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First, a disclaimer: this is my first question here, so please point out any deficiency so I can amend it.

Here in Italy, the Government has a recurring policy (it is happening every 2/3 years now) of rejuvenating the traveling cars by issuing so-called "Eco funds": you get between 2000 and 5000 euros to give in your car and buy a new one. Cars with more than 10 years must be scrapped; more recent cars (up to 5 years, IIRC) can be sold as used.

There has been a debate in the local newspapers, highlighting the fact that this practice is not Ecological at all. The rumor is that scraping a 10 year old working car and manufacturing a new one produces more pollution overall than maintaining the old car.

Is there any study that can back-up this rumor? If so, what is the break-even point? I.e. is it possible to find at which "age" running an old car is not "good" anymore, from an environmental point of view?

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    Could you provide link confirming that cars over 10 years old must be scrapped. All I found is info about incentive to scrape such cars, but not a law that they have to be scrapped. On a personal note, my 13 year old corolla gets better mpg than most cars on market, and I haven't had to maintain it besides change of breaks and tires, so there's no way it's ecologically efficient to replace it. – Alex Sep 11 '13 at 13:35
  • Sure, but they are all in Italian.. I doubt they can make any good. Anyway, here is the 2013 version: 10 years or older, must be scrapped, UNLESS the car have a better CO2 than 95g (but those are separate, much thinner, funds) investireoggi.it/fisco/… – Lorenzo Dematté Sep 11 '13 at 13:40
  • And there is also an official site bec.mise.gov.it/site/bec/home.html on which you can find the actual laws ("Normativa") – Lorenzo Dematté Sep 11 '13 at 13:47
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    @Lorenzo: I'm Italian too, but far from hearing any obligation on scraping old cars. BTW, the link refers to "incentives", not obligation. Anyway, despite I have no reference/links or whatever else, but I'm strongly convinced that the manufacturing of a brand-new car is requiring a lot more of energy than keeping the old one. – Mario Vernari Sep 14 '13 at 14:21
  • @Mario we are talking about the so called "eco-incentivi": the government giving you money to trade in your old car and buy a new one, more "eco friendly". The old car in this case can NOT be re-selled but must be scrapped. – Lorenzo Dematté Sep 14 '13 at 16:04

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