London Mayor Calls for Diesel Scrappage Scheme
News entry dated 15th Feb 2017

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has suggested that the UK government introduce a diesel scrappage scheme in a bid to encourage drivers to give up polluting diesel vehicles for more environmentally-friendly alternatives.

It’s a possible move that’s been being discussed for some time, since it became clear that the UK was falling well short of meeting emissions targets. In London specifically, pollution has been at extremely high levels at various points this year, leading the authorities to go as far as advising citizens to avoid strenuous outdoor activity on certain days, especially if they suffer from breathing-related health issues.

According to a report in The Evening Standard, the proposed scrappage scheme would pay out up to £3,500 for each scrapped vehicle, at a total cost to the government of up to £500 Million. The headline figure would apply to van drivers, with up to £2000 offered to “low-income families” with vehicles that meet the (as yet precisely defined) criteria.

Car scrappage

It’s important to note that, at this stage, this is merely a proposal for the government and not yet something under formal review. However, as soon as it became clear in recent months that extra taxes for diesel drivers (and perhaps even diesel bans in cities) were potentially on the cards, it was almost inevitable that such a suggestion would rise to the surface.

How will drivers react?

At, we know for a fact that this proposal will be highly controversial. Past reports relating to the future of diesels and their drivers have resulted in huge numbers of member comments.

The reason this subject is so emotive is that previous governments actively encouraged people to choose a diesel vehicle. There were even tax breaks in place to act as incentives. The fact that the prevalent scientific research at the time has now been proved wrong provides little consolation to those who only did as they were advised.

On the face of it, it seems highly unlikely that this proposal would appease everyone, even if it were to become law. While some people with particularly old vehicles would be able to “cash in” and buy something slightly better, for many £2000 would be nothing more than a token gesture, after buying a far more expensive car that they would feel penalised for driving in the event of future tax increases.

How do you feel about this proposal? Let us know your views in the comments

IMAGE CREDIT: Pixabay (Public Domain).

Mim Brown April 13, 2017

If London air is so awful and supposedly 50% of the problem is diesel emissions, what makes up the other 50% of pollutants? Maybe something to do with the airports and what has just been agreed but another runway at Heathrow? All seems a little one sided to me.

Don Wright March 30, 2017

If the Diesel engines are so bad for everyone, why is it that every week there are thousands of brand new Diesel engine vehicles being imported each week. As I personally work casual in one of our docks I know this to be true, I actually drive them off the ships. As previously stated, they encouraged us to have diesels therefore they should replace them like for like if they want them gone.

Ian Manning March 3, 2017

When Ron. Martin (earlier) accepts the nonsense pedalled by Chris Grayling on behalf of HMG that it would be a good idea to discourage or even ban the future sale of new diesel cars, he is, like HMG, talking poppycock. By definition, any new diesel has to meet the latest Euro 6 standards which means these new cars emit virtually no NOX at all!! So, this would not reduce the amount of NOX pollution by diesel engines by one jot. This fact is symptomatic of the idiocy and misinformation surrounding this whole debate. Many commentators here have hit on the ONLY way Sadiq Kahn and other major city policitians will in reality lower NOX pollution - that is to deal with the dirty buses, taxis and commercial vehicles. Any scrapage scheme would a/ not be taken up in any numbers on the figures posulated and b/ would make NO difference anywayl to peak traffic flow pollution in London or anywhere else. Other commentators here have clearly identified the real culprits - older diesel cabs, older diesel buses, older diesel vans and older diesel HGVs. Deal with these and Kahn may actually see a reduction in NOX pollution. Anything else is simply political cant and froth.

Terry Hudson February 27, 2017

If you do not want to be forced into a petrol car that on average will use about 30% more fuel, please sign this

Also remember with the new CO2 rated VED rates, owning a diesel will cost less in road tax!

Joel Brayford February 22, 2017

The audacity of Khan! its was his beloved Labour government that pushed many of us onto diesel cars as they deemed them clean.

if he now wants to penalise motorists for following his own parties policy i think its time us diesel motorists penalise the labour party for their actions.

i can see court action against labour in the near future!

