• Jun 9, 2009
The U.S. House approved the "cash for clunkers" legislation earlier today, paving the way for consumers to snag up to $4,500 for trading in their older vehicles for new, more fuel efficient transport.

The bill, which passed 298-119, drew overwhelming support from automakers, local business groups and dealers who claimed the passage could boost sales – further aiding GM and Chrysler's "reinvention" – during the economic downturn.

Although politicians and pundits are sure to weigh-in on the merits of the bill, the specifics appear clear: if your car gets 18 mpg or less and you trade in for a new vehicle the achieves at least 22 mpg, you receive a $3,500 voucher, or $4,500 if the mileage of the new vehicle is 10 mpg higher than your previous heap. SUV, pickup truck and minivan buyers are eligible for a $3,500 voucher if their vehicle gets at least two mpg higher than their trade-in and $4,500 if the vehicle gets five mpg more than their older model. The vehicle has to have been insured for the last year and there is no trade-in value beyond the voucher. The program is also available for leases. Dealers are required to provide proof that the vehicle (1984 MY or later) has been crushed or shredded, and the government estimates that around 25 million vehicles are eligible.

[Source: AP | Image Source: Theo Heimann/Getty]


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  • 111 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I've been waiting on some further news regarding bills of this type. My 1995 Dodge Neon gets nowhere near the 35MPG that www.fueleconomy.gov lists. It runs on maybe 2-3 cylinders out of it's available four. It smokes like mad, burns oil, and leaks even more oil. Unfortunately, I won't qualify to trade the thing in. I was hoping to trade it in under this bill for a small truck (4 cyl. single cab Toyota or something). From my calculations, this rusty Neon gets nothing close to 35MPG. Hmmm....thoughts anyone?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Uh, the intent isn't to give you money to get you to trade from a economical vehicle (well, at least theoretically economical) to a pickup truck. Quite the opposite in fact.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You ae too funny.I wish you luck.I hope you get the new ride.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sounds like you are SOL.

        sorry dude

        This is a big problem with bills like this.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Bull$hit.
      • 5 Years Ago
      CLUNKER STEW:

      start tomorrow with 1 craigslist work van ($500 dodge or gm product
      prefered)

      add a sprinkle of liability insurance (est. $50/month?)

      park on back burner and let simmer.

      BAM! in 12 months serve to nearest Ford dealership in trade against new SVT Raptor F-150 or Fusion Hybrid!
      • 5 Years Ago
      What a disgusting bill. Hand out tax payer's money for people to destroy their perfectly good cars, which then end up in landfills.
        • 5 Years Ago
        what i think is ridiculous is that we keep putting incentives on trucks and suv's... don't get me wrong, people should have the right to buy what they want, i get that. but not with my money. why can you buy a truck that get 20 mpg and get the voucher? if it is to help people who can't afford to buy a new car how is a 20mpg car going to help them with there financial troubles? it doesn't help us get off of foreign oil. if you argue that people need a truck to pull a boat... why do i need to subsidize someone who owns a boat... or maybe a minivan to haul the 4 kids... why should my tax money go to someone who is irresponsible and had 4 kids when they can't afford them... and if they have a business and need a truck then they are getting tax write offs for a truck so i don't want to help pay for it and have them not have to pay taxes on top of it. eh, could have been a good way to get old trucks and suv's off the road and replaced with more practical cars (and if the car only needed to achieve 28mpg then there are a lot of very nice very practical cars, not just rolling penalty boxes.) instead people will trade in there old full size pick ups for new full size pick ups... you know, to pull the ski boat to the lake... with my tax dollars... and i don't qualify to get my old junk heap buick off the road because it gets better than 18mpg (though barely).

