Cash For Clunkers Bill Treats Car Owners Badly

Posted by: David Kiley on May 12, 2009

The Cash for Clunker bill winding its way through Congress, and expected to meet passage and the President’s signature within a month or so is written, thus far, in a way that does more to boost sales than curb CO2 emissions.

And as I read it, it is plain to see who gets screwed on this deal: car owners.

Let’s look at the proposed rule: The old vehicle being turned in for scrapping must get less than 18 mpg. New passenger cars with mileage of at least 22 mpg are eligible for vouchers. If the mileage of the new car is at least 4 mpg higher than the old vehicle, the voucher will be worth $3,500. If the mileage of the new car is at least 10 mpg higher than the old vehicle, the voucher will be worth $4,500.

So, if someone has a 2000 Subaru Legacy, which gets about 22 mpg and wants to buy a Ford Fusion Hybrid, 37 mpg, there is no benefit despite the fact that the person was buying an American car (albeit built in Mexico) and achieving a 68% gain in fuel economy. Or, let’s say I had a 1998 Chevy Lumina with fuel economy of about 22 mpg, and want to upgrade and do the right thing at the same time by trading to an Ohio-built Honda Civic that gets about 3O mpg. That’s a 30% gain in fuel economy. If I don’t care about helping U.S. workers, maybe I’m willing to trade it for a 34 mpg Honda Fit, or a Toyota Prius at 46 mpg. That’s a 100% gain in fuel economy.

Nope…sorry dude. Congress screwed you again.

However, if you have a pickup truck or SUV you want to flip, you are in luck!!!

Let’s say you have a 1999 4X4 Chevy Blazer (16 mpg) and want to get rid of it for, say, a Toyota RAV4 (24 mpg). Well, as the Brits say…”Bob’s Your Uncle.” That trade will get you $4,500 for the 50% gain in fuel economy.

The provision for getting light trucks and SUVs off the road, which is what environmental groups fought for, and won, is beyond lame. The 18 mpg threshold was reached so it would minimize people trading big pickup trucks for big pickup trucks and big SUVs, though several SUV and trucks have gained 2 miles per gallon in fuel economy in the last decade. Very few versions of those pickups and SUVs though get as high as 18 mpg for combined city and highway driving.

But here are some absurd trade-ins that will be subsidized by the government. I could trade in a 2001 Dodge Dakota with a lot of mileage, dinged up, maybe has engine trouble and needs a new clutch. That truck gets 15 mpg. I could then trade it, with $3500 from the government and get a Toyota Tacoma that gets 19 mpg.

The lynchpin in these voucher deals is that the government rebate plus the factory and dealer incentives has to be a better deal than what you could get trading the car in or selling it. Because when you participate in this program, there is no trade-in value of the old car. It’s going for scrap.

The easiest way to do well in this program is to trade in old SUVs and pickups you have been nursing along. A Chevy Blazer with 300,000 miles in need of a new tranny….and trade for a new car. It could be that there are a million or so of those trades waiting in the weeds for the right deal.

The original legislative language called for protectioinism: U.S. built vehicles would get a bigger incentive that those made in Mexico and Canada. There would have been no benefit for foreign-built cars, including the Toyota Prius, Nissan Versa, Saturn Astra, Toyota Yaris, etc. Those measures were knocked down in committee.

But the strict limits placed on cars that can be traded for meaningful fuel efficiency gains is stupid. Fuel savings are fuel savings whether you are driving a car or truck or an SUV.

Even before the bill is finalized and signed, CNW Research shows that 68% of drivers polled said they are not very interested or not interested in participating. Of the 32% who are very to greatly interested, or somewhat interested, very interested accounted for just 1.28%, and the average age vehicle among that group is 14.2 years. CNW estimates that 1.3 million people would try and take advantage of the program.

Couple of observations: GM, Ford and Chrysler each have most of the trucks and SUVs the greens want to get off the road. Toyota and Honda have the most popular crossovers SUVs that would be the natural “walk” if you were going from a Chevy Tahoe or Jeep Grand Cherokee. Don’t be surprised if the biggest beneficiaries in that swap are those two companies. I’m not sure how many traders from SUVs and pickups are looking to get into passenger cars, which is what the greens are hoping happens.

