Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Would you scrap it or save it?

I've read several articles this week celebrating the success of the ‘cash for scrap’ scheme. Apparently more than 60,000 cars have been ordered since its start in late April. But these figures worry me because that means that there are 60,000 serviceable cars that have been sent for scrappage. What happens to them?

You would think that we would be in favour of this, anything to make your money go further and you get a greener car to boot. This offer sounds too good to miss. So why don’t I get it? Could someone please explain the sense in this to me?

I know I am not an economist and could possibly be totally missing the point, but this all seems to be counter-intuitive to me; it just doesn’t make sense. Why are we offering money to people to scrap a car that is still working - in order to buy a new one.

Most people that drive a car of this age are not in a position to buy a new car. Ok the government will put a thousand in the pot and the car manufacturers will put a thousand in the pot, so we will get £2,000 off the price of a new car. Please note that is a new car, not a car that will be new to you. We are talking brand new, and this is where the problem lies. Even with £2,000 off the price of a new car you will still have to find at the very least £3,000 to buy the car. £3,000 that most people can’t afford.

My son drives a car that is ancient; he drives it because that is all he can afford. He wouldn’t be able to find another £3,000 so he would have to borrow…and there we go again. Borrowing what we can’t afford is what got us into this mess in the first place.

And what happened to helping the environment and living a more sustainable life. Seems to be that when money is tight our ethics become somewhat shaky. Because if you think about it what are we doing to the environment by scrapping perfectly serviceable cars? I understand the argument that theoretically new cars are more environmentally friendly to run; however what is the environmental cost of taking serviceable cars away and crushing them up - and reusing them how?

We are not just looking at the cost to the environment between running an old car versus running a new car; the cost is bigger than that. We should be taking into account the cost of scrapping a working car as well, because I am sure you will find that running an older car is probably better in the long run.

What are the carbon emissions in manufacturing a new car against the carbon emissions of keeping an old car going efficiently? Why are the government not forcing the car industry to improve the efficiency of engines through tax breaks reducing the usage of petrol?

If the government really wanted to help us it should be offering that £2,000 to pay for keeping an older car roadworthy for longer, helping to mend and maintain it as greenly as possible, not throwing money at us to encourage us to keeping consuming and wasting perfectly good resources. More to the point the government should not be encouraging us to get loans to buy new cars. It should be focussing on getting the banks to lend on mortgages again and helping people to have a roof over their head.

I understand the argument for spending our way out of a recession, but unfortunately is it exactly that behaviour that got us into this mess.

More to the point we are just talking scrap, not even salvaging or reusing parts. The very term scrap indicates wasting.

I realise that mending cars will not mend the car industry, but there seems to be a conflict between shoring up an industry that allegedly harms the environment and encouraging people to buy cars that they don’t really need. I thought we were meant to be encouraging people to get out of their cars and back on to public transport. What could an injection of money do to our train services? We could probably create work for those being laid off from the car factories.

Is this not the contemporary conflict in a nutshell; throwing out the old to buy the new, which did not need to be made in the first place, to keep an economy going based on borrowing that is not needed. This is not sustainability on any level – it is waste for economic reasons and nothing more.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Car Wreckers,. Cash for Cars Brisbane & Cash for Scrap Car Gold Coast. SELL MY CAR Buy Unregistered, Damaged, Scrap, Old, Unwanted, Used Cars for Cash.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Well somehow I got to read lots of articles on your blog. It’s amazing how interesting it is for me to visit you very often.
    Scrap Car Removal
    Car Removal

  6. Nice Info! If the car has become totally useless the the smart decision is to sell it at the Car removal and earn some amount money on it. Thanks for that information keep sharing more!!!!
    Cash For Scrap Cars
    Northside Wreckers Brisbane

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. You have done a brilliant job making sure that people understand where you are coming from. And let me tell you, I get it. Please post more updates to cure.
    Scrap Car Buyers
    Cars Buyer

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. Thank you very much for the information provided! I was looking for this data for a long time, but I was not able to find the trusted source..
    car removal brisbane
    scrap car removal caboolture
    car removal brisbane
    cash for cars caboolture
    caboolture scrap car
    caboolture cash for car
    cash for car caboolture

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

  18. Great post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed!Very useful information particularly the last part :) I care for such info a lot. I was seeking this certain information for a long time.
    best cars removal
    Logan cash for cars
    cash for car logan
    scrap cars Redcliffe
    Redcliffe junk cars
    cash for cars Redcliffe
    cash for cars brisbane
    Junk cars Redcliffe

  19. Nice information! I agree with you, If your car is unwanted then you should sell.... scrap vehicle removal

  20. This is a very useful post, thank you! I agree that innovations are the most important thing for most businesses because with today’s fast-changing world we need to stay on top of the changes if we want to survive.
    Get Paid For junk Cars Brisbane

  21. Please keep it up!.Great tips, I would like to join your blog anyway.Waiting for some more review.Thank you
    Cash for cars caboolture

  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. very informative. Thanks for sharing such information. Great Post… Car Removal Ipswich

    Unwanted car removal Ipswich

  24. Thank you for sharing such an informative blog, we should sell our cars to scrap companies and If you are thinking about where I should Scrap My Car in Southampton area, you must choose the New Forest Metal Recycling as this company provides the best solution for the scrapping car and metal.