I have a '94 Chevy S-10 that will be traded in for a new car under the Cash for Clunkers Bill ["Cash for Clunkers - How to Qualify for a Rebate," U.S. News Rankings and Reviews]. There are plenty of new cars out there that meet the requirements of being over 5-10 mpg better than a trade-in car that will not completely break the bank. Mind you, they are small cars. As a recent college graduate, I do not have a lot of money either, but I will sacrifice in other areas in order to get a car with better gas mileage that I won't have to take to the shop every other month. For me, this bill works to convince me to purchase a new car. I understand everyone's criticism, but try to look at it from a different perspective. Lots of people with "clunkers" spend hundreds of additional dollars each year in gas to drive their cars plus several thousand (potential) dollars in car repair that newer cars do not have to worry about.
Comment by Katie of VA
Cash for Clunkers will hurt car donations to charity because the amount of the voucher is so much greater than the tax deduction. A simple solution would have been to just go back to allowing people to take the blue book value of their car as the tax deduction for donating it to charity. Most donated cars are recycled. Those that aren't have to pass inspection before they can be sold or given to the public. The result is less polluting vehicles on the road.
Comment by Karen C. of NY
I have a work truck (95 Chevy G30 1 ton van) that I have owned for over 10 years. When gas prices went sky high I stopped driving the van and began driving a smaller truck. My intention was to save fuel and be eco-friendly. It was also the slower part of my work season when I decided to take the gas hog off the road. I had intended on re-insuring it, in the near future, or selling it. Now I could use a new vehicle. I could have benefited from this program, but because I had good intentions and took the vehicle off the road and stopped paying for insurance (that I did not need), I do not qualify. Now, if I try to trade this vehicle in I will not only get a lot less for it (which could make or break a deal), but then the dealer could resell my gas hog. If I do not trade it in I have two other choices: continue to drive the gas hog, or sell it to someone else who will then drive it. My good intentions will not qualify me for this program. If the intent of this legislation is to get gas guzzlers off the road and to increase sales, then our legislators should have thought through all possible scenarios. I would definitely be purchasing a new vehicle and scrapping my gas guzzler if I qualified. This will not get my gas guzzler in the scrap pile and the money I will make in a private sale probably won't get me to the dealership.
Comment by Mark Coelho of MA
If you have a '98 Taurus like I do and are interested, you can't do it as it is listed at 19 mpg and no cars that get better than 18 mpg are allowed to use this. Only trucks and big Lincolns, and big Cadillacs—hardly any cars at all qualify!
Comment by Art of CT