This bill seems a bit discombobulated to me. Perhaps the Senate version will clean it up. But I’m not hopeful.

Reader Comments

Tom

May 13, 2009 1:57 PM

Thank goodness that they took out the protectionist language from the bill. Germany has a similar "cash for clunkers" bill and they didn't resort to protectionism. Lets not try to hide behind protectionism to save our jobs. America is just too expensive right now. People around the world are doing the same work for cheaper. Till Americans start accepting wages similar to workers in other countries, these jobs and induestries will continue to go overseas.

Strategery

May 13, 2009 6:28 PM

I think the author missed a point. There is a law of diminishing returns when it comes to MPG. Going from 15 MPG to 25 MPG will save a lot of fuel, but going from 25 to 40 MPG will have less impact. That aside, the bill is unfair. For example, if I were willing to buy a new car, I could get $4,500 for my crusty Dodge Van, which is 2-4 times what it is worth.

clunkerbuyers?

May 13, 2009 7:40 PM

Do people have to have owned their "clunker" for a certain length of time before they trade it in or can you just buy a clunker and then trade it in?

JD Plus

May 13, 2009 11:12 PM

You really didn't expect this Congress to act rationally, did you?

Payback the Greens, payback the unions, payback every single outfit that helped elect them. And that is how new laws are made, to the detriment of US taxpayers.

wowlfie

May 14, 2009 8:14 AM

I agree completely it's a lame bill. Congress doesn't even specify which EPA rules are used to determine eligibility. For example, a 1996 Jeep Cherokee under the original EPA rules gets 19 mpg combined and would not be eligible. But under the new EPA rules (more stringent) it gets 17 mpg combined and would be eligible. Can we spell 'lawsuit' or 'unconstitutional' here? You absolutely cannot be comparing apples to oranges which is what will happen if you don't specify the specific EPA rules to use.

In addition, since it takes a LOT of energy to PRODUCE a car, turning all 'clunkers' into scrap is just plain stupid. The amount of energy used to produce a car getting just 2 mpg more than the old one would be counterproductive and use nearly as much energy as that saved over the life of the car. It would be better to allow the trade-in as well and make it mandatory that the car is tuned to specifications before being put back on the road.

I also see no economic benefit to the owner trading in a car. Most cars will trade for a couple thousand or sell for twice that and so those people won't benefit much. Is this fair? So most of the people who benefit from this bill will be poor people who do not have the income to afford a NEW car even with a voucher. So few will be able to take advantage of it accept those well of SUV & Truck owners who happen to have a much older SUV or Truck. But again, it's so watered down that few can take advantage of it.

Joe

May 14, 2009 1:17 PM

I could try real hard and get a 17 mpg tank in my 1998 Chevy Lumina (last tank: 18.8mpg, all city driving), if that counts... Too bad it doesn't.

This is really too bad, because I'm in the market for a car, and with the extra $4500 I'd be happy to buy a brand-new fuel-efficient car from an American automaker, but without that it's MUCH more cost-effective to get a used car.

Artep

May 14, 2009 1:28 PM

If your new car gets 8 mpg more than your clunker, it should qualify regardless of the trades mpg. Is Congress incapable of logic?

Dave T.

May 14, 2009 2:20 PM

well everyone is missing many points including the author.

1. You're taking 1 car off the road entirely. So you're moving to a more efficient car and the clunker is moving to the scrapyard. So the netgain is greater.
2. No, you can't go out and buy a clunker for $500 and turn it into a $4,500 voucher.
3. Only the new EPA guidelines are being used, not the old ones.
4. Who says people will move from a Tahoe to a CR-V? The all new Chevy Equinox comes out this summer and will be the most efficient crossover on the market!
5. Also the author's examples don't make sense. If you're trade-in is worth more than the voucher than you wouldn't do cash for clunkers. A 2000 Legacy according to KBB w/100K miles in trade in value is under $3,000. Don't expect to get that much from a dealer either. So the car owner would not get screwed.