        • 5 Years Ago
        I too am in awe of its stupidity.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I couldn't agree more. This is a sad day. Truely aweful legislation.
      • 5 Years Ago
      My wife's cousin took advantage of a similar program in Texas, though I think the amount was $3000, way more than his crippled Mazda 626 was worth. There was no way he could have swung this deal without the extra bucks. remember that new car interest is lower than used, and many lower priced cars, such as his Mazda 3 are better than what he had. The dixie horns were an easy install on the right side of the firewall. Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehaw!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Think of this as another bailout for the auto industry, but at least this time the U.S. consumers actually get something in return. In a time when the demand drops like a waterfall, they need to do something to stimulate the demand and keep the Big 3 in bizness.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Since when does freedom include people paying for other people's refuse automobile, to get them a new car?


      How much will this cost? to administrate, to cover the graft, and the waste.

      How many good producers in this economy will get taxed, how much more deficit spending? how much more debt for next generations, and deflated dollars?

      How many people, present or future, are going to be taxed into buying fewer products, perhaps even cars, to pay for someone else's trash?

      This used to be handled just fine by used car dealers, and salvage yards, without the fascists getting themselves involved.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This legislation is the current ruling administration's wet dream. For starters, it shows environmental groups that they "care for the environment". As an added bonus, it also stealthily redistributes wealth to those "less fortunate".
      • 5 Years Ago
      Seems like this bill is specifically geared toward getting rid of all older SUV's and older classics since those are the only vehicles that get less than 18 mpg these days.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Like my 1989 Bronco II. $3500-4500 would go a long way in purchasing an inexpensive, small, economical car like I plan on doing. I think a lot of others in my situation with old trucks, SUVs and such are thinking the same thing.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wonder if MPG ratings for the used cars are for original EPA ratings or present. My 1991 Sunbird with 225,000 miles sitting in the field (still runs, just not insured) doesn't get anywhere near what it did new, since it's got a few bum injectors, and is just plain old. Maybe I could trade it in for $3500 off a Challenger R/T (16city/25hwy) :)

      Oh wait, I forgot, I have principles and don't take handouts from socialists. Guess I will just have to pay for it myself. Novel concept, I know.
      • 5 Years Ago
      So what's to keep people from stripping their car so that only the driver's seat remains, then getting a voucher to buy a new car? I mean, to get the most bang for your buck, you could take a recent car (such as duncanator's 2000 Land Rover Discovery) strip it completely (hood, lights, seats, interior, slap some steel wheels on, etc.), get your voucher from the dealer, and recover costs by selling your parts.

      The dealer wouldn't care, because: 1) they're going to send the car to the junker anyway so no need to make sure everything's in working order, and 2) they'd get the money as long as they send the car to said junker/crusher.

      Of course, I know most people probably wouldn't want to deal with stripping their 'clunker' and most dealers are reputable. But still.
        • 5 Years Ago
        After reading the official legislation, it actually says specifically, that the dealer can sell parts off the car for money if they so choose to, as long as it's not the engine or drivetrain (unless the drivetrain is also parted out):

        (B) SAVINGS PROVISION- Nothing in subparagraph (A) may be construed to preclude a person who is responsible for ensuring that the vehicle is crushed or shredded from--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink

        (i) selling any parts of the disposed vehicle other than the engine block and drive train (unless the transmission, drive shaft, or rear end are sold as separate parts); orCommentsClose CommentsPermalink

        (ii) retaining the proceeds from such sale.

        Legislators should have thought this one out more thoroughly and setup some sort of way to recoup some of the money either though private-owned recycling programs or selling to junkyards.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't really see anything bad happening from this bill. No real classics will be destroyed seeing it's 1984 and newer. Sure a few F-Body camroes and Fox Body Mustan's might get destroyed but the vast majority will be truck's suv's vans, vehicles that aren't worth that much and a collector value. Anyone gonna want a 1989 Econoline that barely runs and is rusting? Anyone?

      Gives people a chance to buy newer cars and wont hurt the collector car market too bad. If there is a older Mustang, Camaro, Corvette, whatever it most likely wont be crushed anyways because people know what they are. Them old Crown Vics and Ram Vans however.....say bye bye...
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree, but man, please learn to use apostrophes! They're not a sign that means "LOOK OUT! HERE COMES AN S!"
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