If you're driving an older car, and especially a diesel, then you could receive an incentive of between £1000 and £8000 by trading it in for a new, more efficient car.
A number of car makers have launched scrappage schemes, including Audi, BMW, Ford, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen. The new deals are designed to reduce the pollution caused by diesel cars, as well as increasing the uptake of low-emissions cars in the UK. Despite the sales of such cars rising by more than 30% over the past year, they still account for just 4.3% of the total market.
To qualify for the schemes the car you're trading in must comply with Euro 1-4 emissions standards, which generally means it will have been first registered before 31 December 2009. Euro standards set the emissions limits for new cars; the first, Euro 1, was introduced in 1992. You can check the Euro emissions standard of your car here.
Audi's scrappage scheme covers diesel cars registered before 31 December 2009 and can net you a saving of up to £8000 on a new car. The offer applies to new cars registered before 30 June 2018. The savings listed below don't include the Government's £4500 electric car grant.
Here's the full list of Audi's discounted models and their savings:
- Audi A1 – £2800
- Audi A1 Sportback – £2800
- Audi A3 – £4000
- Audi A3 Sportback – £4000
- Audi A3 Sportback e-tron – £5000
- Audi A3 Saloon – £4000
- Audi A3 Cabriolet – £4000
- Audi A4 Saloon – £6000
- Audi A4 Avant – £6000
- Audi A4 Allroad – £6000
- Audi A5 Sportback – £6000
- Audi A5 Coupé – £6000
- Audi A5 Cabriolet – £6000
- Audi A6 Avant – £7000
- Audi A6 Allroad – £7000
- Audi A7 Sportback – £7000
- Audi TT Coupé – £4000
- Audi TT Roadster – £4000
- Audi Q2 – £2000
- Audi Q3 – £4000
- Audi Q5 – £4000
- Audi Q7 e-tron – £8000
To qualify for BMW's incentive, owners must trade in diesel cars that comply with Euro 4 emissions standards or older – with the cut-off date being September 2009.
Buyers will be offered up to £2000 to trade in their cars – on top of the vehicle's residual value, as determined by used car experts CAP.
The value of the incentive must be put towards a new BMW or Mini. Eligible models are the BMW i3, any plug-in hybrid model (such as the BMW 3 Series, 330e or the Mini Countryman S E All4 or a model that complies with the most modern Euro 6 emissions limits and has CO2 emissions of less than 130g/km.
This means owners will be able to choose from 80% of the BMW range, including multiple versions of the 5 Series luxury saloon. Some of the brand's larger SUVs do not qualify, though. The discount also applies to 70% of Mini models.
BMW hasn't specified what it will do with the cars that owners trade in. The oldest models are likely to be scrapped, but others will be sold on as used vehicles.
This initiative is especially good news if you're buying a plug-in hybrid or electric car, because BMW's incentive is on top of the Government's existing electric vehicle grant, which takes a maximum of £4500 off your purchase price. Therefore, if you trade in an older car and receive £2000 from BMW, plus a further £4500 from the Government, you can put £6500 towards the cost of a new i3 – meaning the £33,070 price tag will actually reduce to £26,570, or even less depending on the trade-in value of your car. What Car?'s Target Price on the i3 is currently £28,570.
BMW's incentive is also in addition to its current discounts and offers, and could prove especially useful if buying on finance, where the £2000 incentive could be used to top up the deposit on a PCP offer. BMW says this means drivers could come away with a new BMW or Mini for £155 or £130 per month respectively.
BMW's scheme initially ran until the end of 2017 but has been extended to 30 June 2018.
Ford's offer covers cars first registered before 31 December 2011. To qualify, drivers must have owned their cars for at least 90 days. The offer ends on 30 June 2018.
Ford's scrappage offer is on top of its regular discounts, so a £4000 discount on the Ford Kuga, for example, is actually made up of a £2000 scrappage discount on top of the £2000 discount customers would expect to receive normally.
This is good news if your car is worth less than £2000, but could potentially leave customers out of pocket if their car is worth more than that figure. Other schemes, such as the one offered by Mercedes-Benz, guarantees additional compensation for owners based on the value of their car if it is scrapped.
