Blog : Why Vauxhall’s Scrappage plan is not a good thing

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Richard Kilpatrick

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Vauxhall has disguised discounting its laminated book of mediocrity by relaunching ‘Scrappage’. It’s offering a minimum of £2000 trade in for old cars against most models, with fulfilment via the presumably ironically titled ‘Autogreen’.

I’ve advocated models of scrappage – in hand with rises in special car tax equivalents – but this is going to harm the Modern Classics magazine market, not for the mag – but for the cars. My recently-bought Honda Accord Coupe, in case I need to remind anyone, cost £170 with four months’ MoT, and lots of lovely kit like leather, sunroof and A/C.

Scrap values are on the floor. Destroying usable and safe older cars to promote the sale of new, short-lived cars with an environmental impact equal to running the old one for 10 more years, is stupid, shortsighted. Few cars sold in the UK are made here – we export well, thankfully – and that includes Vauxhall, where many models are made overseas and many more components are.

It is easy to understand why trading in a car like the Accord, and getting £2000 off a brand new PCP deal (plus dealer incentives) would appeal, Yet General Motors has already been burned by offsetting production cost against finance package and maintenance income. This is the wrong model for selling cars.

A couple of years ago I decided I did not need a new car. From most angles that assumption is right – my old Chrysler 300C was already old when I got it. Right now my youngest car is 13 years old and broken, but another £150 thrown at the Honda and I’ll have a car that should easily handle another 18 months without extra costs. I am having trouble with the concept of ‘austerity’ being valid when I think about the UK car sales figures when options like this are available – in fact, a 16 year old fully functional car being worth only £170 is the absolute argument against the idea that the UK is truly in austerity beyond the media hype and political propaganda.

Austerity is an excuse to keep the poor poor, and £2000 scrappage deals are an excuse to keep the poor indebted to large corporations, with no real element of environmentalism.

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Richard Kilpatrick

Obsessed with cars since 1976 apparently!

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54 Comments

  1. In the 80s Vauxhall gave us the indestructible Mk3 Cavalier… they fell flat on their face with the Vectra A, now they offer the Zafira. If you check HJ the list of problems with that goes on for page after page.

  2. Scrappage, PCP contracts, Pre-registartion, all point to one conclusion, Vauxhall cannot produce cars which are competitive with Kia. Hyundai Skoda, Honda etc, Vauxhall cars are so forgettable, they have to invent such schemes to keep the cash flowing.
    How long before a major player withdraws from the UK market? Will it be Vauxhall who follow in the footsteps of Lancia, Chevrolet, Proton into sales oblivion?

    • Perhaps not major, but you can add Chrysler that list, and recently we lost Dhaihatsu – manufacturer of interesting little Kei cars and small 4x4s.

      Proton is an interesting one, their website has their current range greyed out, with an MPV and MG6 style car as “coming soon”

  3. I once read that the environmental cost of building a car- then its eventual scrappage is far greater than the environmental damage it will do in its life on the road. In other words it would be better for the environment for us to run our cars as long as possible rather than buy new ones.
    That being said- as the government are not supporting the scheme Vauxhall is offering I very much doubt they will actually be scrapping the cars that are traded in- this is just a minimum trade in deal just like those offered in the 70s and 80s.

    • Yes, precisely – what annoys me the most about this is the usage of the word “Scrappage”, rather than “Minimum Trade In”. Same result, but two different mindsets, one portrays the old car as only worthy of destruction, one portrays the old car as having some value and utility for the owner so a tempting offer has to be made to get them to change.

      My position on scrappage has not changed over a decade, and that is that it does have a useful potential role.

      Increase the sales tax on a new car to 40% and you’re taxing those who can afford to pay a tax, in the post part. However, for some people it would make ownership of a new car difficult – those people are probably the same ones that don’t have the budget or time to properly maintain an old car. So, between the ages of 12-15, a car that fails the MOT on structural corrosion, major emissions failure or significant safety items – but not on easily sorted consumables like tyres or bulbs – will receive a discount voucher to use against a new car. 12 = £250, 13 = £500, 14 = £1000, 15 = £2000. From 15-21 years old, the car gets that £2000 allowance if it has to be destroyed, it’s a reward for maximising the useful life of the car. Over 21 the cars automatically fall into a Historic bracket.

