Stat of the month: Bangers and cash

EUR5bn - Total cost of Germany's car scrappage scheme

Last Updated: 21 May 2015

Following huge demand from drivers, the German government has had to increase funding of its car scrappage scheme from an expected EUR1.5bn. In the first two months of the scheme, 1.2 million people signed up to get EUR2,000 in cash to replace their old banger with a new car. This dwarfs the average figure for monthly car sales in Germany - under 260,000 in 2008. Those Wagens are simply flying off the forecourts. No wonder Alistair Darling wanted to launch a similar scheme in his Budget speech, offering £2,000 for every car scrapped. But will UK motorists get as excited by the offer as their German counterparts? For a start, the German version of the MOT is much more stringent, making it far more costly to keep a clapped-out motor on the autobahn. Darling could find other spuds shoved up his exhaust: the UK, unlike Germany, has no indigenous car-makers to support, so most of the money raised by new car sales would go abroad. And the Government has funded only 300,000 new car subsidies, covering fewer than 10% of drivers. And how green is ditching a load of serviceable cars? Another one for the policy scrapheap...

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