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VW announces diesel scrappage plan for Germany

Got an old diesel? VW will throw loads of money at you to get rid of it

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After its big diesel emissions scandal, Volkswagen is on a mission to well and truly restore its reputation. Which is why in Germany it’s announced another round of incentives for owners of old cars.

Since 1992 the EU has set emissions targets that all new cars must meet. The Euro 1 standards came into force in July 1992, Euro 2 in 1996 and so-on. You’re eligible for these new “environmental incentives” – worth between €1,500 and €8,000 towards the purchase of a new VW –  if you trade in a diesel car that doesn’t conform to Euro 5 or today’s Euro 6 standards.  

If you live in or around one of Germany’s 14 most-polluting cities (where bans on diesels are most likely to come into effect) and own a car that doesn’t meet the Euro 6 standard, you’re also eligible for an “exchange premium”. These are sums of between €500 and €7,000 paid on top of your car’s residual value.

VW calls the process “fleet renewal”. The last time it did something like this, for about 11 months beginning last August, over 210,000 older diesels were replaced with newer, cleaner cars. The company says that in combination with software updates given to older cars, this has reduced nitrogen dioxide emissions by 10,000 tonnes per year.

The incentives come into effect immediately, and are valid “until further notice”. Audi, Seat and Skoda are set to announce their own programmes soon.

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