Cash for Clunkers: Spanish Citizens Roll Out a Very Different Kind of Program

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It’s not so much a program as it is a trend. In Spain, which is currently enduring a second blow from a very resilient coronavirus, people are shunning public transit like their life depends on it. It very well could.

What to do? Simple — search classifieds and backyard sheds for any old heap that’s still roadworthy and drive the hell out of it.

As reported by Reuters, data from the Institute of Automotive Studies shows that, in July and August, sales of cars aged 20 years or older jumped 31 percent, year over year. Average transaction price for this group of roughly 44,000 vehicles? $1,655.36 USD.

At the same time, new vehicle sales couldn’t be counted on for growth, rising 1.1 percent in July before a 10 percent drop in August. Transit? What transit? Ridership in the hard-hit country dropped 40 percent this summer.

Obviously, the purchase of so many old vehicles and decreased ridership rates for public transit will have an environmental impact — and we all know how seriously European countries take air pollution and climate change. Just how long the ecological impact will lasts depends on what scientists manage to pull off with drugs or vaccines. With the virus still circulating, the idea of getting onto a bus or as train will, to many, be akin to hopping into a coffin and nailing the lid shut.

One has to wonder about the rate of old-car purchases in other countries, too.

[Image: Volkswagen]

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