Mercedes-Benz Vans is following the example of the retail car industry by launching a van scrappage and swappage scheme.
However, the brand argues that its scheme has been specifically created to offer what the van market needs rather than to grab headlines about removing older, dirtier vehicles from the roads.
Mercedes-Benz hopes to persuade van owners and operators to upgrade to the latest Euro 6-engined models, as the industry comes under pressure from negative publicity over diesel emissions and threats by cities to introduce charges for older diesels entering their central zones.
Owners of EU1 to EU3 emissions standard vehicles will be offered discounts of between £1,000 and £5,600, depending on model, to scrap their van and replace it with a Mercedes-Benz vehicle, either new or Euro 6 used.
For those operators running EU4 or EU5 vans, either snugly or in fleets up to 24 vehicles, a swappage scheme will be on offer. They will be able to swap out the old vans for a new EU6 Mercedes-Benz vehicle and claim discounts of between £2,000 and £5,100, again depending on the model.
According to Mercedes-Benz Vans UK managing director Steve Bridge, scepticism of customers over scrappage schemes is not surprising. “It isn’t always financially viable for someone to come out of an aged vehicle straight in to a new van,” he says.
“This is why we have explored all our options in terms of genuinely supporting customers to be in cleaner, newer models as this doesn’t always mean a new van – we’ve been offering EU6 on some models since 2015,” he adds.
Mercedes-Benz has seen rising UK sales of its LCV range in recent times and registered 36,952 vehicles in 2016 – its best-ever annual performance and seventh-consecutive year of growth. Currently the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter sits third in the van top ten beaten only by Ford’s Custom and Transit models.
All prices in the Mercedes-Benz scheme exclude VAT and new vehicles must be registered by 31st December 2017.