I really don't understand the premise of this column.

Soaringeagle123

May 14, 2009 3:01 PM

If the goal is to protect the environment, it seems some consideration in the calculations should consider the amount of green house gases generated to construct the new car.

dcole1125

May 14, 2009 6:35 PM

The real benefit of this bill is to get automobiles selling again. This bill will be huge for the auto industry. If we get the auto industry moving it can pull this economy back up. For every worker that builds a car there are 10 jobs supporting that one auto worker.

Meagain

May 15, 2009 10:05 AM

They're idiots as usual.

The bill should go on age and mpg gained with the new vehicle. I've got a 1996 Geo Tracker that belches smoke everytime I start it but according to the government it's NOT a clunker, 23mpg combined.

I'd like nothing better than $4500 bucks toward a new hybrid Fusion or Prius.

Bill Jenkins

May 15, 2009 12:04 PM

I wish they would have stripped the truck language and simply put: Trade in your old vehicle that gets less than 18 MPG and you will get the following if you buy a car that:

Gets 35 MPG or > - $6500
Gets 30 MPG or > - $5500
Gets 25 MPG or > - $4500

End of story.

I can't turn in my Metro (it gets killer gas mileage). But I can turn in my "work" vehicle...an old dodge minivan which gets 17 MPG.

I find it unfortunate that U.S. car companies sell cars that get lousy gas mileage. The Ford Fiesta is a year or two away and the Aveo replacement is also well into the future.

Toyota Yaris? Thanks, big 3. No wonder you clowns fail.

Eamon

May 15, 2009 1:51 PM

I beleive you grossly underestimate the willingness of SUV / Truck owners to trade down to high mileage cars. Countless Americans, myself included, dread paying gas at the current $2.29; let alone the return of the $4 gas.

Upon this bills ratification, I will be trading in my 98 Explorer for a much higher mileage car. There are millions of SUV's on the road being driven by Americans where 4x4 is not a necessity. Gas costs will eventually scare this free market into downsizing to better gas mileage cars... exactly zero people were dying for a hybrid in the 90's.

JEC

May 18, 2009 12:12 PM

So my 1984 volvo with rusted exhaust, oil pan leaks, tranny leaks, and temporally patched fuel tank doesn't qualify because in 1984 it got 20mpg combined! How about a catch all: any car say 12 years or older qualifies?

harris

May 18, 2009 8:28 PM

Thank you for this analysis. I have a 1997 Altima rated by fueleconomy.gov to get 21 MPG. I'd like to get a new Camry Hybrid that gets 34 MPG.... a 50% fuel economy increase... but NO LUCK under the current lame bill!

http://twitter.com/harrisreynolds/status/1841764148

Gadfly2008

May 18, 2009 9:42 PM

I agree with JEC, though I would make it 15 years or older qualifies (no mileage test) and the new car must get at least 10 mpg better than the old car and the replacement can be no older than 3 years old. And there should be a maximum income limit to qualify. Warren Buffett shouldn't be able to trade in his old truck and get $ off.

Patty

May 18, 2009 10:39 PM

Does anyone have any idea how we get the information for the program? Nice to hear about, but how will it be implemented? Public address? Vehicle Registrations? Hopefully not thru the dealerships as they will manipulate the pricing.

Magic dust

May 19, 2009 8:10 AM

if you print money, you're a criminal, a counterfeiter. When congress does it, they're 'stimulators'. Puhlease. more do-good nonsense from the jackals that brought you the wall street bailout!
all this will do is raise the price of every new (and used) vehicle,

PEDRO

May 20, 2009 3:43 PM

This bill stinks, I have a 96 Caravan that gets 19 mpg by epa data, but actually only gets me around 16mpg. I don't qualify, and I wanted to get something smaller that would get me over 30 mpg. A lot of people are in this same predicament

Perspectus

May 21, 2009 8:51 AM

Well, it's a moot point. Once hyper-inflation hits, the rebate won't mean a thing...

Charlie

May 24, 2009 11:44 PM

I have an undead 96 Protege that get 27 MPG city, 35MPG highway. Sound like I m encouraged to keep my old clunker.