      The environmental cost argument is complex, and it used to be a good rule of thumb that “building a car = 10 years of running a car”. In the case of hybrids and EVs with rare earths and toxic substances in the batteries, the argument is very confusing, with multiple factors around local pollution during production and local pollution during use, and the finite lifespan and disposal of battery technology.

  4. Vauxhall are hardly the only manufacturer offering PCP’s. Its up to individuals if they want to buy a car on that basis, nobody is forcing them so how can this be a ruse “to keep the poor indebted”?! The £2000 scrappage is just a marketing ploy and another way to offer a discount. I’m sure if you walked into a Ford, Hyundai or Kia dealer they would also be falling over backwards to give at least a £2000 discount whatever you where trading in. With regards the claim Vauxhall are doing this because their cars are rubbish, well the new Astra has been getting rave reviews. Even on this website.

    • It is partly tongue in cheek – there are few manufacturers making bad cars these days. However, they’re not exactly leading the march for efficient, clever tech – the amount of “wasted space” on an Insignia is crazy.

    • Spot on mate, my Father-in-law fell for this pony and trap too, ‘oh they gave me 2k for my old motor’… They always knock some off the list price anyway, Duh!! 😀

  5. Presumably Vauxhall are promoting this scrappage deal to sell stocks of the current Astra in particular, so the new model can follow on. It’s true, you dont see as many usable older cars on the roads now.

    In my time my first car was an 8 year old Mini when I was 19. Nowadays youngsters seem to get either new or fairly recent models straight away.

  6. Buying a new car is the stupiest financial decision anyone could make. The moment you drive it off the forecourt it will lose thousands.

    Take a secondhand dealer near me, they had row after row of sub-grand trade ins. Ford Forcus, Jag X-type, Corsas, Rovers, even the odd VW. OK with these cars you were taking a risk, most would require a bit of work, some allot.

    However go upto 2000-3000 and it is perfectly possible to get a car in near perfect order, which will match or exceed the performance of new cars costing 4 or 5 times as much.

    Still if we didn’t have mugs buying new cars, I wouldn’t have cheap old cars.

    • I don’t think that’s a fair outright statement, and calls a lot of people who have very rational reasons for wanting a new car “stupid”. It’s one I hear a lot, actually, along with the “lose thousands” line (which is in part due to the tax paid on it as a new car).

      For the most part, sensible PCP deals on efficient, warranted small cars are an exceptionally sensible, economically sound move. You look at the genuinely worthwhile leases – where you can pay a single month deposit, and have a low APR – and they are outstanding value compared to the stress and potential letdown of a new car. £119/month for a MINI, or Panda, or 500, or C1-Aygo set, if all you need is good day-to-day transport and you don’t have a garage or even off-road parking, if you have no mechanical knowledge or time to apply it, is considerably better than spending, say £1000 on a secondhand car, having rust at the MOT, having worn out parts, failure to proceed.

      I’d argue, in fact, that the spending £3000 on a used car that you’re going to rely on is a seriously bad move, because most in that price range are in the category of “not old enough to seem like a banger, but well past warranty and useful life of many consumable components”. Those are the cars where £600 to replace all the discs & pads and free off stuck calipers has to be taken on the chin, because if you don’t you’ve got (in your mind) a £3000 paperweight that no trader would touch for over a grand. You’re buying in the shark-infested territory of old cars that are worth bodging/clocking/tarting up. If you have £3K in savings, you’re better off keeping it there and running a car with a fixed, low outlay. If you don’t have £3K in savings, you’re probably going to be financing a car on an uncompetitive interest rate, which will need many wear & tear items replaced, will not be new enough to appeal to aspirational/status-aware types, and will be worthless at the end of the finance deal. If it survives that long.

      My E-class is a good example. £900 for an E320 CDI Estate on 112K, 2002, reasonable amount of history. I got 2,000 miles out of it before the gearbox started to flare upshifts and then lost drive, letting me down on an appointment I was very excited about.

