RAC Cars News


Final Toll of Scrappage Scheme

By raccars Published

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The government's scrappage scheme, which ran in the UK from September 2009 to March 2010, was designed to encourage car owners to invest in new cars, both to assist the country's auto industry and to help the UK reach clean air targets by reducing the amount of older, 'dirtier' cars in favour of cleaner, greener new models. Those who owned cars more than ten years old for more than a year could apply for a £1,000 government grant towards a new car by participating manufacturers, who also took £1,000 off the list price of their vehicles for a total saving of £2,000. The old car would not be sold but instead destroyed.

In total, the scheme cost the UK government £300 million but new car sales during the period increased by 26% and average emissions were measured 5.4% lower than the previous year.

A few years later, we know that 392,227 cars were destroyed under the controversial scheme, and while a huge number of these could have been considered old bangers, data released shows some surprising and sometimes horrifying cases where the scheme was applied. To qualify for the scheme, cars had to be road legal and in possession of a valid MOT.

20,000 examples of Britain's most popular car, the Ford Fiesta, met their demise via the scrappage scheme, but in one case, the owner of a BMW M5 went for the £2,000 option rather than selling the car, which should have been worth far more than that. 101 Porsches were also among the prestigious brand names destroyed in the crusher, plus at least 13 Jaguar XJRs.

Even cult classics, such as one Lancia Delta HF Integrale, met an ignominious end, which surely deserved better. Thirty two Peugeot 205 Gtis met their end during the scheme, although these are now becoming highly sought after modern classics. The same applies to the Mazda RX-7, of which 10 examples were destroyed. Another neo-classic which suffered badly, although exact numbers can't be ascertained, the Saab 900 Turbo, also featured in the scrapper lists. The extremely rare Aero model lost at least four of its number. However, rarity was clearly no protection, as there is evidence of the scrappage of a Subaru SVX, a super elusive coupe from the early Nineties.

While it regularly earns a place on any list of worst cars, the much maligned Austin Allegro got off lightly, losing only five of its remaining number to the crusher, but it could be that this was because there were so few qualifying Allegros left on the road.

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