DBE

May 28, 2009 2:00 PM

What a crock. I have a 95 Lumina and a 92 Toyota truck. The EPA tells me they both get 20 mpg combined. In what universe? This bill (and the EPA ratings) was designed under the assumption that Americans with gas hog GM and Chrysler trucks and SUV's would turn them in for more of the same GM and Chrysler garbage.

Diamond Dave

May 28, 2009 2:28 PM

Couldn't we more accurately describe this as a "Gas Guzzler Bail out"?

What about when these new car owners find out their monthly insurance is almost triple what they paid for their old clunker? Will they still be able to afford their $4 gas or is there a bill going through Congress to protect our Constitutional right to low gas prices?

Let them eat cake indeed.

Luther

May 29, 2009 11:58 PM

I wonder if they will accept two clunkers for a new one. I have two trucks I would love to get rid of for a new car.

Luther

May 29, 2009 11:58 PM

I wonder if they will accept two clunkers for a new one. I have two trucks I would love to get rid of for a new car.

Matt

June 1, 2009 10:47 AM

My mechanic told me that my '91 Buick LeSabre's rusted frame probably won't make it past October. But since the EPA says that it gets 20 mpg, I can't get any sort of financial incentive (which is the only way I could afford another car.)

I wish more people would bring up this issue when this particular bill is discussed.

Mary

June 1, 2009 8:44 PM

I would like to trade in a 1995 Nissan Pathfinder for a 2010 Prius. What I would really like is more bike paths and more light rail train service. Thank you.

Dan

June 2, 2009 9:59 AM

So what happens to the money that the dealer gets for scrapping the car and the sale of the used parts? Does that go back to the government (tax payer)? Or is it a huge win for the dealers and scrappers who get tons of extra money from the sale of the clunker.

Brant

June 2, 2009 4:46 PM

The customer doesn't get the money--the dealer does. This means the great deal you can get right now will be a not so great deal during the life of this legislation--for everybody looking to buy a new vehicle that gets good mileage. Right now dealers are figuring out how to put the most of this cash to their bottom lines by manipulating prices and interest rate financing, etc. Prices expand to absorb the government money, just like in medicine and education. What the dealers want is customers walking in so they can latch onto them like long lost lovers. Move that iron! Ironically, after the party the dealers will wake up with a hell of a hangover in otherwise empty beds.

Jon

June 11, 2009 9:18 AM

I've looked over the charts of both the House and Senate proposals, and the language is confusing to me.

I have an older model light truck/SUV (Rodeo) and would be glad to trade for a high mpg compact. But everything I have read says "the new light truck or SUV" should get ### mpg more...

Does this imply that if you are in the Truck/SUV category that you have to trade-in within that category???

If so that is Soooo stupid, seeing as part of the objective should be to get these ridiculous monsters off of the road for all but those who really need them.

From Kiley: The final language of the bill is not set yet, but you should be able to get a few thousand dollars if you swap your Rodeo for a truck or SUV thata gets at least 2 mpg better....the more you trade up for fuel economy, though, the more money you will get, especially if you trade it for a car that gets North of 22mpg.

Sandip

June 12, 2009 10:09 AM

For the new purchases, are cross-overs like the Honda CRV, Toyota RAV 4 and the Chevy Equinox treated as light trucks or as cars under the program? i.e., to qualify for the $4,500 voucher does the mileage improvement have to be 5 mpg or 10 mpg?

volvo clunker

June 12, 2009 10:34 PM


Yeah, I have a 98 volvo that leaks oil, mixes oxygen poorly and truly is a clunker. Due to the economy, I am in a position that urges me to make the car last until I find a job. It rates at 19 mpg combined. However, wear cause high levels of pollutants and much worse true gas mileage. I can buy a car with house down-payment money (a opportunity cost here).

I'd buy a new 40+ car tomorrow with the program, but without, I'll drive something that should be off the road for months after getting a new job.

Somewhere, i think the greens and auto-industry wants me in a new car. However, my finances play with the recession economics.

