UK: Ford, Vauxhall, Nissan Price Hikes Kill Cash for Clunkers Discount

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

UK magazine Which? Car reports that automakers in the Land of Hope and Glory have hiked prices, effectively killing the advantages of the country’s cash-for-clunkers (a.k.a. scrappage) scheme. The mag cites three examples: “The price of a mid-range Ford Fiesta has jumped from £11,570 in October 2008 when the car was launched to £13,195 in July 2009—a massive 14% increase.” And “Vauxhall’s new Insignia looked affordable in January 2009, priced at £17,981 but

it has now broken the £20K barrier with a list price of £20,430 in July 2009, also a 14% jump.” And “Another chart-topping supermini, the Nissan Micra, was priced 11% higher in July 2009 (£12,395) than in September 2008 (£11,200), although its equipment has been improved.” Said the actress to the Bishop. Yes, well, the conclusion is inescapable. Ish.

It appears manufacturers are inflating prices just when the scrappage scheme requires them to chip in at least £1,000 worth of discount on a new car. The reality is more complicated—global economic conditions have forced a rethink of UK car prices. But some manufacturers have managed to resist price increases despite the rising costs of raw materials and spiralling exchange rates.

In other words, supply and demand, baby. But the point is still well taken: don’t get well taken by car dealers who could conflate the price of a car even if the number was tattooed on their forehead. Or maybe, especially.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • John The answer is to wipe it off? I don't recall ever having to "wife off rust" in any car I've ever owned. Well... once a year claybar for rail dust maybe.
  • Scott What people want is the Jetson Car sound.This has come up before.
  • Joerg I just bought a Corolla Cross Hybrid SE a few weeks ago, and I regret it. But not for any of the reasons stated so far. It drives well enough for me, gas mileage is great for a car like that, the interior is fine, nothing to complain about for normal daily use. I bought this relatively small SUV thinking it is basically just a smaller version of the RAV4 (the RAV4 felt too big for me, drives like a tank, so I never really considered it). I also considered the AWD Prius, but storage capacity is just too small (my dog would not fit in the small and low cargo space).But there are a few things that I consider critical for me, and that I thought would be a given for any SUV (and therefore did not do my due diligence before the purchase): It can’t use snow chains per the manual, nor any other snow traction devices. Even with AWD, snow chains are sometimes required where I go, or just needed to get out of a stuck situation.The roof rack capacity is only a miniscule 75 lbs, so I can’t really load my roof top box with stuff for bigger trips.Ironically, the European version allows snow chains and roof rack capacity is 165 lbs. Same for the US Prius version. What was Toyota thinking?Lastly, I don’t like that there is no spare tire, but I knew that before the purchase. But it is ridiculous that this space is just filled up with a block of foam. At least it should be made available for additional storage. In hindsight, I should have bought a RAV4. The basic LE Hybrid version would have been just about 1k more.
  • MaintenanceCosts Looks like the best combination of capability, interior comfort, and subtle appearance can be achieved by taking a Laramie (crew cab, short bed, 4x4 of course) and equipping it with the Sport Appearance, Towing Technology, and Level 2 packages as well as a few standalone options. That's my pick.Rebel is too CRUSH THAT CAN BRO and Limited and up are too cowboy Cadillac.
  • Xidex easier to buy a mustang that already sounds like that. love the coyote growl