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Retire Your Ride

Retire Your Ride

National Vehicle Retirement Program

The Retire Your Ride campaign, which was developed and delivered by Scout (as Summerhill Impact) for 47 months (between May 2007 and March 2011), was part of the Government of Canada’s agenda for clean air. The objectives of the program were to:

  • Protect the health of Canadians by reduce smog-forming emissions;
  • Increase awareness and understanding of the environmental impacts of transportation choices;
  • Increase use of sustainable transportation alternatives; and,
  • Prevent the release of toxic substances into the environment through responsible vehicle recycling practices.

Retire Your Ride was developed by Scout in collaboration with Environment Canada and executed in partnership with not-for-profit organizations, the vehicle recycling industry, retailers, and manufacturing partners across the country. The program successfully offered Canadians a reliable, sustainable and accessible program delivery infrastructure to collect old vehicles to be retired. The program ensured that these vehicles were recycled responsibly, and offered valuable and effective rewards to participants. The program recorded and reported to program partners and the public, on measurable and tangible environmental impacts, including amount of emissions prevented, the number of vehicles recycled and the number of Canadians engaged through all marketing initiatives.

The phased and multi-million dollar bilingual advertising, public relations and community outreach initiatives resulted in the program exceeding its national collection targets at approximately 125%.


As a result of Scout’s overall management and delivery of the Retire Your Ride program, the following outcomes were realized:

  • Retired more than 138,000 vehicles (1995 and older) from Canada’s roads, exceeding target of 50,000 per year (for 2010 and 2011);
  • Retired at least 100 vehicles in every federal riding (except those in northern Canada where the program infrastructure was not available);
  • Achieved a total reduction of approximately 5,000 tonnes of VOCs and NOx
  • Captured more than 4.16 million litres of fluids (e.g., oil, gasoline, refrigerants, and antifreeze) that might otherwise have been released to the air and water, through responsible recycling, and;
  • Achieved significant media coverage of the program’s key messages, including 58 million impressions through the national and regional public relations initiatives and 140 million media impressions through print, radio, online and in-transit advertising.

According to the participant survey, which was conducted nationally by Environics (and reported on in January of 2011), participant satisfaction increased steadily over the program lifespan, with 6 in 10 being completely satisfied with their experience, and 8 in 10 saying they would definitely recommend the program to others. Additionally, 6 out of 10 participants said that the program prompted them to get rid of an older vehicle sooner, while 6 out of 10 were very satisfied with the value of their incentive.

Retire Your Ride eventRetire Your Ride car crusher