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

hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
If you took advantage of the C4C program, tell us about your experience, including...

* Year, make, model, mileage and condition of
your trade-in.

* Year, make and model of your new vehicle.

* Any details about the transaction that you
think could be of interest to others.


  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    Has any Edmunds discussions participant traded their clunker in yet?
  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    I'm waiting till the NHTSA rules come out on the 23rd. Then I'm looking to ditch my '94 Dodge Ram pickup for either a Fit or a Soul.
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,277
    link title

    So far, Hyundai has been the only automaker in the U.S. to accept early trade-ins under the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS), or Cash-for-Clunkers (CFC), program. Most are waiting for the U.S. Department of Transportation to finalize the program's rules and regulations by July 24th, but Hyundai decided to start early since the program covers all transactions dating back to July 1st.

    Nearly a third (32 percent) of the trade-in models reported by dealerships were Ford vehicles, followed by Dodge (23 percent). Lexus, Jaguar, and Mercedes-Benz are among the other brands delivered as "clunker" trades,

  • fintailfintail Posts: 42,211
    I'd expect a lot of neglected old luxobarges will meet their fate via this program - cars with prohibitive costs of reclamation that aren't worth much anyway.

    A worn old 1990 LS, XJ, 7er, S etc isn't worth $4500, can burn a lot of gas, and costs a fortune to fix.

    I want to feel sorry for any old W126 being scrapped, but I can't with any logic - removing the problem cars will make the genuinely nice ones that much more special.
  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    Fintail, I had one of those old W126 sedans--an '83 300SD--and it was a terrific car when it was working properly. It was too good to scrap, as there was zero rust, but it was still pretty expensive to maintain. I see a lot of them around town in far worse shape, and some of those genuinely should be parted out to help save those that remain.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 42,211
    I had a W126 300SE, the I6. It was in spectacular condition, but was heading for 200K miles when I sold it around 4 years ago, and it had some minor needs. I got about 5 grand for it, so it would be on the border of being worthy of a clunker cash-in, and that small engine with the big car wasn't the most efficient it might meet the mpg limits. But I would feel guilty if I scrapped it, it just wasn't a heap yet.

    I see a lot of beater W126 around, as they can take a lot of abuse before they finally die. No worries about their fate, as you say, they can be parted out, and the beauties will survive. I am not worried about many legit special interest cars being hit by this scheme.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    One of the local Mazda dealers is taking trade-ins and treating them as clunkers. We did a test drive but didn't pursue the car.

    Dealers in Anchorage are sitting on their hands. Sales haven't been too bad up there anyway and they are afraid of getting stuck and not getting reimbursed. Cash for clunkers program idles in neutral (Anchorage Daily News)
  • bhill2bhill2 Posts: 1,789
    Yeah, I'm in preparatory mourning over the '85 380SE that the missus and I bought, gently used, in '91. It has over 250K on it now and still runs almost like when we got it, and I swore that I would be buried in it. But I know that we are flirting with a potential wallet-flattening repair any time now and I think the C4C program may be our way out. It's just so hard to say goodbye.

    2009 BMW 335i, 2003 Corvette cnv, 2001 Jaguar XK cnv, 1985 MB 380SE (the best of the lot)

  • fintailfintail Posts: 42,211
    I get sentimental with old cars, so if I had something that long...I'd have a hard time parting with it. Is it an airbag car? I assume it has ABS.

    With those miles it would have to be amazingly perfect to be worth a penny more than the clunker trade in value, so if one looks at it via logic only, it might make the most sense.
  • tomcatt630tomcatt630 Posts: 124
    I read somewhere of a customer who used the 'clunker incentive' and traded in an early 90's Blazer for a new Equinox. Said the Blazer was worn down and needed a new car.

    This may work for old SUV's, but there really are not that many old 'gas hog' cars around these days. Some politcos still think any old car gets 8 mpg as some 1974 era cars did, but by late 1980's most cars could get over the combined 18mpg threshold for the 'clunker bill'.
  • bhill2bhill2 Posts: 1,789
    You are right about the logic, Fin. As far as the safety devices go, ABS is a yes, airbags is a no.

