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Government data errors set to benefit scrappage buyers

Sun, 22 Nov 2009

Thousands of car buyers could be set to benefit from errors in the way that scrappage orders have been counted by the Government. 


The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, which is responsible for collecting the figures, has suspended publishing the amount of scrappage orders that have been taken due to errors in the figures and has begun a 'data cleanse' of the existing data. The department, run by Lord Mandelson, had previously been publishing weekly order figures since the scheme started in May. The last, on 2 November, showed that 268,841 cars had been ordered through the scheme. There are now questions marks over the accuracy in two key areas: cancelled and modified orders. Some buyers who cancelled their order were not removed from the database, while others who made modifications to their order or specified different options part-way through were counted as new buyers. 


The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills said: "The UK Vehicle Scrappage Scheme database of orders is currently undergoing a mid-scheme data cleansing exercise. While this is in progress, the publication of weekly orders figures will temporarily be suspended. The scheme will continue to take orders as normal while this exercise is ongoing."


The department will produce a revised list of scrappage orders at the end of the month. Figures from The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders showed that 218,735 cars were registered under the scheme by 11 November. 


This Government error could mean that there's more money left in the scheme than previously thought, potentially helping thousands of extra buyers to take advantage of the scheme. 


The scheme originally had enough funding for 300,000 cars, though this has been extended to 400,000 cars. The scheme will now run for much longer than originally planned and the remaining money is likely to continue to help new car buyers until Spring 2010.

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