The highest savings, including that headline-grabbing £7000 discount figure, are only available on Ford's commercial vehicle range, but the company's passenger cars receive discounts of up to £4950. Ford has pledged to scrap all the cars that are traded in under this scheme.
Ford's discounted vehicles and their savings are:
- New Ford Fiesta (excluding Style models) – £2000
- Ford B-Max (excluding Zetec models) – £3500
- Ford Focus – £4450 to £4950 depending on trim level
- Ford C-Max and Grand C-Max – £4200 to £4700
- Ford Kuga – £3850 to £4850 depending on trim level
- Ford Transit Courier – £3650
- Ford Transit Connect – £4250 to £5000 depending on trim level
- Ford Transit Custom – £5000 to £5500 depending on trim level
- Ford Transit – £6500 to £7000 depending on trim level
- Ford Ranger - £2000 to £2750 depending on trim level
Buyers can get up to £5000 off a new Hyundai when they trade in their older petrol or diesel car. To qualify, cars must have been registered before 31 December 2009, meaning they conform to Euro 1-4 standards.
The most polluting vehicles – those that comply with Euro 1-3 standards – will be scrapped under Hyundai's scheme, while owners of Euro 4 cars can trade in their cars instead, receiving a residual value calculated by used car experts CAP.
Hyundai's discounts are in lieu of any other offer and apply to new cars registered before 30 June 2018.
The full list of Hyundai discounts is below:
- Hyundai i10 1.0 SE – £1795
- Hyundai i10 all other trim levels – £1500
- Hyundai i20 1.2 SE – £2865
- Hyundai i20 all other trim levels – £2000
- Hyundai i30 – £4000
- Hyundai i40 – £3000
- Hyundai ix20 – £2000
- Hyundai Tucson – £3500
- Hyundai Santa Fe – £5000
- Hyundai Ioniq hybrid - £2000
- Hyundai Kona - £1750
Buyers can get £2000 off a new Kia Stonic, Ceed or Picanto when they trade in their older petrol or diesel car. To qualify, trade-in cars must have been registered before 31 March 2011, meaning they conform to Euro 1-4 standards.
The offer is only available on certain trim levels: the Stonic First Edition, Ceed GT and Picanto GT-Line S. It finishes on 30 June 2018.
To qualify for Mazda's scheme, your petrol or diesel car must have been registered before 31st December 2010. When you trade it in, you'll be given up to £5500 off the price of a new Mazda, whether that's on a cash or PCP finance deal.
Traded-in vehicles will be scrapped by CarTakeBack, which recycles 95% of components and materials.
The full list of discounted Mazda vehicles is below:
- Mazda 2 Skyactiv-G petrol – £3000
- Mazda 3 Skyactiv-G petrol – £4500
- Mazda 3 Skyactiv-D diesel – £5500
- Mazda 6 Skyactiv-G petrol – £4500
- Mazda 6 Skyactiv-D diesel – £5500
- Mazda CX-3 Skyactiv-D diesel – £3500
- Mazda CX-5 Skyactiv-D diesel – £3500
Mercedes-Benz is offering owners of older diesels (again, up to and including Euro 4 models) up to £2000 if they trade in their car. If you also opt for a Smart Electric Drive car, that bonus rises to £3000.
Cars being traded in can be from any brand, but must have been owned by the current driver for at least six months.
Drivers can choose from any Mercedes diesel car complying with the latest Euro 6 standards, as well as any plug-in hybrid or the aforementioned electric Smart models – which come in Smart Fortwo and Forfour forms. This incentive is in addition to the Government's own subsidy for electric vehicles.
Mercedes will give owners of cars that meet Euro 3 standards (typically those built before 2001) additional compensation from their cars being scrapped, with the amount determined using data from CAP.
Mitsubishi's offer covers any car registered before 1 January 2010 and applies to all new cars registered before 27 March 2018. Trade-in vehicles must have been owned for at least six months; all cars traded in on the scheme will be scrapped.
