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Cash for Clunkers - Good or Bad Idea?

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Comments

  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    I'd take my '82 Tercel any day over a '59 Packard for a daily driver (or just about anything else from that era).

    How about we get back to C4C talk? Edmunds set up a whole page dedicated to it.

    Cash for Clunkers Resource Center
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,458
    Umhh I drove an original Land Rover, from 1959 actually, on a regular basis and uhhh no it would not be more durable.

    Even as strong as that frame was it still had a ton of chassis flex. You can't even compare it to how rigid a Mark III Range Rover is with its triple sub-frame Monocoque chassis. The mark III range Rover when it debuted in 2002 had a torsional rigidity of 24,000 pound-feet per degree. SO it takes 24,000 pound-feet of torque to twist the chassis a single degree. I am trying to find the spec for the Rover's maximum snap pull rating but I can't seem to find that right now. It is incredibly massive though and most other SUVs would be torn in half at that pull strength.

    No other car in the world was close to that level of stiffness in 2002 and even now there are few vehicles that can match it.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    With numbers like this, I would get the Tribute with the auto tranny. The RAV4 is a better overall vehicle but not $3800 better. I don't think you will notice the difference between the two and the Tribute is a nice vehicle!

    Good luck.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    You are dead wrong here.

    More durable? Yeah maybe the car, but the people inside die.

    What do you perfer?
  • Will the voucher act as a down payment and therefore the consumer is not taxed on it?

    Dealer said that in NY they might require the 4500 to be added to the agreed price of the car ($22,000) and then apply 8.375% tax to it.

    Anyone with info on this?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I'd never buy a large SUV...too dangerous. They excel in single vehicle rollover accident statistics.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,528
    I'd never buy a large SUV...too dangerous. They excel in single vehicle rollover accident statistics.

    I'd say the most common vehicle I see on its side or upside-down is an SUV...not necessarily the standard-sized ones, as they're wider, which helps mitigate the height a bit...but the smaller ones, midsized and down. Second most common? Low-slung sporty cars...Corvette, Nissan Z, Acura Integra, slammed Civics, etc.

    The reason they excel in rollovers isn't the vehicle so much, as the driver!
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    Get one of these babies!

    image
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I'll still take the 2009 Camry in a head-on wreck thank you very much. At least I won't be sprawled on the hood of my own car.
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,458
    Ughh seriously fatality rates have gone down considerably for a reason over the past 40 years. Passenger cars are much safer now because they crumple up.

    You have obviously never seen The Last Action Hero where they crash one of those checker cabs into a then modern sedan of some sort.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,528
    You have obviously never seen The Last Action Hero where they crash one of those checker cabs into a then modern sedan of some sort.

    Yeah, I remember that...Ahh-nold was in a 1987 or so Mercury Sable sedan, and whatever bad guy was driving a Checker cab, and they hit head on. I kinda remember the bad guy going through the windshield because he wasn't wearing his seatbelt.

    Been ages since I saw that movie, and I only vaguely remember that car crash, plus earlier on Ahh-nold was driving a '69 Bonneville convertible in that same awful goldish-greenish color that my '69 4dr ht was.

    While I don't ignore the advances in crumple zones and such, I think the biggest contributors to lower fatality rates is higher seatbelt usage, and improved seatbelts. It wasn't until something like January 1, 1968 that the gov't even started forcing them to put shoulder belts in cars, and back then, they were separate belts. They didn't get integrated until sometime in the 1970's. Maybe 1973? My grandparents had a '72 Impala, but I don't remember what kind of belts it had. I just remember that nobody wore them.

    And then, it wasn't until the late 1980's that they started coming out with seatbelt laws, and probably years after that that people finally started wearing them more religiously.
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    The amount of the suit was $12000. And what was I being sued for? She lost the use of his **** for 3 months while he was recovering from being smacked in the back. Not a joke..I was sued for her loss of his sexual services. I thought a friend was yanking my chain over this and had me served with bogus papers.

    What did his wife look like? Maybe you could have made deal to make up for the loss of service by her husband :shades: :shades:
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    "The goals of the Car Allowance Rebate System that Congress signed into law June 24 are to stimulate the U.S. economy and to get particularly bad air pollutors off American roads. But a report by National Public Radio indicates that some charities will be victimized by the program, as will the low-income people they try to help."

    Charities Lament Clunkers Program, Say It Will Curb Much Needed Donations (Green Car Advisor)

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  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    Hmmm, Does that mean my qualifying clunker is worth $4500 as a donation to charity. You are selling it to Uncle Sam for $4500, so giving it to Father Junipero should be the same value. Should be interesting.
  • sg2ksg2k Posts: 19
    I thought this program is to stimulate auto industry AND improving overall gas mileage on the road.

    I have a SUV with 14mpg. If I scrap it and buy another SUV with 18mpg, I get $3500. On the other hand, if I go for a passenger car with 21mpg, I get nothing.
    On the gas mileage stand point, a passenger car with 21mpg is a better choice to me, but the CARS doesn't think so.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    Are you sure about this? It just does not make any sense.Does that mean that I have to trade my mini-van on another mini van?I don't believe that.Better check that with a participating dealer.Call any Hyundai dealer as they are already making those deals.I would bet that if you buy a car that gets 28MPG you would get a full $4500 credit.Let us know how that works out for you.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,528
    I think the problem is that the new car has to get 22 mpg or better to qualify for the incentive, period. So if you're trading in something that gets 14 mpg combined, even though 21 mpg is a big improvement, it's not enough to qualify. However, if you buy a car that gets 22 or 23 mpg combined, you should get the $3500. If you get something with 24 mpg or better (10+ mpg better than the tradein) you should be able to get the $4500. If I'm understanding it correctly, that is.
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,458
    Find a passenger car that gets 22 mpg combined. There should be something out there that works for you.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Not so credible a claim IMO. As an appraiser, I saw the donation "business" collapse with the new tax laws that went into effect years ago. Since the write-offs are now so small, most people stopped donating cars and sold them instead. But sure, what little was left to charities probably will dry up---but they usually only got 10% of the car 's value anyway, as they mostly go through clearing houses. So the clearing houses are going to get hurt, and they are hardly charitable institutions. I bet those are ones doing the whining right now.
  • maryh3maryh3 Posts: 263
    Anyone using this program, who is concerned about charity, is certainly welcome to donate the tax writeoff they would have received by donating their vehicle, from the $3500 or $4500 they get from the government under this program. They could also add in the $$ they think the charity would have gotten for their clunker. Heck, the real generous ones could donate the whole rebate. It would give them a tax deduction.