      Assuming no mechanical knowledge, the moment that car sets fyre in a Mercedes specialist or even a gearbox specialist* I know that I can say goodbye to £2000. It had suffered the usual oil in the ECU problem from a leaking pin bushing, plus it is well, well overdue an ATF change. But what’s this? There’s a bill in here for pin bushing replacement and ATF change at 80,000 miles! Gosh, I must be seriously unlucky.

      OR, whoever forked out for that repair is. Because I finally got the time to investigate it properly, and under the car I found the undertray had not been removed. Instead, I found that the car had had sufficient off-road time to have knocked the radiator crossmember back 2″, and smash one of the undertray retaining brackets backwards. The date codes on the intercooler suggested that this unfortunate incident had occurred after the ATF service – I’m impressed. They managed to change the ATF, filter and pin bushing without removing a near 2′ long plastic panel that covers the transmission so thoroughly I couldn’t even check the plug using a borescope.

      This is not a surprise to me. My SLK spent a couple of weeks with a friend after they’d persuaded me to sell it, and I’d warned them to get the ATF changed right away, as I’d had no record of it being done. They came back with a bill for £205 and the helpful knowledge that the transmission was on its way out and needed a £1500 rebuild.

      Somehow, the gearbox specialist had achieved this diagnosis without removing the locking tab from the dipstick (black factory, red post-service). Or touching the sump bolts. Or replacing the pin bushing. Or changing the fluid (which was a clear-yellow colour rather than red. And had handed the car back over with the gearbox in Winter mode, where it pulls away in 2nd, slipping.

      They couldn’t even fall on the excuse that the oil was still not rich, deep red because they only changed the sump oil – Mercedes 722.6 ‘boxes before the Tiptronic style (pre-’99 as a rule) have a torque convertor drain plug, so you can get nearly all of the fluid bar what might remain in cooling pipes.

      In fairness had he continued using the car the gearbox would have needed a rebuild, because this bunch of crooks had told him it was serviced yet left 17 year old ATF and filters in it.

      People who spend say, £10,000 savings on a brand new car, yes, I might question the logic – and that becomes less logical the further up the list price scale you go. But from experience, any lease deal under £250/month inc. VAT is going to be cheaper. nicer experience for the majority of non-car enthusiast drivers and households. Car enthusiasts are a different kettle of fish entirely, we like an excuse to own different cars, we can fix them or have options when one breaks down (my current fleet amounts to 8 vehicles.

      The SLK I’ve had for almost four years, and only gets used between April-November, is garaged, has lots spend on polish, maintenance, genuine parts), the E320 CDI waiting for me to strip the valve body on the gearbox, a Peugeot 406 V6 coupé I bought because it’s yellow and has a sunroof, the Honda Accord mentioned in this article which has taken 3 hours of my time rebuilding the front calipers – and £80 for cheap discs & pads because even I struggle to justify spending £300 on EBC/genuine parts, and the front calipers are shot), an MG F with a bodged hole in the sill you could lose an arm in, an XJS V12 with a blown head gasket, and a Vauxhall hearse.

      Right now the only ones I can use of that lot are the SLK, which I will take off road as soon as there’s frost/gritting on the roads, the 406 V6 which I need to do the timing belt on before I’m really comfortable using it, and the hearse. The Honda will be fixed soon enough though.

      • An interesting response.
        Well thought out.
        I just sold my car. a 500 quid Skoda Felicia.
        In the 7 months I had it.. I had to pay 200 quid to replace the water pump.
        And the engine had to come out to do it..The alternator and battery another 200 quid. and had it serviced for 100 quid.
        I kinda understand what you are saying but I saw a Toyota Corolla for 800 quid on a 99 plate with a full Toyota history and about 60,000 miles. And i saw a lovely Fiat Panda(2004 )which was somebodys’ first car with a full history for 1200 quid.
        If I was to dip my toe in the water I reckon you can get a really reliable car for a grand..pretty easy.
        Mind you ..You will have to travel from your home..And you will also have to be flexible with make/model etc.
        If you are fixed on any particular model than forget about it.
        Also I notice automatics like Hondas and Daihatsus are cheap..Well maintained probably from the Pensioner owner group..A good way to buy a good car IMHO.
        I guess Hyundais and Kias will become more common in this latter category.
        So my top tip..Is to buy the cars that pensioner owners are selling.
        Downside is automatic gears.

