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Criteria clarified for transport subsidy

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The road transport department sought to clarify key criteria for the second transport subsidy scheme after confusion clouded applications.

Senior road transport officer, Evangelos Panteli, told state broadcaster RIK on Thursday that the €10 million scheme will satisfy 2,518 applications across a broad range of categories.

Most interest has been expressed for obtaining new electric vehicles, he said.

Panteli explained that the vehicle being replaced must be listed early in the application process, although it’s not necessary that it be registered as belonging to the applicant until the final stages.

The reasoning being that even if the vehicle being replaced was not actively being used by the applicant, then at least it is being taken off the roads, Panteli explained.

Cars being handed over must be 12 years old or above, have been registered for the past seven years and having been in use at the time of the scheme being announced. A caveat is that a car declared as not currently in use must have been listed as such within the past 18 months.

“So, with these criteria, our aim is to withdraw cars which were truly in use and not those which for years were just left wherever and not actively on the roads,” he explained.

The clarification comes after reports emerged that the value of old cars simply dumped in a field surged as they were being used to secure subsidies for new cars.

For all the categories, there have so far been 3,039 valid applications.

The scheme offers grants to purchase electric and plug-in hybrid cars with CO2 emissions up to 50g/km, at a cost of €80,000 including VAT for new cars and €50,000 including VAT for used cars.

“This specific scheme is part of the Recovery and Resilience Plan, centred on the environment, therefore the aim of the scheme is to increase the fleet of less polluting vehicles while simultaneously reducing the amount of pollutant cars,” he added.

Motorcycles and small cars that fall under the ‘L’ category, as well as e-bikes and buses are included in the scheme. The ministry specified scooters are not included.

The scheme also includes the possibility to scrap an old vehicle in exchange for a grant that can go towards buying an electric vehicle or, depending on the category, bus tickets or grants for buying an e-bike.

The grants start at €10,000 for electric vehicles while the funding for scrapping old vehicles amounts to €7,500.

A key change in the latest scheme compared to the first, is that there will not be a priority in how the applications are processed, therefore reducing the need for people to rush to apply. Instead, if more people apply, the ministry will carry out a draw.

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