The idea is simple: scrap your old car and receive a free bus pass for unlimited SV bus travel on the IoW for one year, equating to a saving of £720.
To ensure the person being liberated from their car holds up their side of the bargain, SV will scrap their motor vehicle on their behalf. The scheme's brain-child Marc Morgan Huws presumably allowed Best Impressions to come up with the scheme's name: The Really Green Car Scrappage Scheme - sure to anger those at Langley Mill should they choose to do something similar!
Joshing aside, the scheme is superb. Unlike the government's short-lived car scrappage scheme, which merely replaced old for new, SV's sees cars removed from the road while at the same time the company assures itself increased ridership by people who would perhaps not have considered the switch. SV scrap the car and net themselves the nominal fee paid, while losing the cost of an annual bus pass in their system. Issuing a £720 annual ticket is simply a piece of paper that merely needs noting on the balance sheet; importantly it is not a reduction of £720 from last year's net profit.
The Really Green Car Scrappage Scheme kicked off on 15 October and through high-profile adverts throughout the IoW those with a second car appear to be taking the bait, beating SV's own expectations. Did they need much persuasion though, since a recession tends to see families reduce their car ownership? Could it be the scheme acknowledges this and was there to ensure that once the car is crushed, its owner is thrust a free travel pass for SV's services before they have chance to think about alternative travel options?
The company's 'amazingly audacious scheme' was recognised recently at the Neues Transit
Green Transport Awards, winning The Innovation Award.
I've been attempting to identify ways in which the scheme could be used for the wrong reasons and can only think of on:
- If someone's second car is an old banger and worth - at best - £150, they could offer it to SV for the scheme and receive a £720 annual bus pass. They could then sell the bus pass on to someone for £500, making £220 profit, which they would put toward their newer second car, gaining since it is £70 more than they would have otherwise offered up. In so doing, the number of cars on the IoW wouldn't reduce and no patronage would be gained since the person paying £500 would be a regular passenger in any case.
An excellent scheme and one that other operators will surely follow.