    Actually, I'm glad about the airbags; I lost most of the hearing in one of my ears to the sound of 2 fully-sized, fully-powered airbags going off inside an XK8. The irony, of course, is that both I and my passenger (aka wife) were wearing our seat belts and would have been fine without the bags.

    2009 BMW 335i, 2003 Corvette cnv, 2001 Jaguar XK cnv, 1985 MB 380SE (the best of the lot)

  • fintailfintail Posts: 42,211
    I know airbags appear randomly on US market 1985 W126...I don't know if they were optioned that way or simply made it to the lots. Things were pretty prosperous then, and I think those cars were selling as soon as they hit the dealerships.

    Strange about the Jag, sorry to read that. Sounds like some faulty engineering. If it had been a pre-Ford Jag, they probably wouldn't have gone off ;)
  • bhill2bhill2 Posts: 1,789
    Oh, I don't think it was a defect. US standards dictate (or at least did) that the bags deploy with enough power to protect an unbelted (i.e. idiot) passenger. Two of them going of in an enclosed cabin the size of the one in the Jag produced a prodigious noise and change in cabin pressure. I think that's what did it. The insurance company seems to have thought that too, they made me have my hearing checked by their expert before they paid damages, but didn't pursue an action against Jaguar to recover.

    2009 BMW 335i, 2003 Corvette cnv, 2001 Jaguar XK cnv, 1985 MB 380SE (the best of the lot)

  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,458
    Yup that fits with what how the old style airbags worked. As airtight as a XK could be, assuming it was a coupe and all the door/window seals were in good working order, I bet that pressure wave was enormous.

    At least the second gen and multistage airbags don't work like that anymore.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 42,211
    Wow, that stinks. I wonder if the same happens when the airbags in an old MB deploy.

    I remember sometime in the 90s MB sought out the earliest airbag model they could find still registered, it was an early 1980 production date W126 - they bought the owner a new car and crash tested the old car to see what would happen. It functioned as designed.
  • tomcatt630tomcatt630 Posts: 124
    Can this thread please go back on topic???? I'd like to see what kind of deals, or who is planning to use this program.
  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJPosts: 10,330
    You might have to wait a little for the thread to go back on topic - technically teh program doesn't start for another week.

    I do hear dealers now advertising the program - so far Ford and Hyundai around here.
    2013 Mazda 5 Grand Touring, 2010 Toyota Prius IV. 2007 Toyota Camry XLE, 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999 Mazda Miata
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,277
    Yeah, I believe Hyundai is calling it a "Government rebate" at the moment since the program doesn't officially exist yet.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Well, the rules aren't in place but the effective date of the program was July 1.

    "While the CARS Act makes transactions on and after July 1 potentially eligible for credits under the CARS program, interested dealers and consumers may want to wait until all of the detailed issues that must be addressed in the implementing regulations are resolved and the final rule is issued. Issuance will occur around July 24."
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,277
    Got a guy here at work with a 2003 Tahoe that is looking forward to the CfC campaign. Apparently, last years gas hikes and multiple repairs have scared him into a Hyundai Sante Fe. I can't believe he's getting 13mpg with it, what a pig! Amazingly, the dealer caught on to, and lowballed his trade to 3500 dollars trade so a few more weeks....

    I didn't even realize Hyundai was offering the program before yesterday! :surprise:
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,133
    His 2003 Tahoe would not be accepted in the C4C program anyway. It must have been totally trashed to only bring $3500 in trade. Smart dealer will probably make a couple grand on the trade in.
  • 100chuck100chuck Posts: 138
    Well here's my deal
    2009 Ford Escape XLT FWD MSRP: $24,975 Sun and Sync package(4 cylinder)
    Taxes Fees and plate transfer 1459.00
    Rebate on 2009 Escape -$1000.00
    Ford Rebate and special financing -$1500.00 0% Financing for 36months
    Z-plan discount -$2364.00
    Trade-in Value 96 Taurus SHO -$4500.00
    Total out the door $17,070.00 or $474.17 per month.
  • jayvikingjayviking Posts: 5
    Just put a down payment on one yesterday
    heres the breakdown:

