Until last week, my view of scrappage was that it was just something that happened to other people. Now I feel like I've been through the whole process by proxy.

The reason being the announcement, along with the scheme's extension, that 'V' registered cars are now eligible for the chop. That brought my parent's moth-eaten Renault Megane Scenic into eligability - and that produced in them a previously-unsuspected urge for something new and shiny.

I must admit feeling a pang of conscience when asked to help plot the Scenic's demise. It's certainly no minter, thanks to crinky arches, an odometer that owns up to nearly 100,000 miles and an interior that's been comprehensively trashed by the grandkids.

But mechanically it's been looked after regardless of cost, and would probably manage at least another couple of years if left to its own devices.

But it didn't take long to find myself caught up in the excitement, because there's no denying that there are some spectacular deals out there. My folks needed Focus space, meaning that the Hyundai i30 1.4 Comfort and Kia C'eed 1.4 S were quickly on top of the list.

Generous top-up incentives mean that both are available for £7995 with scrappage. The Hyundai is better equipped with stability control, alloy wheels and an iPod dock - but the Kia comes with that unbeatable seven year warranty.

Not that I didn't scour the pricelists for some oddball alternatives. The most compelling 'what if' alternative was the Hyundai Sonata. A massive £6600 manufacturer 'top-up' means it's theoretically possible to get into a Mondeo-sized car with ESP and climate control for just £9430.

A base Renault Scenic for £10,695 also seemed like a fitting replacement for the old one (although Renault has since sneakily increased the price by £800, so we'd have had to be quick.)

But why fight a good deal? A visit to a Hyundai dealer showed my mum couldn't get comfortable in the Hyundai, but the Kia was adjudged fine - and so there'll be a brand-new C'eed on my parent's driveway within a month.

And, call me a hypocrite, but for all my scrappage cynicism I'm looking forward to having a go in it.

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