Ronald Lee February 21, 2017

I can suggest a possible mitigation for this problem but it cuts across a taboo area so will not be popular. I passed my driving test fifty years ago and have driven thousands of miles in the UK and many other countries across the world. I live in London and nowadays do not drive in London centre more than once a year. The one thing that strikes me about these excursions is the utterly lawless nature of cycle use, worse than in any other city. You might say bikes good - leg power only. But they do slow down the traffic, so increasing pollution, since cyclists are so undisciplined. When did you last see a cyclist stop at a red traffic light? I can speak about this since I was a cyclist when younger and when they still observed any rules. I firmly believe that enforcement of existing laws against cyclists would help traffic flow thereby reducing pollution. And its a much cheaper alternative than hammering diesel drivers. Incidentally my car is petrol driven.

Paul Anderson February 20, 2017

This can only be done organically. You cannot just outlaw a certain group of vehicles and drivers. What the authorities keep very quiet about is that Euro 6 compliant diesel vehicles emit no oxides of nitrogen whatsoever.

If I am forced to pay £15 a day to use my Euro 5 car in London, that's £300 per month I can't use to lease or buy a Euro 6 car.

Additionally, in London speeds are low and thus engine combustion temperatures are low. NoX is byproduct of high temperature combustion. We can overcome the combustion temperatures by over-fuelling the engine. Which will result in unburnt hydrocarbons, CO and soot increases.

Remember this when you're sat there smugly in your hybrid, paying no diesel penalty, no road tax, and no congestion charge (funny that, because a Lexus hybrid still congests the roads !!), poking fun at me in my 2012 Mazda which costing me £300 a month extra to run: You're still breathing the stuff from the tailpipe of my car :)

Dennis Ambler February 20, 2017

Very easy to blame diesls for higher pollution recordings, yet the enviro brigade do not mention the impact of the ridiculous so-called global warming policies to solve a non existent problem and then creating new ones. Wood burning fires are all the rage and are exempt from pollution controls because it is "bio-mass", just like the thousands of tonnes of wood chips now imported from the US to run Drax power plant, earning them a huge fortune in "carbon credits".

If everything was as toxic as they say, why are people not dropping in the streets? Claims about asthma are alway heavily loaded with "scientists say" without any real evidence to implicate traffic. There are multi-faceted reasons for asthma, not least sealed up energy efficient homes. The whole dieselgate thing is a nonsense and because VW and others exceeded an artificially imposed target, does not mean they are poisoning people. What they did wrong was to lie.

By following the imposed standards fuel efficiency is reduced so there is no net advantage.

Jason Walker February 19, 2017

Instead of scrapping vehicles that have taken a lot of time and resources to produce, as well as the carbon footprint involved in their manufacture, they should come up with a scheme where the vehicle manufacturers take them back and retrofit them with a petrol engine (or other suitable fuel option). After all, the chassis of a car is typically designed to accept any of the engines available across the range, so why waste perfectly good vehicle chassis that can be repurposed?

    Paul Anderson February 20, 2017

    Retrofitting selective catalytic reduction equipment would reduce diesel NoX to zero in the case of both diesel and petrol vehicles.

Brian Flower February 18, 2017

I have a diesel VW passat estate.
If the government want me to scrap it for petrol I will do so happily, but they will have to provide sufficient cash to buy its equivalent petrol version, same year, same model, similar milage.

Pete allott February 18, 2017

Why don't they check their facts? Have you ever stood next to a bus? it's horrendous they amount of fumes they throw out.......... and how many diesel buses and taxis does London have? Maybe they should start by doing their own house keeping and use the emissions zone revenue to fund it.
It's not rocket science. Leave the "hammered" car drivers alone for once..

Trevor Wainwright February 18, 2017

My Peugeot 207 1600 diesel has exhaust filter and additive. You can wipe your finger around the inside of the exhaust and it with remain clean. How can petrol be any cleaner than that?

    Paul Anderson February 20, 2017

    The false problem is NoX. Not soot. Read my entry above. Best, P.

Peter Littleton February 18, 2017

Every day I see hundreds of black cab drivers sitting at Taxi Ranks outside King's Cross and St. Pancras Stations with their Diesel engines chugging away. You can taste the fumes as you walk past these ranks. The mayor should begin by making an order that the drivers switch their engines OFF while waiting in Taxi Ranks.

