Cash for Clunkers - Does it Work for You?



  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,457
    That makes sense though. Congress doesn't go into details on laws like this. They set the general standards and boundaries then let the relevant agencies figure out the details. Sometimes this works out ok like the CARS legislation sometimes it doesn't work out so well like the lead standards legislation that had the unintended consequence of banning all child sized ATVs/Dirt bikes.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I imagine the dealer will not be too happy, when they find out tomorrow, or whenever, that they lost $4500 by jumping the gun on the official start date.

    Adding this fiasco of changing ratings to the fact that people already think it is unfair that the trade in has to be under 18 mpg, may mean that in CFC II, they'll perhaps just require that the new car rating be, say, 25% above the old or just that the new car be above some mpg threshold.
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 6,061
    How did you get the purchase price from $21790 to $17,900. How much of that was rebate and how much dealer discount?

    My m-n-law will be trading in her 1997 Mercury Villager for a small SUV. Any reluctance from dealeships in discounting from MSRP, obviously not in your case?
    Also, both considered category 1 trucks, so increase of 4 mpg more means $3,500, and increase of 6 mpg more is $4,500?
    2020 Honda Accord EX-L, 2011 Hyundai Veracruz, 2010 Mercury Milan Premiere, 2007 Kia Optima
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    I would have replaced my 99 Ranger under the C4C plan. The new Rangers are no better than a 10 year old one. Maybe when the dust settles my used truck will be worth more on Craigslist.
  • afooafoo Posts: 2
    Hope there are more qualifing factors that would allow older vehicles such as my 1993 Toyota off the road. The Gov. need to put in a line such as, get less than 22 mpg or is 15 years old. I would say that all 15 year old, smaller cars will not qualify. That's an opportunity lost to put more fuel efficient cars on the road and help the auto industry recover.
  • 94gs94gs Posts: 59
    We did our CFC deal yesterday. Today, updated the mileage for our old car and it no longer qualifies for CFC. We got it just in the nick of time, whew!!!


    I am not sure my clunker's rating will change tomorrow morning when I arrive at the dealership. I am going to get it done ASAP tomorrow!

    I wounder how many clunkers Hyundai dealers (and those dealers taking trades before the rating change) will own because of the ranting change. :confuse:
  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994

    I am not sure my clunker's rating will change tomorrow morning when I arrive at the dealership. I am going to get it done ASAP tomorrow!

    Well, I just hope they don't lose the listing for my Dodge truck completely! At 13 mpg, with a market value of less than $1k and a lot of repairs necessary to bring it up to what I would consider to be proper condition, it's absolutely perfect for this program.

    I wish Ford made a vehicle that would suit my needs and preferences. The Focus is just too drab, the Fusion is more than I want to spend, and I just don't want another pickup or SUV. The Fiesta would come closest, especially if they will sell the hatchback version here, but I doubt that any form of C4C will still be going when the Fiesta makes its official US debut.
  • mondvogelmondvogel Posts: 3
    We were all excited this past week about getting $4500 toward a new Toyota Prius when we found out that our '94 Olds Ninety-Eight doesn't qualify, because its official combined gas mileage is too high. We felt awful. We had really counted on cashing in on an old eyesore and getting a car I had been wishing for, for over a year. However, there is a silver lining.

    At the salesman's suggestion, I went to the Toyota website to where you can "build your own" car, and I started playing a little what-if game: What if I decide I don't really have to have ______, then how much would it cost?