        • You can easily get a car that will be reliable for £1000. No doubt. We’ve got a Saab 9-3 (GM900 shape) that was £400, it’s just passed the MOT test with no issues, it’s not very well cared for and it gets used for long distance commutes relatively infrequently. I’m an experienced banger buyer, and I’m not relying on anyone else to tell me what’s wrong with the car or repair it.

          If you’re prepared to spent £1000/year replacing your banger, and accept that it is worth spending something on tyres if they’re worn, or getting a timing belt done – absolutely. My 406 Coupé though, is probably the fourth one I’ve looked at and the second time I’ve seriously considered one – each time I’ve looked at the £1000, year’s MOT examples they’ve had no belt history, often have signs of damage/neglect, and every rational thought process has concluded with “run away”. If I took this to a garage and said “Belts please!” they’d charge about £900. More if I took it to Peugeot. And then they’d tell me the harmonic balancer is kaput, or the A/C compressor needs replacing. And after all that I’d lay money on being able to find something that was skimped, shortcut or bodged (i.e. broken studs not repaired properly, misrouted cables, broken clips) with no responsibility taken by the garage.

          The car cost £650.

          Non-car person. £650 car. Needs tyres, should be Primacy on a 200bhp, near 150mph coupé. Probably about £700 to replace them all, then. And £1K service. And £800+ if I want working AC.

          “Ah, but it runs okay now” – and yes. It probably will for years. Or it might do two months before the timing belt lets go, destroys the engine and I spent a crap January day on the side of the M1 waiting for a recovery truck. If what I want is a sporty little car, it makes more sense to snap up a contract hire SLK diesel (yes, really) for £234/month on a two-year deal, accept that the money is gone in just the same way that £2500 spent on a banger that lasts a year is gone, and enjoy having a brand new car.

          Fortunately I don’t need a new car. I don’t have to commute to work, or do school runs, and I have space for one car to go out of use and not be a problem.

          The bangernomics argument is sound. If you’re sensible or lucky, it can work out really really well – the SLK has cost under £3000 for four years, but I’ve only done about 10,000 miles in it over that time and a year it spent in storage because I didn’t trust anyone to do the fuel filter/leak for me. All I’m saying is that blanket statements like “buying a new car is stupid” or “PCP/Finance is for mugs” are incorrect at best. Leasing a car makes a huge amount of sense for people whose first interest is not cars.

          • Again, interesting comment.. I liked your anecdote about the Merc Gearbox filter and the accident damage.
            So no complaints from me.
            And yes that auld thing “luck”..You most definately need a fair slice of that.
            Just one final thing, If I may.
            I wonder if I could put you on the spot and see if you could recommend a particular car model and years sold between or even manufacturer that would make a good bangeronomic vehicle.
            And if you could also divide it by those who do their own spannering and maintenance.and another thing.. what if possible is the least you could spend on a car ignoring buying one from a mate or neighbour etc??
            Actually.. I reckon rather than a comment ..Your answer would make a good article as would your original comment that I replied to..would also have made a good article by itself.
            I wonder how the other people on here might feel about that..i.e broadening the discussion out about cars other than British..If there is no articles about British cars to compose???

          • You make some great points, and I’ve been there before.

            I could relate how my own old Accord coupe was gone once the cost of getting it through the MOT with bushes, pads, discs, calipers and an electrical issue (that turned out to be the main relay).

            However I might spend £2000 on a car and get a couple of years out of it, plus maintenance (the £600 caliper + brakes bill I recently got, plus decent all weather tyres, droplinks etc.)

            PCP on a new car doesn’t appeal, unless you want to spend £500 a month on something interesting.

            However, the 3rd option of financing a nearly new big car (when someone else has taken the depreciation hit) appeals.
            New enough that it should just need mostly routine maintenance and be fairly reliable, yet not eating up a huge chunk of salary.
            With the new XF, I shall keep a keen eye on previous gen XF values….

