The trouble with governments is that they are always telling us what and what not to do for our own good.
A few years ago, it was: drive diesel because that will save the planet. If they had paused a moment and possibly asked Autocar, we could have told them that never mind about a naturally occurring gas coming from petrol cars, diesels are rather more evil.
Well, for the short-termist, quick-fix politician, it is now time to think of another clever wheeze to get people out of their rotten old diesels and into something much newer. Hence the proposed schemes.
Scrappage ones are meant to be stick with a side order of carrot. You give up a perfectly serviceable vehicle for a discount on something much newer. It sounds like a good deal.
The trouble is that on environmental grounds, such a scheme is the worst of all worlds. When it comes to using the earth’s resources, making a car from scratch tops the lot. Which begs the question, surely an engineer can come up with an exhaust based fix to make them better. However, it is too late for that.
Car manufacturers, of course, love these schemes and always want you to drive the next big thing and suckered into a constantly evolving and more costly PCP.
So, perpetually oppressed motorist, who is always expected to pay the price for government cock-ups, here is my five-point plan to deal with this:
1. Don’t own a diesel car. I know they do a million miles to the gallon, but unless your employer is paying, they won’t be worth the hassle. I can see the penalties for running a pre-2005 oil burner multiplying, be it road tax, parking, or just social stigma.
2. Buy a hybrid, especially if you need one for business.
3. Learn to love petrol and especially LPG which really is a minimally polluting fuel.
4. Carry on regardless. Just drive whatever you have into the ground or until you are forced at gunpoint to give it up.
5. Don’t fall for their scrappage scheme, it just encourages them.