Volkswagen has followed rivals by offering discounts on new cars in return for taking older, more polluting diesels off the road.
The company behind the dieselgate emissions scandal of 2015 said it would give money off the group’s range of new vehicles, including Audi and Seat models, in a bid to eradicate older diesel engines – those in the Euro 1-4 classifications.
The offer applies from Friday until 31 December and will mean the owners of older diesels being able to get up to £6,000 off for the largest vehicles.
It added that larger discounts were available for the purchase of electric and hybrid models because they could be combined with existing Government grant offers.
VW’s UK scheme falls short of the terms offered to drivers in its home market.
In Germany, it had already announced scrappage discounts worth around £9,000 under pressure from the national government following a top-level summit involving the industry, aimed at cutting pollution on the country’s roads.
The company announced it was focusing its development work on a new electric future in the wake of dieselgate.
Its reputation hit the skids when it admitted cheating emissions testing regimes in the US through the fitting of software which reduced nitrogen oxide output.
The fallout from the scandal is far from over stateside, with individuals facing criminal charges while fines and compensation have bloated a cost bill running into tens of billions of dollars.
It has recalled 11 million vehicles in total worldwide, including 1.2 million in the UK, though it is refusing demands to pay compensation across Europe on the grounds it broke no laws.
A number of other car manufacturers have been offering software updates to help keep emission levels in check, while Toyota, BMW, Ford, Hyundai and Mercedes-Benz are among those with new car discount schemes.
The industry will be hoping the offers bolster the sale of new cars in the UK following months of decline.
VW announced its scrappage plans as new rules came into force covering the emissions testing of vehicles in Europe aimed at ensuring they take a greater account of exhaust output on the road rather than in a lab.
The SMMT industry body said the new tests, which measure fuel consumption, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, particulates by mass and number, and carbon monoxide, were “groundbreaking”.