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Why are older cars being forced into obsolescence?

Having spent much of my life immersed in most matters car related including working on the body shop floor and restoring classics, I have an axe to grind with those who consider bringing back the scrappage scheme to be a good idea. My colleagues in the business also express their disapproval. Whilst it might suit large main dealerships, to sell more new cars, it does not always work in the best interests of the public, or smaller independent garages that rely on servicing and selling good quality, cheaper, older vehicles to people who would rather buy for a few hundred pounds than fork out on mandatory warranty servicing and finance payments, not to mention the depreciation that goes with the purchase of a new vehicle. During the last scrappage scheme many people were persuaded to dispose of cars with even the slightest fault.

Many inheritors of deceased estates were also encouraged to trade in their family’s beloved classic for a “new car“ this way; to the dismay of car enthusiasts. Whilst there will always be the car that is never worth repairing, there will be countless others that could quite easily be repaired and sold to people for a few hundred pounds to help them afford to stay on the road. I cannot help thinking that this is a very clever scam by the car manufacturers and government to rid the country of all non computerised vehicles in order to extort as much money as possible out of the general public whilst at the same time putting the smaller garages out of business as they will not have the technology to repair the newer vehicles. May I suggest that if this regrettable scheme is brought back that anyone thinking of participating in it should seek the advice of an independent garage or knowledgeable person in order to find out exactly how much the repair will cost, and, whether they could extract a few more years out of the car before disposing of it?

New cars are fine if you can afford them, but if you are like me you can still pick up a decent old car from as little as £500 with 12 months' MoT. Sadly, if this scheme is brought back you may have no choice than to buy a laptop on wheels.

Asked on 29 December 2012 by RP, via email

Answered by Honest John
The world is leaving a lot of us behind. Even Apple Mac operating systems from as little as four years ago are now out of date and require replacement of the Mac to work properly. That's the way the world has gone. Everything is short life and disposable. And it's the way the car world has gone. Very few new cars on the market today will economically survive much more than seven years. I hate this. In front of me right now is the solar-powered calculator I bought when I first incorporated my limited company in 1983. It still works perfectly.
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