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Why Does The Government Want To Scrap Diesel Cars?

30th Jun, 2017

In the latest round of motoring legislation on the table for the government, it looks like there might be a rethink on the cards for owners of diesel vehicles. If you fit that definition, don’t panic! This week at Scrap Car Network, we’ll fill you in on exactly where things stand at the moment, and what the reasons are behind it.

What’s The Government’s Plan?

government plans

Essentially, the British government are under pressure with regards to air quality, especially in cities. Levels of pollution are reportedly contributing to around 60 deaths per day in the UK. This is partially due to emissions from diesel vehicles (which we’ll discuss in more detail in just a second).

With the spotlight on the government to do something about this issue, they’re considering imposing a daily toxin tax on diesel vehicles when they enter certain towns or cities across the UK. At around £20 per day, this could potentially add hundreds to the running cost of diesel vehicles, and it’s estimated that around 10 million owners will be affected. For obvious reasons, this isn’t looking like the most popular scheme amongst the British public.

What the government might do instead is offer financial incentives of up to £2000 for diesel owners to scrap their cars. The money is designed to encourage owners and help ease the towards buying newer, cleaner vehicles. So far the scheme is still in the planning stages, and it may well be limited to the 5.6 million diesel cars which were registered before 2005. It’s also likely to be limited to pollution hot spots, which would at the very least include major cities like London, Birmingham and Manchester.

What Brought On This New Scrap Car Scheme?

asking the question

We’ve touched on the main answer above, but in short the government want to crack down on emissions, and purify the nation’s air quality. They’re taking a hammering from various pressure groups on these sorts of environmental issues, and it’s especially key for them in this month’s run up to the general election.

“But wait,” the diesel owners amongst you might be saying, “didn’t the government actually want us to all buy diesel cars less than a decade ago?” The answer is yes indeed. In 2009, the then-Labour government ran a very similar scheme, which offered £2000 for owners toward the cost of a new car if they scrapped their older, more environmentally unfriendly models. This was designed to reduce carbon emissions by encouraging owners to switch to diesel cars, which were seen as safer. However, though diesel does produce drastically fewer carbon emissions, scheme’s administrators didn’t realise that it also produces four times as many nitrous oxide emissions and 22 times more particulates, both of which are potentially devastating for human health.

Fast forward to today, and the Conservative government are running essentially the same scheme in reverse, trying to reduce the numbers of diesel vehicles on our roads. As well as the scrap car scheme, ministers are also considering paying to retrofit cars with filters that can neutralise the nasty side-effects of diesel, but the details on this are currently pretty sparse too.

What This Means For You

ford focus being scrapped

If you’re a diesel owner, the key thing to bear in mind is that nothing has been set in stone yet. The tax likely won’t be enforced until 2019 anyway, so there’s plenty of time to consider your options. At Scrap Car Network, we’d advise keeping a careful eye on developments, and when the full details get published give yourself an afternoon to look over the key information and participating cities. Also have a think about how often you use your vehicle in urban areas – if you’re out in the sticks you might be left broadly unaffected anyway.

When it comes down to it, you may well decide you need a new car in the intervening time anyway. If that happens, at Scrap Car Network we’ll be happy to take the old one off your hands. Our service has been carefully designed to make everything as easy as possible for you, our customers.

You can read about all the fantastic reasons to choose us here, or alternatively you can simply visit our homepage to enter in your car reg and postcode, and get started on scrapping your car today!

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