Cash for Clunkers was a success in the U.S., but it's done and over with here. Over in the UK, their version of the old-for-new deal, the scrappage scheme, will be extended to include an additional 100,000 vehicles. The announcement was made today by Lord Mandelson. The basics of the UK plan are to offer new car buyers £2,000 off if they trade in a vehicle that is at least eight years old (this is a change, as the limit had been 10 years). Unlike in the U.S., where C4C ran out of money quickly, the UK scheme still had money left in the original £300 million budget. Since 227,750 orders have so far been placed – costing the government £227 million – the extension guarantees there will be no question about the viability of the program as we saw in the U.S.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the voice of the UK's auto industry, said the extension "will help to stimulate demand, giving more consumers access to it, and create a bridge to a period when economic growth is strengthened and more sustainable." The automakers are happy. Nissan, for example, is keeping its trade-in offer active. The deal means anyone with an eligible old car could buy a new Micra supermini for just £6,395.

On the other side of the coin, the Environmental Transport Association says that the scrappage scheme is too expensive for the amount of carbon it could reduce. ETA director Andrew Davis said:
Car scrapping initiatives are often mistakenly labelled as green because they subsidise the purchase of cars that are usually, more fuel-efficient than those they replace, but the schemes are by their nature wasteful and routinely fail to take into consideration the amount of energy required to build a vehicle in the first place.

Thanks to Jon for the tip!

[Source: BBC, SMTT, ETA]

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