Motorists warned of year-end scrappage deadline
DRIVERS have been warned they have just five months left to avail of the car scrappage scheme.
The demand for the scheme so far has been high, with 7,368 people scrapping cars so far in return for a €1,500 discount on the purchase of a new low-emissions car
But a Revenue spokeswoman warned that the current scheme was due to end in December -- and there was no way drivers could use it to buy an '11 model.
She said it was not possible under the terms of the scheme to sign up in November and then put the scrappage towards an '11 car in January.
"The registration of the car has to take place in 2010," she said.
Revenue said it was a government decision whether the scheme would continue beyond 2010.
According to the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI), the scheme has been the main thrust in the increase in new car sales.
Its director general Alan Nolan said the sale of 70,000 cars so far this year was already ahead of last year's record low of 57,000.
"The bulk of those sales were not scrappage but we are very clear that sales would not have happened without scrappage. The scheme gave consumers the message that it was OK to change your car," he said.
The scrappage scheme was introduced in last year's Budget and applies to cars 10 years or older. Although the Department of Finance told the SIMI it was strictly a "one year only" scheme, Mr Nolan said the organisation was planning to lobby for an extension.
"We believe beyond any doubt it has protected employment and it has been successful beyond what we could have reasonably expected," he said.
The number of people employed in the car sales sector has now stabilised at 40,000 after more than 11,000 jobs were lost in the past two years. However, there have been several closures in recent weeks, including a BMW car dealership that went bust because it was unable to pay its debts.
As a result, a provisional liquidator has been appointed to McKeon Motors of Kells, Co Meath, to wind up the business.