          • @ Will M

            I agree with what you say about the third option but was just wondering how new do you mean by ‘nearly new’?

            In my experience, on big Jaguars/BMWs/Lexus/Audis the ‘routine maintenance’ and reliability once they have done the average mileage on a car that size over 4/5 years (and the majority of people don’t buy cars this size to do small mileages in) will depend on how much ‘preventative maintenance’ was done during that time.

            Otherwise lots of work is going to need doing all at the same time which equals big bills if you want it all running spot on. So I suppose it is a case of being choosy in picking the right one, with a full correct service history.

            I think under the first owner (especially if that’s been a company) all the necessary maintenance has probably been done, it’s when they move on to places like car supermarkets and (some but in fairness not all) non-specialist independent dealers and second/third owners that they don’t get maintained as well and can slip into unreliability.

  7. I think the buying public on the whole are informed enough to see this for what it is, discount by another name – why not just price the cars £2000 cheaper in the first place.

    During the actual scrappage scheme I worked in a Kia Dealership. Over the period of the scheme, the Picanto base model went from £5995 to £7195, more than covering the manufacturer’s £1000 element of the scheme (the other £1000 came from the Government)

    One thing i must commment on is the statement “Few cars sold in the UK are made here” as UK built models do account for a sizable number of our top sellers

    • It’s a number that is increasing, but of Vauxhall’s range, only the Astra (some models of the 6th gen – not sure how many 7th gen variants will be made here) and Vivaro are UK made. Most people attracted by this sort of deal will be looking at lower-end models, though some of those are excluded.

  8. My advice for the smartest UK-built new car purchase is a Morgan, btw. Particularly the 4/4 or Plus 4 – which are priced on par with the current SLK, Z4, but retain an astonishing amount of value used bringing the costs down to around £1000/year – probably more if it has to live outside.

  9. My stance for car purchase has always been “if I cannot pay in cash then I cannot afford it”
    Loans and PCPs ARE the way of the system keeping people poor, interest on top of the purchase price to feed the middle men of finance houses etc, middle men sinking their fangs into the veins of the buyer to drink the blood on the money-go-round.
    Buy a car from your own (savings) funds and without 36 months at £XXX, the money from the salary cheque stays where it belongs, in the savings account accumulating interest.

  10. I know it wasn’t so long ago that I was saying that it’s pure economics of £2000 vs. “£500” for an old car. However, given the recent discount I achieved against the new car, it soon became a moot point, given that the dealer was offering £500 for the “old girl”, plus £1000 dealer contribution, plus £500 finance contribution, it soon adds up to £2K again. In the end, I sold the old car privately and achieved 3x the value privately.

    From the radio ads. (in the Ts and Cs), it gives hint that they’re trying to flog old stock, given it states “UK stock only”.

    • Furthermore, it sounded like a discount without saying “discount” (and giving the wrong impression to the consumer, in that they need some incentive other than a genuine “discount” to be able to flog the cars.

  11. To non-enthusiasts a car is purely transport, a device of mobility which is expected to perform on demand.
    Something of function, and possibly fashion.
    To these people a pcp is ideal because they can budget accurately what it will cost them and that’s all they need to know.

    At the other end of the scale are the enthusiasts of bangernomics that are running cars as cheaply as possible.

    Neither is right or wrong, just different.

  12. Of course many people choose to buy new cars if they can (obviously) afford it and want a particular colour, trim & other options from build… rather than accepting what’s in the showroom. If they accept the depreciation, it’s up to them. As Darren says, no hard & fast rule – just choice.

    I usually buy a one year old car (in a favoured colour)with continuing warranty, which is almost like new at a keen price.

  13. Note the seductive aspirational overtones in the naming of the PCP’s, humming a “one upmanship” melody to the process

    We had the Private Pension scams of the 1990s, then unwanted consumer loan insurance, and Payday loan sharks preying on the weak and less financially astute.
    In 3 years time at the fruition of theh current PCP boom ,expect an outcry when drivers come to PCP plan handback date and face the reality check of negative equity in the car due to excess mileage charges and non wear and tear repair bills of two or three thousand pounds accumulated over the PCP life of the car.

