So the government, in yet another astonishingly ham-fisted policy bungle, has managed to mess up the golden opportunity of a ‘scrappage’ trade-in incentive scheme.

UK gets car scrappage scheme

Scrappage 'compromise' attacked

In asking the car makers to stump up half the cash themselves, and for all cars in their ranges, Darling has not only wiped out the bulk of the profit margin on most small cars, he has also almost certainly dealt a body blow to the residual values of the most sought-after small cars.