Jeremy English February 17, 2017

I really think this is all yet another con trick. The fundamental distinction between a "Diesel Car" and "Diesel Fuel" is ignored. What do I mean? A "Diesel Car" is one powered by an engine built to the initial designs of Dr Rudolf Diesel in the late Victorian Age. "Diesel Fuel" can have many meanings but is generally understood to be a derivative product of the petro-chemical industry which is known to produce harmful emissions when used to power an engine.
What is always forgotten is that Dr Diesel demonstrated his engine using vegetable oil, not the black sticky stuff. In recent years a few people have realised this and started to use waste vegetable oils and their engines worked perfectly with little alteration needed. But the Government, intent on keeping its revenue stream from fuels, actually banned the use of such oils, presumably because it couldn't regulate them and charge sky-high taxes on them. Indeed, this very morning there was a roadside police presence (this is in the sticks!) with a van marked "Police Fuel Enforcement" or some such slogan: presumably they were trying to catch users of red diesel or non-taxed alternative fuels.
If the Government was to come clean (sic) and allow or even better, encourage users to switch their diesel cars to use crop-based fuels think of the benefits! Pollutant free bio-degradable fuels. No more reliance on unstable countries' products. A revival in farming - the crops could be grown at home and farming would become profitable. Renewable energy in its most pure form! Tried and tested engines (the diesel ones). No more pursuit of the spectre of electric vehicles which simply substitute the combustion of fuels from on-board to power stations - none of which have yet proven to be exactly pollution free. The benefits far outweigh the downside - I understand vegetable oil powered vehicles give off an odour akin to a chip shop, and that's about it!
Now, tell me I'm wrong . . .

Graham Sitton February 17, 2017

Clearly the easiest option is to add a prohibitive tax on new diesel vehicles to deter purchase of same. Next hike the vehicle excise tax. Why not explore the possibility of changing the engine & gearbox? Decrease the permitted emissions allowed. Once a vehicle fails enhanced mot test emissions, the vehicle is off the road. Is it practicable to fit a 'filter' within the exhaust system? Is there a style of 'service' that may be performed on diesels to clean them up?

walter rimmer February 17, 2017

Instead of giving diesel car owners £3500 to scrap their cars,why not give them the option to have a petrol engine fitted to their cars,surely the cost would be the same.

Dave Plunkett February 17, 2017

The U.K. Government are always finding ways to rip the motorist of for more money it's time they
Started looking at the main pollution culprits that they keep under there hats
AIRCRAFTS they course most of the pollution to city's I'd Heathrow airport London
Manchester Airport Glasgow gateick etc the pollution these jet engines put out is harendos
And now they want to add more run ways to Heathrow airport ware pollution levels already far
Exceed safe levels the uk government need to look at aircraft pollution and also put tax and vat
On aircraft fuel that has never happened in the past the motorist has always picked up the tab
For the airlines non fuel tax payments the goverment just put it on car fuel instead of the greedy
Airlines paying there share of tax it stinks.

darren anderton February 17, 2017

In a similar vain Khan's £10 London "T-Charge" will apply to petrol and diesel vehicles that don't meet Euro 4 emission standards which is typically petrol and diesel cars registered before 2006 according to the article.

tony barry February 17, 2017

When you look back over a number of years successive governments have squandered our money on every conceivable venture with tax payers money. I have driven a diesel car since the seventies for economy and more important reliability and the life of the engine so if that aspect of the argument does not hold true for me \I usually change the vehicle within 4 to 5 yrs. I'm retired now and since 2012 I have had 2 Mercedes SE 220, the latest I only purchased last November and I had to put £10,000 plus my 3 year old Mercedes SE220. Both cars you would think are the cleanest diesels out there on the road. My latest model has one of those Blue additives to inject into the exhaust gases to clean emission even further. I don't do a lot of mileage a year 5000 tops I would say. My wife drives a one year old Peugeot 2008 diesel she too has that blue additive in the exhaust. So her we are two vehicles on my driveway mine stands me at £25,000 with just 2900 miles 8 month old. My wife's car at just under 9000 miles and 1 year old. if the government wants to reverse a decision based on EU emission for the environment then they can have both cars without any argument from either me of my wife. All the government needs to do is just forward me a check for somewhere in excess £38,000 and we will swap to a petrol car. Having said all that it won't one a bit of difference to pollution in our cities. First I don't go in cities ever in my car. so the government needs to address the problem at it source stop vehicles entering the cities and I would start with buses and HGV and vans that is were all the pollution is. one HGV ticking over on our streets is the equivalent to 4 cars may be even 5 cars in terms of pollution. another way is to change roads so that stoppages are at a minimum, that's were the build up of fumes takes place.

Manuel Lorenzo February 17, 2017

Live the diesel cars that are already in the road ,and stop building and selling new diesel cars