In a survey, a quarter of the respondents said the so-called “wrecking premium” was a deciding factor in the choice to buy a new car. Over half of the participants in the Emnid survey said they had already planned to buy a new car, even without the wrecking premium.
The program, which gives €2,500 to those who scrap a car that's at least nine years old and buy a new car, has been wildly popular with German consumers and has softened the recession's impact on some car companies. Troubled Opel, for example, has managed to keep its factory producing budget Corsas working at full capacity, which the company attributes to the wrecking premium.
The government set aside €1.5 billion for program, enough to subsidize the purchase of about 600,000 cars. Care sales jumped 21.5 percent in February, mostly due to the subsidy programme.
The programme has been so popular that the government expects to give out the €1.5 billion well before the end of the year, when the wrecking premium is due to be phased out.