    Alfa Romeo Preferenza, Audi Solutions, BMW Select, Chrysler Horizon, Citroën Elect, Fiat I-Deal, Ford Options, Honda Aspirations, Infiniti Selectiviti, Jaguar Privilege, Jeep Horizon, Kia Access, Land Rover Freedom, Lexus Connect, Mercedes-Benz Agility, MINI Select, Mitsubishi Alternatives, Renault Selections, SEAT Solutions, Škoda Solutions, smart Agility, Suzuki Driveplan, Toyota AccessToyota, Vauxhall Flexible PCP, Volkswagen Solutions, Volvo Advantage.

    • Chrysler Horizon has a whiff of the Simca-Talbot Horizon hatchback of the late 1970’s which was sold in the USA until the 1990’s as a Dodge Omni.
      You’d think they have realised that at Chrysler!!!!!
      And volkswagen solutins…sounds like VW need a few “solutions” themselves right about now.

    • PCP has been on the go for years, I remember Ford Options back in the 90s.

      It is what it is, for some it guarantees a hassle free new car on the drive to impress the neighbours.

  14. Good cars for less than £1000 are everywhere and you don’t need to be a car whisperer or guru to get them, you just need common sense and the willingness to walk away from cars that just don’t seem right.

    8 years ago I bought an Audi S6. Since then it has never broken down or failed me in any way. OK it cost £2.5K at the time but even at 21 years of age and 205k miles it runs like a clock. The most expensive part needed on it has been a dodgy Cam position sensor that would have cost £175 from Audi but only cost £5 for an equivalent sensor from China. Servicing costs less than for a Ford Focus.

    Talking of those we have one. Its horrible (in my opinion) but cost £705 21 months ago. It has been beaten most of its life and has no history at all. My wife liked it so I agreed to get it since it was cheap. Since we got it the only work done was new pads for the 1st MOT and a wheel bearing since. Call that £150 all in with labour and you would have change left over. It passed this years MOT with no advisories and is used every day. Total reliability, if it wasn’t then I would not let my wife drive it and after moving it on it would have cost less than a couple of months depreciation on a new car.

    Scrapping either of these cars or cars like them should be seen as a crime. They destroyed the earth when manufactured sure but they are still usable for any journey you want to make today.

    Buying new might massage an owners ego but it is not doing one positive thing for the environment, it just helps maintain the car industry in it quest to convince us that we should replace / upgrade / renew every 2 or 3 years.

    Why????

    If it’s not broke then don’t fix it…

    At the end of the day we all spend our money as we choose and that is fine but any scheme that encourages the destruction / scrapping of vehicles or equipment that works just fine is wrong. Whether it is backed by the government or just a single company, it is not something that would encourage or entice me towards a brand at all.

  15. The thought of paying £250 a month just to have a car sat on the drive fills me with horror. Most buyers aren’t interested in the cash price; they just want the monthly payment figure, but four years down the line when that fancy new Mini looks tired and unloved, you’ve got another baby on the way and you haven’t had a pay rise for 2 years it suddenly seems like one hell of a waste of money.

    • It’s all relative, to some people £250/mo. sounds like a lot. To others, it’s pocket change.

      It’s nice to know what your monthly outlay is going to be month-on-month, instead of what random amount is the old heap going to cost me this month in order to keep it going, no doubt more than what its worth.

      Everything’s covered (more or less) with a warranty, it’ll start every time and if it does fail it comes with breakdown cover. It’s not likely that many wear and tear items will need replacing, either.

    • I spend about that a month keeping my 10 year old car maintained, plus the sub 30mpg fuel bills add on.

      A new car, with a 60mpg diesel engine for £250 sounds like a bargain in comparison.

  16. I spent years in the motor trade , buying , selling PDI , Paint spraying etc & have owned many ” NEW ” cars . However , of late I am discovering the joys of Retro motoring . We have a Mk1 Skoda Fabia 1.4 petrol Auto wagon . 52 plate with 27.000 on the clock & a 54 (05) Jaguar X type 2.5 petrol auto Limited ed. ” Spirit ” with 58.000 on it . Neither of thse cars cost a lot to run ( the Skoda cost of taxis way too high , but is an older 16v X VW smelly unit ) . I’ve never run cars that everbody has & older cars add a touch of individualism !!

