During the recession that began in 2008, European governments propped up vehicle sales by offering scrapping incentives to buyers who traded in older cars. Below is a breakdown of how each program worked.
The plan: Launched at the end of 2008, the program offered 1,000 euros for scrapping cars that produced more than 160g/km of CO2. It was extended until the end of 2009, and the bonus was eventually cut to 500 euros.
The result: 1.1 million vehicles were sold under the plan, mostly small cars such as the Peugeot 107. However, many were built at plants outside of France, raising an outcry among workers.
The plan: Starting in February 2009, buyers could get 2,500 euros for each car at least 9 years old that was certified as scrapped. It was such a success that the initial 1.5 billion euros earmarked for the program was exhausted within weeks. The government boosted the subsidies total to 5 billion euros in April. By early September all the funds were used.
The result: Registrations soared to 3.81 million in 2009, a gain of 23 percent and the third-highest level ever recorded in the country. In 2010, however, demand plunged back below the 2008 level. It took until 2011 for the market to return to normal.
The plan: A program put in place in October 2006 offering 800-euro bonuses for cars emitting less than 140g/km of CO2 was extended after the crisis. By the time the plan ended in December 2009, the bonus was 1,500 euros for cars emitting less than 120 g/km.
The result: Car sales in Italy reached an all-time high of 2.49 million units in 2007. The Italian market suffered drops in 2008 and 2009, with sales declining 13 percent to
2.16 million in 2008 and slipping to 2.159 million in 2009.
The plan: Starting in May 2009, car buyers in Britain could get 2,000 pounds toward a new car if they turned in one that was more than 10 years old. The government put in half, amounting to 400 million pounds in total, while manufacturers contributed the rest.
The result: The program helped to fund the purchase of 400,000 cars over a 10-month period.