I had a 1999 Isuzu Trooper that sucked gas like nobody's business ["Cash For Clunkers Hype in Full Force," usnews.com]. We decided to look into the program not really expecting anything to come of it. We found out that I would get $3,500 for my Trooper and an extra $4,500 from a Chrysler/Dodge dealer. That is $8,000 instantly down for a new car. If we were to trade in the Trooper, we would only get $1,500, maybe a little more. It was pretty much a no-brainer. That is quite the savings when you figure in the gas mileage.
Comment by Trey of NE
I came to an agreement on a new Dodge Caravan. Dodge is offering great incentives. My 1999 Ford Windstar should qualify for the Cash for Clunkers program. After 2½ hours of negotiating, we were about to sign the deal when the dealer ran my Vehicle Identification Number and the vehicle's mpg is rated at 18. The new Dodge Caravan mpg is 19. We missed the C4C deal by 1 mpg, and it out-priced the deal. We would have to buy a car that doesn't fit my family's needs in order for us to qualify. If anybody thinks that my Ford with 180,000 miles and a shot transmission gets 18 mpg they are out of their minds. On top of it, the way mpg is calculated was changed two years ago so the two vehicles can't be compared. The sales manager actually thanked us for not screaming and yelling at him for being the bringer of the bad news. So in the end, I will probably have a clunker worth $3,500 that I will have to trade in for $500 to get a used car.
Comment by Sean Chrisman of MA
I have a 1986 Acura Legend and a 1966 Chevy Malibu. The first one gets 16 mpg, the second gets 11 mpg, but neither car qualifies for the program. The first car gets gas mileage that's too high (according to the government). The second car is too old for the program. I desperately need a new car, but I can't use either car to buy new under the government program. So the clunkers will keep on rollin'. So much for "government help."
Comment by Mike of NY
On Friday, my wife and I traded in our 1990 Astro van for a new Dodge Caliber. We bought the Astro new and racked up 183,000 miles over the 19 years of ownership. It still ran great, but between the "cash for clunkers" credit and the Dodge factory incentives, it was a no-brainer for me. Had the "cash for clunkers" program not been available, I probably would have kept the Astro for at least another five years. We paid cash for the Astro 19 years ago, and paid cash for the new Dodge on Friday. With this program, the car was essentially purchased for half the sticker price. My only regret is that the current program rules disqualified my "real" clunker because its fuel mileage is too high. We would take advantage of the program for a second time if rule changes would qualify my other clunker!
Comment by Red Oscar of KY
I am a poor graduate student who was waiting for this program, but given I am driving a 1992 Camry, it does not qualify because it is above 18 mpg. If you truly want to jump start sales, then remove these conditions. What's the purpose of it anyway? What matters is what you buy with this rebate. People are not dumb. If their car will get a resale value of more than $4,500, why would they want to get rid of their car? If there are no requirements, then a lot of cars that are junk will be removed from road.
Comment by Nick of NY