Rush for car withdrawal scheme

About 29,000 car owners have traded in their vehicles in the past two weeks to benefit from a government initiative offering cash for the withdrawal of old cars from the roads, according to an industry body. The figure is higher than expected, falling just short of the 30,000 cars taken to scrapyards in the first nine months of this year, before the launch of the scheme, according to the Alternative Vehicle Management of Greece (EDOE), the organization which certifies the centers that accept vehicles for recycling. «The response of the public to the recycling scheme has been extremely enthusiastic,» the head of EDOE, Epameinondas Vonazountas, told Kathimerini, adding that he expected around 100,000 would be traded in by the end of the year. Scrapyards across the country currently report being overwhelmed, with between 1,000 and 1,500 old vehicles being handed over every day. The rush by car owners caused delays at the launch of the scheme’s implementation. «There were problems and delays at the beginning, as regional transport authorities had to manage a very large volume of documents and license plates but these hiccups have gradually been overcome.» Vonazountas said. Car owners, who should expect to wait anything from 30 minutes to several hours, can contact the nearest of 81 vehicle-recycling centers across Greece and arrange an appointment by calling EDOE’s offices on 210.689.9039. Owners can turn up with vehicles weighing up to 3.5 tons and the recycling center will undertake all the paperwork. Within a week, the car owner should receive a certificate in the mail that they then take to their local tax office to collect compensation ranging from 500 to 2,200 euros. Those who wish to purchase a new more environmentally friendly car (classified as Euro 4 or Euro 5) are entitled to another 1,000 euros through their local tax office. This additional cash can be obtained using a certificate issued by the relevant prefectural authority upon the issuance of the new car’s registration.