Scrappage schemes need a bigger bang

News that VW Group is considering a scrappage scheme, with BMW already offering one, may provide a small stimulus to autumn registrations, if it goes ahead, but undoubtedly far more could be done to both take older diesel cars off the road and boost new sales.

In Germany, VW has launched a generous scheme, offering up to £9,000 off a new car. It remains to be seen if it will offer as much here or if it will tempt buyers who increasingly appear to be taking a cautious approach by favouring used cars and reining in spending because of overall economic uncertainty.

However, a brand-by-brand offer seems patchy compared to 2009 when the Government backed scheme was on offer to all owners of older cars.

Currently, many diesel owners feel they were encouraged to buy their cars because they were seen as providing better value, more efficient and were less polluting. Now, as a result of Dieselgate, they are left with cars that are falling in value faster than petrol models and with more local authorities seeking to rake in more money through ‘taxes’ on parking diesels.

Until there is more joined-up thinking and better guidance, many potential buyers seem likely to remain on the fence.

A helping hand from the Government now, would not only boost sales and the economy, but – if set correctly – could also be revenue generating because of the tax take on a new car sale.

Rachel Gordon
Auto Retail Agenda

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