VW, Nissan and Toyota enter the United Kingdom diesel scrappage market

Robyn Ryan
September 2, 2017

Like most of the other offers already announced, Renault is offering a £2,000 allowance for any Euro 4 (or older) part-exchange vehicles against selected new Renault models.

The scheme aims to get customers into newer, less polluting cars by offering them discounts if they turn in their older VW diesel auto from the Euro 1-4 classifications, which are typically seven or more years old.

The automaker launched a similar program in Germany following an industry summit with government officials in August.

Volkswagen was the manufacturer at the heart of the diesel emissions scandal, after admitting it had fitted its cars with devices which allowed them to beat emission testing.

Carmakers are keen to promote their green credentials in the wake of the VW emissions scandal but sales in September, one of only two occasions each year when a new licence plate series is introduced to indicate the age of the auto, normally account for almost 20 percent of full-year demand in Britain.

VW's United Kingdom schemes follow those introduced in Germany which offer a discount of up to 10,000 euros (£9,000) to trade in diesel vehicles.

Volkswagen's £10,000 off the price of a new e-Golf once the government's plug-in vehicle grant has been taken into account is the most impressive.

VW launched a more generous scheme in Germany in August in the wake of its diesel emissions scandal. The Zoe electric vehicle is not included, though.

Jim Holder, editorial director of Haymarket Automotive, told the BBC: "The vehicle industry is trying to get on the front foot after an extended period of negative headlines in the wake of dieselgate".

"We've seen a bit of a drop in the United Kingdom vehicle market this year after years of really accelerated growth".

According to commentators though, VW's United Kingdom scheme fell short of the terms offered to drivers in its home market.

Some examples of how much the "grant" would be worth include: €1,000 if buying a new Volkswagen up!, €1,750 against a new Polo, €3,000 against a Golf and €4,000 for a Passat buyer. Vehicles part-exchanged under this scheme will be permanently destroyed.

"However, there are some potentially good savings here, and the positive publicity could stir interest at a time when registrations are down across the market", he said.

"Sales have been robust in the wake of the dieselgate scandal, and it's worth remembering that no cars on sale today were affected by that issue, and that the VW Group is still the largest spender on R&D in the auto industry, leading to its impressively strong line-up of cars", he said.

Toyota's scheme also runs until 31 December and offers up to £4,000 to trade in old diesel vehicles for newer models, including petrol-electric hybrids.

AA president Edmund King said: 'The vast majority of drivers care about air quality and support scrappage schemes to encourage the take-up of cleaner, greener vehicles.

To get between £2,000 and £7,000 off, depending on the model, the owner must have owned their vehicle for at least 90 days.

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