Get A Car Valuation
If you want to buy a brand new car a scrappage scheme is probably the simplest way of part exchanging your current car, provided of course, that your car is worth less than the scrappage amount being offered by your manufacturer/dealer. You can check this value in seconds online, the simplest place to go is Parkers.com. That site and several others will give you a trade valuation and would represent what a dealer would pay you in a normal part exchange transaction.
Hassle > Money?
You will almost always get more for your vehicle selling it privately than by trading your car in. It is more hassle though (our guide will reduce this). If you are up for a bit of legwork to earn more for your car then simply you should look to sell the car yourself, be it to a website trade buyer, or privately.
If you don't want the hassle of selling privately and the vehicle is worth substantially less than what the dealer is offering in scrappage then it makes sense to go for the scrappage offer.
Negotiate A Scrappage Bargain
If you are buying from a dealer try asking for a discount - after all a scrappage scheme is just another way of offering money off a new car. They should be open to an offer, at least equivalent to the scrappage scheme, in this instance.
If you've feeling adventurous you should consider approaching a new car broker. For a fee, they source vehicles through UK dealers and you then pay the dealer directly. The best bit is that they do all the negotiation for you to get the best discount possible. It can work out more than the scrappage scheme itself.
Should you decide to buy a new or used car (even on finance) it is always a good idea to consider Guaranteed Asset Protection, which is better known as GAP insurance. Should the worst happen and the car be stolen or written off then the GAP insurance will cover the difference between the value of the car at the time, which is what the insurer would pay and the amount you paid, or financed, when the car was purchased. If you're buying a used car there are always reliability and repair concerns which can be protected by an extended car warranty.
So, in summary scrappage schemes can work for you but it's worth investigating a bit more closely, also make sure you read through the terms and conditions and check the value of the car you'll part exchange.