Wellington, May 26 NZPA - A group promoting the new vehicle industry wants the Government to expand its trial vehicle scrappage scheme to include incentives for people to have their old cars crushed.
Motor Industry Association chief executive Perry Kerr said New Zealand had a "serious problem with its ageing vehicle fleet", and called for incentives for people bringing their "old, tired" cars in for scrapping.
The Ministry of Transport was running the Recycle your Ride programme, ending on May 31, in Wellington and Christchurch to encourage motorists to get older vehicles off New Zealand's roads.
The average car in New Zealand was about 12.5 years old , compared to 9.7 years in Australia and six years in Britain.
"We might not have a vehicle manufacturing industry but we have a vehicle distribution industry which is hurting, and we also have an ageing vehicle fleet which is one of the oldest in the developed world," Mr Kerr said.
He proposed a $1500 incentive for people bringing in old vehicles to be scrapped, helping to overcome the financial burden of upgrading to "a safer, cleaner and more fuel efficient vehicle", he said.
Currently, the incentive offered is a Snapper or Metro Card loaded with $250, given to the first 150 people in each city, and a chance to win a new Toyota Corolla diesel car.
However, the scheme only takes vehicles in working order.
A pilot for the scrappage scheme was run in Auckland in 2007, collecting 253 vehicles during the trial period from May to June.
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