Electrical firm Comet will give you 20% off a new appliance for trading in your old white goods by the end of Monday.

You can trade in old fridges, freezers, washing machines and cooking appliances with free collection and recycling. This can be done online and in-store.

However, even with the discount factored in, ensure you're still getting the best possible price by comparing the cost to other stores using a comparison service (see the Cheap Online Shopping and MegaShopBot guides).

The introduction of the trial follows the British Retail Consortium's recent call to the Government to remove VAT from energy-efficient appliances and to consider introducing a wider scrappage scheme.

You must agree to trade in your old appliance and choose a new item by the end of business on Monday.

You can get the 20% discount off all appliances from Bosch, Siemens and Neff. Comet says this could amount to up to £200 of savings.

If a permanent UK-wide scrappage scheme was introduced, Comet predicts this would significantly reduce the number of un-environmentally friendly appliances in UK homes, estimated to total 15 million.

British Retail Consortium environment director Jane Milne says: "This is just the kind of scheme we're advocating. A modern, efficient fridge-freezer uses less than half the energy of a 1995 model.

"I hope this encourages the Government to take the concerted, national action which will achieve the wholesale change in customer behaviour the environment needs."

Yet Martin Lewis, creator of MoneySavingExpert.com, is sceptical about Comet's motives.

He says: "It's tough to tell whether this is a genuine environmental move or just a company jumping on the bandwagon to get publicity for a sale.

"The fact it's chosen to orchestrate this as a 20% discount, rather than a fixed amount of cash off, would indicate it's far more like a sale than anything else.

"By calling it a scrappage scheme it's attracted widespread publicity, but we need to be wary of this type of environmental marketing. It's always worth checking to see if you can get it cheaper elsewhere and many local independents and other stores will take away old white goods for you anyway."

Further reading/Key links

Slash shopping costs: Cheap Online Shopping, MegaShopBot
Scrappage scheme: Comet

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