Thousands of drivers are heading off into the sunset with shiny brand new cars after taking advantage of a national scrappage scheme to help clean up the environment.

One of the first to introduce the offer was Vauxhall, back in May, allowing drivers to trade in older, higher emission cars for something new. A total of 24 car brands had followed suit by September.

The scheme hopes to get older polluting cars off the road while improving sale figures for new 2017 cars, according to This Is Money.

Used car buying site Auto Trader has launched its own scrappage tool to help drivers decide which deal is best for them when they offer their old cars to be crushed, revealing the vehicles people are most likely to want to dump.

Manufacturers have yet to report the number of sales they have generated through their own schemes but early indications from Auto Trader suggest there is plenty of interest in the scheme, with 17,000 owners using the online tool since its launch.

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All they need to do is enter their vehicle registration number into the system and it alerts them to the scrappage deal they could qualify for and lists the models they could have as a replacement that will be offered at cut-price rates.

Staff from Kia Burton were advertising the scrappage scheme at the Octagon Shopping Centre

Top 10 cars that owners want to scrap and replace (Auto Trader)

1. VW Golf

2. Ford Focus

3. Vauxhall Astra

4. Ford Fiesta

5. Vauxhall Corsa

6. BMW 3 Series

7. VW Polo

8. Ford Mondeo

9. Honda Civic

10. VW Passat

Most popular cars on the scrappage scheme

Topping the list of cars that owners have been desperate to get rid of is the VW Golf.

That is despite the popular Volkswagen family car holding its value well and commanding strong second-hand prices.

Of the top 10 models that were processed by Auto Trader's tool, the Golf accounted for 17 per cent of all trade-in models - almost 3,000 cars.

The Golf was the fourth most-bought car of 2016 with 69,492 registrations. That is almost half the number of Ford Fiestas sold in the same year, the fourth most popular model for trade-in requests so far.

Of all the brands, Ford made up a third of all cars owners were looking to trade in.

Of the top 10, three were Volkswagen models including the Polo supermini.

TC Harrison Ford in Horninglow Street, Burton will be offering drivers a £2,000 scrappage scheme

Auto Trader said 51 per cent of the 17,000 cars being offered up to exchange were diesel, with the remaining 49 per cent petrol models.