    I'd rather support the charities of my choice and take from the big sucking maw of ineffective government social programs. Not that I'm getting political... :blush:
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    Yeah, that was a joke, wasn't it?

    At the time, I was wondering just how long they would get away with this and the ride lasted longer than I thought it would.

    The people who are getting hurt now are the wholesalers. They used to buy these "clunkers" form the big stores who didn't want them.

    A lot of thse guys did a good job of buing nice, older cars, maybe do whatever was required to make them look and run good and they would sell them on thier lots to people who needed cheap wheels.

    We have taken in some cars that will be a shame to crush. They still look and run just fine.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Yeah I really feel sorry for the Russian mafia's car donation clearing house business.

    It is too bad that you're seeing some decent cars crushed, but they'll salvage parts out of them, and, as you say, this is entirely voluntary---and really who am I to point an accusing finger at someone and say "How COULD you dare to crush a 1996 Ford Taurus?" :P
  • 100chuck100chuck Posts: 145
    If I hear one more salesman tell me how rare my SHO is, or that they only made 20,000 or that they had a SHO before or that the engine was design by Yamaha I will loose it !!!!!! Car salesmen are they car people ?
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    You know ,nobody mentioned it before,but I have a problem sending my 97 Chrysler Town and Country LXi to it's doom.I bought it new,maintained it to a fault and it still runs pretty well.It gave me 155,000 of good service in all kinds of weather.Call me silly,but I am not sure that I can calmly take this inanimate object to it's destruction,despite the fact that 4,500 is way beyond it's trade in value.I may just keep driving it.Pretty weird huh? I just wonder if anyone else has this problem. :blush:
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    maintained it to a fault

    There's your problem. I have a '99 Quest that I bought new, promptly keyed on purpose, and have gone as long as 11,500 miles between oil changes. It has 134,000 miles on it and I regret changing the original plugs, belts, and wiring at 124k (did nothing to help the gas mileage).

    If we don't clunk it, we may still drive it another 50,000 miles. It choked last year on a knock sensor code, but has yet to leave us stranded (original timing belt on it too).

    But if we can find something we like to dump it on, it's history, even if it's been reliable almost to the point of legendary status. :shades:
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,528
    Call me silly,but I am not sure that I can calmly take this inanimate object to it's destruction,despite the fact that 4,500 is way beyond it's trade in value.I may just keep driving it.Pretty weird huh? I just wonder if anyone else has this problem.

    Well, if this helps, don't look at it as losing $4500 by keeping your minivan. Instead you're saving $10K, $15K, or whatever worth of payments, by holding onto it, rather than trading it for something newer.

    If you're in the market for a new car, and no longer need the minivan, then by all means go for it. But spending $XX,XXX on a new car just to get $4500 just doesn't make that much sense, financially.

    I'm in sort of the same pickle with my '85 Silverado. I guess if I wanted to unload it, I might luck out and get $1500-2000 for it. Now it's in anything but pristine condition, but it's still pretty reliable, and makes itself useful as a work truck. Right now I'm using it to move dirt around in the yard. I'd hate to think that the truck survived 24 years, only to meet an untimely demise for a gov't voucher! If I really wanted a new truck, it might be a different story.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    Besides, why would you want to beat up a brand new truck hauling dirt around in it?
  • maryh3maryh3 Posts: 263
    I think that the frugal types will know if this program is the right move for them. If it starts to cost this guy lots of money to keep repairing his van so that he can keep hauling dirt in it - then it is time to get rid of it.

    For me, though I will really miss having a minivan that I can beat the heck out of, the van needs a tie rod, the air conditioning doesn't work, the passengers window motor no longer works, one of my kids managed to break the dashboard (perhaps that air bag won't work?), front tires are worn, rear brakes may be low, all cup holders are destroyed. Most of van is OE so with 194K on it - you know its a matter of time before something goes... the frugal minded types will know.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    It's amazing how a modern car can put up with such abuse and still run well.

    Try that with a european make and see what happens!

    A broken timing belt would probably total the car
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Actually, Ford required Nissan to change the engine to make it non-interference when they did the JV for the Villager/Quest. So it'd just be a minor delay unless it happened, say, going 80 on the freeways around Atlanta. Then it might get totalled trying to get to a shoulder.

    A couple of years ago I got a rebate for a new water heater. Next April 15, it's the $1500 credit for a new heat pump I put in a couple of months ago. $4,500 for clunking out the van would make a nice trifecta.

    Mexico is getting in the act too. (Purchasing.com)

    "The Mexican "car park program" is less ambitious as it will provide vouchers up to $1,100 to buyers who turn in cars at least 10 years old to recycling centers so they can buy new cars costing up to $11,800. However, it has no scheduled end date.

    The Mexican program also is designed to expand home-market demand for motor vehicles, whose sales are on pace to drop by 35-40% this year and aren't expected to rebound to record-high 2008 levels of 2.1 million units until 2014, says Secretary Mateos. "
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