    It turns out that I can get one for around $4500 less than one we almost bought, and this will be the color and interior I wanted instead of a color and interior I was going to settle for. It has all the features I really need, just not some of the bells and whistles the industry tries to make us think we need. Like, who really needs a back-up camera on a Prius? Tacoma, maybe, but a Prius? And do I really need a 6-CD changer and GPS? So, this week I am planning to order my Blue Ribbon Metallic Prius with Bisque Leather interior and tinted windows instead of settling for a boring white one with hot dark gray interior. Yippee!
  • dave8697dave8697 Posts: 1,498
    I just checked for my Sonoma V6 which is a 17 mpg. The Colorado 2WD crew cab qualifies for $3500 with either engine, 2.9 4cyl or 3.7 5cyl. Nothing qualifies for $4500 in a Chev truck against the Sonoma. My '98 Astro qualifies for $4500 on only the 6speed auto 4 cyl model of the Malibu. PP resale on the Astro is $1996 but it needs nothing. I only check Chev because I have $3500 of GM card earnings. The Malibu LTZ would be $12360 plus tax and the Astro. When the extra $3500 drops the price from 16k to 12.5k, most competitors, like Fusion and Accord, fall by the wayside. It's like getting a 3 yr loan instead of a 4 yr loan, but with the same payment.
  • wyorebwyoreb Posts: 45
    for anyone who has executed a CFC does the salvage value work? dealer takes the clunker to a government approved scrap yard, is able to retain $50 for their administrative processing/handling of the clunker. Who gets the balance of the salvage value? In other words, if the salvage value is $250, for example, the dealer keeps $50, where does the remaining $200 go? Back to the government/CARS program?
  • delthekingdeltheking Posts: 1,152
    Hi,I had a query regarding salvage title cars.
    Does the CFC apply to salvage titled cars-if they are driveable,registered and insured for an year.
    I checked the website and found no info on this.
    Does anyone have any details about this?
  • ck90211ck90211 Posts: 158
    So you guys all think dealers that took in cars that don't qualify for C4C, or sold new cars that don't offer enough mileage improvements, will eat the $3500 or $4500 losses?
  • jboz29jboz29 Posts: 15
    Just curious, he has one that qualifies and has been titled and insured for the last year. And he wants to give it to me to used for this deal. Any thoughts.
    TIA Jack
  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    Jack, the name on the new vehicle's registration has to be the same name that has been on the clunker's registration for the past year. If you want to co-buy the new car WITH your uncle, that might work.
  • I could see nothing that does not allow it. We mentioned to our dealer that we were trading in a salvage vehicle and he had no questions about it. We pick up our new car and make our trade tomorrow, we'll let you know how it goes.
  • cwolf2007cwolf2007 Posts: 3
    I don't think so.
    I don't think dealer would really loss in any deal.
    Compare with the economic right now, the price of a new car just drop a little bit.
    Is there really so many buying power out there with increase of unemployment rate?
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    That will will work according to the rule docket, which says:

    The requirement that the trade-in vehicle be registered to the same owner for a
    continuous period of one year prior to the transaction requires clarification. The agency interprets this provision as requiring the trade-in vehicle to be registered to and owned by the person purchasing or leasing the new vehicle under the program. In a transaction involving more than one person, the trade-in vehicle must have been registered to and owned by at least one of the persons purchasing or leasing the vehicle under the program. (click on "download the rule")
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    The dealer would be out the difference between the actual value of the car (I would assume they did not dispose of it, prior to the final rule coming out) and whatever CARS credit they granted. The rule notice, which was issued July 2, said:

    If dealer choose to structure a
    transaction before the final rule is
    issued, they will bear the risks
    associated with later demonstrating that
    the transaction meets all of the
    specifications of the final rule

    Of course, the July 2 notice also said:

    The fuel economy information available through will be the same as that now
    available only through http://

    Which seems to be untrue for some cars.
  • ldislerldisler Posts: 83
    How did you get the purchase price from $21790 to $17,900. How much of that was rebate and how much dealer discount?

    I emailed many dealers and found the one nearest to me was willing to deal the most. It also included a Mazda $1750 rebates for a cash transaction & $500 rebate that Mazda is giving for Cash For Clunkers deals. I've heard of many people getting low 18's like 18050.
  • I am in a similar situation...

    I would like to trade in one of my family's company vans with my new car purchase; however it sounds like the company, as an entitiy, would have to purchase my new car, and I'm not even sure entities can participate in the program for sure...?

    From the last excerpt posted, it sounds like maybe I could co-sign with the company....?
  • delthekingdeltheking Posts: 1,152
    Thanks for the reply.Good luck on your purchase.Do keep us posted.And by the way,,what are you trading and what are you buying? ;)
  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    I'm pretty sure that a company can participate--but it's limited to one transaction, same as an individual. So the company couldn't use C4C to refresh its whole fleet.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    I think it would depend on how much stroke you have with the company. I know people in business have every vehicle in the family under the business. The only thing I see is on work trucks you only get $3500 and 7.5% of the C4C is the limit on category 3 vehicles. Better hurry as they are probably going fast.
  • I think it would depend on how much stroke you have with the company. I know people in business have every vehicle in the family under the business. The only thing I see is on work trucks you only get $3500 and 7.5% of the C4C is the limit on category 3 vehicles. Better hurry as they are probably going fast.

