This week with the Budget announcement all the rumours disappeared and a scrappage scheme was confirmed.
I won't tell you what the details are as I'm sure you will know and because I'm more interested in whether the scheme will work or not. So far I have to say I have my doubts.
I suspect that if you have a 10-year-old car one of the main reasons for keeping it is that you can't afford to buy a new one. So if you then get £2000 off your new car, is this going to change your mind?
The scheme works by the Government giving half the amount and this is then matched by the manufacturer. The manufacturers have to join the scheme so it may be that not all of them do. Anyway I assume this manufacturer funding is likely to reduce any discount given to the customer as effectively they have already given away £1000.
Most car buyers are likely to be able to negotiate £1000 off a new vehicle anyway so actually they only really achieve the Government £1000 discount as an additional benefit. If you are struggling to afford buying a new car is a discount of £1000 really going to help?
It also seems strange there is no upper CO2 limit on the type of vehicle purchased particularly as we are all being encouraged to drive lower emitting cars. I think this is a missed opportunity because not only do we want new cars replacing old ones but we also want the least polluting ones.
I will be very interested to see how this scheme works in reality when it is introduced and I will be looking at the take up statistics over the next 12 months. It's a great idea but has it been rushed through too quickly and therefore not been given the opportunity to really change the downturn in the motor industry.
Only time will tell.