Friday, 24 April 2009

Why the government's "£2k off a new car" scheme is such a load of bollocks

So, there's been a lot of hot air and misguided self-congratulatory backslapping by the government about their car scrapping scheme.

However, after some in-depth analysis, I can confidently announce it's a load of fucking bollocks. Here's why:

  • It seems the car you get the discount on has to be new. Early reports from the BBC at least suggested it had to be new or nearly-new, but it seems this has changed as they've realised that people buying nearly-new cars doesn't really benefit the car industry in any way.
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  • Most people who own a car over ten years old probably can't afford a new one. Let's face it, the cost of a decent new car is a good £10k - except if you've got a family and need a bigger car, and then you're looking closer to £15k. What difference, really, is £2k going to make? You can save more money by buying a nearly-new car with 20,000 miles on the clock. (see point above)

  • The car you're trading in for £2k has to have an MOT. This is absolutely fucking ridiculous. What is the point in scrapping a car if it has an MOT? The only reason you'd scrap it is if you don't think it will pass it's next one without a lot of costly work. Presumably this is to stop people going down the scrapyard and picking up a banger for £20, then scrapping it again and getting the £2k voucher, but it seems like the worst possible way of regulating it. Though with the government's track record, that should hardly come as any real surprise.

  • Most of the emissions generated by cars are generated by their production and destruction. A commonly-touted fact. So what will the green lobby make of these proposals?
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  • The government are only paying £1k. The other £1k is expected to be stumped up by the dealer. Am I the only one to see the farce in this? Fuck me, since when have car dealers been trustworthy? As soon as this scheme comes in, they'll bump the price up (probably by more than £1k), totally negating the point of the vouchers, and penalising people who don't have a car to scrap.

How on earth can they be proud of this half-baked joke? Come to think of it, how the fuck can they be proud of this half-baked budget?


Chris Hutt said...

The £1k 'discount' from the manufacturer would surely be negotiable anyway. I mean if they're willing to sell a £10k car for £9k as part of the scrappage deal then they'll sell it for £9k anyway, it's the same money to them.

The car to be scrapped has to have been owned by the new car buyer for at least a year and the scheme is planned to end next March, so buying an old banger to get the scrappage deal isn't theoretically on, although there are no doubt ways around that.

My guess is that take up will be very low but that new car sales will nevertheless receive a boost because a lot of people will have been holding off in case a scrappage scheme was introduced.

On that basis the scheme will be hailed as a success when in fact speculation about it has been depressing the market (which is what happened in Germany).

And they call us bloggers cynical.

Bristol Dave said...

Spot on Chris.

Mainly wanted to post this comment as the word verification is "hoones" - all in government then.