RSS Feed

Related Articles

Related Categories

Has the consumer lost out in the scrappage deals?

31st October 2009 Print

Used Car Expert’s latest magazine hits the shelves this week and questions whether the scrappage scheme has been universally good news for consumers.


It is now widely known that scrappage discounts have created a surge in sales of city and small cars such as Hyundai i10s.


This has been undeniably good for car manufacturers and dealers. Whether scrappage has cannibalised sales that the dealers would have made eventually anyway is irrelevant because they needed sales now, not when consumer confidence recovers.


The European Automakers Association (ACEA) reported that the UK hit 367,929 new registrations in September as a result of scrappage, representing an 11.4% improvement in the market. Germany, Spain and France were all also up.


In contrast, in countries where such car scrappage schemes have not been in operation, car sales have been hit hard by the recession. Ireland suffered a 34.7% drop in new car registrations in September.


But has the consumer lost out?


But is the scrappage scheme the best way for the canny buyer to take advantage of the current state of the UK market?  Used Car Expert’s prices reveal that it is possible to save far more than £2,000 by shopping around for pre-reg and nearly new car deals.


Editor Matt Tumbridge offered these examples, “A Renault Clio 1.2 Dynamic 5dr has a list price of £12270 – with £2000 off via the scrappage deal you pay £10270. But Used Car Expert recommends you can get exactly the same model from Evans Halshaw for £9990 with just over a thousand miles on the clock. Plus you will be able to get some money for your part-exchange. An average trade-in price of £500-£1000 on a 10 or 11 year old car means you are saving £3000 in total without trying.”


“It’s the same story with the rival Peugeot 207. The list price of a 1.4S is £12695 – when you take scrappage into account that comes down to £10695 – yet you can buy a nearly new one with under 4,000 miles from a Robins & Day Peugeot dealer for just under ten thousand pounds – factor in the trade in and you are looking at around £9000.”


These are substantial savings which show that, if you are looking to replace an old car, the scrappage scheme might not be the most cost effective way for consumers to do it.


Tumbridge summed up, “As with all car buying, you have to do your homework and look at it model by model. Scrappage is not a rip-off if you want a car that is hardly available on the nearly new market or from a brand that is hard to secure discounts from. But, many people have definitely saved less than they could by not looking at the nearly new market.”