I think the idea is bad policy, but if you're going to do it, do right so we can live in a cleaner planet and promote work...which will help everyone but at a high short-term cost.

Larry Harts

June 14, 2009 6:57 PM

i guess i am one of the 1.28% that is very interested, so much so that i went shopping and have decided on a chevy montana or toyota tacoma, both of these trucks get about 10 mpg better than my 1979 ford econoline van, then i read through the text of the bill and discovered that the oldest cars or trucks that you can trade in is 25 years , and my truck is 30, i never thought i would live to see the day that something was too old to scrap, would someone please explain to me the logic in this

Speedzzter.blogspot

June 19, 2009 3:53 PM

Anyone who takes the ObamaCa$h for Clunker$ is just another welfare recipient nursing off of the taxpayers.

Its's another bailout laundered through a welfare program that attacks the free market and our automotive history. It's simply a horrible idea, regardless of the benefits claimed by the greeniacs and corporate welfare pimps, such as Ford Vice President for Government Affairs Pete Lawson,William Clay Ford, Jr, FoMoCo Vice President for Government and Community Relations Ziad Ojakli, and auto industry superlobbyist Dave McCurdy.

Moreover, Truth With Speedzzter has correctly observed that:


Cash for Clunkers amounts to a declaration of war against American collector vehicles and grassroots motorsports, funded by money borrowed from the Communist Chinese and others. It will harm hundreds of thousands of small businesses that depend on affordable used vehicles.

The car-hating appliance motorists, radical greens, and the anti-collector vehicle elements in the U.A.W. and the Detroit 3 have outmanuvered grassroots automotive interests, automotive collectors, salvage dealers, and the aftermarket. These anti-free market forces want to tap the federal treasury to subsidize their meddling in the used vehicle and used auto parts markets. Such meddling will drive up prices, balloon the federal deficit, and will have minimal effects on the environment. The gutless lapdogs of the anti-collector/anti-free market special interests in Congress and the Obama Administration are all too willing to destroy a large part of our automotive heritage.

And our children and grandchildren will get a double bill for it. First, they will be deprived of hundreds of thousands of collectible vintage vehicles and parts vehicles. What vehicles and parts that survive the onslaught will be much more scarce and expensive. Second, our children and grandchildren will get stuck with the bill for the billions in bailout cash laundered through the "ObamaCa$h For Clunker$" program to the big automobile manufacturers.


Had we had a "Cash for Clunkers" program in the 1970s or early 1980s, a whole generation of Camaros, GTOs, Mustangs, Chargers, Firebirds, and other milestone models from the 1950s and 1960s would have been lost. The restoration and parts businesses that grew up around these vintage vehicles in the late 1980s and early 1990s would likely have never become viable. Hundreds of thousands of collector vehicles that have been restored and are now the "stars" of Barrett-Jackson and other "musclecar" events would never have been preserved for future generations.

Had we had a "Cash For Clunkers" program during or after World War II, many more of the "true classics" from the first decades of motoring would have been senslessly destroyed. As it was, WWII scrap drives claimed far too many of these beautiful, restorable classics when they were just commonly viewed as old "clunkers."

Had we had a "Cash for Clunkers" program in the 1950s or 1960s, most of the vehicles that are the basis for today's street rods would have been flattened. This would have placed enormous additional demand "pressure" on the surviving originals (too many of which would have been "cut up" by later generations to make hot rods) and thus would have significantly harmed the potential collectors of original 1930s popular cars.

Whole chapters of our American automotive heritiage would have been placed at risk had prior generations adopted the "Cash for Clunkers" approach.

Much like the misguided, anti-preservationist, government-funded "Urban Renewal" policies of the 1960s decimated much of America's irreplaceable archetectural heritage, Cash for Clunkers will decimate a meaningful chapter of our automotive history.

Cash for clunkers is a "clunker" for sure.

http://speedzzter.blogspot.com/search/label/%22Cash%20for%20Clunkers%22

Fred

June 22, 2009 4:01 PM

So if I am to buy a new car, first I go and buy an old clunker for 500, trade it in and get $4500 redit towards the new car, boy that will mae old car disappear quick, does this offer expire and when?

