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Diesel Scrappage Schemes Explained

Most car makers in the UK run their own diesel scrappage schemes, with the intention of improving vehicle emissions and sales of cleaner cars.

In September 2017 tougher emissions testing was launched for new cars as part of new European regulations intended to improve air quality. After the Volkswagen emissions scandal, they also wanted to ensure that car manufacturers could not falsify emissions test results. The schemes offered are not government-led and some of them only run until the end of 2017. If you own a diesel car and would like to switch to a lower-emission model, then it could be worth exploring the options available.

What is a Diesel Car Scrappage Scheme?

A diesel scrappage scheme is simply an initiative that encourages drivers to part-exchange their old, polluting diesel cars for a newer, eco-friendlier model. Drivers of such diesel vehicles should receive enhanced discounts, which can result in savings of thousands of pounds on a new, more efficient car. Certain manufacturers offer petrol trade-ins within their schemes as well.

Why are they being Introduced?

Poor air quality is one of the main driving forces behind the rise in diesel scrappage schemes. Studies have claimed that poor air quality is linked to around 40,000 early deaths each year, which is part of the reason behind the government’s plans to ban the sale of new diesel and petrol vehicles from 2040. Stricter emissions testing, increased awareness of CO² emissions, congestion charges, tax changes for high emission vehicles, the new T-Charge in London; all of these have prompted car makers to look at ways to retain or increase sales. Offering incentives through a diesel car scrappage scheme helps achieve this, by ensuring drivers don’t sell their old diesel and buy new through a competitor.

How Does it Work?

The UK diesel scrappage scheme differs for each car manufacturer and all will have their own set criteria to qualify for the scheme. Most accept diesel vehicles that don’t meet modern emissions standards (Euro 5 and 6), which is often determined by the age of the car (usually those registered before 2010).

Who is Running a Diesel Scrappage Scheme?

It’s easier to name the car makers with a presence in the UK market who are not currently offering a diesel scrappage scheme. These are* Fiat, Honda, Land Rover and Volvo. All other big-name car makers offer a UK diesel scrappage scheme. For most you will need to have owned your diesel car for a minimum period of 90 days. Details about some of the available schemes are in the table below:
Car Maker What’s Offered? Scheme Ends
Audi Up to £8,000 off the Q7 e-tron 31 December 2017
BMW £2,000 towards any BMW with 130g/km of CO² emissions or below 31 December 2017
DS Between £3,500 and £5,500 off a selection of new models (open to petrol and diesel cars) 31 December 2017
Ford £2,000 to £4,950 off a new Ford 31 December 2017
Lexus £4,000 off an NX or RX hybrid SUV, £3,500 off the CT or IS hybrid models 31 December 2017
Mercedes-Benz Up to £7,000 off a new C-Class Estate when trading in a Euro 1 to 2 rated diesel 31 December 2017
Mitsubishi £6,500 discount on the Outlander PHEVw 28 December 2017
Toyota Discounts of up to £4,000 when diesel vehicles over seven years old are traded in 31 December 2017
Volkswagen £1,800 to £6,000 for any Euro 1 to 4 diesel car 31 December 2017

Will there be a Government Scrappage Scheme?

A government scrappage scheme was introduced from April 2009 to March 2010 that offered £2,000 to anyone trading in a car that was 10 years or older that they had owned for over one year. While a UK diesel scrappage scheme by the government has been proposed and would be seen as a quick way to improve the situation, there has been no official action. The scrappage schemes introduced by car makers are viewed by some as a show of their own frustration at such slow progress by the government.

Should I Apply for a Diesel Scrappage Scheme?

To take advantage of a diesel scrappage scheme you’ll need to be quick, as most finish by the end of 2017. If you want a new car and currently own a diesel over seven years old then applying is advisable, as not only will you get a new car but it should have a better fuel economy, lower emissions and should fall into lower vehicle tax bands than your existing vehicle.

GAP Insurance and Scrappage Schemes

GAP insurance is always a key consideration when buying a car, especially when using a diesel scrappage scheme. Any brand new car is almost certain to lose a large percentage of its original value should it be written off, as you only receive a market value settlement from your insurer. Add to this the likelihood that the higher-than-normal levels of discount under these schemes may not be available in the future, and you may then wish to consider ALA GAP Insurance Vehicle Replacement+ GAP insurance to protect your investment. In the event of a total loss, this policy will cover the shortfall between the insurer’s settlement and the cost of buying the equivalent new car, even if it costs more because the discounts are no longer available. Take a look at the diesel car scrappage scheme terms and conditions for your vehicle manufacturer. If yours qualifies, then it may worth getting in touch to see what is offered as part of the scheme, and you could part exchange your old diesel for a new eco-friendly model. *As of 1/11/2017