    It's actually just a ford econoline van which i believe is classified as a cat 2 vehicle. my name is NOT on the van though, just the companys so that is where it gets fuzzy. not sure if the company would have to buy the car, which will screw up my insurance, maybe even finance rate, etc. so im hoping i will be able to be a co-signer on the purchase...
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    Hey, it is worth a try if the van is trashed and not worth much. All they can do is turn you down.
  • yeah, that's what i figured, otherwise will donate it to charity like we usually do when our vans get older; however may have to choose another vehicle that i can afford better. the 4500 would allow me to get the prius ive been wanting, but im sure i can find another commuter car for less...
  • philliplcphilliplc Posts: 136
    so any dealers here after this weekend have a better sense of how long the money is going to last? i've heard anywhere from 2 days to 3-4 weeks. nobody thinks there will be anything left by late august.
  • jjnshanejjnshane Posts: 13
    Does anyone know if the Carbon Footprint number that is listed on the fueleconomy website affect the combined MPG number, or is the carbon footprint determined from the combined MPG?

    The reason I as is because I found an old print out that shows all the varieties of the T-100 2WD before the change on Friday. The only thing that is different between the automatic that I have and the manual is that on the old copy the automatic has a footprint of 10.2 and the manual is 9.6 -- after the automatic switched from 18 MPG to 19 MPG and the manual flipped form 19 to 18 the carbon footprint numbers switched too. Just wondering which one determines the other.
  • zdogzdog Posts: 6
    I just made a CFC deal and brought up the salvage value. At first they said they made no money that way, but I quoted the regulation and finally got them to admit it is part of the deal, minus the $50 the regulation gives them. Nothing goes back to the govt.
  • I was at a Toyota dealer on Friday.They said that the date of the start of clunkers was not till Monday.They said all the dealers would be rushing to process the orders on Monday for the vouchers.But I am reading here that many people have already taken possession of their cars. So it was a blatant lie? And for what purpose?
    I am pretty untrusting of this whole process.My car had a hitch in that I could not find my title so they have to send away for a replacement.I realize I may miss the deal because of this.
    But they were telling people at other tables the same thing,that the clunkers program date to start changed till Monday.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    You have to take into consideration that the dealer takes all the risk in this program. They make a mistake and it costs them $4500 or the difference of what your clunker is actually worth. Some dealers are risk takers others are not. I will be interested to hear how long the dealers wait for the Feds to cut them a check on these clunkers. I would expect the agency to have a lot of glitches. They probably will not have them sorted out before the money runs out. It could be musical chairs to see which dealers get paid and which do not. :shades:
  • I am not sure where the risk would be with me.I have not gotten a car.If my title does not arrive I will not get a car.
    Actually i am pretty sure they will sell the car I picked out if they get the chance as my transaction is slowed due to title replacement.It would be a risk to them to hold my car in hopes of my title making the deadline.But if they get my voucher and the car I want is gone,do they then have a hold on me to complete a deal with them due to the voucher in my name? I hope not but not assuming anything.
    At least the dealer I went to is going to get voucher in hand before giving the 4500 off.
    I am hoping that there isn't a way for them to bind me to buying if the clunker voucher doesn't come through for me as those payments would be too much for me.
    .I did have the salesman put in writing if the voucher did not come through I was out of the deal,but just in the first 20 minutes of our dealings he said something then came back and said he was wrong,he didn't know.So there is no trust.I am kind of feeling like I would just like to keep my clunker and put money into.Wait till I have my title and more money so this was not such a
    tense transaction.Then I'll buy at carmax or online without a salesman.
  • whywhy2whywhy2 Posts: 2
    Has anyone noticed a change in the dealer asking price and the incentives since the clunker law passed? Is the clunker money now being used in place of dealer incentives?
  • As far as how long the money will last, the NHTSA published in the Final Rule the following:

    "NHTSA intends to provide ongoing information about the balance of funds remaining available for these and all other categories of transactions under the program."


    "NHTSA intends to maintain an up-to-date running balance of available funds on the website at"

    I don't see any such information on yet. Also note that there will likely be a lag between what the website reports and the actual balance.
  • 94gs94gs Posts: 59
    I was at a Toyota dealer on Friday.They said that the date of the start of clunkers was not till Monday.

    I don't think the dealer lied to you. My Toyota dealer told me the same.

