Cash for Clunkers…or the CARS Program: what you should know before you walk into a dealership

by SuDocQueen@evpl on Tuesday, July 28 2009, 10:15am. Viewed 1,554 times.

I was listening to the radio this morning when one of the announcers started talking about the great deal you could get by trading in your old gas guzzler for a new more fuel efficient car.  It’s great that they’re helping to get the word out, but I don’t think they had enough time to go into the important details.  And those details are great to know before you start talking to a car salesman.


For example, the announcer said the rebate is $4,500 but that’s only partially true.  The rebate will be either $3,500 or $4,500.  Which amount you get will depend on the difference in the fuel economy between your old car and the new one.  Go to the FAQ section of the CARS program and look under “What is the value of the credit for the purchase or lease of a new…” to understand how the amount is figured.  A $1,000 can be an important distinction when you’re counting your pennies.


The main page of gives you a quick rundown of the most pertinent info you need to know about the program.  From there you can click through to the questions that will determine if your car meets “clunker” status, you can peruse the above mentioned FAQs for more in-depth info, and you can find out which dealers are taking part in the program.


Happy car shopping to those who qualify!

Comments (2)

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googler@evpl wrote
on Friday, July 31 2009, 1:00pm

This program has been both wildly successful and problematic for dealers. An article in the Washington Post suggests it will take a cash infusion for it to continue.

on Monday, August 10 2009, 9:53am

Yes, that's true.  The massive response to the program was completely unexpected.  The program, expected to last until November, would have ended in just two weeks without the additional funding it received last Friday (8/7/09), and even that funding will only see the program through until Labor Day, if the rate of purchases continue.  So, if you're thinking about taking advantage of this opportunity, don't wait too long!