Discounts of up to £6500 are available. The full range of Mitsubishi's discounted cars and their savings is below:
- Mitsubishi Mirage – £2000
- Mitsubishi ASX – £3000
- Mitsubishi Outlander – £5000
- Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV – £6500
To qualify for Seat's discount scheme, your trade-in car must be a diesel, first registered before 31 December 2009 and you must have owned it for at least six months. Like many other car makers, Seat will scrap your car rather than sell it on.
The offer applies to selected Seat models. Here's the full list of discounted Seat cars and their savings:
To qualify for Skoda's discount scheme you need to trade in a diesel car first registered before 1 January 2010. The offer applies to new cars ordered before 30 June 2018 and can net you a saving of up to £4000. Cars traded in using Skoda's scheme will be scrapped. Skoda's offer can't be used in conjunction with any other discounts.
The full list of discounted Skoda vehicles and their savings is below:
- Skoda Citigo – £1500
- Skoda Fabia – £2500
- Skoda Rapid and Rapid Spaceback – £3000
- Skoda Octavia – £3500
- Skoda Superb – £4000
Toyota's scheme can save you up to £4000 on a new car. To qualify, your car must be more than seven years old (so cars registered before 2010 are eligible) and you must have owned it for at least six months. Any cars traded in under the scheme will be scrapped.
The initiative runs until 30 June 2018 and covers almost the entire Toyota range. The full list of discounted cars and their savings is below:
- Toyota Aygo – £2000
- Toyota Yaris – £2500
- Toyota Auris – £3500
- Toyota Verso – £3500
- Toyota RAV4 – £3500
- Toyota C-HR – £1000
- Toyota Avensis – £3500
- Toyota Prius – £2000
- Toyota GT86 – £2000
- Toyota Land Cruiser – £4000
- Toyota Hilux – £2000
- Toyota Proace – £2000
How to get the best deal for your car
These trade-in offers can look tempting, especially if you currently own an older diesel car, but it's still important to check what other deals and offers are available. Many of the car makers offering the schemes mentioned above are also offering regular discounts on top of their trade-in incentives, so it's worth haggling in the dealership.
What Car?'s Target Price is the most we think you should pay for a new car. It can often net you more than £2000 in savings, so check what this is for your desired model before you buy. Don't forget that you can buy a new car via What Car?. Our new car buyer marketplace has deals on thousands of new cars that are being offered at Target Price or less.
It's also important to know how much your current car is worth so you can be sure you're getting a fair deal overall. You can use What Car?'s free valuation tool to get private sale, trade-in and dealer part-exchange prices for your car, provided it was registered before 1998. We also offer advice on how to get the best price for your car.
Looking for a great new car? These five-star models all cost less than £20,000 to buy.
Five-star cars to buy for less than £20,000
Price from: £14,245 (after the Government's £4500 electric vehicle grant)
The Renault Zoe is one of the best electric cars around – in fact, we named it as our Electric Car of the Year at the 2017 What Car? Awards. It's quiet and easy to drive, has plenty of range and its low running costs make it very easy to recommend. Our favourite Dynamique Nav model comes with everything you're likely to want, including a 7.0in infotainment touchscreen, sat-nav, rear parking sensors and keyless entry.
Price from: £18,795
If driving fun is a high priority for your next car, then the Mazda MX-5 should be at the very top of your list. Not only is it great fun on the open road, it's also got a quality interior and a refined and fairly economical range of petrol engines. It's also the only new two-seat sports car you can buy at this price level – its closest competitor would be the Toyota GT86, and that's more than £8000 more expensive.
Price from: £9540
The i10 is our favourite city car of 2017. It's cheap to buy and run, and is ideal for use around town, where its tight turning circle, light steering and small dimensions make practical sense. Rivals such as the Volkswagen Up have classier interiors, and entry-level versions of the i10 don't get important kit, such as air conditioning, but the i10's charm is hard to ignore. Opt for our recommended Premium SE version and you'll also get a heated steering wheel and a 7.0in touchscreen infotainment system.
Page 1 of 3