SJ

June 22, 2009 4:30 PM

If you have an old car, about to fall apart that gets 20mpg, you don't need a new car based on mileage, you need a new car based on the fact that your car is a piece of junk. The bill is to remove low mileage vehicles from the road (at least that's its stated motivation) not to make people happy by subsidizing their new car.

Jason

June 22, 2009 11:23 PM

The logic of not giving incentive to scrap a car over 25 years old, is that if the car is not a classic car worth keeping, then it will soon be scrap regardless, no incentive needed.

I do agree that the bill is lame. I have a 96 camry that gets 21 MPG combined, and I would consider trading it for something that gets 40+MPG with this program, if new car prices weren't inflated from the program. I'm driving 30,000+ miles a year so it would save a lot of oil. Maybe they should also consider the amount driven.

Another thing that is lame is that this bill was passed included with a 105 billion dollar war spending bill, so some of the people get 1 billion of all US taxpayer's money while we just blow up 105 billion like it's nothing, so what we could have done instead is give a $4500 incentive to 22 Million car buyers for cars that get 40MPG or better, oil prices would crash the economy would boom, and car companies would sell a lot cars...and oil companies/countries would lose billions, which is fine, because they made billions in the past few years

jmack

June 24, 2009 7:39 AM

i have a 1996 oldsmobile ciera that gets 18 mpg not combined when combined comes to 20 mpg I feel the senate should go by the 18mpg not the combined then me and alot others out there in the same situation would qualify for the cash for clunkers

John Cooper

June 24, 2009 6:44 PM

The Cars For Clunkers legislation is actually very focused and is only available for a limited four month time frame. It offers participants the opportunity to trade in certain older cars for certain other new ones. Unfortunately, many cars do not qualify for the program and therefore are still ideal for the 'traditional' car donor option. Such non-qualifying cars let people give their cars to non-profit organizations who help people with many different kinds of needs, like supporting youth organizations or our older folks or to help promote the arts and health research.

Help yourself with the Cash for Clunkers program if you qualify or if you don't qualify or would like to help others, give your "clunker" to charity and take a tax write-off!

Here are 400 not-for-profit organizations that can always benefit from your 'clunker' or unneeded vehicle. To donate your car, just click on the link to the charity on the web pages below.

http://www.donatecarusa.com/charities/full_list

http://www.donatecarusa.com

Frank

June 25, 2009 7:56 AM

I have a 1995 Ford Taurus SE. It was mine from the beginning, and is up in miles @ 172,000. I can't get it running, because the alarm system is not working right. I had it running but it's fickle. My problem is simple, can I have it towed to the Ford dealer nearby, for the 4500.00, and get a Focus maybe at their sale price of 13,000.00. Will I be only financing 8 or 9 thou. @ the low percentage rate. Now this to me, sounds to good to be true. Am I wishfully thinking?

Dave

June 25, 2009 3:14 PM

Me? 1993 Acura Legend - original combined MPG 19 (although reality current MPG is probably 15). I'd like to trade for a combined 34MPG fit, but I don't qualify.

Nice to know someone who's been driving a 13MPG oversized truck for 15 years will get a handsome reward for buying a new 15MPG oversized truck, but I don't qualify for going from 19MPG to 34MPG...

Great. Just great.

Great.

sandi clark

June 27, 2009 2:55 PM

Our 1993 Luminia is a piece of junk on the road basically pollutioning the enviroment does't quite meet the criteria, so we don't qualify? Please explain the rationally of this bill? Burning oil up the wazoo, please explain.

Chris

July 10, 2009 4:50 PM

buyer beware, some of the response from dealers is interesting! "your car has to be worth a $4,500.00 trade in to qualify", "we will not have that many vouchers to give out" an indication it was an AVERAGE of 10 per dealership. The dealers have been as responsible as the companies in their corporate demise. As in everything else, profit is their bottom line, if they can't get you one way...they will another. This will just be a "come on" in the end.

jon

July 19, 2009 6:30 PM

I am a car collector an have some fears regarding the older cars I have investeted considerable money in. What is on the planning block? Jon

Craig Hatcher

July 26, 2009 2:03 AM

So,
I have a 1989 Acura Legend that reportedly gets 18 mpg. I believe is is elgible for 4,500 as trade.

