Since the government introduced the scrappage scheme in May 2009, nearly 400,000 people bought cars using it. According to the DVLA, new cars registered under the scrappage scheme accounted for more than 18% of sales for the 12 month period. “The scheme helped support our economy and played a vital role in providing a much-needed boost to the UK automotive industry,” said SMMT chief executive, Paul Everitt. The market for 2010 is predicted to perform well but will not achieve the peaks experienced during the scheme.
Analysis of the performance data of the new cars registered under the scrappage shows that they have 27% lower average CO2 emissions than the cars they replaced and nearly 10% lower than all other cars registered in that period. Even though these are positive results, many raise the point that even though these new cars produce lower emissions, this does not offset the emissions produced during their manufacture. But those same critics also admit that while the scrappage has allowed the auto industry to recover, it has given them chance to develop greener products. All major manufacturers are now producing successful hybrid alternatives to regular petrol or diesel engines and the development of electric cars is fully under way.
Many critics argue that consumers felt the need to buy a new car based on the discount they would receive, even if their existing car was perfectly fine and that the 2000 offered an “unnecessary incentive.” To qualify for scrappage, an old car needed a valid MOT and to drive to the garage under its own power so this means that many decent cars would have been wasted.
The scrappage scheme has created a dilemma, either save the auto industry and the hundreds of thousands of Jobs it provides or stay green and stop building new cars. Most of the emissions produced by a car occur in its manufacture so by building all these new cars, the idea of creating lower emissions are completely discredited.
Now the scheme is over, a new problem has arisen for the auto industry, in their infinite wisdom; the companies became reliant on the revenue the scheme generated even though they knew it was scheduled to end at some point. Now with a lull of sales again, most of them are falling back into the red with the prospect of job losses and closures looming again.