Fellow Curbivore Joseph Dennis asked a question in the Comments on my recent piece about the Rover 216 Vanden Plas. I had noted how the UK scrappage scheme from 2009 to 2010 had depleted the numbers of many CC qualifying vehicles.
The reasons behind the scheme were sound enough; it was as a response to the 2008 financial crash to stimulate the retail motor trade and thereby the motor industry. The UK government offered £1000.00 to new car purchasers which was to be matched by the motor industry, assuming the car being traded in was roadworthy and legal. £300m was allocated, equivalent to 300,000 cars.
Although the majority of cars taken were 1980s and early 1990s cars with substantial mileages, under the law of unintended consequences, in too many cases Grandma’s Morris Minor or Austin 1100 was traded in for a £2000.00 discount on a Hyundai i10 or Kia Picanto. Sound enough cars, but did this really help the UK motor industry, which didn’t then assemble a small car, apart from the Nissan Micra. And surely most buyers would be able to negotiate that £1000.00 from the dealer any way.
Extreme cases recorded include the consequent crushing of a perfectly sound Triumph Mayflower and one salesman personally buying a 1950’s Hillman Minx for £2000.00 from a customer rather than see it crushed.
So what’s your view – does such a scheme really help remove old, less safe and less eco-friendly cars from our cities, or does the Hillman Minx buying salesman deserve the CC Medal of Honour? Did it just bring forward sales, or maybe allow price rises to go through quietly? Does the reduction in 1980s cars (CCs many of them) really matter?
And extra points if you can name the car in the photo.