New ‘cash-for-clunkers’ pilot programs in Victoria, South Eastern Australia aim to remove unsafe older cars and increase the number of newer and safer cars on the road.
Daniel Andrews, Victorian Premier, recently announced a ‘cash-for-clunkers’ vehicle scrappage scheme targeting young people in regional areas and a separate initiative aimed at getting drivers aged 65-plus and on lower incomes into newer and safer cars.
Daniels said on Facebook, that the programs will be designed
“to help some of our youngest and oldest drivers trade-in for a safer model”.
He added: “We’ll provide grants to help young people in regional areas scrap their old car and buy something newer and safer.”
“The program will aim to replace 1000 older, unsafe vehicles with safer replacements.
“We’ll also support regional Victorians aged 65 and over on lower incomes, with short-term, affordable leases on newer and safer cars to help them get around safely.”
Initially, the pilot program will be invite-only and replace up to 1,000 vehicles, with eligibility criteria targetting higher-risk young drivers. While industry supports the idea in principal, VACC has raised a few questions in response to the announcement.
VACC CEO, Geoff Gwilym said:
“The government has not released the fine print yet, but if the program gets up, VACC wants assurances that the old vehicles in the ‘cash for clunkers’ scheme simply won’t be cycled through the auction system and back out into an unassuming community,”
Scrappage schemes have been adopted in many countries around the world, which encourage the removal of older, inefficient vehicles from the roads so that newer, more environmentally friendly vehicles can be purchased in their place, such schemes have not occurred in Australia until now.
The former federal Gillard Labor government developed a $430 million cash-for-clunkers scheme – officially known as the Cleaner Car Rebate Scheme – in 2010 to stimulate new vehicle sales in the wake of the global financial crisis, with the program offering $2000 grants.
However, the scheme did not go ahead as the government redirected funding towards emergency flood relief in early 2011.
This new scheme by the Andrews government is targeted at key constituencies such as older voters and regional Victorians.
“Thirty years ago, car safety meant airbags if you were lucky and a lap belt in the middle back seat.”
“Thankfully, a lot has changed since then. The vehicles produced today are light-years from my first car – a red VB Commodore.
“But upgrading isn’t always affordable – particularly if you’ve saved hard for your very first wheels or you’re on a pension. And plenty of young people are driving cars older than they are.
“Older cars don’t have the safety features we rely on to keep us safer and are over-represented in our crash and fatality stats. This is about getting them off the road, and supporting those Victorians who need it most.
“Making things safer for everyone.”
Further details on both pilots will be made available later this year.