Victoria announces cash-for-cars grants for young and old drivers

Government new-for-old car program targets young and old regional drivers - but how will it work?

Dan Andrews clunkers
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The state of Victoria wants to eject unsafe cars from its roads, with Premier Daniel Andrews announcing a 'cash-for-clunkers' style pilot program on his Facebook page.

The post details a two-pronged approach that concentrates on getting young and old drivers into newer cars in a bid to boost road safety.

He says the Victorian government will offer the program to young people in regional areas, scrapping their "old car" in trade for a grant to "buy something newer and safer".

Dan Andrews clunkers 2021
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Under this program, the government says it will replace 1000 cars - but it does not say what qualifies as old, or how much the grant will give young regional Australians to buy a new car.

As for Australia’s aging population, "short term, affordable leases" will be offered to regional Victorians over 65 on "lower incomes" to drive cars with "five-star safety ratings", a spokesperson says.

We asked the Victorian government for more details and how, or even if, the pilot programs will be rolled out on a wider scale.

"Further details on both trials will be made available closer to when they begin later this year," we're told.

The program's aim is clear in the premier's chosen words.

"Older cars don't have the safety features we rely on to keep us safer and are over-represented in our crash and fatality stats," Mr Andrew’s post says. "This is about getting them off the road, and supporting those Victorians who need it most. Making things safer for everyone."

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As well as pulling at-risk driver groups out of old and unsafe cars, schemes like these offer the chance to cut emissions and boost new car sales.

They've also more famously run in countries such as America, where a huge scheme was enacted in the early part of the last decade to kickstart the ailing US auto industry after the global financial crisis hit.

Former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard proposed a cash-for-clunkers scheme back in 2010, pledging $2000 to drivers who updated their car under the Cleaner Car Rebate program with a focus on improving fleet emissions. The proposed $400m national scheme never eventuated.

Just last year, however, the Victorian Chamber of Commerce raised the idea with the state government, and was backed up by the Australian Automotive Dealers Association. It reportedly floated more effective ways to structure the scheme, including how to recycle old cars.

 

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