The European commission put forward a proposal on Wednesday to introduce a scheme to offer motorists incentives to scrap their old cars in order to boost sales of new fuel-efficient models. The latest proposal is just one of a number of government backed schemes being considered to help carmakers overcome the current sales slump and meet tough new emissions regulations.

Also under consideration are €40 billion in low-interest loans similar to the $25 billion aid package offered by the U.S. government to the Detroit 3. Once again, the move is intended to help the car industry develop new green technologies, reports The Telegraph. However, it is also likely to improve the overall safety of cars on European roads as newer cars tend to be safer thanks to advanced crash-safety technology.

More than 36% of the cars on Western European roads are more than eight years old, with many older than 15 years.

The new proposal emerged from a meeting of commissioners, motor industry chief executives, ministers and parliament members on Wednesday. EU industry commissioner Günter Verheugen said the proposed scheme would have to be financed by national governments but could operate on a pan-European basis.

While the European Investment Bank is hesitant to offer direct loans, a scheme, similar to one already used in France, could see the price of more fuel-efficient vehicles reduced and the opposite occur for gas-guzzlers.