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UK buyers swap clunkers for Nissan GT-Rs

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The scrappage plan has helped sponsor purchase of two of the supercars so far

The scrappage plan has helped sponsor purchase of two of the supercars so far

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In a move that can only be described as brilliant by anyone with a love of all things four-wheeled and fast, at least two buyers in the UK have swapped their clunkers in for cash, and used that cash to buy Nissan GT-Rs. They were among the very first to take advantage of the new scrappage initiative, acting in the first 5 hours of its availability.

The new scheme started this morning, and offers £2,000 ($3,096) for older, less-efficient cars, essentially just like the program proposed here in the U.S. The standard for cars that replace the clunkers in the UK? None, in terms of CO2 emissions, reports the British Auto Trader. France and Italy, which have similar initiatives, also included CO2 maximums for the replacement cars.

While the 485hp twin-tubro V6 supercar may not be the exact vehicle UK lawmakers had in mind when they proposed the initiative, it's potentially still a savings over many cars. Lawmakers thought it would simply be enough that buyers replace their existing cars with newer versions.

Rated at 298g/km of CO2 and a combined 18mpg here in the U.S. (22.8mpg under the UK system), the GT-R certainly isn't an economy car, however, and it falls into the UK's highest pollution tax bracket.

Most buyers won't be looking for GT-Rs, though, and so the scrappage scheme is still likely to have a net positive effect. The intrepid use of the plan to purchase the GT-Rs does show that, like all human endeavors, it is prone to abuse. Whether that abuse will endanger the program isn't yet clear.

Cash for clunkers plans in the U.S. have been criticized for loopholes that would allow people to buy the cars intended for the scrap heap at salvage auctions and potentially put them back on the road.
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