Reports are rife that a diesel scrappage scheme could be in place across the UK during 2017. Although diesel cars produce fewer carbon emissions than petrol cars they produce considerably more Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) which is harmful to humans.
The specifics of the scheme are, as yet, unknown, but ultimately motorists would be financially incentivised to scrap their diesel cars and replace them with cleaner vehicles. Figures of £3,500 per van and £2,000 per car have been discussed, but also figures up to £8,500 per vehicle.
It appears it would likely be targeted to low-income households and businesses and would be specifically aimed at older diesel vehicles. The scheme would cost the Government an estimated £500million in London alone, but the resulting benefits are also huge; lower emissions and improvements to air quality cannot be ignored; with 50,000 early deaths from air pollution and an estimated £27.5bn of costs per year according to reports.
London is a particular target for the scheme due to huge issues there with air pollution, the capital’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, is now urging for the scheme to come to fruition and has delivered a report to the government detailing exactly how such an initiative could work.
It is no surprise that London is top of the list, as this is not the only scheme in place there; Westminster council recently introduced a 50 per cent surcharge on parking for diesel cars; diesel cars are a problem that London's mayor is determined to tackle.
There is history to the diesel scrappage plans with Boris Johnson, the then-mayor of London, calling for it back in 2014, again due to air pollution concerns. There has also been a similar scheme in the past, although not for diesel vehicles specifically; in 2009; the 'bangers for cash' initiative saw 392,000 vehicles crushed in exchange for a discount on a new vehicle in an attempt to give the motor industry a boost.
A diesel scrappage scheme was reported in March 2016 when a Government think-tank talked about introducing a new £800 first-year tax rate for all new diesel cars to fund the programme but nothing has so far come of this proposal.
France has also successfully implemented a diesel scrappage scheme, where motorists received up to €10,000 per vehicle, this has resulted in 100,000 electric cars on French roads. At Sell Your Jamjar, we have been scrapping cars since we launched our online car buying website back in 1999.
Undoubtedly there is growing pressure for motorists to move to lower emission vehicles and further changes to car tax make it more and more attractive for drivers to switch their vehicles, but the scrappage scheme would be a much bolder step than anything that has been in place so far in the UK.