What is a Scrappage Scheme?

If you're looking to upgrade from an older car, a scrappage scheme is an option worth considering. There is no longer a government scrappage scheme running in the UK, but a number of car manufacturers offer similar deals. Read on to find out more about what a scrappage scheme is and how to know if it's right for you.

car scrappage and parts

What is a scrappage scheme?

A scrappage scheme is an offer made by car manufacturers or dealers where you can get a cash discount on a brand-new car in exchange for handing over your old one. The requirements for the car you’re handing over vary a bit depending on the manufacturer, but they usually apply mostly to older, less efficient cars.

Some dealers also run part-exchange or “swappage” schemes, where you hand over an older car that may still have reasonable resale value in exchange for a discount on a new(er) model. Many manufacturers only run their scrappage schemes for a few months each year, so if you’re considering purchasing a new car through one, be sure to check when the brands you’re interested in have it running.

Who can participate in a scrappage scheme?

Every scrappage scheme has some criteria that must be met in order to participate. These vary between manufacturers, but some common requirements are:

  • You must have been the registered owner of the vehicle for at least three months
  • The car being traded in must be manufactured before a certain date
  • The car being traded in must have emissions over a certain threshold
  • The car being traded in must be of a certain fuel type (e.g. for a diesel scrappage scheme)
  • The billing address of the new car must match the registered address of the car being traded in

What to look for in a scrappage scheme deal

A scrappage scheme can be a good way to upgrade from an old car, but there are lots of options to consider. Here are some of our top things to look for when choosing a car purchase deal:

  • Check that the car you want to buy is included in the scrappage scheme options. Some manufacturers only make a very short list of cars available for scrappage scheme deals
  • Compare the APR (annual percentage rate – basically the interest you’ll pay) for all the options you’re considering
  • Add up how much extra you might end up paying via a monthly repayments option and check you can afford it
  • Get a second option from a different dealer
  • Try negotiating for a lower price
  • Take your time making a decision – don’t feel pressured into taking the first option offered

Some car manufacturers and dealers offer scrappage schemes that allow you to trade in an older vehicle in exchange for a discount on a new one. This can be a great way to upgrade from a tired older model – just be sure to check the scheme’s requirements and offers to confirm you’re getting a good deal. Our tips on how to negotiate when buying a car will give you some useful advice.

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