Is the Government car scrappage scheme back?

With another Government car scrappage scheme on the cards, Heritage insurance investigate how this could affect the future of classic cars.

It’s likely that you will recall the government’s decision to subsidise the new car retail industry back in 2009 by introducing a Government car scrappage scheme. This allowed the potential car buyer to trade in their old car regardless of condition and receive £2000 deduction off the price of a new car.

By the time the scheme had run its course, one fifth of all UK new car sales were attributed to this incentive. So it would seem this was a success? Well, at the time the Government car scrappage scheme was introduce, according to What Car’s investigations, some retailers’ new car prices increased by around 30%. The reason for this was explained as higher import costs for parts manufactured abroad. Although it would have been an innocent mistake to think this excuse sounded a little convenient.

Also it appears that the highest selling cars at the time of the 2009 Government car scrappage scheme were foreign manufacturers with no UK based assembly plants. As you can imagine, this prompted critics of the scheme to question its benefits to the UK manufacturing market.

All relevant points I’m sure you will agree. However the signs are clearly there that the Governments car scrappage scheme is set to return. Ford and Vauxhall are already offering £2000 for your old car should you buy one of their new cars, although this is not subsidised by the Government. Ingvar Sviggum (Ford Europe’s sales chief) has allowed for a higher level of sales predicted for the forthcoming year due to a potential Government backed scheme. He has also stated that he “really expects that the British will introduce a scrappage scheme”. Does he know something we don’t?

Vauxhall’s current advertising campaign is also offering a similar deal, although once again without Government subsidy. Denis Chick (Vauxhall Communications Director) explains “if our dealers recognise what they consider to be a true classic, they will ensure the vehicle is sold on. However any vehicle with a potential value of less than £2000 is likely to be scrapped”. Regrettably, this doesn’t inspire confidence when it comes to the future of the classic car.

Although both manufacturers have applied restrictions regarding the age of the vehicles being traded in, it is inevitable that there will be of course consequences when it comes to the preservation of our motoring heritage. After all the 10 year old car of today is the classic car of tomorrow.

Should the car scrappage scheme be re-introduced in the UK, it could potentially mean the demise of the classic car. With a rich motoring history, and the depth of interest involved, to see the future of our motoring heritage lost would be devastating. We can only wait and see the outcome. Click here to see the details of the Government Car Scrappage Scheme 2009. Can we expect more of the same?