Does that mean I can buy an inexpensive new car with low mpg, say at a cost of 11,000 and get my brand new car for 6,500?

HRC

July 28, 2009 3:54 PM

Chris -- why would the dealers say the car has to be "worth" $4500 to qualify? The dealer will get the credit from the gov't, and since the car will be scrapped, the trade in value is a moot point!

If any dealers noted a limit in vouchers, it is only because the program has a limited amount of funds.

Laurie

July 29, 2009 11:59 AM

I have a 1977 Chevy Impala that on a good day got 15MPG. But I can't trade it in under this program because 1. It's too old, and 2. It's not in runnable condition. Ok, so if I had a not-too-old car in good running condition, WHY would I want to trade it in when it's paid for to go into debt on a new car? I desperately need a new car, but can't afford one. With this program I could possibly get into a newer car, but my clunker is too old to be scrapped?? Not every 25+ year old car is a collector classic vehicle. Some are just junk.

Sharon

July 30, 2009 11:50 PM

I have a 1979 Chevy Monte Carlo that is still in good working condition, except for the air conditioning. I only get about 10 mpg. I really hate to get rid of it as they do not make cars like this any more. It is a very comfortable 2 door with a tremendous trunk. I would love to get a new car but my car is too old for the trade in for $4500.00 and I cannot really afford a new car without this tradein.

Dennis

July 31, 2009 6:44 PM

Caveat emptor(Buyer Beware). I find this Bill offensive. And to add insult to injury, they have added an additional 2B today. This is the American peoples money, don't give it to people so they can get into more debt. Most people that drive clunkers do so because they "have to". My prediction is that in 6 mo to one year, there will be a record number of Repo's. Sound just like the Mortgage fiasco with record foreclosures? BROKE PEOPLE SHOULD NOT BUY NEW CARS OR HOMES. Please do the math and think it through. You can do better by driving you clunker, save money and buy a car that is a year or two old, since your ew car will lose 40-50% of it value in two years!

fred

August 4, 2009 8:28 AM

i got $4500 to get rid of a 1992 king cab gmc 1500 for a 2009 Toyota highlander. the gmc ran beautiful. it has been handed down in my family for 17 years. i just happened to be the last one in possession. it only had 180,000 mi and NEVER had a mechanical problem that was not usual maintenance. i recently got 19 mpg on a long distance trip not bad for the 350 short block engine. i was in the market for the highlander and stumbled across the clunker program. it worked for me because i was able to get $4500 ($3000 more than selling it) plus the break on the %9 Louisiana sales tax for a total of $4905 off of my negotiations. i will consider this my one and only chance for a food stamp program!!!!

shy

August 6, 2009 10:31 PM

i tryed too trade my 93 buick in that started at 22mpg but now only gets about 17mpg they turned it down saying that they have to go by what the car started out with so the cash for clunkers bill is b-s

me

August 11, 2009 9:27 PM

man i have went to alot of these car lots that have the trade in and there so much money just sitting there about to get scrapped...thats dumb if they run sell them at a low cost to people that seriously have clunkers...if they dont put them in junkyards for parts so us broke people can fix the clunkers we have ,,,

don

August 25, 2009 2:04 AM

I think this program really stinks for consumers. TAXPAYERS/Consumers: LOST (everything: job/money and eventually the car they've just got into this program, GOT TOWED!!); DEALERS: win (trained to CHEAT); and people that made this bill pass: get a cut/brainwashed.
come on wake up people...you think 10 years from now that what you bought off the lot today would still give you better gas mileage than what you've traded in for? nothing changes except that prices will always GO UP, and hey remember, your insurance was really a savings ey? except that now since you've got a new car or a DEALER car...your insurance just went up again...was that any different on a rainy day?? I think I'll keep my clunker in good condition till it dies and save me money to buy a brand new vehicle in CASH... let's see who makes more savings ey!! PATIENCE pay!!

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