    18,736 car
    670 destination
    1625 NYS Sales Tax
    230 Registration fees
    199 Dealer fees

    total= 21,463 - 4,500 CFC = $16,963

    ***The C4C program has been delayed till Monday the 27th, so I can't pick up the car till Monday

    Oh the dealer is giving me the credit AFTER sales tax is applied....Does anyone else have a dealer that is applying the rebate to the MSRP?
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    What did you trade in?
  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    I had what appears to have been the archetypical clunker, a '94 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup. Close to 150k miles, running but with a transmission that slips occasionally. Lots of other things that would've had to be done (brakes, tires, etc.) if I wanted to bring it up to my standards. Definitely not worth putting any money into it unless I had no other choice. I barely used it--it was a "third car" in a two-driver household. EPA combined mileage is 13mpg.

    So I sold our second car ('99 Civic) and C4C'd the truck. These two actions, combined, gave me a lot of up-front leverage on a new car. I would've looked seriously at the Ford Fiesta had one been available (especially if Ford could bring us the DIESEL!) Most of the larger compacts (new Civic, Focus, Cobalt, Corolla, Elantra et al) are good solid cars, but they didn't much appeal to me. The only one that did (Mazda 3) was hard to find with a stick--plus I didn't want the bigger engine, and that's standard equipment on the hatch version in the US. (One automotive area where our friends in Canada have greater choices.)

    So I settled on a Honda Fit Sport 5MT, and so far I'm very happy with it. It's fun to drive and more economical than anything I've ever owned. The dealership folks were friendly but not particularly helpful--they knew they had a high-demand car, and they weren't interested in negotiating. The dealership was so packed that salespeople didn't have room to work--they were working deals on any spare surface they could find, including the service desk and the coffee table in the waiting room. They led with Edmunds TMV, but then proceeded to try to tack on a bunch of additional things, including (get this!) a $500 "road hazard warranty" on the tires and wheels.

    I politely but firmly declined the add-ons ("but sir, I don't know how to take that out of the computer" he protested) and we eventually came to an amicable resolution. The deal took longer than necessary but I have what I wanted at a price I was willing to pay.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    Congratulations, Steve, and thanks for sharing your experience.
  • nortsr1nortsr1 Posts: 1,060
    Sierra Chevrolet 4x4 pickup (%.0 Liter V/8). He purchased it 5 years ago for $4500.00 (approx 110.000 miles on it) (Original sticker in the glove box showed approx. $19,000.00 total MSRP). He then used same for snow plowing (it came with it) and ran that sucker for approx. another 50,000 miles).
    He traded in (CFC) for a base Kia Spectra that had A/C, AM/FM/CD radio and floor mats. No power windows or cuise control. It had a $3000.00 rebate so he got CFC $4500.00 and the $3000.00 rebate. OTD was approx. $9200.00 due to the 7% NJ sales tax and approx. $250.00 for tags, etc.
    He went from 9 mpg to 34 mpg. plus the 5 year 60,000 mile warranty. The Chevy dealer next door had one customer and the Kia dealership was very very busy.
  • hudy1hudy1 Posts: 1
    I traded in my 1999 Ford Windstar with too many problems to list for a 2009 Hyndai Elantra GLS, automatic, Popular Equipment Package, Mats, and Cargo Net. MRSP was $17735 and with discounts of $4500 and $3000 and $1147 it cost $10088 (plus tax and title)!
  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    I rented one of those for about a week last year. It seemed very solid, and I'm sure you'll enjoy it.
  • I also rented the Elantra for a week about 6 months ago and was really impressed with the quiet ride and composure of such an inexpensive car. The South Koreans are really coming into their own with Hyundai and Kia. Think of where they were just 5 years ago. I predict 10 years from now they will have a reputation that Toyota enjoys today.
This discussion has been closed.