CREDIT: YUI MOK
Car manufacturers are cashing in on a diesel price scare by launching scrappage schemes for drivers of polluting cars who agree to buy brand new “greener” versions.
It comes after the Government threatened to develop a diesel scrappage scheme but failed to follow it through.
Now manufacturers including BMW and Ford are taking matters into their own hands with their own pollution-reducing trade-in schemes.
Both have said they will give drivers of pre-2009 diesel vehicles a £2,000 discount if they trade it in and by a new car.
Last night experts said that although the moves would go some way towards reducing air pollution they were also designed to boost sales of new cars, as discounts are not offered on used models.
After years of rising sales the number of people buying new cars is starting to slip with the longest downwards streak in sales since 2011.
Forecasts from Lookers show the new car market is expected to shrink by 2.6 per cent this year.
Edmund King, president of the AA, said: “These initiatives are obviously there to boost sales of new cars, but if they are going to take polluting diesel cars off the road, then that has to be a good thing.
“I expect other manufacturers will follow suit and offer diesel drivers incentives to trade in, as it is attractive for them to do.”
Fears are now growing that values will begin to fall as demand for used diesel cars is declining. Data from the SMMT shows that there are approximately 19.3 million pre-Euro 5 emission level passenger cars on UK roads.
Ford claims that reducing this number through scrappage programs, the amount of CO2 in the air could be reduced by 15 million tons per year, equivalent to the annual output of approximately three coal-fired power stations.
Andy Barratt, chairman and MD of Ford, said “Ford shares society’s concerns over air quality. “Removing generations of the most polluting vehicles will have the most immediate positive effect on air quality, and this Ford scrappage scheme aims to do just that.
“We don’t believe incentivising sales of new cars goes far enough and we will ensure that all trade-in vehicles are scrapped. Acting together we can take hundreds of thousands of the dirtiest cars off our roads and out of our cities.”
Mr Barratt added that it would be too complicated to offer the discount on Euro 6 standard second hand cars, as they are sold at local Ford franchisees at varying prices.