The UK's successful car scrappage scheme, which encouraged motorists to trade in their old vehicles for new by offering a 2,000 pound ($3,078 U.S.) incentive, ended at the end of March 2010. However, if you want to buy an electric, plug-in hybrid or hydrogen car you should be able to get a government grant in 2011. If you have a disability you could qualify for help toward buying or leasing a car; otherwise, there is little help available to anyone wanting to purchase a new vehicle.
Do some research before the new low-carbon grant scheme begins in 2011. The list of cars that will qualify must meet strict safety and performance criteria. Monitor the Office for Low Emission Vehicles' website--http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/sustainable/olev/--to clarify which vehicles are on the official list of cars that will qualify for the new grants.
Find out more about the scheme itself: the government says that motorists will be able to claim a subsidy of 25 per cent of the car's purchase price and this discount will be capped at 2268 Kilogram ($7,695 U.S.). Learn more about where the recharging points will be placed: It does not make sense to buy an electric car and live somewhere remote if you are unable to recharge the car's battery.
Discover if you are eligible for a grant. Private motorists and business-fleet buyers in the UK should be able to gain access to the grants. Around 43 million pounds of funding ($66 million U.S.) will be available until March 31, 2012 and could continue after that, depending on how popular the scheme is.
Meet with the car dealer or manufacturer directly if you decide to proceed with the purchase of an electric vehicle. They will be able to give you up-to-date information on the pricing and discounts available and will have the relevant paperwork about the subsidy.
Find out about the Motability scheme if you live in the UK and have a disability, as you could qualify for a government grant for a car. The scheme provides help if you want to either buy or lease a car. Parents can even apply for the scheme on behalf of a child age 3 or older. People with severe disabilities who need a car with many adaptations might qualify for a grant from the Specialized Vehicles Fund, which is run by Motability on behalf of the government.
The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association has warned that business fleets will need reassurance that electric vehicles will have an acceptable second-hand value in years to come. Even with the 25 per cent discount many electric vehicles will be much more expensive than normal petrol or diesel car, so do your homework on pricing before deciding to buy a low-carbon car.