The car industry had been calling for support to give sales a boost after the fall-out from the coronavirus crisis.
Similar schemes have already been launched in France and Germany.
The Times reports it has seen a letter from Rachel Maclean, junior minister for transport and the environment, stating “the government has no plans at this stage to introduce a scrappage scheme”.
Ms Maclean instead outlined the government’s £2.5 billion investment in ultra-low emissions vehicle grants, and funding to increase electric car charging point provision at homes, workplaces, residential streets and the wider road network.
She admitted “a number of media articles have suggested that the government is considering a scrappage scheme” that could have given motorists £6,000 to swap older petrol and diesel cars for a pure electric car – on top of the existing £3,000 Plug-in Car Grant (which was cut by £500 in March).
The letter seen by The Times ruled this out – after the government did the same in 2018 when it stated a scrappage scheme was “difficult to deliver [and] potentially open to abuse”.
Academics, reports The Times, wrote to the Department for Transport in June, asking for clarity on the possible scrappage scheme.
Dr Steve Melia, a lecturer in transport and planning at the University of the West of England, led the approach. He described existing reforms to encourage zero-emissions vehicles as “clearly inadequate”.
Since launching a range of new car sales incentives including an electric car scrappage scheme, registrations in France have recovered almost to normal levels.