  17. Why Dealers love PCP.
    1) Easy sell ” look how low the payments are”
    2) Finance company commission on the sale of the plan
    3) V.A.T. recovery from the sale of the plan.
    4) Repeat Business at the end of the plan, car handback date after 2/3/4 years .
    5) A ready supply of used 2/3/4 year old cars with known history for the used car forecourt.
    6) Better profit margin for Dealer from used car sales over new.
    7) At hand-back the car has to be made good out of the pockets of the PCP hirer, not by the dealer

    • Spot on mm, has to be a dealer’s sales team dream for the most part, especially if they sell mostly cheaper-end A/B segment metal.

  18. Chevrolet( budget brand variety) might have gone, but they live on exporting the new Vauxhall Viva to this country. All Vauxhall make here now is the Astra, their other cars come from Germany, Spain, Belgium, Poland and South Korea. Mind you the new Astra seems quite a competent car and a big improvement on the last model.

  19. MM says:
    My stance for car purchase has always been “if I cannot pay in cash then I cannot afford it”

    That’s great if you have the cash and/or don’t need a new car. Many PCP’s are taken out by ordinary working people who haven’t had the opportunity to accumulate cash in the bank, but they still need a decent car to get them to work.

    Others will be using a monthly allowance provided by their employer in lieu of a company car to fund the PCP. This can work out very advantageous to them if they know what they are doing in regards to setting a realistic annual mileage and taking advantage of tax breaks on running expenses.

    There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to finance.

    • I am in receipt of the car allowance from work (£5k / annum) and the PCP works well for me. Most of us who are entitled to the allowance do take it rather than a company provided car as we do not get any choice over the vehicle (My grade is entitled to a Seat Leon only)

  20. Matt W says:
    why not just price the cars £2000 cheaper in the first place.

    The problem with reducing the price by £2000 is – a) a price decrease is permanent and would need a lot of background work (eg re-printing price lists etc)- and b) a price decrease then affects the residual values of all the cars sold to date. That affects leasing rates, confidence in the brand, etc, etc, etc.

    It’s far better to target tactical campaigns at certain sections of the market, or to reduce cars in stock, or to increase dealer footfall at a slow time of year.

  21. Anyone noticed that MG have also announced a £2k scrappage scheme against “selected models”? Seems a bargain for MG3’s but a bit disheartening after claiming they have had their best September sales.

    http://mg.co.uk/news/2015/10/22/get-2000-off-a-brand-new-car-with-mg/

    Also, interesting article on Auto Express website – 10 years after Longbridge shut – new SUV smaller than the GS on its way, no sports car and now planning 10,000 sales/year by 2020 which seems a bit conservative – not clear if UK only or Europe wide.

  22. Like it or not, some people are quite prepared to buy a new city car for £ 6995 as they know they’re getting a new car, have no worries about MOTs or repairs out of warranty, and have a functional, well equipped car that will probably do over 50 mpg in town and can cope on the motorway. As most cars are totally reliable in their first three years, and don’t rust, I can see the reasoning behind this. Also when three years are up, just trade in the car for another one.

  23. My main reason for not buying Vauxhall, the two Cumbrian main dealers have a terrible reputation. Not mentioning any names, but a colleague at work had a Corsa that was leaking petrol, potentially a fatal hazard, and only returning 17 mpg, when 45 would have been the norm. The garage, which has a reputation for being lazy and inventing work when they are quiet, told him his driving style was wrong. Only a visit to an independent revealed the car had a fuel leak and once this was fixed, sold the car and has never bought Vauxhall since. Also prior to the fuel leak, he had an electric mirror knocked off by a bus and the dealer fitted a manual mirror and charged him for the electric one. Not good at all and one reason to avoid Cumbrian Vauxhall dealers.

  24. Sales figures for number of registrations in October 2015 show Vauxhall down 16% compared to their figures for October 2014

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