With new car prices rising across the board in recent months and VAT back up to 17.5 per cent, enthusiasm for the scheme with consumers maybe over.
Back in October the industry feared the original £300m would run out and lobbying from the industry saw another £100m from the government pumped into the scheme.
But now – with just over a month to run – it transpires that second allocation of cash hasn’t even been touched yet.
New car registrations through the scrappage scheme totalled 284,479 between May and December 2009 and scrappage sales accounted for 20 per cent of new car registrations in December.
The SMMT remains pleased with the success of the scheme though. Chief executive Paul Everitt said: ‘The scrappage scheme has helped significantly to increase new car registrations in each of the last six months, including a 38.9 per cent increase in the December 2009 market. This has provided an important boost to the UK motor industry and greater confidence for consumers.
‘The scheme will continue until the end of February and there is still an opportunity for around 85,000 more consumers to take advantage of it.’
But whether the last quarter of the scrappage fund is used up by consumers remains to be seen, and with the weather seriously hitting sales as customers stay wrapped up at home it looks increasingly unlikely it will.
by JAMES BAGGOTT
Next month Car Dealer will be producing a special After Scrap issue and the editor will be racing a Hyundai i10 in a banger race. Yes really. To subscribe to get the next issue click here.