In the drive to cut down on CO2 emissions, there is ongoing discussion on whether to reintroduce the government subsidised ‘Scrappage Scheme’, as previously run in 2008-2009. The idea was simple: part exchange your “old banger” for a brand new eco-friendly car and the government will give you £1000 for your part exchange, which was then matched by the car dealer. This gave people £2000 off a brand new car if they part exchanged their old car. The only stipulation was that the car being part exchanged must have been registered before 28th February, 2000, must have been within your ownership for at least 12 months and must come with a current valid MOT certificate.
Understandably, people came in droves to claim their £2000 for their car that was, in many cases, not even worth half of that; so who can blame them? Sadly, within the scheme, the Rover P6 fell into the suitable criteria for the part exchange. According to official government figures published in September 2014, a total of 24 Rover P6s were scrapped as part of the scheme. These comprise as follows:
Sadly the document relied on the data provided by the car dealership rather than the DVLA database, so not all P6s are properly accounted for and there are several “unknown” Rovers on the list that could also be the P6 variant.
If you reconsider the criteria – that all cars accepted in part exchange must have a valid MOT – then it becomes worrying that so many P6s met their end during this scheme. With roughly around 2000 P6s still registered as on the road with the DVLA out of just over 300,000 built between 1963-1977, their survival rate is dangerously low.
The controversy surrounding the scheme was in fact that most of the cars scrapped ended up on a disused airfield as demand for scrapping them couldn’t be met. With £1000 of government money tied up in each car, they’ve been stopped from going anywhere. If the scrappage scheme is reintroduced, it is in our best interests as enthusiasts first to ensure that these cars are rescued and either restored or offered for parts to ensure than the few remaining Rovers remain on the roads for the next 50 years. Spreading awareness of the P6 brand through the P6 Club is paramount to keep engaging wider public interest in the model and providing owners with an alternative to simply scrapping their car at the end of its useful life.
Photo: Practical Classics 2009