Cashed in your clunker yet?

July 9, 2009

The 2003 Lincoln Aviator, Lincoln's first mid-size luxury sports utility vehicle (SUV) at the New York Auto Show, March 27, 2002.  REUTERS/Stringer

So, how much do you want for your Aviator?

Once-proud SUV owners are gaining green street cred cashing-in on President Obama’s $1 billion “Car Allowance Rebate” program giving car and truck buyers a $3,500 or $4,500 credit to swap their aging gas-guzzlers for new, more fuel efficient models.

While not an alternative to highway approved cars, it won’t be surprising if those who value image most in switching to a more green way of getting around pass up Global Electric Motorcar’s GEM e4 or Ducati Enegria’s “Free Duck” quadricycle. Neighborhood Electric Vehicles have been the vehicles of choice for leaders at the G8 meeting in L’Aquila, Italy, who seem happy to sacrifice chic in the name of the planet and photo opportunities. Form aside, GEM cars get the equivalent of 150 miles per gallon, or two cents per mile, according to the company. And that’s a lot farther than the boat of a truck you bought before the tech bubble burst.

Are you willing to trade in your clunker, and for what? If you already have, how easy was it to get your credit?


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Nice to know that the government is again rewarding idiocy, this time rewarding the morons who neglected to be mindful of owning a vehicle with good mileage.

Of course, they only need to buy a vehicle with better than 19mpg combined, which in of itself is not entirely that good of an exchange for a vehicle with worse mpg.

As for me, I own a Dodge Intrepid car that had good mpg for its class when it was new. I know because I did the research before I bought it in 1995. The vehicle now has 265k miles but it supposedly gets 21 mpg combined (as stated on While I need a new car, probably a lot more than others, I will not be able to qualify for this government rebate because in 1995 I was mindful of buying a car with good mpg. That’s the government for you.

Posted by Bryan | Report as abusive

How many people that have there car or truck paid down or paid off want to go in debt again at this time.

Posted by River Rat | Report as abusive

Wow, do I WANT a NEW CAR.

Divorced an unemployed there is nothing that would improve my life more than a new place to live and a new car.

Interestingly having paid off all my debts and having a ‘high’ credit score, with at present (zero debt) I am qualified for a 400,000 home loan and a 60,000 car.

However, I drive my 2000 Ford Focus Wagon with 118,000 miles on it that I bought used in 2003 coinciding with the birth of my daughter and trading in my Ford Mustang Convertable. After all regular maintenance the car is worth less than the $4,000 ‘given’ to people who drive irresponsible cars.

Compounding the insult that I sold all my homes to pay all my debts after Google/Sequoia Capital confiscated my $1,790,000,000.00 You Tube Business Model to ‘re-distribute’ it to banker and political friends. If there is anyone on the planet that has (“earned a new car”), it is certainly me.

All new US POLICY with regard to foreclosures and now cars, reward the irresponsible. While those of us who have acted with ‘Economic Responsibility’ are penalized.

I drive a 9 year old 32 mpg AMERICAN car and I’ll not benefit for being a resposible American.

I have no further interest in driving a responsible car.

They’d have to Give me one to drive it.

Posted by James Reginald Harris, Jr. | Report as abusive

HEY !!! I don’t know why everyone is so upset. You all voted for the idiot and his cronies. Now that you got him, all most of you are doing is crying about it …. except for those that are either benefitting from the mismanagement of the U.S. Gov’t or are just plain to dumb to understand what the word “change” meant during the campaigning. Then again – there are those who think YOU are responsible for all those other people who can’t accomplish anything except breed more incompetence. So, have fun for the next few years. I just hope there is something left when I get ready to return in about 10 years – or after something akin to Common Sense has been elected and is running the country.

Posted by GrossInjustice | Report as abusive

Yes this cash for clunkers plan…LOL. Here is what my friend in Germany had to say about the plan…he is living through it, and bought a car:
Check out what is happening in Germany to see how effective this program is. The resale for decent used cars has sent the market for pre-owned cars into the dumps. The recycling cannot handle the jukers and the cost for the metal has also from me German buddy

“The problem is it doesn’t really solve the problem. It just postpones it. The rebate deal will eventually run out, and the party will be over. Every clunker-driver who could afford a new car will have one. The market will go flat again. German dealers like the program, but it’s not benefiting the Germany auto industry as a whole all that much: 75% of the cars being purchased under this plan are made outside Germany. Opel, Ford and VW are the only German automakers that are benefiting at all from the program, because they make smaller, cheaper cars. Opel is selling a lot of tiny Corsas, but they are not made in Germany. The same is true for the smallest Fords.

Another downside: the used car market is really flat. If it had not been for the rebate program, I would be looking for a 3-year-old (or older) car right now. Every new car customer gained by the rebate program is a used car customer lost.

One more problem. On the news tonight car recyclers complained that they are overloaded. They now have spare parts overkill, and they can only get 15 euros a ton for compressed cars compared to 140 euros a ton a year ago. Whenever you favor one group with subsidies, somebody else is going to take a big hit.”

Posted by Sandra from TX | Report as abusive

When are we going to get a program that rewards people who have made good decisions and have acted responsibly?

That’s what I thought?

Posted by herewegoagain | Report as abusive