    My understanding is that starting on Monday (7/27) dealers will be able to enter the transaction data into the government's computer system and get paid (10 days later, hopefully).
  • We are buying a Mazda5 and trading in our Chrysler Town and Country.
  • Thank you for that.I feel better that your Toyota deal said the same thing.Can I ask what state you are in? I am in Illinois.It would just be ironic if we went to the same dealer.
  • Completed a C4C transaction on Saturday. The salesman stated that the dealer receives a negotiated $100 per car from a salvage company. The dealer deducts $50 from that for performing the C4C dictated procedure to destroy the motor. I receive the remaining $50.
  • I've only shopped a few Chevy and Ford dealers but the supply of Cobalt and Focus are decreasing in my area. What's left over are the very high end or very low end models. Dealers may take advantage of the situation.
  • I used a car titled in my name to get a new car for my daughter using C4C. My name along with my daughter's name appear on the title. At some point I hope to remove my name from the title, if that can be done.
  • jjnshanejjnshane Posts: 13
    I came across this article from -- the frustrations seem to reach far and wide. Although it does not fix the problem, nor make me feel much better that I am not the only one falling victim to questionable math, at least I know I am not alone! m

    Please Digg the article if you can so it gets more attention.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    This comment:

    “I went to again to look up my 1991 Camry v6 automatic. If you look up the original old window sticker mpg numbers (18/24) and then use the converter they have on the site to update the pre-2008 MPG numbers to the new 2008 calculations you will get (16/22) which is not what the CARS calculator is showing. 16/22 is what had listed up to July 24th which allowed me to Qualify for the money. As of July 24th the numbers 16/23... ”

    makes me think my thoery is correct that the EPA had previously just posted numbers based on calculating from the rounded off original window sticker numbers and then rounding off again. With the cars thing, I bet they went back to the original data and recalculated.
  • joel0622joel0622 Posts: 3,299
    Completed a C4C transaction on Saturday. The salesman stated that the dealer receives a negotiated $100 per car from a salvage company. The dealer deducts $50 from that for performing the C4C dictated procedure to destroy the motor. I receive the remaining $50.

    Lucky for you. That dealer misinterpets the program. The consumer does not recieve any proceeds from the scrap.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    Would you send a sale down the road for $50? Best to give the customer the benefit of the doubt. The rule is very ambiguous as to who benefits from the scrap value.
  • I went back today and we are all set with the $4500. I took all the documentation from and they agreed with me. I really don't think the guy I was dealing with directly was trying to lie to me, but I think someone behind the scenes at the dealership was giving him bad information - I really don't know...I just know he made it right and we're all set.
  • morainemoraine Posts: 4
    I presently own a 2006 FWD Saturn Vue (33,000 miles) with the Honda V-6 engine and transmission in it. I also own an old beat 98 Dakota pickup which qualifies for the "Cash for Clunkers" program. I do not want a new pickup, but am concerned that my Saturn will rapidly depreciate from its' present value with GM dumping them and parts will become an issue. My question is do people think that my concerns are probably going to become a reality and if so should I look at bundling my Dakota (worth $4500 with the "CARS" program) with my Vue then go for another small people-cargo carrier. I've looked at the new 2010 Subaru Outback and liked what I saw, but still want to maximize my best bang for the buck coupled with reliable and affordable transportation. I most likely will in the end replace my truck with a quality small used pickup, but if I do that only, I will get next to nothing for the Dakota and loose out on the Cash for Clunkers. If holding onto the Vue is going to lead to a very rapid devaluation from where it books out at now coupled with parts issues in the future coupled with passing on the Cash for Clunkers opportunity are my two concerns. All thoughts, information and suggestions on are this is appreciated.
  • joel0622joel0622 Posts: 3,299
    It is pretty cut and dry in my opinion. It states the value of the scrap will be negotiated between the dealer and the purchaser. The purchaser is the purchaser of the scrap. Do 100 of these deals and that $50 adds up quick.

    It is already costing us $35 for every deal we do. The gov gives us $50 the service dept charges $85 to disable the engine.
  • joel0622joel0622 Posts: 3,299
    To be sure what you are entitled ask the dealer to see the side by side comparison that can be done on the dealer site. It is one page which shows your clunker on the left and the car you are buying on the right, it tells a comparison of the two and how much you get. They will have it because it is one of the docs we have to upload to get our money
  • mitchfloridamitchflorida Posts: 420
    The fee for disabling the engine is supposed to be about the same as the fee for changing the oil, with no new filter needed. Instead of new oil, you just put in the silicate solution, total cost no more than $30 including labor.

    At the dealerships, the Service Department and Parts Department usually likes to use the Sales Department as a profit center. Sometimes unfairly.
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