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I Traded My Clunker For $3500/$4500, and Bought A...



  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    The warranty will give your dealer a chance to make up much of the money he has given away to you. The best dealer's warranties only pay about fifty cents on the dollar back, third parties even less. That's why they pressure you to buy.

    Having said that, the only warranty I ever bought paid off nicely on a 1985 Tempo-- truly horrible car in which everything broke once-- Ford at that time had a lifetime warranty on repairs. I'm sure the new Focus is much much more reliable and the warrranty will be money mostly wasted.
  • I traded a 1994 chevy 2500 flatbed with 350 V8 automatic, that was probably the ugliest car in my area, for a 2010 Hyudai Sonata GLS with 4cylinder engine and a 5 speed automatic transmission. The sticker price was $20,800 but after the $4500 C4C rebate, $1,000 Hyundai rebate, $500 previous Hyundai owner rebate/incentive, and a $600 negotiation on my part I walked out the door paying $15,500 (taxes 3.5% in VA / titling $58 / and processing fee $449, included). I probably could have squeezed a little more money out of the dealer but they offered free oil changes for the life of the car and other service incentives to new car buyers. So I felt that I did okay.

    I think I finally got one over on the Man (even though I'm sure he'll stick it to me somewhere else several times over).

    Oh yeah, almost forgot, the chevy had over 250,000 miles on it. and almost no paint left. I had it listed on craigslist for a month and the highest offer I got was $600 (which is what I paid for it last June). Not to mention that the master cylinder just went out and three of the four tires were almost completely dryrotted. It was just a truck I used to get mulch and other crap back and forth from Home Depot and Lowes. I probably put all of about 400 miles on it since I bought it.

    It sickened me though when I was shooting the small talk with the sales associate and he told me a story about a trade-in earlier in the week. He said an elderly female had a '96 Isuzu Trooper with only 32K miles and she told him that it ran okay, but it kept shutting off on her. She wanted a new one because she was scared it would cost toom much to repair. The guy told me after she dropped close to $16K on a new Hyundai they took her Trooper in and found the only thing wrong with it was the battery and cable needed to be replaced. The clerk said the car was pristine inside and out. Makes me wonder how many of those stories are out there.
  • I traded in an Infinity QX that almost got 13 MPG once. That was when it was running. It only had 22k miles on it, but it ate transmissions and brake rotors like a crack addict. I was going to sell it, but my I wouldn't feel good knowing someone else would be getting that lemon. I bought a Jeep Patriot. I paid aout $13500 out the door and its pretty much loaded. I already know I'm going to enjoy it more than sitting at the Nissan dealer waiting for some idiot flunky, to fix my truck the right way.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,120
    ...but a co-worker traded her 1995 Mercury Villager minivan for a Toyota RAV4. She got the full $4,500 trade-in amount.
  • mcmaxmcmax Posts: 14
    Traded in a '97 Dodge Caravan for an '09 Scion xD. The van had been a good vehicle but needed some body work and had some suspension issues. Transmission hadn't gone out at the usual 80K; we were way beyond that point and were "expecting" that to happen anytime. Got the full $4500, taken off before taxes. A bit over $13K otd. (KInda felt bad about the had taken us safely from one coast to another and a lot in between...lots of memories.) Getting 30 mpg average mixed city/highway so far almost makes up for it.
  • 1995 Work van needed,tires, brakes, etc. List was 25075 for the Honda. minus 4500 before tax. Paid 17046 plus tax. Costco deal.

    CARS website states buyer also gets scrap price minus $50 for the dealer. Did anyone get this? Not me. When I mentioned this the dealer said $50 was all they got. Seems fishy but whatya gonna Do?
  • Traded 1991 Infiniti Q45 (17mpg) with 140,000 miles for $3,500 clunker cash AFTER taxes (NJ) and $2,000 BELOW invoice 2009 Audi Q5 Prestige (20 mpg) . Definitely would have purchased a CPO vehicle, not new. Cash for Clunkers got me in the new ride.
  • rgould22rgould22 Posts: 21
    I didn't hear about this part and didn't get it. But then again the clunker I traded in was probably only worth about $50 in scrap.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,419
    my clunker is a 1990 BMW 325i (18 mpg) that I'm trading in for a 2010 Acura TSX! I'm super excited!

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,168
    Congratulations on the new TSX! Can you tell us about the 325i you traded (mileage, condition, repairs needed)?
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    YOu have missed the Saga of the 325i over on the sales front line thread. It was junk barely running with no brakes.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,168
    Sorry for missing something that's probably obvious, but what/where is the "sales front line thread?"

    The reason I'm interested is that one of my old cars is the same generation 325 as the one that was clunked.
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476!keywords=#MSG45343

    There is more then that that is just the last post in Carguys profile on the subject.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,168
    Thanks, b_r.
  • I traded a 2000 Ford Crown Victoria (with 214K miles) for a 2009 Pontiac G5 XFE. The G5 MSRP was just over $18,000. With significant Pontiac incentives and the $4500 clunker trade, I bought the car for a whopping $7900 (before taxes). That's 57% UNDER the sticker price!!!

    I did my research in late June and had all the paperwork prepared in advance. I made the deal the first weekend Cash for Clunkers was operating...before dealers had figured out that this program was like shooting fish in a barrel (and prices went up).

    This car is saving me $100/month in gas...which covers more than half of the 4 year monthly payment of $179.
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,020
    A reporter is looking to interview participants in the Cash for Clunkers program one year later. Please drop a note to no later than Friday, August 20, 2010 if you care to be interviewed about your experience.

    Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email,, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

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