To Scrappage or not to Scrappage?

Recently the UK government announced a scrappage scheme, whereby you can scrap your old car and get £2000 or more in return for buying a new car. The theory behind this is pretty straightforward, incentivise people to get their old, unevironmental cars off the road and at the same time stimulate the UK car market. Simple.

Of course although many people have jumped at the chance to get this ‘free money’ the reality is much more complex. It looks as though some car dealers put their prices up on the new cars that they then ‘reduce’, meaning you can save more money from just buying a car without trading in your old clunker. Not so good from a money standpoint. And from an environmental perspective, the strict scrappage rules define that any car over 10 years is worth scrapping – but is that necessarily the case? Are we just creating more landfill from the unrecylclable parts of a car rather than learning to maintain what we have – a much more green approach to life.

Either way the scrapage scheme is here with us for a year at least, so make your own mind up. As for us, well our car isn’t quite ten years old – even if we did have enough spare cash to buy that new Ferrari I need for my pre-mid-life crisis. Mmm… red.

The Weird and Wonderful World of London Parking

For some reason Westminster Council is trying out a new way to charge people for parking that boggles the mind. The scheme, ostensibly aimed at people on a budget, charges people more or less depending on how full the car park is – a scheme inspired by easyJet’s cheap fares for the first purchasers. So arrive first, and you get charged 20p an hour, arrive when the car park is full and be charged £2 an hour.

Will it save people money? Or is it just the most ridiculous thing ever? I mean, if I knew a car park only charged 20p an hour I’d try and park there, but so would everyone else – so most likely it will be full, and hence at the two quid an hour level. Still not bad by London standards of course, but not a bargain. With easyJet this system makes sense, as it encourages people to book early and lets easyJet keep the money and get interest – a bird in the hand and all that. With car parking when people turn up and pay it sounds crazy to me. People looking for a bargain will turn up, find it’s not that cheap, then drive somewhere else leading to an increase in fuel consumption and pollution, not to mention frustration. Crazy.