A quota system will be introduced to the car scrappage scheme for its final weeks, after the government announced more than three quarters of the £400 million budget had now been used up.
Order quotas will be given to manufacturers based on brand popularity to ensure a smooth closing of the scheme, which is due to end next month, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said.
"I'm pleased to see that the scheme has been taken up by so many people, supporting our automotive manufacturers through a very difficult time," said Business Secretary Peter Mandelson.
Earlier this month the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said that since its introduction the scheme had accounted for more than a fifth of all new car sales.
"Industry figures have reflected the success the scheme has already had, boosting both car sales over the past few months and maintaining jobs in car production," Mandelson said.
"We expect the impact of the scheme to continue to be felt into 2010 as deliveries will continue after the scheme closes."
As of January 14, a total of 318,628 new vehicle orders had been taken under the scheme, BIS said in a statement, meaning that funding for less than 82,000 orders remained.