Cash for clunkers

5 February 2021

­What about the fine detail?

Daniel Andrews recently announced a new pilot program to get people in regional Victoria out of their old vehicles and into new ones – a cash-for-clunkers scheme. Great, you might say. But some questions need to be answered.

In principle, I have no issues with any scheme that sets out to ensure consumers are driving the safest possible vehicle.

But how will vehicles be defined as ‘old’ or ‘unsafe’? And how will vehicle owners be transitioned across to newer, safer vehicles?

The announcement also raises the issue of how ‘clunkers’ will be treated once they’re taken off the road.

I’m concerned about pop-up operators who prey on government-funded programs. Lack of consistency and government oversight allows backyard recyclers to prosper, to the detriment of the legitimate vehicle recycling industry.

I urge the government to engage closely with industry to ensure illegitimate program brokers don’t arrive on the scene to gouge consumers out of their hard-earned money.

On a positive note, it would be great to get the average age of the Australian vehicle fleet down under nine years. Currently, it’s 10.4.

But if the Victorian Government is really interested in getting people into newer and safer vehicles then it should drop stamp duty on new-vehicle purchases where the trade-in is over nine years old. The same goes for Luxury Car Tax.

A car costing $50,000 attracts $2100 in duty, for example. Putting that money back into the pockets of Victorian families makes a lot of sense to me. How about you?

Words: VACC CEO, Geoff Gwilym. As featured in the Herald Sun 5 February 2021.

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