Thinking of trading in your current diesel car for a cleaner, greener model? Carmakers are offering trade-in discounts of up to several thousand pounds - depending on make, model and registration year.

Once the smart choice for minimising fuel costs, the diesel has fallen out of favour with the government, environmentalists, and by extension, the motoring public. Thankfully, some carmakers and government bodies are offering trade-in incentives, whereby old diesels (and petrols) are traded in for more modern, greener models. The ultimate aim is to reduce pollution and increase uptake of low-emission cars.


Should I ditch my diesel?

For regular urban trips, a diesel car may not be suitable because it emits pollution and will attract city centre charges of up to £24 in coming months and years. However, a diesel may still be useful (i.e. cost-effective) for those who undertake regular long journeys; those who live in rural locations; for large vehicles; and for those who undertake regular towing (caravans, trailers etc.).



Which cars qualify for scrappage schemes?

Cars that meet Euro 1-4 emissions - in most cases registered before 31 December 2009 - commonly qualify for scrappage schemes. The first standard, Euro 1, came into force in 1992. Check your car's emission standard here:


London's scrappage scheme

Low-income households in the capital may qualify for a £2,000 discount on less polluting cars. The scheme, introduced by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, aims to help less well-off motorists avoid the daily £12.50 Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) charge, which will be expanded in October 2021. This scheme applies to Euro 4-compliant petrol vehicles (pre-2015 in most cases), and Euro 6-compliant diesels (pre-September 2015). Those with cars that do not meet emissions limits by October 2021 would be liable to pay £4,550 if they entered the ULEZ every day for a year.


Scrappage schemes

Available scrappage schemes vary between manufacturers, ranging from £1,000 (e.g. Dacia Sandero) to as much as £7250 (example: Ford Transit 350 Limited). As you might expect, the higher the list price, the bigger the discount.

Ford, Huyndai, Kia, Mazda, Dacia, MG, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Renault and Toyota are among the big brands offering trade-in deals on qualifying diesel- and petrol-engined cars.



All schemes require that eligible trade-in cars were registered before a certain date (e.g. 31 March 2014). In most cases the car must have been owned by you or a family member for at least 90 days (however, this may vary between deals).


Tips for diesel scrappage deals

  • Take the time to check all the deals and offers available. Visit dealership websites to learn about the latest deals.


  • Some car makers offer discounts on top of the trade-in incentives, so do try and haggle down the price of the new car. The impact of COVID-19 on demand for new cars may mean dealerships are even more likely to consider offering discounts - depending on if and when they are open for business.